Most people assume men are the head of the household as they tend to make more money than women. However, in reality, studies reveal that women manage households more often than men. Though men still earn more than women for the same work, it is their female counterparts who have embraced the responsibility of managing the home.
The Second Shift
Managing a household is often referred to as the second shift. From doing the laundry to cleaning dishes, grocery shopping, cleaning and beyond, there is plenty to do after the first work shift ends. A recent study shows women are taking on these household responsibilities more than men. In other words, life is quite demanding for women, especially those who hold full-time jobs. Segueing to the “second shift” of managing a household is challenging, particularly for those who have an initial shift outside of the home at a formal employer.
Recent research conducted by Modern Family Index reveals women are twice as likely to manage a household and three times as likely to manage their kids’ schedules than their male partners. This work is exhausting, time-consuming and oftentimes quite frustrating as it comes on the heels of a long day of work outside of the home.
Manage a Household is Overwhelming
Ask anyone who holds a full-time job and also manages a household about the project and you will find it is not an easy task. However, the challenge of managing a household proves much easier with some compassion. If you take on the “second shift” work of managing a home or if you know someone who does, try to do something relaxing every single day. Recognize the fact that managing a home is inherently difficult, perform some stress-relieving activities with friends, try to live in the present and you will feel that much more at ease.
Above all, it is important for household managers to do what makes them and their family happy and prosperous. Do not attempt to keep up with the family across the street or colleagues at work. Focus on you, your family and your loved ones. Do what is necessary to bring out the best in your living space, pay the bills and make your family happy. However, it is a mistake to strive for perfection as perfection is an impossibility. Instead, narrow your focus on getting things done. Be productive, make the most of each day and you will achieve the delicate balance of sufficient household management while remaining gainfully employed.
Let the Kids Pitch In
The little ones in your family can help a great deal in terms of cleaning, food prep, laundry and household chores. Even if your kids aren’t yet tween status, they can lend a helping hand, ultimately making your life that much easier. Let the kids pitch in as much as possible and you really will feel as though a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Don’t Overlook Your Mental Health
Your mental health is at risk when you are a household manager and a full-time employee. If you aren’t careful, you will focus too much on others and lose track of your own well-being. Keep in mind, if you do not care for yourself, you will not be able to care for others. Practice stress relief exercises, meditate, get eight hours of sleep per night and focus on what you can control.
Achieve Financial Clarity
Above all, it is important that you meet with your financial advisor to establish a budget for your household and get a head start on retirement planning. Your performance at work and also as a household manager may significantly improve after you have a sound financial plan in place that provides a truly invaluable financial confidence.