Does your family help around the house? Do you have to beg and plead for them to do the dishes, or vacuum the floor? Unfortunately, I’ve struggled with this myself. I have a blended family and everyone wants to point fingers and make everything “fair”, which doesn’t usually work out in my favor. Sometimes it’s easier to just do it myself than take the extra effort to argue what’s fair and then follow up to make sure it gets done properly. That is not the best solution for anyone. In fact, it’s bad for the health of the person stuck with all the work, usually the mom.
I’m not the only one doing most of the household chores for my family according to this study. Gender household stereotypes run deep in most families. Almost 3/4 of participants thought the female partner should take care of the laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking. 82% thought the female should be responsible for the children’s physical needs and 72% thought the female should be responsible for the children’s emotional needs. 90% thought the male partner should be responsible for the car maintenance and outdoor chores. That’s great, except those chores don’t need to be done on a daily basis, like the cooking, cleaning, and child rearing.
Added to the fact that women are doing most household chores, is the fact that 78% of the population with autoimmune diseases, like thyroid disease and chronic fatigue syndrome, are women. No wonder we’re exhausted!
What can we do about it?
1. Divide and conquer-
-Enlist your spouse to cook dinner a few nights a week, even if that is on the grill over the weekend. Make a rule that whoever doesn’t cook, cleans. Kids can help too! I gave my kids a specific night of the week that they had kitchen duty.
-Take turns doing laundry I also gave my kids a day of the week that they can do their own laundry. (This idea came after I found several perfectly clean and folded shirts in the dirty clothes hamper.) They started at around age 9-10.
-Pick larger chores and assign them to someone else in the family for 1 month. For example, one person does the vacuuming, one person does the sweeping and mopping, one person does the dusting and window cleaning, etc. The next month, rotate the chores so that no one is doing one chore that is harder or easier than anyone else. (My kids hate the time they have to mop.)
-Go to the grocery store together and give a separate list to teams. (Mom and child, Dad and child, or older sibling and younger sibling) Spread out and get your shopping done faster.
It’s really important for women to take care of themselves with self-care. Don’t feel guilty! Take some time to do things that bring you joy or help you relax. Spend at least 30 minutes a day on something for yourself. That can be a quiet bath, reading a book, sitting in silence, a walk in nature, etc. Schedule a couple hours for time with friends, a hobby, a massage, or whatever brings you joy. Enlist your spouse, a grandparent, or even another friend that you’ve agreed to exchange babysitting with, to watch the kids during this time.
3. Nourish your body
Eat 7-9 servings of vegetables and fruit a day along with lean meat, nuts and seeds. A great multi-vitamin and Omega 3’s are important supplements to take. I can help you with some great quality supplements. Just send me an email at: email@example.com
Move your body for at least 20-30 minutes a day, which has shown to improve sleep and increase life expectancy by lowering your risk of diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Not only that, but it will improve your mood by raising endorphin levels.