This has been on my mind for a while – much before I got into a relationship.. I have always wondered why it was the woman who held fort at all most every home? Yes, there are a few exceptions where the man takes the initiative but those are very few. And then there are places where I have seen the man chip in, but upon instructions given by the women [his partner, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend or sister] – they need directions to be given before they do anything. Even if it something as trivial as pulling the clothes in when it looks like it might rain, or put the dishes in the sink when done eating/drinking..
Is there something different about the way we are programmed – are women programmed more towards being proactive/ responsible, whereas men a programmed more towards focusing on “their’ work and other aspects of life, or is it all again connected to the way we are conditioned we are brought up? Do today’s man not realise that their partners are also working – be it at home or on projects that keep them busy and contributing to the relationship financially??
Uff, all this gets frustrating am sure. Women must be exchanged bearing this load, that is quite heavy. In case you are wondering what load am talking about, it is The mental load – also called cognitive labor, refers to the invisible, non-tangible tasks involved in running a household.
I came upon a post that spoke about mental load and recently a twitter thread on the same topic and it makes so much sense. To have a partner who takes initiative who does things without you having to poke them and this works both ways is such a boon.. agree?
Common examples of mental load [Source]
Mental load comes in plenty of shapes and sizes. This list highlights a few situations people carrying a heavy load will likely recognize:
- having to ask a partner for help (Does a refrain of “Just tell me if you need me!” or “Let me know if I can help!” sound familiar?)
- giving reminders to schedule bill payments or handle other essential tasks
- needing to offer praise or pats on the back for handling necessary chores around the house
- keeping track of parenting-related daily details, including after-school plans, permission slips, library book due dates, or pediatrician appointments
- checking in on kids’ physical and emotional needs
- making to-do lists, grocery lists, or chore charts
- purchasing and wrapping gifts for friends and loved ones
- scheduling date nights, vacations, and visits to family or friends
- lacking the time to pursue leisure activities when your partner does have time to relax
A lot of times, the other person does not understand the amount of effort that goes into running a home or getting things organised. It might same easy but the person doing it all knows the amount of work & effort that has gone into it and how they wish the other person would be more involved..
Looking at my mother’s generation and the generations ahead of that, it just baffles me that women are LITERALLY assigned tasks and are told what to do and what is expected, even if it is having somebody over for dinner or making travel plans- it falls on them to pack the bags – not just theirs, but children and even their spouse.. Not to forget packing food and drinks as well. Have you seen this short film called Juice? Watch it here
Unfortunately I belong to a generation where I want everything to be done equally. I do not want to be carrying the entire load of the family on my head- be it for my parents, my grandparents, extended family, for my partner , child, anybody..
It bugs me when the other person does not participate/communicate/ show interest about things that are happening at home. I hate being that person who’s constantly telling their partner what to do/ what is expected of them because I know how annoying that can get.. I wish they would get onboard on their own~ It frustrates me that the other person just doesn’t get it – either they are oblivious to it or they know somebody is going to do it so why should I bother..
I am trying to put in place a system where things are visible to both of us, we both know what is to be done on any given day with respect to shopping or food or travel and whoever is free at any given point of time goes on to complete the task scheduled for that time~ Short of putting a timetable, have done everything and now it is upto the Universe to make it happen.. Sigh~