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5) Working Towards A More Equitable Home Life
For two years, Adam and I have been exploring the topic of “The Mental Load.” We have made progress for sure, but the Pandemic has certainly made this distribution of labor and parenting responsibilities so much more complicated. My greatest struggle now is the communication about what needs to get done. It seems like no matter how I bring something up, Adam thinks I’m hounding him. We are working on it, and will be hashing it out on this Monday’s episode. In the meantime, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite resources to help you start your journey to a more equitable home. We can definitely do it. But it’s a process and it takes time. But Adam and I are proof that you absolutely can make progress, even if it’s incremental.
Marriage and Martinis Podcast: “The Mental Load” (#56)
Marriage and Martinis Podcast “How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids” (#108)
Marriage and Martinis Podcast “Fairplay and Solutions to a More Equitable Division of Labor” (#137)
The Book “Drop The Ball"
4) I asked our Marriage and Martinis community all about their own experience with “The Mental Load.” 80% said that the distribution of domestic labor and parenting has negatively affected their marriage. 90% of those people said they harbor resentment about this unequal distribution, but only 50% said they are actively working on this issue in their marriage. We need to fix this!! The main answers people gave about what they wish their partner would help more with were:
Taking more initiative when it comes to housework and parenting and realizing when something needs to get done without being asked
Good cop vs. Bad cop (partner does not help with discipline at all)
The emotional stress of worrying about the kids, and making the important decisions about their well-being, health and social and academic development
3) Jealousy As A North Star
When you feel jealous of someone do you feel guilt or shame? What if we welcome our jealousy as a doorway to our innermost desires and feelings? Interpret your jealousies instead of denying them—they may not be as they first appear. Just like you wouldn’t take your dream about not being prepared for your English test when you have been out of school for 30 years at face value (you don’t need to study more now--you may just feel unprepared about something in your life), you need to dig deeper. What is this jealousy actually telling you about what you want in your own life but feel you may be lacking? Jealousy is a powerful emotion and can help cut out the noise about what you really want. Analyze your jealousies to help propel you in the right direction. To dive deeper into this interpretation about jealousy, read the rest of Life Coach Amy’s article.
2) Memes of the week.
1) DATE NIGHT QUESTIONS:
(Corresponding to this upcoming week’s episode, “Revisiting The Mental Load”)
1. What are three “small-ish” tasks I do around the house or with parenting that you appreciate but maybe don’t say it enough?
2. What are three “small-ish” tasks you do around the house or with parenting that you think go unnoticed and for which you would like a bit more appreciation?
3. What are three aspects of home life and parenting that you actually enjoy doing and wouldn’t mind taking more of the reigns on?
4. What is one aspect of housework and parenting that you absolutely dread? How can we work together to take some of that burden off of you going forward?
5. Do you believe in “Choreplay?” (Are you turned on/think it’s sexy seeing me taking care of our family? Anything specifically?)
6. What form of communication do you think would be best when we need to discuss things that need to get done/upcoming events/responsibilities?
a. A weekly “meeting” once a week either with coffee or wine/cocktails? If so, when and where should it be?
b. A Google Doc or some document that we both check throughout the week and can assign/choose tasks that need to be done.
c. A blackboard or white board in the kitchen or office where we write out the week and decide who is going to do what?
e. Some other form of communication? If so, what?
7. *Each partner takes a piece of paper or an index card or even just take your phone out. Set a timer and spend five minutes writing a “note of appreciation” to one another, and be as specific and detailed in your aspects of gratitude as possible. Either exchange these now, or wait for Monday morning on your way to work or when you start the day and give them to one another.
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