A few weeks ago I began reading the book, Brain Rules for Baby. It was a great read and I would recommend it if you are looking for an interesting book about brain development. I found much of what it recommends to be in line with the type of parenting style J and I are hoping to have. It's always reassuring to feel like you 'know' what you are doing :)
The book mentions post-childbirth situations that put a lot of strain on marriages. One of the items it mentions is unequal workload at home. I asked J to read the section, not because I really feel like I do a lot more around the house than he does, but because I feel like I am doing A LOT and wish I felt like it was appreciated. I know he appreciates what I do, but I wish he mentioned it more often. After reading it, he asked me to read a Time magazine article from a few months ago, called "The Ch.ore Wars." It was really interesting. It was about how research shows that men and women actually spend equal numbers of hours each week providing for their family (it included hours working, caring for children, and doing stuff around the house). It basically said that men are still getting a bad wrap for not pulling their weight at home, when they actually are. Hmmmm....interesting concept. Why are they still getting this wrap?
The article said that often women feel more overwhelmed because they are responsible for 'running' the household. They have to know what everyone is doing, where they are going, and where everything is all the time. This is absolutely true at our house. It's not uncommon for J to be looking for something in our house and ask me to tell him exactly where it is. I'm almost always able to do it, but it does get frustrating at times. The article also talked about how many women don't have refreshing or high quality free time, which doesn't allow them to feel relaxed. Interesting, right? After reflecting on my own situation, I realize this is true for me too. I don't really take time away from N to relax. I admit that this is my fault because I don't make time for myself to do so. Mainly because after being away from him at work all day, I don't want to be away from him in the evenings or on the weekend. Additionally, before N was born, I relaxed by reading, watching TV, and reading blogs. These are all things that I still really enjoy doing at home. This has become more difficult because I'm still in the house and end up taking care of N if he needs something. I think the way for me to have more meaningful free time is to either figure out how to do these things away from the house sometimes or take up another hobby away from home. My project for this week is to think about what activity I might enjoy doing on a regular basis for some refreshing free time!