If you are feeling tired and overwhelmed with the amount of work you are doing for your family, it might be because you are “working” two jobs.
These days, it’s common for both parties to work outside the home. The days of a financially stable single income household are over. Despite both parties having careers, women still bear the brunt of most of the unpaid labour in the home.
This labour often comes without compensation. Teresia Matheka, a Kenyan High Court judge recently ruled that the work of raising children and taking care of the home is a job in itself.
“Raising children is a full-time job that families pay a person to do. Cooking and cleaning as well. Hence, for a woman in employment who has to balance childbearing and rearing, this contribution must be considered,” the judge said.
A report by Oxfam found that the total cost of unpaid work globally sits at an estimated $10.9 trillion. A 2015 estimate found that on average, a South African housewife did the work worth R54 770 per month or R657 240 per year.
The amount of work done by women has only increased during the pandemic. Numerous lockdowns have made the imbalance of labour worse. UN Women found that things got much worse for women during the pandemic. “Available data from 38 countries overwhelmingly confirm that while [both] women and men have increased their unpaid workloads, women are still doing the lion’s share,” the report found.
If you have been too hard on yourself recently for the overwhelm and exhaustion you are feeling, remember that the work that you do is valuable and you need to take care of yourself so you can keep functioning at your peak.