A Mother’s Day Message is the first of a new video-blog (vlog) post which will appear here weekly each Sunday!
Well hello and welcome! It’s a gorgeous Mother’s Day weekend here and you can probably hear all the activity around us, the birds chirping, and the neighbour is trimming the hedges… And maybe the ATV driving around.
Anyway, because we are celebrating moms, I wanted to discuss the topic of household chores and the division of labor between spouses.
Now I know I may be wading into dangerous territory for this episode. But what the heck!
When I speak with women entrepreneurs, whether they are in business with their spouse. Or they each have their own businesses. Or even when the woman is working in her business and her spouse has another job, I often hear the complaint about the guys not “stepping up,” not carrying the load with regards to kids or household chores.
I hear things like:
We both work hard, why does it always have to be me to pick up the kids and drive them to their activities or their doctors’ appointment?
I also hear:
Just because I work from home doesn’t mean that I have to be doing everything at home!
And of course:
Why do I always have to ask for something to be done? Can’t he see it?
Why do I constantly have to check that things are done right?
There’s Research That Proves Our Complaints
Now there is Canadian research published in 2017 that says that YES, women tend to do more housework than their male partners, regardless of their age, income or own workloads.
A 2016 UK study found that women do about 60% more unpaid work than men, which includes cooking, childcare, and housework.
In the U.S. a study done by the National Bureau for Economic Research says that because women are spending too much time on housework relative to their men counterparts, it’s actually dragging down the overall economic productivity of the country!
So there is data to back up our complaints. And it’s not good for us, for our marriages or our businesses.
But at times I get the feeling women are more inclined to complain about the situation than to do something about it. Somehow, I have a hard time believing that almost all of my women entrepreneur friends are married to guys who aren’t willing to do more around the house and with the kids!
I do like get a fair amount of, “oh well, you’re so lucky because you’re married to a chef and he cooks!“ Yes I really am very fortunate. And I feel that both Heinz and I have a fairly equal load in our everyday chores and in our business.
But I didn’t used to think so. As a matter fact, I used to think that, other than cooking, I had way more things on my plate compared to Heinz, especially when Iliana (our daughter) was very young.
Did we all of a sudden have a rebalancing of the load? No, not really. It actually started with my changing MY attitude.
It Starts with ME First
You see, a wise woman once told me change starts with “ME First.” You should never try to change someone else. You can only change YOU and hope that this leads to change in the other person.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, perhaps we should be asking ourselves:
- Do I really need to do all the stuff myself?
- Can’t I delegate?
- I’m allowing people to do stuff for me THIS weekend, could I do that more often?
Ladies, we’re all smart business people here. And I think many of us are unwilling to delegate! We hang on to things because we want them done in a certain way.
When I micromanaged and was unwilling to let go, both in the business and at home, that’s when I felt the most stressed! And I was acting as a mother to my staff. That was a recipe for disaster, which eventually led me to burnout.
So if you feel you’re carrying more than your fair share, ask yourself:
- Does it need to be done by me? Who else could do this?
- Does it have to be done AT ALL?
- Or in that precise manner I want it done?
When we can step away from the situation for a bit and can analyze it more objectively. We see how our behavior towards childcare and household chores is MAYBE counterproductive.
See if you can bring more of a business outlook to the actual work of caring for your loved ones.
I hope I’ve given you some food for thought here. I would love to hear your questions or your comments about this. Maybe you disagree.
Maybe you found your own unique way to balance your childcare and household chores between spouses. Please go ahead and tell us about it. How can we fix this?
My purpose here is to open up the dialogue about how we keep struggling between love and business, trying to do it all, and really, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Know that the division of domestic responsibilities is definitely one of the areas we will be covering in our upcoming free webinar on “The Love And Business Trap“. Stay tuned for more details!
Now that’s enough for me now. The garden beckons!
I hope you’ve had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend. Have a great week ahead, until next time!
Yours for love and business,
P.S. If you think the conversation around household chores is due to a lack of alignment in values between you and your spouse, check out these 3 steps to marriage success..