Thanks to all of you who turned out for our first happy hour of the year. It was great to connect with you and we had an engaging conversation about pandemic life. One of the topics that came up was juggling working from home and housework. For many of us (me included), I accomplished work life balance by outsourcing as much of the housework, errands and chores as I was able. Believe me, I know how fortunate I am to be able to afford to do that. Of course, the pandemic and stay at home cut off a lot of the things I had relied on and it was a rude adjustment. One of the women on the call, who has an emcompassing job, had a spouse who lost his, and her reflection was that she was the one still doing the cooking, cleaning and household management (!?!).
For many women, especially those with young children or elders to care for, the results have been catastrophic with women losing their jobs because of the demands on their time leaving them unable to work.
It is one thing to figure out how to correct the imbalance and divide chores with your spouse, but it goes deeper than that. A few years back, I shared a piece by the author Emma that illustrates the mental load that women carry – it isn’t just about divvying up chores, it is about the fact that the entire management of a household falls on women’s shoulders. So, is it any wonder that women are exhausted and stressed out? And if you read the whole piece through, you will note that his uneven load starts in childhood, so women with sons, you really need to take this in. I believe it needs to be a subject of national conversation because this pandemic has laid bare just how very much society has failed women who work, and especially mothers who work.
The Atlantic also wrote a great article exploring the topic of messiness. It seems both men and women are just as capable of identifying what messy is, but years of gender norms have landed the majority of the housework squarely in women’s laps. To quote: “The convenient elision is that many of the same men who purport to be subpar chore-doers are perfectly capable of handling the demands of highly skilled jobs.” So why not housework or management of the household? The full article can be found here.
So where do we go with all of this? In my household it is an ongoing (frustrating) conversation. The woman whose husband lost her job? Her solution was to stop cleaning for a week and boy did he notice. The bottom line is that these are conversations we all need to be having because we cannot achieve our goals in life with an albatross around our neck without detrimental effects to our health and careers.
Our events this year will be interactive and include a networking component which means a chance to interact with both our amazing speakers as well as each other! I am also thrilled that we will be hosting Michele Smith, RYT for her coveted Resiliency Training Workshop because resilience is something we all need. We are also excited to host the founder of Downward Dog Wines who will share her entrepreneurial journey and lead us in a tasting of her delicious product. Check out our site for more details.
I would ask each of you to consider corporate sponsorship of TXWSW. Benefits include attendance at our flagship events and recognition for your firm. And most importantly, you help us support the life-changing work of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network. To learn more about YWPN, you can find a short video here. To learn more and sponsorship, you may find our sponsor information here. Additionally, we would be happy to create a custom sponsorship for you. Please contact Bianca King at firstname.lastname@example.org