Woman’s work: A light hearted rant at modern day life

This being the holiday season, my usual work blog is having a rest.

   ‘A woman’s work is never done’, I muttered to myself as I emptied the dishwasher at 1030 pm before going to bed. Why is it that women have an in- built radar which send them in the direction of picking things up off the floor, putting things away, clearing up and tidying up, whereas a man would happy walk past all of them? May be it is a trait that is gender specific?

  No, it can’t be because Teenage Daughter does not possess the words ‘tidying up’ in her vocabulary. Clothes, towel, shoes have all been taken off and continue to occupy the space where they fell.

And why is it that women do “women’s work”? Who defined what women should do – my mother, my family, society, me? It seems to be the accepted norm in our household that I will undertake the work ‘inside’ of the house whilst Never at Home Husband does the work outside. I can change a tyre, wash a car, mow the lawn, change a light bulb, clear the drains and clean the windows (completed my Health and Safety ladder awareness course) so how come I end up doing the washing, ironing, vacuuming and tidying?

 Well there is one idiosyncrasy in our household. Never at Home Husband does the weekly shop (when he’s at home). 8.05 am and he is in Waitrose, followed by Lishman’s for meat, Betty’s for bread, Sylvia’s Rips and Zips for dry cleaning. We try to buy locally to support local businesses. Recalling a recent event that I attended which was hosted by a public sector organisation at a hotel in Leeds, I wondered why we do not do the same for other industry sectors.

 The facilitators for the event were from a London based company whose bill would have included travel and overnight accommodation. When I enquired why they chose XYZ over a local company, the response was “oh we have always used XYZ”.  How about shopping around for a better deal like you do for your gas, or electricity, or car insurance? Why not use an equally competent, credible and reliable Yorkshire based company?

Returning home that day in a cynical mood, Never at Home Husband is on his laptop catching up on his emails, Teenage Daughter is on the VLE (virtual learning environment) on her Netbook and Growing up Fast Son is on the iPad doing research for his homework.

 “Hi, I’m home, have you had a good day?” is greeted by ‘huh’ from Growing up Fast Son, “food’s in the bottom oven” from Never at Home Husband and “I’m good” from Teenage Daughter.

What kind of a sentence is ‘I’m good’?  As opposed to “I’m bad”? What happened to, “I am fine thank you” or “I have had a good day”? The most enthusiastic “I missed you, glad you are home” welcome is from the dog. Who ever coined the phrase “man’s best friend” was right.

The World Wide Web and social media is rapidly encroaching over our lives; Facebook for keeping in touch with friends, LinkedIn for building professional relationships and networking and Twitter for keeping people informed.

And then there’s texting! No one wants to have a voice to voice conversation any more. It’s ‘send me a text ‘, or ‘send me an email’. By the time it takes me to send a text it would be quicker to pick up the phone and have the conversation!

The art of conversation, dialogue and story- telling is dying out. My children delight in the stories that my father in law tells of his life as a child growing up in Low Moor and of the trials and tribulations of bringing up a family and running a business in Bradford and of his travels around the world.

I wonder when I am old, what mode I will be using to tell my stories and who will be listening?


About verawoodhead

I'm an executive coach, leadership facilitator and learning & development consultant working with managers and leaders to develop the skills and behaviours to inspire performance and drive results; achieve promotion ; make successful career changes, be resilient and thrive at work. Within organisations, I help to facilitate better conversations, design learning interventions which deliver practical and lasting solutions aligned to business strategy and goals. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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2 Responses to Woman’s work: A light hearted rant at modern day life

  1. Shari says:

    Hello Vera,
    a while back I could have empathised 100% with your blog, and sat pulling my hair out at why the world was the way it is (sorry, was).
    Expectations are set very early on in life aren’t they? Then the passage of time gives them weighting and cements them.
    Added to this, when we do try to tip the balance of life to a fairer setting, we are pounced on by all parties for wanting the change/ the difference.
    Well happy to say, my world has changed. Change is hard but if the motivation is great enough, which it was for me and if we persevere, it can be lasting. My 8 and 13 year old kids know that they have really important parts to play to make our home run smoothly. So, for example, if they haven’t checked they have clean sports gear to wear before the day they need it, they’ll be wearing stuff that hasn’t been washed and ironed. It’s amazing how quickly kids can learn. There’s a childrens book called The Little Red Hen which I read to my children when they were small (you would be the little red hen in that story). Whenever I feel I’m pulling all the weight and the hubby and kids aren’t mucking in, I just call out ‘Little red hen’, every one knows what I mean and as quick as a flash I have 3 willing helpers. It helps make light of a situation that used to have me seething.
    Thanks for sharing your light hearted rant!

    • verawoodhead says:

      Hi Shari
      Thank your for sharing your tips, some valuable advice there. Are you refering to The Little Hen which has the lazy dog, sleepy cat and noisy yellow duck?

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