Strong, successful women can still do housework
There’s a massive amount of discussion these days about gender roles. Any topic from the basics of biology, right up to the fundamentals of how stereotypes are still influencing our public and personal lives. Whether you consider yourself an outsider to the various debates, an interested feminist, or a woman simply struggling with how it impacts your own relationships, we’re here to help simplify some of the complex thought processes that might be circling your mind.
Focus on the intention, not the act
Being a highflying executive, or supremely successful entrepreneur is inconsequential when it comes to matters of the heart and love. And yes, this includes whether or not you wash his laundry. When we’re in committed and mutually respectful relationships it’s normal to do things that make one another happy, or give our partner an easier life. There will without doubt be instances where you both feel strongly about the same issue and reach an impasse, but if you’re with the right person hopefully these will be few and far between.
If, for example, taking out the rubbish is something you hate to do, express this and be appreciative when it magically happens every week. On the flipside, if doing his own laundry is something he truly can’t abide, think about whether it’s more important to worry about turning into his mother, or demonstrating an act of reciprocity and kindness.
When you genuinely resent occasionally doing basic, thoughtful and caring tasks for your partner, it’s likely there’s something deeper within you, or your relationship, that needs to be addressed.
What are you really getting at?
As alluded to above, when you’re with a man who cherishes you, offers to do the jobs you’d rather not and who supports you in the ways that you need, any act of kindness you offer in return will transcend the implications society might use to shame or chastise you.
In loving relationships the roles we play and the acts of service we exchange should be held up to higher, more personal standards. So, what’s the real reason being a successful, independent woman and a homemaker is such a sore topic for you?
What are you not receiving in other areas of your relationship, or indeed life, that makes cooking him dinner an insult to who you are? What are you not seeing in his response to your offerings, that makes the act less than worthwhile for you?
To be clear, we’re not speaking about you doing tasks that you deeply dislike. We’re talking about actions that simply require some effort on your part and occasionally have you treading outside your comfort zone.
Examine your relationship. Work out what might need to be adapted, so that acts of love are performed and received for exactly what they are. Namely, ways to show each other how much you care and appreciate one another.
How does being more for him, make you feel less?
There’s a prevalent fallacy that adopting the stereotypical female role in the home will some how diminish anything you accomplish outside of it. Frankly, this is nonsense. Women are talented, powerful and multifaceted human beings. They can nurse a child to sleep with as much dedication as it takes to build a business from the ground up. Part of being successful is knowing what moves to make and when, so how you behave within the world of your relationship should be your choice and nobody else’s.
To not be the domestic goddess of your own home, if that’s a role you value, because you fear being seen as the little lady, says more about you than the man you’re with. You can indeed be a boss and house-proud. You can hire help and be house-proud. These choices are not mutually exclusive and your boss status should not be thought so fickle an accomplishment, that it can be so easily erased.
What’s his role?
There are times that a woman can resent being both breadwinner and homemaker and it really needn’t be this way. If there’s a lack of appreciation, or her role as domestic goddess is expected rather than consciously decided within the couple, a sore spot is sure to rear it’s head. Silent and seething resentment is a waste of time and if you’re a busy, successful woman, it’s likely you don’t want to be burning this amount of negative energy.
In instances like this, it’s a huge serving of communication that we prescribe. Be careful however that you don’t trip over any double standards in your negotiations. If there are certain acts you expect from him, i.e. fixing anything that breaks or cleaning the car, these should feature in the discussions. Sit down together, start from even ground, decide who wants to do what and how the remaining tasks are shared. Use your boardroom skills, with your sensitivity as a loving caring partner, to both listen and be heard.
All enquiries will be handled in the strictest confidence.
Or you prefer rather to call? +41 22 900 11 28