Physical chores—such as cleaning, household repairs, and food preparation—are just part of the effort that keeps a household running smoothly. It also requires great mental effort toward logistics (such as scheduling, budgeting, and menu planning) and detailed emotional effort toward maintaining relationships both within and outside of the household. When household labor isn’t distributed equitably among members of the household, resentment can build up and burnout is inevitable. Complicating matters are the heavily gendered and cultural expectations around who is assumed to be in charge of what task, which can lead to feelings of frustration, confusion, and defensiveness. Discussing those assumptions in context while setting our own limits can be crucial parts of maintaining a healthy, happy household.
In an era of seemingly unprecedented feminist activism, enlightenment, and change, data shows that one area of gender inequality stubbornly persists: the disproportionate amount of parental work that falls to women, no matter their background, class, or professional status.