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Season 3 | Episode 7

Seeing Invisible Labor

How we divide chores and childcare is an age-old problem, with women historically handling most of the work in the home.

March 7, 2023 | 37 minutes

Episode 7 - Eve Rodsky

How we divide chores and childcare can cause burnout, anxiety and depression, making "invisible labor" a matter of public health. Special guest Eve Rodsky shares her personal story, explains the Fair Play method and offers actionable tips to find better balance.

Speaker 1: Fair play is a movement towards ownership. The fact that this matters, and if I take it on, whether it's being the tooth fairy or whether it's bringing the flowers to our kids' recital, I'm gonna take it on with pride and I'll treat this in our home as my most important organization.

Speaker 2: Welcome back to Until It's Fixed, where we explore new ideas and work underway to make healthcare simpler and more effective for everyone. I'm your host, Callie Chamberlain.

Speaker 3: [00:00:30] And I'm Dr. Kenny Poole.

Speaker 2: All right. Well, I'm really excited to have a conversation today, kind of building on our first episode from burnout that speaks about a chronic problem. And so even for myself, I reflect on the work that I need to do during the day and then I'm closing my computer and I have all of these things that I need to do around the house. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it does contribute to this building feeling of there's just so much to do, I can't get on top of it, I'm really tired, I need to rest, I wanna [00:01:00] recharge. And yet I have a list of things to do

Speaker 3: Per the Pew Research Center. You know, women spend a combined total of 32 hours a week on childcare and housework compared to just 18 hours for men. And we know that those are averages, right? Because there are women that do a lot more and there are men that do a lot more as well. And I think it's important for us to look at division of labor in the home. Yeah. And when we talk about women within the workforce, particularly within leadership or with careers [00:01:30] that are deemed to be more demanding in terms of time and effort spent at work, burnout can happen, right? Because there's only so many hours in the day. And so this is an interesting topic that really resonates for several different reasons.

Speaker 2: I think this is a really nice appetizer into a much larger conversation about how things get divided at home and it also work, right? And so, like we're talking about the majority of domestic responsibilities fall to women at home. [00:02:00] And then I think about even in the workplace, my experiences in terms of like who's taking notes, who's planning events, who's welcoming the new hires? A lot of those responsibilities follow to women too. And so from that perspective, it really is a systemic issue, a cultural societal issue as it relates to invisible labor that really keeps our communities running. Our company is running, our family's running and not actually having a way to recognize and bring that work to light. It starts to [00:02:30] really show up in a lot of different ways in terms of women experiencing different kinds of diseases and higher rates of illnesses as it results to burnout and caregiving. And so all of these things I think, start to play together.

Speaker 3: Now, bringing in my cultural context, I came from, you know, one of those old school environments where the men are in the way in the kitchen. You know, if we're having a big family gathering or something like that, and a little boy runs in the kitchen like, uh, get outta here. The women are in here, you cooking, the [00:03:00] women are in here talking. You know, get your dirty hands and things and get outta here. So it isn't so much of a thing of like, Hey, you go and you need to go do these things in the kitchen, or you need to go do these quote unquote womanly things. I think some of them are societal, like you said, I think some of these things are ingrained.

Speaker 2: Yeah. But I would say like those societal expectations are upheld by everybody. Yes. So it's not just

Speaker 3: Mad and that's not

Speaker 2: My point. Right, right. You know, is like women might be saying too, Hey, I wanna plan, [00:03:30] we are better, for example, like planning the homecoming dance or whatever it is. But you know, it's like a task is a task. It is. The planning of a party is like gender neutral actually. And so now we layer in societal expectations and culture and stories and then it starts to become divided when it's actually, if you think about it, it's just doing something. And that's universal and human right. So I think it gets upheld by everybody. And that's also part of the problem and also why it's so hard to nail down, like what is really happening here and why is it this way? [00:04:00] So let's talk to our guest Eve Rodsky. She's the author of the book Fair Play, a New York Times bestseller that is now a documentary from Reese Witherspoon's Media Company. Hello Sunshine. What I really think is interesting about the system that she's devised is it's a fun, playful, interesting, very clarified way to have conversations with the other people in your home, whether that's a partner or a roommate around domestic responsibilities. So let's listen in.

