Playing Fair

Relationships

Economic inequality is out of control. We live in a world where the most essential work in the household and family is unpaid and underpaid work done primarily by women and girls. The annual monetary value of unpaid care work for women aged 15 and over globally is $10.8 trillion.

Eve Rodsky’s book Fair Play encourages shared responsibility of the invisible work at home. Feel free to check out our episode with Eve to learn more about how Fair Play can rebalancing the emotional workload and create a more equitable balance of care with your partner.

There are NO studies supporting the notion that women are inherently better multi-taskers or have better executive brain function, and yet this message is pervasive among women. We all have 24 hours in a day and my time is equal to yours. In Fair Play, Eve Rodsky devotes an entire chapter to unpacking “toxic time messages” and gives suggestions for reframing these messages. It’s time to invite men to the table in a collaborative way into a system with context and clearly defined expectations.

Fair is not necessarily equal. The emphasis on “50/50” can lead to  resentment and disappointment when things are not “equal.” Fair Play is focused on fairness — not tit-for-tat scorekeeping. Most couples care far less whether tasks are split 50/50 in the household, and far more on whether their partner performs full Conception, Planning, and Execution of those responsibilities that they hold with competence and care.

Conception: “You notice that you’re low on mustard, and in your mind you know that your partner really loves mustard on a hot dog.”

Planning: “Then, because you notice that the mustard is low, you pick up a pen, and place mustard on your grocery list.” 

Execution: “Then, someone has to get their ass to the grocery store and pick up the mustard.”

Don’t hesitate to take on a new responsibility! Hand over the Dishes card and take on the role as Money Manager! There are so many resources available for women to learn what they need to take on this role in their relationship. The Money Manager card tends to be the one that men take and it tends to have a lot of control and power associated with it. Switch it up ladies! More and more studies have shown that millennial women still defer to their partner to own the money management in the relationship. However it is critical for women empowerment to have women actively participate in the economic markets. You can do more than manage the household budget and pay the bills. Talk to your financial advisor. Learn about investing. Prepare yourself for retirement. We challenge you to take on the Money Manager role in your relationship. 

Finally, we must reclaim our time. It may seem like a fairy tale to carve out time for your passions. Whether that’s getting back to playing piano again or researching the business idea that you’ve back-burnered, EVERYONE has permission to be interesting and interested! Be more than the role of parent, spouse and worker. Many women feel like they don’t have time to go to the dentist, let alone find time for self care… BUT you can. Eve Rodsky calls this “Unicorn Space” and through her research, she found over and over again that women and men were reporting true joy when they claimed their Unicorn Space without guilt and shame. And it is not reserved for the rich.

Check out our episode with Eve Rodsky to learn more about her book Fair Play and how to start reclaiming your time.