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The idea that the men who manage complicated projects at work are unable to take care of the details of domestic life has always been nonsense.
The lawyer and mediator Eve Rodsky took everyone̵
Thanks to decades of work by scientists, organizers and everyday women, it is slowly coming due. The term refers to work that takes place outside the boundaries of formal employment and is therefore not recognized as work, such as B. Grocery shopping or cooking.
In addition, women in particular are exposed to the additional stress of wearing the “.”. This term refers to the cognitive efforts that underlie performing domestic tasks such as housework and care (which are often themselves invisible). It is the difference between having complete autonomous responsibility for one task and carrying out someone else’s orders. If you went to the grocery store with a list compiled by someone else, you outsourced some of the grocery shopping.
But when couples, especially heterosexual cisgender couples, encounter a problem at work in their home life, how can invisible work, once identified and recognized, be managed and shared fairly in a way that everyone can live with?
“The result … is the time and freedom for partners (often women) to free themselves from tasks for which they are not responsible.”
It is this secondary problem – the step that comes after accepting the existence of invisible work – that Harvard-trained attorney and educator of family values, Rodsky, wants to help people resolve it. Your book is partly a self-help guide, partly a mediation manual. She advocates the creation of systems to manage household chores – first by setting out everything to be done and then delegating cooperatively between partners or family members. The key, however, is that the mental exertion of a task – what usually becomes “mental strain” – is also passed on. This is the “design phase” of their framework, in which each task consists of “design, planning and execution” and has a “directly responsible person” who performs the task according to a “minimum standard for maintenance”. Partners review the deck and only play the cards with their in-game responsibilities.
Underneath the intimidating jargon are concepts that originate from the world of organizational management and are familiar to many employees. If you are responsible for a task at work, figure out how and when to do it with the help of your boss or coworkers, and then get it done. Just like your boss shouldn’t remind you to submit your weekly report on Fridays, be proactive in getting the child’s toothbrush out and starting bed (if that’s your job).
“People think systems aren’t fun – systems are everything,” Rodsky said. “Systems are fun. Systems allow you to customize your default settings as our law does. “She uses the example of stop signs, which allow pedestrians to walk down streets with the general confidence that a car must legally stop at the signs. “What systems do is create accountability and trust, be it in a home, an organization, a county, or a federal government,” she said.
The result of this system, according to Rodsky, is the time and freedom for partners (often women) to break away from tasks for which they are not responsible, with the knowledge and confidence that they will be handled. While this leads to an improvement in business results at work, it can add to leisure time at home.
There is already a system, just an unjust one.
“It’s a great look back at how we look at things,” says Rodsky, “because we never looked at our home as an organization.”
Creating and maintaining a system for organizing a project is time-consuming, and it can be weird and tedious to discuss how often to throw away your trash or what steps are required to prepare a child for school. But that’s the point, says Rodsky – to bring the same “respect and rigor” into your home life that you apply to your work projects. If you want an equal partnership where both parents can prepare a child for school, then you are to do need to clarify what it means to be “ready for school”.
“That’s the idea of treating your home with some respect and care, where trash actually deserves a talk. And if Seth [Rodsky’s husband] and I said, “Trash actually deserves a conversation as much as our workplace,” we found that the housework suddenly increased, “Rodsky said.
Set up such a system is time consuming, but this observation overlooks the fact that someone had already spent time on work, but usually without recognition. There was already a system, just an unjust one.
“This requires a complete change of mindset. The insight in fair play was that we as a society saw the times of men as finite, like diamonds. And we see and treat women’s time as infinite like sand… ”said Rodsky. “It’s so important because it affects everything. The way we see time in our society affects everything. “
One immediate thing you’ll notice about the physical fair play cards that will be released later this month is that not all cards take up the same amount of time. Some are occasional tasks, others are daily. That is by design.
“You will see a small coffee cup between the cards,” Rodsky explained. “And that’s what I call everyday life. Those were the cards that are the most difficult to make and that take up the most time … And so we wrote them down, because when women do all the day-to-day life and men take on other tasks, none of our departments will really solve this Labor issues. “
To get around the different expectations partners might have for a particular task, Rodsky borrows from legal tradition and asks, “What would a sane person do?” “Partners use the prompt to create a common definition of what what it means to get a job done, what Rodsky calls the “minimum standard of care”. Through this process, a household decides that “doing the laundry” includes putting it away at the end. She also suggests that couples connect with their values to make sure that a particular task is actually important to them. If shopping for Christmas gifts is not important to your family then don’t, but if they do, it needs to be shared, or at least adjusted to suit each person’s overall workload.
In practice, this can appear as if each person is compromising in the service of a greater ideal. If you and your spouse decide that you value a tidy bedroom, discuss what “tidy” means. The bed may be made every day and the laundry lifted off the floor. If that is the standard then also agree on the deadline, maybe the bed is ready by 4 p.m. each weekday and the floor is free, and you will weigh that responsibility daily when the weekends are free. Yes, it’s very detailed, but it’s also clear, and both parties can probably live with the arrangement.
Women have traditionally been at a disadvantage when trying to convince their male partners to share housework more fairly, as the system that exploits and burns women in turn gives men autonomy and free time. The book implies that if you want a change in your relationship and your spouse is not interested, you may have to decide whether to stay in the relationship at all. The goal of creating a fair game, Rodsky said, was to create a third option for women who did not want (or could not) give up the life they had created with their partners or who wanted to become martyrs on the altar of domesticity . Rodsky’s belief that your spouse will come around if you build it is reminiscent of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s optimism that if she could just explain to a hostile Supreme Court how laws to protect women actually violate them, they would fall. While this may sound naive to modern feminists, there is no denying that it can be effective.
After trying the system with both the book and the physical cards, I’d say it’s best for couples who already have a desire for an equal partnership and need a scaffolding to do the housework in new ways to manage, especially after becoming parents.
“So many people on my record told me, ‘Well, I did my laundry. ‘So dad did his laundry in front of the kids, mom did her own laundry in front of the kids, but because there was no shared philosophy, no one knew who was doing baby laundry, ”Rodsky explained as the system collapses. “And I do my dishes; She did her dishes. “Well, that doesn’t work when there’s a third party that isn’t one of you. That’s why I always love the idea of doing everything for everyone. “
As with Ginsburg, there is an eye for long fair play. Rodsky acknowledged that her efforts to teach her sons the value of these life skills are part of a push to elevate the status of that work and ensure that society as a whole cherishes them for generations to come.
“The communication practice, the investment in our home will really pay off for the people we live [with] in this world. I mean, think about our president. We don’t want narcissistic people who cannot do tasks. We want people who holistically understand the value of leadership roles and soft skills and are able to connect with others, and that is exactly what the communal philosophy of fair play is all about. “