Why Women Can’t - and Shouldn’t - Always Do It All
Being a woman is not always easy. Female emancipation has become a double-edged sword in that we are encouraged to work outside of the home, yet expected to shoulder most of the domestic burden and childcare. Very few women manage to successfully do it all without help.
Celebrity mums freely admit that they need extra help, usually in the form of nannies, housekeepers and umpteen domestic assistants. These lucky women can afford to pay for help, but sadly for the rest of us, help is not always forthcoming.
Life is a Juggling Act
If you, like many women, struggle to juggle the responsibilities of home, childcare and career, rest assured you are not alone. There are millions of women around the world who wake up every morning, wondering how they can fit it all in. I know, because I am one of these women.
I would love to spend my days watching TV, baking cakes, or looking at the latest fashions on my iPad. I also enjoy reading, but I rarely have time to pick up a novel. In fact, the only time I ever sit and read is when I go to bed at night, but by then I am so tired that I can barely finish one page before I fall asleep. My partner, on the other hand, is lucky enough to come home from work, have a nice relaxing shower, wait for his dinner to appear and then spend his evening relaxing with his computer or watching a movie. His life is not dictated by the demands of housework and kids.
What Went Wrong…
It’s hard not to wonder what went wrong. I am sure that when women campaigned for greater opportunities outside of the home, they never imagined they would be expected to carry on taking care of their kids, their home, and in many cases, their husband. They probably thought the domestic drudgery would be equally shared and childcare would not always fall at their feet. How wrong they were.
Admit You Can’t Cope
It’s not always easy to admit that you can’t cope. We are pre-programmed to slave away, day after day, without every admitting we are struggling. We might be suffering from stress, depression or downright exhaustion, but we mask our desperation with a glass or three of wine after work, or if things get really bad, a prescription for Prozac. But all this does is to treat the symptoms, not the underlying disorder.
What we really need to do is teach our menfolk to shoulder more of the responsibilities. Instead of slaving away, cooking, cleaning, and looking after the kids whilst working full-time, ask for help and admit you can’t ‘do it all’. It might come as a surprise to your partner, especially if you have done an amazing job of pretending you can cope, but putting on a brave face is not helping anyone, least of all you.
So be honest, throw off the shackles of domestic burden, and start living your life the way it should be lived. If not, guess who’s cooking the dinner tonight?