BECAUSE IT NEEDS TO BE SAID
I try to send positive vibes out across socials. It might put a smile on your dial, or maybe warm your heart just a little, or for those few seconds, simply take your mind off everything else. But I’m feeling for working mums right now. It’s been a hot topic in our She Will Shine weekly meet-ups and our online support group, and I think this is a conversation that needs to be had.
Because I’ve been seeing more and more of our members suffering from increased stress and anxiety. Not only are they trying to keep their own businesses afloat in these challenging times, they are also looking after kids 24/7 and in charge of all things home learning, plus so much more. Mental load has increased ten-fold.
If you’re a mum you already were at capacity before you even knew what COVID-19 was, so how are you coping now?
Yes, these are unprecedented times but systematically the extra load continues to fall to women.
Which brings me to this big question… Why is it that when a male works from home, it’s “expected” that he just moves his laptop to the spare room and shuts the door behind him? And when it happens to women, the laptop comes out onto the dining table, plus breakfast, lunch, dinner, the never-ending snacks, the boredum-busting, school communication, home learning, general logistics and up-keep of the house… Did I mention that she has also has work and clients to attend to. And don’t forget, “Kids! Keep the noise down so we don’t disturb dad in the back room.”
So where does the blame fall? Surely there is someone who can solve all our problems and fix this.
Is it the partner? Shouldn’t he see what’s happening in his own home and help out. The partner’s employer? Surely they understand parental care falls 50% on the shoulders of each parent. How about society? The topic of gender equality isn’t a new one. Or even ourselves? We did structure our lives this way. Is now the time to ask, or even demand, more help?
It’s such a huge issue and it needs to be looked at holistically as we all have a role to play in changing the status quo. But it’s a big one and I fear it will take longer than any pay-gap to fix. So in the meantime Ladies I beg you, please take care of you somewhere in that non-stop day of yours. Where technology was once frowned upon, now it may just be the saviour you need to fit in a few deep breaths and a hot cup of tea.
And if you need someone to talk to, the She Will Shine community are here for you.
You don’t even need to explain it to us. We get it.
About Danielle Price
With over 10 years small business experience, Danielle Price has created an Australia-wide network of female small business owners at She Will Shine. An expert networker and elevator of female business owners, Danielle facilitates connection and support between like-minded women in working towards a common goal of creating a successful business around personal responsibilities and life. Danielle’s passion is sharing and giving a voice to the real stories of Australian women in small business. Learn more about Danielle here.