Women still feel exhausted even when labour is divided
Even though housework is divided, women still feel exhausted. This article nailed it because of course, I know exactly why this is.
You all know it as “emotional labour” (they call it mental load):
…[..] …not only about the division of household and childcare work, but about who leads this work. In other words, who anticipates, plans, organizes, delegates, and makes executive decisions.
When you have to think about all of it, and prep for it, that’s basically 75% of the work. The actual task itself of taking out the garbage, or hosting the playdate, or taking the dogs for a walk, that’s already a done deal.
Here is an example –
You have to take the dogs out every morning.
What goes into it? It isn’t just taking the dogs out and you’re done, it is actually all of this:
- Getting prepped earlier for your own work day so you have time to take said dogs out
- Getting your lunch out and ready to go in your work bag so you aren’t doing it after you come back
- TASK: Walking the dogs.
- Upon your return, you have to now get the dogs settled in
- During winter – you have an extra task of wiping their paws, and wiping them down, plus wiping the hallway down so it isn’t a muddy, dirty wet mess
- Getting the food and water ready for the dogs, and making sure they are fine.
- Finally getting yourself ready for work, then grabbing your lunch that was prepped, and going
In that entire list, there is only one line dedicated in there for the actual TASK of walking the dogs. There is a lot of prep before and after.
Add kids into the equation, and it gets more complicated as you have to wrangle them into clothes, grab THEIR lunches too, and their permission slips, while handling emotional meltdowns in the morning, then driving them to daycare/school and THEN going to work.
I remember this quite clearly, and it was just such an ordeal every morning if I was not prepped and ready to go the night before with our outfits, our lunches, and a plan.
And who primarily takes on all of this work? Women do.
Source: Suerynn Lee
“YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED”
The trigger phrase for this, which you will know if you are the one carrying this mental load is:
You should have asked.
And the response to this from the article is perfect:
“You should’ve asked” implies that it’s the asker’s responsibility to notice what needs to be done, and that if she doesn’t want to do this task, she must take the additional step of delegating it. It also turns the tables of blame to make it seem as if the complainer is unfairly guilt-tripping when the other person of course would’ve pitched in, had she only given him the chance.
Throwing it back on the person who “should have asked”, is exactly what is wrong with this sentence.
The point is – I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO EVEN ASK. You should see it, and you should do it. And not expect me to pick up the slack on it just because you don’t want to do it. This refusal to see how you’re gaslighting your own partner, is really incomprehensible.
IT IS MIND BOGGLING YOU HAVE A JOB
My favourite response to all of this is – it is mindboggling you can hold down a job. Imagine doing this at a job, where you need to be handheld through every single document or task without taking on the mental load of thinking ahead.
How is it, that they are able to be excellent at their jobs but are such crap contributors and partners at home?
It is because they prioritize their careers over their home and families. Period. There is no other answer.
If you stay late at the office to avoid childcare at home, or you work on the weekends and leave all the childcare to your spouse, you are prioritizing your career over your own family, and that stems from deep disrespect for invisible labour in the home, and for your family.
Yes. DISRESPECT. I said it.
If you treated your spouse like your boss, you’d respect them and not pull this crap on them.
So, long story short? Do the work. Step TF up.
Treat your family better than your career.