“There’s no tougher job than being a mom,” goes the old saying. A survey by Pew appears to confirm this, with parents finding that caring for their children is much more exhausting than the work they do for pay.
Women’s work dominates the ‘invisible’ economy – they account for almost three-quarters of all unpaid work. Women conduct 76% of childcare, 67% of domestic work, 69% of care of adults and 57% of volunteering, and at the same time are increasingly becoming the breadwinners of their families, too.
Gender stereotypes regarding women being mostly responsible for ‘caring’ work are prevalent, and this extra mental and physical burden is undervalued in both an economic and emotional sense. Why should a woman be expected to come home and do a ‘second shift’ when they get home from work?
The first step in solving any problem is to recognize it. Many men are simply unaware and unappreciative of the inherent unfairness of the current state of things, so when a guy takes the time to acknowledge the sacrifices his wife makes for the family, it is important and welcome.
This lovely couple have a video blog called Six Shots with Zack and Heather, which you can check out on their Facebook Page here. Zack has been widely praised for his honest and heartfelt recognition of the true value of Heather’s 24/7 care for their newborn baby, something that men often dismiss as ‘just playing with the kid all day.’
Image credits: Six Shots with Zack and Heather
The post started an interesting discussion about the realities of being a stay-at-home parent, as well as the importance of recognizing and properly valuing the hours and hours of extra work that women put in each week. Just because no money is involved, it doesn’t make it any less worthy!
What do you think? Why do you believe that women do so much of the unpaid work in our society? What can be done to achieve a fairer balance, or at least more recognition and appreciation for this fact? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!