Speaker 2: [00:04:30] Eve, thank you so much for joining us. We are so excited to have you on until it's fixed. As we get started, can you share a little bit with the audience about who you are?

Speaker 1: Well, I really appreciate you having me, both of you, and it's very exciting to be here. I'm somebody who did not expect on my third grade. What do you wanna be when you grew up board? To say that I'm an expert on the gender division of Labor Kelly, I thought I was supposed to be like an astronaut, but that's what I am. My name is Eve Rodsky. [00:05:00] I'm the author of the New York Times bestseller Fair Play, and another book called Find Your Unicorn Space. And I consider myself an attorney in an activist and also an author that focuses on the gender division of labor in the home and looks at it as a health issue.

Speaker 2: Incredible. And can you tell us a little bit more about what Fair Play is and what inspired you to create it?

Speaker 1: Well, I think you may know the story [00:05:30] <laugh>, but I created this because of a text my husband, Seth sent me, actually, if you wanna know the truth, his text in 2011 to me said, I'm surprised you didn't get blueberries. And the, I'm surprised you didn't get blueberries. Texts actually led me to a breakdown on the side of the road when I was about to go pick up my son, Zach, from his toddler transition program. And I was sitting there crying, thinking to myself, you know, I'm looking down. I have a [00:06:00] breast pump and a diaper bag on the passenger seat of my car. And I had gifts for a newborn baby to return in the backseat of my car. I had two young kids, I had recently been forced outta my corporate career because of those two kids and what it would've looked like for me if I came back from maternity leave.

Speaker 1: And so I felt very alone, very, very isolated, uh, in early parenting. And then on top of that, as I'm feeling all of these feelings and feeling completely [00:06:30] overwhelmed, my husband says, sends me this text that says, I'm surprised you didn't get blueberries. And instead of just it being innocuous text, Seth always says to me, now he regrets sending that text <laugh> because it sort of led me on this movement 12 years later where I realized that it's very easy to get into a very difficult situation of mental health in even physical health and the stress around raising children [00:07:00] if you don't have conversations about the division of labor. And you instead rely on assumption. So the assumption to my husband, Seth, was that I was gonna be the metaphorical fulfiller, the metaphorical literal fulfiller of his smoothie needs <laugh> for the rest of our lives. That was a really, a really hard time for me. So that blueberries breakdown has sort of sparked, you know, a cultural conversation I hope that I can be part of around moving from assumptions [00:07:30] about who does what in the home to actual structure, decision making tools, which not only and bias, but they really help with expectations and mental and physical health of the people and systems where there's not assumptions and there's actually structured decision making tools.

Speaker 2: Absolutely. And can you share a little bit more about the terms mental load and invisible labor?

Speaker 1: Thank you for saying that. Uh, so I didn't know there were any terms, uh, related to the division [00:08:00] of labor. In fact, the only term I knew was I hate Seth. Right? We had a couple's therapists, I remember at the time who said to use eye statements to communicate. And I remember thinking, okay, well I hate you. That's really the only thing I knew actually. In fact, I knew so little about the division of labor and the resentments and the mental health issues surrounding the division of labor. Not to mention the workplace issues that we saw during the pandemic of W 3.8 million and more women dropping outta the workforce because [00:08:30] of having to do unpaid labor of childcare and housework. But back then I knew nothing. I just knew that I was really unhappy in my marriage and I thought it was a private issue.

Speaker 1: But here's the secret, and I remember this from sociology. Private lives are public issues. And if we're keeping these as private issues, then guess what? There's shame around them. Yeah, there's shame. I couldn't tell anybody. I'm mad at Seth because God forbid I criticize my partner, right? I'm [00:09:00] supposed to be a perfect parent on all the social media platforms, you know, showing up in all these performative ways. But really, I'm, I'm sort of dying inside. That's what I felt. But it turns out that this phenomenon of what I was feeling was something that I wasn't alone in. And then when I started to really wake up to what was happening, because that was my only recourse, was to start understanding what was happening to me. And again, this is before TikTok, this is before beautiful podcasts, [00:09:30] like until it's fixed. I just had really libraries at that point and a little bit of Facebook in 2011.

