Domestic fatigue is a real thing, and it is affecting more and more working moms!
A study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the UCL institute of education says that working mothers are working more, and working harder during the lockdown compared to working fathers. The lockdown has bring forth the glaring disparity between the mother’s role and contribution in a household and childcare, as compared to that of a father’s. Working mothers have an overflowing plate – they have to tend do household chores such as cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping; as well as work full-time (from home), be around for the child’s online class, and look after their studies. As a result, an increasing number of women are experiencing something called domestic fatigue. With so much to do, little to no help (most of the times), and the additional responsibility of teaching the children, women are experiencing burnout. If you are feeling the same way, and wondering how you can avoid feeling completely exhausted, Devika Arora, a Bangalore based Life Coach and Counselor has a few tips for you.
- Communicate: Communication is not just for you to ask for help, which of course you should, sometimes it is also just for you to air your thoughts and vent out. When you are going about your day’s work and have a number of tasks to tick off your list, frustration and fatigue is bound to set in. A compassionate ear is godsend in times like this! Find someone you can speak our heart out to, or simply have a light chat to de-stress.
- Delegate: Coming back to the topic of asking help, let’s use a better and sensible word – delegate. When you ask members of your household to pitch in and share the workload, they aren’t helping or doing a favour. Your partner needs to actually be a partner and pitch in just as many work-hours and shoulder equal responsibilities as you. If they aren’t picking up work on their own, delegate and make it clear that they need to pull their socks up, and learn how to run a washing machine!
- Raise responsible children: What better time than now to teach your children some life-skills and get them to help around the house. Even simple things like putting clothes from the hamper into the washing machine, cleaning up after themselves, setting and clearing the table, can take some load off you and make them more responsible.
- Go easy on yourself: Does the house really need to be mopped everyday? Why not do a bigger load of laundry every second day than doing laundry everyday. Why not cook in bulk and store in batches? You don’t have to push yourself and make everything perfect! Do what’s doable and take one step at a time. Another way of making your life easy is to automate as much as possible. Invest in a vacuum cleaner, get that dishwasher – you will be happy that you did.
- Prioritise yourself: We can’t say this enough – you cannot pour from an empty cup. It is only when you are happy, that you can make your family and home happy. Spend some alone time, even if that means spending an extra 5 minutes in the shower. Meditate after your morning cup of tea, or before bed. Indulge in a relaxing skincare routine before bedtime. Do whatever makes you feel peaceful.
It is a difficult time, moreso if you have the responsibility of running a family. Give yourself a pat on your back for making it so far, and breathe and know that you will make it through it. With, of course, everyone in your family pitching in equally.
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