The little family sits down for lunch and the mother tells her children that they need to eat vegetables and protein and watches them eat, while she tells her husband about the result of the daughter’s examination and the trip school the son wants to attend.
The husband finishes eating and raises his plate and does not put it in the sink but washes it directly. or not, and reminds him that they have to pay the phone bills and the upkeep of the house.
The house goes at its usual daily pace, but the wife breaks down in tears at the end of the day, she tells him that she feels tired and does not rest for a moment, he tells her that he really helps her, so she explodes in his face accusing him of not cutting off the “power”, looking at her with a look filled with warning and accusation, saying that he did what She asked of him , and if she wanted him to cut the power, all she had to do was ask him.
The preceding scene is usual in homes where men believe in the need to perform domestic chores, and according to their view of themselves, rather the view of the Arab and international community about them. responsibility for household chores. respond to these things?
Home management is an invisible burden
To answer this, we must move away from the situation and look at it with a more understanding eye: indeed, the husband has not refused any request for his wife, but why wait for her to ask him? Here, the man sees the woman as “the housekeeper”, an attractive and elegant title but just a glamorous facade for more burdens for women, but this time the burdens are more difficult because they are invisible.
No one sees the woman/wife/mother thinking about the children’s immunization schedule and the vitamins they need to take, following the children’s lessons, making sure food and hygiene supplies are available, writing a list of shopping and putting the laundry away in her mind so that she can calculate how long a single wash cycle takes and how long it takes for the amount of clothes to dry.
When a person becomes a project manager in an organization or company, he immediately stops performing the tasks himself and his task is limited to planning, organizing and following up to complete each task as required, within the specified time and budget. Thus, when a wife or mother is asked to become the head of the household while doing her share of the household chores, it means that she is charged with a double job which includes both the mental burden of management, planning and follow-up; and the physical burden of many executive tasks she must perform.
A 2019 statistic from Australia on families in which the woman earns a material income equal to that of the man, indicates that the woman works at home four hours more than the man per week, and in the case of children, the difference increases until it reaches 14 hours a week, and even if the wife It is she who mainly spends on the house, because she always works in her house 13 hours more than her husband.
One of the most obvious things about the duties entrusted to a woman, especially if she is a mother, is the multiplication of groups of “mummies” for nurseries and children’s schools and their sports exercises. Most of these groups cater exclusively to the mother, and in many cases refuse to add a male to her, acknowledging that it is implicit that following up on children, school needs and teacher requests is the responsibility from the mother.
Who is at fault?
It is not possible to raise an accusing finger at man in this matter. Man is not to blame here, but rather the society that the world created centuries ago. This society was formed on the basis of a certain vision of the distribution of duties and privileges between the sexes in a completely different and not necessarily equitable way, therefore arriving at the present point where the spouses share the household chores n It’s not easy and requires many years of hard work. through the generations.
This different education of the two sexes has always forced the woman to be in a position to run the house and take full care of her business, while the man stays away from everything related to the house. Even after centuries of slow development and the belief of getting rid of these thoughts, in fact they are still in the subconscious, while the husband is sitting and enjoying his free time, the wife is striving to complete the tasks of home, unhappy with her husband’s lack of help for her.
The trick isn’t just about asking him to complete the tasks, but it can be broken down into several overlapping ideas. The other grew up in the same stressful society that expects women to take care of the house alone. Sometimes she resorts to silence instead of asking, as sometimes she feels tired from the mental burden of the task of assigning roles and monitoring their performance, or she may see herself in the eyes of society who will condemn her to failure as a wife and mother.
Recognition is the first solution
Some problems cannot be solved and some can be. Fortunately, the problem of mental load belongs to the latter type, and because no problem can be solved without acknowledging it, the first step towards a solution is the woman’s acknowledgment of this problem. then to explain it calmly to the husband Participates in household chores, without the explanation having the tone of reprimand or accusation, but rather an explanation for the sake of clarification, understanding and sharing.
Then the husband can be involved in the planning, whether involving him in planning simple tasks such as co-writing the shopping list, or planning the day or how to spend the weekend. -end. It is also important that when the husband takes on a task, his partner does not immediately change it or offer to do it for him, because this delinquent taking on can also lead to other problems.
As for the general culture of society, it is perhaps time to recognize the existence of the so-called mental load in social life and the management of family affairs, and that it is better that the two parties to any relationship share this burden equally, like all the other burdens of life.