Last week I read a fantastic article in Women’s Agenda. It was called. ‘Tired and fed up, I quietly quit at home.’ by Jo Bassett.
I shared it on my social media and received so many responses that I wanted to share it here.
This month’s three questions are linked to this article, so I invite you to read it (link below) once you have read my words.
Things to note:
- You may not have children, but these questions can still make a difference to you. It may be the load you take on at work, with your friends, or with your family of origin.
- I spent seven years at home with my children. It was something I wanted to do and was able to do. At that time, I relished being a homemaker (most of the time). I have managed the home front for eighteen years and no longer want this role. Even though I have a husband who contributes, and my children were raised with me constantly saying, “It takes a family to run a home, not just a mother”. I taught them to cook, clean, vacuum, and do their laundry at a young age (I only cook and wash dishes one night a week, for example), but the mental load still falls on me.
- Not everyone can let go of domestic chores. Maybe you are a single parent, or your children are very young or both! It is a privilege to have the option.
- Ourselves and our families/careers go through different stages. In certain stages, we have to do things whether we like it or not, but things change, and so do we.
- Notice any judgements, feelings, or defensive thoughts you may have about the article. Your responses may be your own, but they could also be part of a patriarchal narrative of what mothers ‘should do’, what you watched your mother do, or what you think a ‘perfect or good’ mother must be. Be curious.
Now have a read of the article and come back to answer these questions. ‘Tired and fed up, I quietly quit at home.’
- If you were to let go of one thing on the domestic/family/work front, what would it be?
- To whom do you need to communicate this, and when will you communicate it?
- Do you have financial or relationship resources to get some help/support?
I feel very passionate about this subject because I know that one of the many reasons that stop women from creating, achieving, contributing or being who they want to be in the world is the domestic and emotional load of running a home.
If you are also passionate about this topic, here are two links to the podcast Forty.
Something I said in my interview changed one of the podcast hosts life. It was related to milk. 😄
When I became a mother, I created my own philosophy of mothering. I wanted to raise independent children with emotional intelligence who knew their value came from who they were and how they treated others. It was never to make them happy (how does one even do that?) or to lose my personhood in raising them. Being a ‘good enough’ mother has always been good enough for me.
And this interview on the same podcast blew my mind. Author Sally Hepworth has a ‘no list.’ Yes, she has a husband who stays at home, so her list may not resemble anything you want/can create for yourself, but what I love about it is her commitment to what matters to her, not what she thinks should matter to her. I went from cheering to disbelief, back to cheering. Her ownership of what she values, sat with me for days; she is unapologetic and very funny!
Listen to her interview and see what inspires and possibly confronts your thinking.
I often hear from women, friends, clients, and audience members that they are resentful and overwhelmed by the domestic, emotional, and mental load. Yet, the narrative of ‘I must sacrifice my personhood for my family’ does not serve the mother or the family in the long run.
Regarding women and the domestic load, everything will stay the same unless we change something. And to do that, we must let go of the need to be ‘good.’
As always, I would love to hear your insights, thoughts or musings.
Thank you if you watched my TEDx talk ‘What true power really is’; and for commenting or sharing it with your family, friends and colleagues.