In my clinical work I often see women who are incredibly bored and angry about their domestic lives. They cook, clean, wash, ferry the kids, plan and organise all aspects of the home.
Meanwhile, these women say that their male partners ‘get it easy’ off at work all day barely having to ever consider any domestic challenges.
One very stressed 26-year-old woman even said that she makes her partner ring her 20 minutes before he will arrive home so she can have dinner on the table, exactly on time for him.
Needless to say, he earns nearly all of the money and she handles the domestics.
Fair split? Not even close.
In Smart Therapy, I often point to the neurological evidence that whatever we pay attention to becomes a larger and larger part of our brain, because as soon as we pay attention, we are biologically ‘directing’ our brains to learn, consolidate and retrieve targeted information. In other words, WE ARE WHAT WE PAY ATTENTION TO.
This means that every day, he is off paying attention to interesting work challenges, solving problems, creating new brain synapses specifically devoted to all that novel material. He is literally filling his brain with new skills and solutions, forming useful career networks that will expand his future options and meanwhile he is fast-tracking and growing his income potential.
On the other hand, she is training her brain in repetitive domestic drudgery. While many household jobs are menial (like cleaning the toilet, doing the washing, talking to a 2-year-old or doing the shopping) they still (unfortunately!) require paying attention. So, billions of synapses become devoted to often trivial, boring tasks that no one in any social network ever wants to hear or talk about.
Basically, time spent on domestics is time not spent on more creative pursuits like career, financial literacy, or attainment of meaningful life goals.
In short, a domestic focus generally does not build powerful networks, increase income potential or build interesting new life skills. Most particularly, it DIMINISHES income potential and thereby, the ability to be an independent, free and self-directed individual rather than a servant.
The saddest thing is that I often see older women in my clinical work who have invested all their energy, time and suffering into domestic duties over a lifetime, only to find that he leaves her anyway (with his increased career options) when he meets someone with a more curious and interesting brain.
It goes without saying that the obvious way around this dilemma is for women to take their own careers and aspirations much more seriously and equally to men. Women must not give up on themselves and stay at home the moment domestic ‘bliss’ presents itself via husband or children.
It is only when women invest equally to men in paid work, that the domestic drudgery can be split exactly 50:50 creating no bias (advantage or disadvantage) in brain attentional focus between men and women.
Once women have their own genuine financial equality, they will then have the leverage (so badly needed!) to ensure this fair and equitable 50:50 domestic split.