Career – Enabling Husbands and Partners to Do More at Home
I get it, enabling your husband/partner or anyone else for that matter is probably the last thing you are thinking about while you are trying to do some last minute washing, cooking dinner, doing homework with your primary schooler, and sending emails to your boss on an urgent deadline.
We have grown up with a perception that women are responsible for house work and raising kids while men have corporate careers and “bring home the bacon”. The reality is that women have become a big part of developing business and a large part of the workforce as well. Women are making not only taking up some space in the business world, but actually making waves in the world as entrepreneurs, CEO’s, board members and leaders. In our current financial climate families can’t afford NOT to have two income’s instead of one. The problem is, even though the responsibility of bringing home the bacon has been divided, the house hold chores still remain largely, the responsibility of the woman.
For a woman, working a 9 hour day (sometimes more) and then coming home to take care of house hold chores and responsibilities are two jobs. (Any homemaker will tell you that being a stay at home mom is a FULL time job.) If you work a day job and come home to do house work, you are technically doing two jobs. No one is geared to work such long hours and remain proficient in both responsibilities. If you are serious about your career and being more effective as contributing parent dividing responsibility with your partner is key.
Contrary to popular belief it is not always the husband or partner who is too lazy to help, it could also be because we, as women have for generations, been excluding them from the process. Are you doing the washing because you don’t want him to mix the whites with the colours and don’t “trust” him to do a load because he does not know how? Or the baby cries and he hands it to you to “handle” because you are the only one who can quiet the baby? Think about it this way. When you brought the baby home the first time and he cried, your husband hands baby to you, you say “let me do it”. What you are in fact saying is; 1. “You are incapable of doing it,” “ I can do it better,” and “it is my responsibility.” You should in fact have left it for him to figure out, or showed him how to do it. This goes for housework and a lot of other things we need help with at home as well.
Enabling husbands and partners start with including them into the process. If you have to do the washing for example and make dinner you will need to ask him to help. He will not know if you don’t show him, and ask him. If you need help with the baby and doing homework then involve him. Teach him and allow him to make mistakes. Give him the confidence to manage the baby by letting him make mistakes. Don’t be one of those women who take pride in being the “only one” who can put the children to sleep or cook the perfect meal, or fold the washing perfectly.
In conclusion, things don’t need to be done perfectly, they need to be done. We need to enable our husbands and partners to do more. This will help us excel more in our careers, be less exhausted, have more time to work on personal goals and also slowly but surely eradicate traditions that no longer serve us and fit into our modern day and age. Most of all it will also give our partners and husbands the confidence to also be a part of the process of raising kids and contribute to home work and that part of family life.