Do You Feel As If You Are Treated Like A Maid In Your Own Household?
Author of "To Love, Honor and Vacuum" shares some reasons why some mums feel that they are treated more like maids at home
From the author of To Love, Honor and Vacuum, the book that helped mums deal with a whole bunch of family stuff including setting realistic standards for housework, learning to do housework more efficiently and making their home family-friendly, Sheila Wray Gregoire has shared some reasons that may explain why mums are treated like a maid at home.
So whether you're a stay-at-home mum or a working mum, listen up!
Housework is exhausting, alright. But it's mandatory and it sure as hell isn't a one man job! Everyone plays a part in causing mess and contributing to the dirty laundry so why should you do it alone?
Solution: Split the chores. Even to the younger ones. "Tie the chores to an allowance when they’re young. If it’s a struggle with teens, change the password on the wifi everyday, and don’t give it out until they’ve completed their chores. Require your kids to work."
Tip: "No one did the laundry? Then everyone's going to have to eat Maggie Mee for dinner then!"
In relation with #1, men rarely do housework if they have a job. It gets questionable however if the both of you have 9-6 jobs outside from home. And, not EVERY Singaporean family has to have a maid, right? However, women tend to not ask for help because they think men should know what they're supposed to do. Well, that's not always true. Come on, think of it as a give and take situation!
Solution: Simply ask for help! "Men often think that because we have systems for things, we would find their help more of a pain than anything else. If you want help, don’t expect him to read your mind."
Basic discipline has always seen the need to be reinforced into the process of bringing them up. Teaching them to say "please" and "thank you" is important, especially in their early stages of growing up. Come on mummies, you can't just depend on the teachers at the child cares to teach your kids discipline!
Solution: Unless you want them to grow up rude, be strict. "If they talk back, discipline immediately. If they ask for anything rudely, they never, ever get it. Do not let them treat you with disrespect."
Ever questioned why you had to pick up all of the toys or the plates after play time and dinner? It became your natural reaction to clean up after everyone because you start thinking to yourself: "If not me, who else?"
Solution: "Don’t pick up people’s stuff. Require them to pick it up–and have consequences if they don’t. For husbands, have a corner of the bedroom/house where you can put stray items"
Tip: Bringing them to the coffee shops and letting them see how the aunties and uncles clean up the tables will not only be educational, it'll also change their minds about housework.
You're always the one the kids call when they forgot something at home and your husband always looks for you when he can't find a certain something in his wardrobe. You then find yourself driving back home from work getting that one item for the kids, making sure the day goes smoothly for them, to the extent of yours.
Solution: Of course, it's not a wrong thing to do this but it gets worrying if you're doing it too frequent. "If family members start assuming you’ll rescue them, they also stop taking responsibility or even making an effort. They’ve taken you for granted."
Tip: Create a checklist! Make them check the list religiously, even down to their water bottles or their extra P.E. shorts.
Ever spent hours working on a great dinner for the family only to have everyone eating it but not enjoying it or rather, appreciating it because they're too busy on their phones or they're too picky with the food? That's when you need to realise that you're being taken for granted.
Solution: "Keep conversation starters at the table. Ask trivia questions. Have everyone say their “high” and “low” for the day. Start some family traditions where you really connect and talk over dinner."
Tip: Similar to #1, do the Maggie Mee theory!
Mummies, can you relate? Share your thoughts with us!