I asked on Instagram recently if the people who watch my stories have any blog subject requests. A sole suggestion was made… ‘juggling everything [exploding head emoji]’. I could almost feel the overwhelm through the screen. I know this woman has three children and I suspect ‘everything’ in this context is about being a mum, a wife and her own person. So here it goes… Spoiler: I don’t have the definitive answer. But I think it begins with challenging some assumptions.
Every year the ‘Calendar Stall’ appears during the run up to Christmas in our local shopping centre. Year on year, the number of ‘Mum calendars’ appearing on the racks seems to increase and for me, this feature of kitchens everywhere sums up the overwhelm pretty well. Titled ‘Supermum’, ‘Do-it-all-mum’ and ‘Mum’s Busy Day’, the pages are illustrated with cartoons of frazzled women and have text in ‘fun’ fonts. The calendars have a column for everyone in the household, sometimes even pets! In the calendar world, mums exist to make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time with the things we need and ultimately… they are responsible for no one ever forgetting anything. Ever. ‘Cheery’ wall calendars are sold as the project management tool of choice for unpaid work done by a workforce of women increasingly feeling overwhelmed by the mental load. Perpetuating the idea that this is our job. Whether you are a man, woman, put-upon child or anthropomorphic pet, IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO DO EVERYTHING WHEN YOU LIVE IN A HOUSE WITH OTHER PEOPLE. Or at least, it doesn’t have to be.Continue reading