Women do 75% of domestic tasks when living with their male partners. But what does this cost us?

Women do 75% of domestic tasks when living with their male partners. But what does this cost us?

According to a global research by the International Centre for Research for Women, in almost every country, women spend more time that their male partners on domestic tasks, performing an average of 75 per cent of that work.

If you love doing household chores and have consciously agreed with your partner for whatever reason that you’d take these on, I’m WITH YOU and please ignore this post – it’s not for you.

BUT if you’re in a relationship and you’re the only one responsible for cleaning the house, cooking and doing the laundry just because you’re a woman and that’s how things are supposed to be, keep reading.

We’ve been taught these subconscious behaviours by the women who raised us and interacted with as we were growing up. I certainly did. Likewise, the men in our lives used to see their mothers looking after the family household and their fathers having no or smaller role in this. So, when you moved in with the man in your life, it’s very likely it was immediately assumed that you’d be looking after the house even if you also have a full-time job.

But, what does this outdated model cost you?

Spending significantly more time on household chores than your partner with no apparent reason might be costing you your dreams. In some cases, it might be costing you even your health and well-being. It might be costing you your deep desire to create your art, scale up your business or move your body.

I can’t even count how many women I’ve come across who are in their mid-fifties or older and they feel resentment, sadness or are even depressed, talking about their past, their unfulfilled dreams and all the things they could have do but they haven’t. I’ve also noticed they often get triggered by loved ones, such as kids, who are happy and start creating their own personal, independent path in life.

Seeing this repeatedly, I’ve come to realise this is happening because, for several social, economic and other reasons, women have been suppressing their personal needs and dreams for hundreds and hundreds of years. We haven’t been seen and we haven’t seen ourselves as soulful human beings who have the same need to create, lead and innovate as men do.

As a result, we have denied and shut down integral parts of who we are. The worst part of all is that women have been conditioned to feel proud of sacrificing ourselves for others, believing that this is love and the only thing that gives our life meaning.

We end up becoming servants to everyone and we refuse to say ‘no’. Becoming non-stop servants makes us feel that others need us. Is there a better way to be seen than when you feel you’re needed?

We want desperately to feel seen as we’ve betrayed ourselves so many times that we no longer believe we’re capable to meet our needs and expect others to do this for us. We want, and sometimes we demand, that they keep showing that they need us providing us with the reassurance we’re seeking that we are loved and important.

The issue is that we can never have enough of something that’s simply filling the gap of what we’re first responsible for giving to ourselves but we aren’t.  The result can be a cycle of co-dependency in families that create dysfunctional behavioural patterns that negatively affect everyone involved.

Of course, I’m not saying here that by spending less time on household chores will magically solve gender inequality which is very deeply tooted in our society. However, it is a great starting point that can help women get back more time that they can then spend on other things that also matter to them – whatever those are.

So, what can you do if you find yourself in this situation?

First, remind yourself that true love is looking after ourselves first and making sure we listen to our needs before we take care of others. I know this isn’t easy at all, especially when we have people around us who depend on us such as children or elderly people. But you have the responsibility towards yourself AND those you love to persist.

By putting yourself second, third or last, you don’t make anyone a favour. Appreciating you are a multi-dimensional creature and responding to this nature will not only allow you to live a happier, more fulfilling life, but you will also turn into an even kinder and better human being when interacting with those you love, as resentment and anger will slowly evaporate.

Second, it’s time to become clear about what you really want and have a loving but honest conversation with your partner about how you feel (this doesn’t have to be a fight, although it might not be a walk in the park either!) I promise no one will ever give you a trophy for not speaking up.

If you feel scared that others might reject you because of telling your truth or acknowledging your needs, remember Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ quote from her wonderful book ‘Women who run with the wolves’.

“…to be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves.”

Girl, stay true to yourself and let’s all together be courageous enough to challenge what’s considered the norm not just for our own sake, but for the sake of girls now being raised and the ones yet to be born. This is the safest way to create the most loving generations of mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and partners this world has ever seen.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! Have you been or are you at the moment in a similar situation? How does make you feel? Have you spoken to your partner to balance things at home?

Finally, please share with anyone who might benefit from reading this blog post – it can really make a difference!

Love & cheese,

Effie