Work Life balance: sharing domestic chores
Until recently, when speaking about work-life balance there was a tendency to only think about women, since both culturally and traditionally they were the ones who took care of the home and children. The incorporation of women into the workplace is the principal cause of a new approach.
We are now facing another form of participating in life and in a society where it is increasingly evident that men in industrialized countries not only cooperate in family life, but must have the same rights and obligations as women in this regard. Just as it is natural for women to find work outside the home, men are filling household slots that they did not previously occupy.
It is necessary for us to adapt to social reality, and this requires harmony. It means adjusting public and personal time slots, i.e., work-life, and in order to achieve this, men and women need to balance their task sharing.
As society evolves, the old patterns of household responsibilities are transformed. Domestic chores demand effort and dedication that, in many cases, exceed those requirements in other remunerated occupations.
The fact that domestic work is not paid does not indicate a lack of effort. Women, especially years ago, either entrusted someone - usually another woman - to take care of their children or household, or else they took on a dual role without allocating any time for themselves. Women often struggle when attempting to balance their work-life role.
The process of change means sharing household responsibilities, which include domestic chores, and caring for children and the elderly.
It is important to differentiate between helping and taking responsibility for household chores . Taking responsibility means total completion of a chore and its consequences, whereas helping means cooperating without taking responsibility for the consequences.
The first step to achieve this is to reach to an agreement on how to manage daily activities and share responsibility among family members.
- Draw up a plan for task sharing: “I win…you win…, and the family wins…”
- Start by agreeing and establishing priorities for essential tasks.
- You must be efficient in assigning a specific time slot exclusively to a single task. It is preferable to focus on one task than to take on too many at a time, because the others may not get done and this can leave us with a feeling of having worked hard, but with many things still unaccomplished.
- You can also arrange the sharing to match the likes or skills of family members. For example, I prefer to do this……you prefer to do that….
- It is not advisable to set rules on how things should be done. There are many ways, and ours is one more option. We must trust other people’s work.
- Don’t ever forget to agree about assigning slots for unexpected tasks.
- Always bear in mind that you must include some time for personal and social leisure activities.
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