Speaker 1: It's been called a second shift, which is coined in 1990s by Arley Hawk child, a sociologist who said women have an additional, an entire another full-time job in childcare and housework after their paid work. We've called it the mental Load, which is actually comes from psychology that when you have a mental load, it's really hard to task [00:10:00] switch and to focus. We've called it invisible work that was coined in 1986 by a sociologist named Arlene Kaplan Daniels who said that women's work, especially a women of color's work, will never be valued because it comes from structures that were invented during slavery. And unpaid labor has been a tenant in our society. And so it behooves society for women to believe that they [00:10:30] should continue to do invisible work, unpaid work. Cuz if we make that work visible, then maybe women will ask to be paid for it. Or we would have to pay a living wage to caregivers who do this work for a living instead of undervaluing their work. So whether it's invisible work, emotional labor is another great term, uh, that came outta the second shift. All of these terms, unpaid labor, they all really mean the same thing. And what they mean is that statistically, [00:11:00] especially in America, but in other countries as well, women have shouldered two-thirds or more of what it takes to run a home and family regardless of whether they work outside the home.

Speaker 3: Ive, you just made a really good point. You say private lives are public issues. Can you say more about why you think most people don't make the connection?

Speaker 1: So I think it's because <laugh>, the problems we're talking about, which are these societal problems that [00:11:30] we're unpacking present really small mm-hmm. <affirmative> for example, I legitimately had one man married to a woman who told me that his divorce was happening over a glue stick. I wrote that down divorcing over a glue stick. So similar to maybe if I had an unpacked the blueberries breakdown, maybe you would've me say, I am divorcing over being the fulfiller of Seth's smoothie [00:12:00] needs. So I think the big problem was that we aren't connecting yet as a society, these individual problems that show up in our home, that we somehow joke about. Or even as a love letter to you, a love letter to men. We joke about male incompetence and we see that all over. There's some new studies by Equa Mundo that show men are portrayed as incompetent caregivers.

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm. <affirmative> in sitcoms in movies. So we joke about it, we joke [00:12:30] about men as being incompetent in unpaid labor. It presents small in our relationships. I think it's hard to make that connection that it's really not us, it's not our problem together as a unit, but it's, you know, a societal problem that we've been conditioned to certain beliefs and assumptions that have actually not served any of us no matter what gender you are, no matter what family structure you are. I wanna be very clear here. This is not just a heteronormative marriage problem. This is a assumption [00:13:00] problem over who does what work in our society and how we structure that work. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that is what ends up making it a real health issue for everybody. Whether it's a single parent or whether it's a dad in the suburbs who tells me he's divorcing over a glue stick.

Speaker 3: So with that said, how do these things affect a primary caregiver's physical health?

Speaker 1: Uh, such a good question. So being with you in Optum, it's really the pinnacle of my [00:13:30] career. I could never, again, in my third grade when I thought I wanted to be an astronaut board, thought that talking about division of labor as a health issue would be the pinnacle of my career. But thank you for having me here. It really is because after 10 years and being an advocate and an activist for this issue, that we need to value holding a child's hand in the pediatrician's office as much as we value an hour in the boardroom. That is what the fair play [00:14:00] movement is about, valuing unpaid labor. We finally are starting to see some other things that are coming to light that show us that this is a health issue. So number one, I would say Robert Waldinger is coming out with a book that's about you actually, um, about men, about how we know to predict whether or not you're gonna be alive at 85.

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's a little bit more complicated for women, but men and their health outcomes [00:14:30] really controlling for all other factors over 75 years. This long longitudinal study of men's health shows that the most important thing is the quality of your relationships. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So we can predict that the quality of a men's relationships at 55 can predict whether he's alive at 85. This is Robert Waldinger work out of Harvard. So we now know that these quality relationships are definitely a factor for men's health. And what's fun [00:15:00] about looking at men first is that when men do childcare and housework, when they're active involved parents, when they're active involved uncles, when they're actually actively involved in the care of their work teams by saying, I'm gonna be the one ordering the birthday cake today and I'm not gonna put it on a woman on my team because somehow I, I assume she's better at ordering birthday cakes than me.

