How's your unpaid side hustle going?

Hello beauties,

On this International Women's Day,

I'm thinking not just about the wage gap,

but also about the vast amounts of un- and under-paid work that women do.

I'm talking about your side hustle: householding.

 

Unless your feminine wiles

have attracted all the neighborhood rodents to help you out,

I'm guessing you have a long ass list

of house and life stuff to do this weekend.

You can google around for various statistics, but it is ABSOLUTELY true all around the world:

Women's un- and under-paid labor

is an economic backbone

ready to break.

If you're a woman married to a man, chances are your partner

does way more than his father did . . .

but still does less than HALF of what you do

yet they believe do as much or even more.

 

If you, like many of my friends,

are a woman householding without a spouse or children or both,

you probably think you have "nothing to complain about," 

and it shouldn't be such a big deal

to run both a career AND a home.

(Or if you, like many of my other friends,

are a woman householding and kid rearing without a job outside the home,

you probably ALSO think it shouldn't be such a big deal

to run both your kids and your house).

*

Finally

If you're a woman who hires some help,

with laundry

cleaning

childcare

groceries

maintenance

pet care

errands

organizing

tutoring

bills / appointments / paperwork

or Instacart,

I bet that this choice to delegate wasn't -

maybe even never is - 

easy for you.

"If only you had your shit together,

you'd be able to do it all yourself,"

right?

If only the neighborhood rodents loved you!



So,

why DON'T we count all this work as work?

Three reasons are white supremacy, patriarchy, and class exploitation.

Our country and economy

hell, even our nation's Capitol

was built by unpaid, enslaved people.

We don't count that foundational work

because we have never counted that foundational work.

Labor labeled as "domestic"

has long been relegated to enslaved people,

servants,

women,

and daughters,

with the only "payment" 

being room and board.

But here's the kicker:

How does this clearly flawed approach remain intact?

How does our bullshit system

keep not counting all the work

the H A R D  I M P O R T A N T  W O R K

that goes into householding?

Well: it gets us to think it's our fault.

When all the work feels like Too Much,

we blame ourselves for Not Being Good Enough.

When we're too tired to clean the kitchen,

we think it's because we're lazy.

When the clutter piles up,

we think it's because we're slobs.

When we're worn out

we think it's because of something we're doing wrong

rather than because of something

our whole society is doing wrong.

*

Okay, so what to do?

First: give yourself credit.

Check out this calculator

that helps you see how much you'd pay Taskrabbit

for the householding work you do.

(Then double it, since you know 

that all this work is terribly underpaid).

Second: give yourself a break.

Stop blaming yourself

for being so tired

for living in a mess

for needing more help.

You are not the problem.

Our refusal to acknowledge all this work is the problem.

Third: talk about it.

With your friends

partner

boss

colleagues

coach

neighbors

book club.

Oh hey,

you & your book club can read Overwhelmed, by Brigid Schulte,

and get a wider view

of this whole issue.

*

So!

Happy International Women's Day.

Join me in celebrating

by clocking out

and doing nothing.

natalie millerComment