The Many Tasks Of A Woman

It always amazes me to see how women manage to juggle so many tasks. Many of my friends work as well and sometimes I wonder how they can do it. Their husbands leave in the morning after breakfast, wearing suit, tie and an ironed shirt to head to work and come back home after a long day to enjoy dinner with the family. For my friends their work day starts at the same time. Their day though, starts much earlier.

While husband can get ready, shower and make sure he is well shaved, wife is getting breakfast and the kids ready and prepares lunch boxes for everyone who needs one, husband included. While she is doing that she is having her breakfast on the go and then when everyone else is sitting down, eating brekky she rushes to get herself ready. She drops off the kids at school and then makes her way to where every she works.

If she gets a break she picks up or drops off her husbands shirts to get ironed (if she doesn’t manage to squeeze time in to do it herself) and quickly does the grocery shopping. Then she heads back to work, taking care of her tasks there until she needs to leave to pick up the kids again, taking them from school to their after school activities or taking them home to do homework while having a snack she prepared for them. She puts on laundry while she cooks dinner. After dinner she makes sure the kids take a shower or bath and are ready for bed and puts away dirty dishes, cleaning up whatever needs to be cleaned up. At this point she is still in her work cloths. Her husband might have had a late day at the office, only coming back after dinner so she heats something up for him.

She quickly puts the laundry in the dryer in order to make sure everyone has what they need the next day. Finally she might find time to get changed and have a shower as well. While the kids are in bed and husband watches his favorite TV show she is folding laundry and preparing whatever she wants to put in the lunch boxes the next day.

When she is done with it she remembers that she forgot to make the appointment for the kids she wanted to make already for days and makes a note in order to not forget again the next day.

Just when she thinks she might poor herself a glass of wine and sit down, joining her husband who fell asleep on the sofa watching TV, one of the kids starts calling for having had a nightmare and not being able to fall asleep again.

While she cuddles with her child making sure all the bad thoughts are replaced with happy ones she just manages to set an alarm on her phone before falling asleep on the little bit of space left in her child’s bed.

This is not my life. But it’s the life many of my friends have. While they of course never complain and manage their days just perfectly well, I wonder where they get their energy from. What I described here is also slightly over the top as many of the Dad’s do as much as they can to help out at home of course. But then there are others too.

The ones that come home wondering why she is so exhausted. Wondering why she is still wearing her work cloths, why stuff is not taken care off and why she forgot to pick up his shirts at the dry cleaner he walks passed when he gets his coffee in the afternoon. There are the ones who get annoyed when she asks if they could help out folding laundry, telling her that they just spend hours in the office working their butt off. The ones that don’t understand why she looks so exhausted and why she is not keen on making out but just wants to sit down and relax for a moment.

I baffles me to hear some stories and I wonder how it can work and why some of my friends just accept this schedule rather than making small changes to them. Just like asking their husband to pick up the shirts when he walks passed the dry cleaner or making his own lunch box. Or just helping her fold the laundry while sitting on the sofa, watching TV. Not a big deal, right?

See, I get it when one works and the other one is a stay-at-home-parent. I think then the job of the parent staying at home is running everything at home. But if both work the same amount of hours per day, the workload at home should be split up too.

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22 thoughts on “The Many Tasks Of A Woman

  1. I read a few articles about this a while back. One was a conversation between three generations of women: a grandmother, her two daughters –mother & aunt — and their daughters, and they were discussing why the men in their lives never helped with holiday party preparations. The grandmother pointed out that her generation was taught to make it look effortless. To have everything done and on the table and be made up and presentable by the time the guests arrived. She had taught her daughters the same thing, and they had probably started teaching their daughters something similar. But the grandmother advised the younger daughters to break that tradition and to never give their husbands this impression anymore. Instead, she advised them to always be truthful about the effort they put into things.

    When a woman multitasks and a man’s clean shirts magically appear in his closet, he doesn’t always make the cognitive connection that it takes time from a woman’s schedule to go and get them. Sure, logically he must know that she takes the time to do it, but there’s a disconnect because it’s no effort on his part. Men aren’t the only gender to do this BTW, when something is “magically” done for someone every day, they very rarely realize the effort that goes into getting that thing done. But in this case, sometimes the wife has to say, “You know what? Those are your damned shirts. Get them yourself. It’s not my job to make sure you have clean shirts on top of everything else I have to do.”

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  2. For some reason Sandra… Some Men work harder. I read your post and it’s my life in a nut shell, I run around from the minute I open my eyes to the second I close them. I’ve recently stopped trying to be super woman though… I’m on oxygen full time and I do more than most healthy people I know. I now don’t care if we need to get take out a few times a week and a cleaner to help with the cleaning of the bathroom and the floors. There’s no badge at the end, because even though we push on and push on… If we aren’t connected with our partners at the end of it, then that has its own problems. Then there’s creating memories with the kids amongst the mayhem. I often make jokes that I’m coming back as a man in my next life.
    To the men that he’ll their wives, good on them. I have friends and family that have their husbands help, but they still complain that they can’t cope even though they get so much help. I don’t get it. Maybe we want what we don’t have, maybe some people cope better than others.

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    • I feel really blessed as I think my husband and I are on a 50/50 basis. Sometimes I do more, sometimes he does. But we both do. I struggle understanding sometimes why there is no way to find some sort of in the middle. Why the issue is not brought up. I once asked a friend if she has brought it up but she said it would not make a difference and I wondered how she can be so sure. Why not find the dialogue? Why not try? If you only get one thing taken care of by your partner you already gained…

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      • You’re right. I ask for help a lot, but I think some women are programmed that we are to assist out man. Um… Like maybe 1,000 years ago! My motto is… “You want a modern wife… Be a modern husband”
        Most men love the 2 incomes but think the wife needs to serve… I can’t watch relationships like that…
        My husband doesn’t iron or wash but there are so many things he does. I think couples should make a list of jobs and put their hand up to what they will look after.
        Even though I get help, by the time I get home from work and put dinner on, the night flies so quickly.

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      • It’s just life as well, sometimes. For both, husband and wife. But I agree, you should make a list and do what you like to do, split it up. Maybe split up the tasks nobody really likes doing too. I simply don’t get it when couples don’t manage to find a way to share all those tasks.

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  3. Years ago, before marriage and children, I met a woman while attending a wedding. As we began to talk, me – a corporate career girl at the time – asked what she did for a living. She explained that she had five children and she stayed home with them. My response (at the time) was typical, “Oh, then you don’t work.” She graciously replied, “Oh, I work. I work hard everyday. I just do it at home for my family.”
    Point made, and I never made that mistake again.

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  4. Pingback: The Magic Basket | A Momma's View

  5. So important to have a husband who shares the workload and I’m thankful that my husband and I are partners in the mess at home. The work at home never stops…and I do miss the convenience of having the extra pair of hands to help with the cleaning and ironing. Especially ironing!

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