Parents even rate housework higher than paid work. They say 43% of housework activities are “very meaningful,” compared to 36% of work activities. How can that be? Housework is quite often part of what we do for those we love. Cooking a special birthday dinner or a huge holiday banquet is a lot of work, but it’s also rich with meaning. It’s a way of saying “I love you.”
So where’s the grain of truth in the feminist narrative?
Fatigue. Women are more likely than men to report being fatigued during every activity—paid work, child-care, housework, and even leisure. For example, while moms were more likely to report child-care activities as very meaningful, they also reported feeling “very tired” during 15% of their child-care time. Men, in contrast, felt “very tired” only 6% of the time during child-care activities. But being fatigued is not the same is being unfulfilled.
How to Save Your Family: Enjoy and Lean On.
What’s the take-away for parents?
Instead of "leaning in", learn to "lean on".
Stop listening to the feminist “experts” and start listening to your own heart. Cherish the time spent with your children. Juggle your responsibilities to spend more, not less, time with them. See the joy in the moment. And take pride in the countless small ways in which we serve our children and husbands.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to say you tired or exhausted. It comes with the territory, so ask for help! None of us has to go it alone. Fatigue may be a temporary companion during these busy years, but how it’s managed will make all the difference. Lean on your husband, friends, and family, but keep going. The true depth in relationships comes when we serve others and allow ourselves to be served. Be honest about your own needs and learn to accept help, even if that help doesn't always look exactly how you want it to look. Your husband may not "do" the housework or shopping the way you do it, but relax and learn to enjoy the assistance and time to be refreshed.
Most importantly, look for the joy in your life. Treasure the richness of these family relationships.
The reward is there for those willing to claim it.