Strong women ask for help
Ladies! A quick question: WHY do we take on the world? I mean the WHOLE WORLD? Why do we care so much we’ll risk life and limb and our last stitch of sanity to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, auntie, friend, colleague, employee, humanitarian?
Well, it’s a new day and we cannot go on like this if we hope to make it through this pandemic and the intense economic and social unrest that feels never-ending. We must maintain our best health and we must role model for our children. They are watching us. They need us!
It’s time to call on the village – your tribe of people who’ve said, “I am here for you.” It’s time to call and share the load. Home-schooling Zoom lessons, social-distance-safe activities with the kids, grocery runs and other key errands. Even nighttime or weekend task-trades with other parents. Divide and conquer! Start sharing the load and stop killing yourselves slowly.
When the going gets tough
Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook COO and founder of the women’s organization “Lean In,” which has spearheaded a study to examine how women who work from home are faring during Covid-19, compared with men.
“When things get hard it is women who get hit the hardest,” says Sandberg. “Between child care, elder care, household chores, we are spending a combined 71 hours per week she says, compared with just 51 hours for men.” So it’s no surprise that we are also experiencing higher levels of stress and burnout as a result. The study shows that 25% of women surveyed have physical symptoms of severe anxiety, compared with just 11% of men. And for women of color it is tougher still, with black and Latina women spending far more time on child and elder care than their white counterparts. Roughly 70% of moms are working because they have to. Covid-19 only adds more fuel to this fire.
If ever there was a time to draw your line in the sand and ask for help – around the house, with summer kids’ activities, or to give yourself some VITAL quiet time – NOW is that time! People are LOOKING for ways they can help. People WANT to help. So let them! Schedule a “sit-down” meeting with your husband and kids. Be gentle. Be firm. Be concise and have a task list ready for them to choose from. Ask your parents and in-laws to give an hour or two for online story-time. Get a parents’ call-list from the kids teachers and suggest some summer time-sharing, with online or social-distance-safe activities for the kids. And ask your boss for a few small tweaks to your work schedule that will help you be more productive and survive these even busier summer days.
Domestic abuse, mental and emotional illness, chronic anxiety, and depression are ALL on the rise during these uncertain and unprecedented times. When you take the initiative to ask for help, you are building a stronger community, by helping yourself, your family and everyone around you. And they will follow your lead.
Source: Vox News article “Women are burned out at work and at home” – May 18, 2020