Have you ever heard of emotional labor?
It’s a term used in sociology to refer to the mental load one person in a relationship (often the woman) takes on in order for life to remain functional. “It’s when you take on all the stuff that goes largely unnoticed, but is vital for functioning relationships and for others’ wellbeing,” explains Hannah Davies.
Emotional labor doesn’t necessarily mean housework, like taking out the garbage or folding the laundry. Instead, it refers to the things that go along with these tasks: keeping track of how many garbage bags are left and when you might need to buy more, making a mental note of when you’ll need to do laundry again in order to have certain items clean.
Think about who minds the schedule, keeps track of birthdays, and checks in with family members in your relationship. Chances are, there’s one person doing all of these things — and taking on the brunt of the emotional labor can be absolutely exhausting.
It’s a topic Constance Hall tackles in a recent Facebook post.
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Photos: Facebook 1, 2 / Constance Hall
On January 29, 2018, Constance Hall turned to Facebook to share her thoughts about housework.
Her post racked up 177,000 reactions and 85,000 shares in just a few days.
It’s easy to see why — what she had to say is so relatable.
Recently while b*tching about the fact that I do absolutely everything around my house with a bunch of friends all singing “preach Queen”, someone said to me “if you want help you need to be specific… ask for it. People need lists, they aren’t mind readers.”
So I tried that, asking.. specifics..
“Can you take the bin out?”
“Can you get up with the kids? I’m just a little tired after doing it on my own for 329 years”
“Can you go to woolies? I’ve done 3 loads of washing and made breaky, lunch, picked up all the kids school books, dealt with the floating shit in the pond.”
And yeah, she was right… sh*t got done.
But I was exhausted, just keeping the balls in the air.. remembering what needs to be asked to be done, constant nagging..
And do you know what happened the minute I stopped asking…?
And so I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not your job to ask for help, it’s not my job to write f*cking lists.. We have enough god d*mn jobs and teaching someone how to consider me and my ridiculous work load is not one of them.
Just do it.
Just think about each other, what it takes to run the god d*mn house. Is one of you working while the other puts up their feet?
Is one of you hanging out with mates while the other peels the thirtieth piece of fruit for the day?
Is one of you carrying the weight?
Because when the nagging stops, when the asking dies down, when there are no more lists….
All your left with is silent resentment. And that my friends is relationship cancer..
It’s not up to anyone else to teach you consideration. That’s your job.
Just do the f*cking dishes without being asked once in a while mother f*ckers.
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