Despite all the empowerment and equality victories for women in the decades since The Feminine Mystique, one vestige of the old days remains. According to Working Mother, women in the workforce still feel guilty—and judged— if their houses aren’t June Cleaver clean.
“A dirty house is neither a sin nor a crime, but you wouldn’t know it from [our] recent study,” says Working Mother, which reports that 68 percent of women feel “significantly” or “strongly” guilty about the condition of their homes—more than feel guilty about not spending enough time with their kids!
And even though the study shows women’s working hours have increased over the past 30 years (those working 49+ hours increased 54 percent), their household duties have decreased by only 6 hours, despite the plethora of new cleaning potions and gizmos on the market. This leaves over half of respondents hating to clean.
One thing that hasn’t declined is guilt. One mother told the magazine that a dust bunny or a marker blotch makes her “feel like I’m failing at something—and a little like a bad mother.”
The article says that few working moms blame “slow to change societal standards” for their malady, and though 60 percent of respondents feel “judged” about their homes, much of the judging is coming from themselves. Many blame this on high standards set by their own mothers.
And cluttered rooms and dirty dishes not only elicit guilt but also anxiety as well. To many working women, mess equals stress! So women often stay up after the family has gone to bed to straighten up, leaving them in a stupor the next day or spending the weekends doing chores when they should be relaxing.
So if clean equals tranquil, the best present to give a working mom is for the family to spend time helping her straighten up and organize the house.
Source: Working Mother
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