Desperate housewife and mother...

 

Have you ever put the milk in the garbage or a piece of rubbish in the fridge?  Ever spooned the sugar into the teapot and tea leaves into your cup?

Do you frequently misplace minor items like keys and sunglasses?  Do you run around getting everyone organized, then look in the mirror and see the reflection of a desperate housewife and/or working mum?

Being a modern mum is the best 'gig' I've ever had. The hours are somewhat harsh, the job description variable, standing ovations for a job are rare (if ever) but the perks of the job (kids) are brilliant!

But - as you put on the next load of washing, look at a disheveled house, race out to the supermarket or your job, drop a child at crèche or try to console an overtired toddler or grumpy kid, you can be forgiven for wondering what those perks are!

Much like the TV program Desperate Housewives, the helicopter view of your family life may look fantastic from the outside. Internally you may find your vital organs churning daily as you juggle chores and nag the kids, your partner/husband and household pets (in no particular order) day in day out.

Being a modern mum is great because the choices to be the kind of mum YOU want to be are there. For our mums, the choices were already made. Today - we can stay-at-home if finances allow we can take maternity leave and consider part-time, flexible work or full-time work. We can swap the traditional roles with our husbands. Whatever cap fits your family - is the one to wear, because today no one family runs to a traditional road map.

We are all creating our own way of living and how we manage family life in the 21st Century.

There is however one major GRIPE which needs to be aired.

Most mums do feel completely desperate and often exasperated if they remain the main domestic worker in the family.  Pre-Kids the chores can be 'almost' even between husband and wife. Post kids the job roles get messy.

Following time off work, many women find they return to a career and just add-on the hours of a full or part-time job in the workforce to their existing career of full-time mum and homemaker.

On the homefront - no matter what the job-breakdown looks like - there aren't many households where the boring domestic duties such as cleaning, washing, kid back-up duties including a taxi service, school uniform buying, washing, mending, homework- nagging, helping or consoling, schlepping to sport, music, dance or extra tuition and counselling for all - is evenly shared.

I know that there are exceptions to the rule. BUT - fella's its time to really get involved.

Today's modern mums need time to "chill", a time in the day to call their own, a weekend away with girlfriends a reflection in the mirror that doesn't scream - tired!

Australia's growth in real-life desperate housewives and mums is growing, as today's modern mum seems to be doing - just a little too much. Statistics tell us that up to 87% of mother's work part-time in Australia. This would mean that 87% of Dad's would know how to whip a vacumn around the house at any time of the day, cook a hearty kid-friendly meal every evening, embrace the mall and supermarket as a regular part of their life, iron clothes, do homework and more……..

For the many dads who may be tempted to write to me with a story about how they do manage the domestic side of life - please do. I would love to share your knowledge with the greater populace of Dad's who are still not pulling their weight on the home front.

Desperate Mums are growing in numbers and 40% of marriages are failing in Australia today. Running a family is easily a 2-person job in the 21st Century.

My experience in the past as a single parent has seen me look outside to family and mum-mates to help me to have a little time-out. As a married mum - we need to look to our husbands to become more hands-on in the home.

Several years ago, a mum-mate of mine sat on her computer tired and in tears overwhelmed by her workload. She decided to create a spreadsheet of household chores. She talked her husband through, how they could more evenly share the load.
Initially the conversation was a little tense, given no-one likes to be told they aren't pulling their weight after walking through the door - exhausted from a full day at work.

However - the length of the list and the enormity of what went on in an average day running around after the kids and managing the home (and for her a part-time job as well) hit home. Today a happy family functions as both parents know when to put up their hand to ask for help - without feeling they have delivered a "loaded" request.

Are you a desperate mum/housewife? Or is the balance of domestic duties AOK in your home?

Practical tips on how you and/or your partner manage are welcome.  E-mail your feedback to info@motherinc.com.au

 
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