What is the break up of household tasks in your house? And who looks after the invisible tasks?

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I do consider myself pretty lucky with the level of work my husband does within the home and for the family. If you break it down, we do run on fairly stereotypical lines, but the difference between now and say the 1950's is that there is choice involved. I like cooking and have chosen to work part time because I want to be home for the kids. My husband would much prefer to be in the garden than in the kitchen, so this works for us.

In general I take care of:
  • Meals
  • Most cleaning
  • Laundry (shared)
  • School stuff
  • Presents
  • After school activities
In general my husband takes care of:
  • Gardening
  • Ironing his and the kids school shirts
  • Tax/bills/paperwork
  • Secondary school camps
  • Laundry (shared)
  • Vacuum once a week
  • House maintenance
It isn't that we don't do the other's tasks, we work together to get everything done, but it is that we usually default to these tasks. You can hear my husband's view on things in episode 11 of the this family life podcast.

But as many of you will know, there are many "invisible tasks" that need to be looked after. They are the tasks we juggle in our head constantly - school term is ending soon, I need to re-enrol the kids for swimming lessons, the form for the excursion is due tomorrow, Book Week is coming up so costumes will beed to be sorted, there are four birthday parties coming up in the next month so need to get presents………..

In most cases I know, it usually the mum who does the thinking and planning around this. And while these tasks don't take up a huge amount of space on your to do list, they do take up time in headspace and it drains your mental energy.

Our mental energy runs out and if we are using up our mental energy constantly on these types of things it can definitely impact how we perform in other aspects of our life. 

Ep 32 of The Broad Experience Podcast explores the issue of invisible tasks and the impact these have on women’s careers in particular.

"As women we get so much career advice about what to do in the office, but one of our biggest career obstacles happens at home, before we even walk out the door in the morning." - says Liz O'Donnell who is interviewed on the podcast.

Liz O'Donnell  is the author of the blog Hello Ladies and the book called Mogul, Mom & Maid. And she is the sole breadwinner for her family and shares honestly about how she doesn't have mother guilt about working full time but -

"the times that you will find me in tears about being a working mother it is usually related to the schools. It is related to the lack of communication or yet another opportunity to have to tell my children no."

I don't work full time and have a great level of flexibility with my work, but I can still completely relate to how Liz feels. Next week I will be heading away for a week  for work and I have already spent considerable time this week organising the "invisible tasks" into a spreadsheet for my husband while I am away. I have also spent time feeling guilty about the aerobics competition I am going to miss and about having to have said no to the younger boys about going on their school excursion as the parent helper, as I will need the time at home to get ready before I go away.

For me I think there is just a level on internal programming that makes me think and feel this way. My husband in the same position would just say no and not allow it to eat away at his time and energy. Logically I know that I am present for my kids and missing some things here and there is not the end of the world, but it still does take up headspace and mental energy.

I would love to hear how things run at your place and write a bit more about this on the blog. How do you divide household tasks and who takes care of those "invisible tasks" at your place?

Have a great weekend!


  Degas: A New Vision - Exhibition at NGV


This winter the NGV has a new blockbuster Degas: A New Vision. The exhibition has over 200 works by the celebrated French artist, including breath-taking paintings, sculptures, drawings, pastels and photographs, and includes Degas’ famous ballet dancer scenes, poetic bronze sculptures and drawings of Parisian life.

Edgar Degas is one of the most celebrated artists associated with French Impressionism. The art he made over more than fifty years of constant creativity and renewal embraces painting, drawing, printmaking, monotypes, sculpture and photography, and has had an immense impact on modern and contemporary art.

To coincide with the expansive collection, the NGV has created an illuminating activity book for children. The book is titled Degas: An Art Book for Kids and was created for young artists aged 5 and up. Children are guided by two illustrated characters, Snail and Pigeon, around Paris stopping at famous landmarks such as the Louvre, the Palais Garnier – the home of the ballet – and the Eiffel Tower, allowing children to take a visual tour of Paris while learning about the life and work of Degas. The book is full of gorgeous illustrations, activities and images of Degas’ beautiful artwork.
My kids have loved reading this book and my daughter is making her way through the activities and I am looking forward to taking them to see the real thing. The Degas: A New Vision exhibition is on until Sept 18, so if you are in Melbourne make sure you take some time to check it out before it leaves.

Win a Degas Pack!

And you can win a copy of the book in this fab Degas Pack thanks to NGV. The prize pack includes:
Total Value: $105.85! To enter simply click here to fill in the form and tell me who in your family would love to win the gorgeous Degas prize pack. Entries close Thu 1st Sept. For full terms and conditions please visit here.

Recently on the blog

5 gift ideas for the kids’ coach + how to make collecting the cash easier 

With winter thankfully coming to an end very soon, so to are the kids' winter sports. This of course means time to round up a collection for the kids' coach to buy a gift to say thanks for the fantastic effort and time they have put into the kids' team.

Collecting the cash can be a tedious task, but a new Australian start up formed by two Aussie mums is taking the hassle out of this. GroupTogether is free to setup and then there’s a small fee for each contribution that is made to the collection. However until 30th October to help out families, GroupTogether has a special fee free promotion for coaches.

To set up a collection it is very easy and only takes a few minutes:

  • You decide the amount, the name of the collection and when the money is due.
  • GroupTogether emails the team via the addresses you have entered and gives you a link to share.
  • Parents chip in online and are also able to sign the GroupCard and upload a photo.
  • Once the due date has passed GroupTogether transfer the money to you for the gift.

So much easier than the usual chasing up of money and the awkward follow up conversations you have to have with other parents!

Read more about GroupTogether and also see my 5 gift ideas for coaches here.

Weekly food prep and menu plan ideas for August

Challenge yourself this weekend to make two things that will help make the school week easier for you and make sure the kids have nutritious lunches!  Click here for tips and inspiration - Weekly food prep and menu plan ideas for August.

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