It’s been all over the news today, women do most of the housework. Many of us go out to work, but still do most of the chores, without pay.
A few weeks ago (sorry!) I was contacted by Flash with the results of a survey they’ve done into the breakdown of household chores. You’re going to be stunned by the results.
- 93% of women are still responsible for the majority of housework
- 53% of women spend over five hours a week on household chores
- 65% of women reverted back to traditional household cleaning roles upon starting a family
- 57% of women list having more family members as the main contributor to household tasks taking additional time
- 60% of women stated that more help from other family members would be the biggest help when it comes to domestic chores
You’re shocked aren’t you?
No, you’re not. If you’re female you’re doing it. And if you’re male, you know quite well that even if you do some bits, most men don’t.
I also interviewed Laura Kemp, author of Mums on Strike for tips on how to get the housework spread a little more evenly across the household.
She has a 6 year old, who was brought on onside when they sat down and had a chat, saying everyone shares the housework, chores and things. He wanted to clean the car – so they did it together.
I think the difficult thing if you’re already in a situation where you’re doing everything is working out how to break that habit. Laura’s advice is that you just have to stick to your guns and keep reminding. A few tips:
Make a family charter. I suspect this would be particularly good for us, as it would be a visual reminder of what we’re working towards.
Swap duties, so that everyone knows what’s entailed in each job. (This seems like a particularly good one if people feel that someone else is getting off lightly.)
Housework goggles – suit jobs to personalities. (Although I can see that this might make it difficult to find anyone to do the toilets 😉 )
And the one I like best – have a day off, or at the very least, an afternoon. Skip the washing up (use paper plates).
Of course, we’re not a particularly typical family. And yet even here, the patterns are a long way from what I’d like. So we’re working quite hard on spreading the load, not just so I don’t have to do it all, but so that we bring up a bunch of children who know about working as part of a team, and all have all of the skills. At the moment each of the older children has an evening a week when they cook. And we split the washing up – one does breakfast, another lunch, and Tim the evening meal.
It’s a start. When that’s settled in (it all changed when Big got her paper round), I intend to expand into the rest of the tasks. Even the younger two do their bit – Smallest puts the napkins out at meal times, they both get their own bowls out and clear their plates away. I do keep thinking that maybe I should crack out the old Family Quest app to see if that would help 😉
So, how does it break down in your house? Ever considered going on strike?
Disclosure: I’ve been sent a copy of Laura’s book for review. I haven’t read it yet, too busy decluttering and so on 😉 You can find Laura on twitter if you’d like to find out more of her tips.