Holidays that are full of complexity are neither fun nor comfortable. Here's how you can make it easier
The ordeal of fatigue begins about a week before Thanksgiving. Mostly mothers turn a part of their brain into a long list of tasks during the holidays. Food products, invitations, decorations, clothes and gifts for children and family members, finding the right tablecloth, blog or Google searches for the most delicious recipes and so on.
The Better Life Lab team, a New America expert program has created some easily applicable experiments to help distribute the emotional and homework of the holiday seasons more fairly between partners and family.
Through this study they have tried to show why reducing mom's workload should be an effort of the whole family and how the whole family can benefit from a fairer distribution of work during the holiday period.
The unfair division of labor between women and men when it comes to unpaid (domestic) work remains, despite women's advances in the workforce. During the holidays, mothers do two to three times more work than fathers, and the holiday season is a time that really exacerbates this imbalance. There is an early tradition that women not only come home in the "second shift" of housework and childcare, but are also expected to do what we call the "third shift" of creating holiday magic.
How do we stop these festive family moments from being something else mom has to worry about?
According to the study one should think in advance how gifts become a meaningful group activity. For this you should try to involve the children and educate them about the process. Together, think about who you want to show love through gifts.
This is a challenge and the reason why we need to involve the whole family and build awareness of all the work that mothers do.
Why is it important to involve children, and not just spouses or partners?
Research shows that the division of labor between the sexes begins early. Girls tend to do more of the daily chores like wiping or washing dishes, and boys tend to do chores once a week like mowing the lawn or even not at all. These gender divisions can be introduced from the beginning, so it is very important to involve children in such conversations that make them take on a range of tasks.