Speaker 1: Those types of relationships that men build as a result of doing this [00:15:30] childcare and housework is actually really profoundly important to their health. And then if we look at people who identify as women, women we know from fair play and other areas as well, we know that women have been feeling incredibly overwhelmed and stressed from having this second shift from having this other job. But specifically for Fair Play, I was able to amass a whole list of unpaid labored tasks over the [00:16:00] past 12 years that sit as a metaphor. And I call them the Fair play cards because gamification of these topics is fun, but there are a hundred cards that Fair play became, that represent every single thing you have to do or one would possibly do for their childcare and housework. There are 60 cards if you're partnered or have a roommate that you can look at and there's 40 more cards if you add children to the [00:16:30] picture.

Speaker 1: So of this metaphor or the actual cards, this hundred cards that Fair play became, again men, we know quality of their relationships. For women, the health outcome was when women were holding or telling me they were in charge of 67 of the hundred cards, like groceries, like the, let's just look at some of them right now like diapering and potty training like travel, like estate planning and life insurance. Like showing up with flowers for their kids at their recital [00:17:00] like groceries and on and on. When women held 67 or more cards and worked full-time for pay, we have 200 of those women we've followed over 10 years. Every single one of them is being treated for a stress-related illness. So I don't have the causation research yet. Sure, yeah. But I have the correlation that there's something going on with women when they're holding all of this unpaid work and they have to work [00:17:30] full-time for pay that it's just too much.

Speaker 1: And by too much, I mean hair loss by too much, I mean thyroid issues by too much, I mean cancer diagnoses by too much, I mean insomnia. Insomnia was the number one diagnosis. Sleep disorders, by too much, I mean S S R I use, women are twice likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder as men. And then, uh, even worse were the people who told me they were being treated for a stress-related illness themselves. So [00:18:00] they weren't being treated by a doctor. They were treating themselves and by treating themselves that was self-medicating. E it was either two glasses or more of of wine a night and or edibles taking edibles on the weekend to numb themselves to their caregiving.

Speaker 2: That is so significant that 100% of the women you followed with primary caregiving responsibilities have a stress related illness. How did we get here? I mean we're talking a lot about the impacts and the health impacts. Uh, what is the history of how [00:18:30] these responsibilities have mostly fallen into women?

Speaker 1: Well, such a great question. I think, again, it's very hard not to look at these issues and understand that America has been a country that has built, built on the backs of black and brown people doing unpaid labor. And I think we have to really acknowledge that caregiving and housework comes out of a place where in this sort of late stage [00:19:00] capitalism that we're in now has been seen as traditionally not work. It's been seen my friend iGen Poo, who she runs an organization called the National Domestic Workers Association. She says in our documentary about these issues called fair play as well. That caring for people, even though we know it's a huge industry, <laugh> caring for people, is just seen a little bit like not real work. And so [00:19:30] as a society, again, it's bigger than the divorcing over the glue stick when we can connect the fact that caregiving is valuable, right?

Speaker 1: That we wanna hold our children's hands in the pediatrician's office, that that's valuable than I do actually believe that the 70% of our 1% in this country is a specific demographic. It's men with stay-at-home wives. And so often I do believe that people have had to [00:20:00] get ahead and it's no one's fault, it's the design of the system. But people have had to get ahead by being ideal workers and really just doing overwork and overwork and overwork to burnout. And to do that type of overwork and overwork and overwork to burnout, they've had to have someone in the home take care of everything else. And that doesn't lead to good quality and health outcomes for men's relationships. And it definitely doesn't lead to a lot of quality and health outcomes for women who are being saddled [00:20:30] with all that work. So I think it's a very complex question, Kelly, and I wish there were easier answers to sort of how we got here. But the good news is, and actually the wonderful news is that it was such a big deal that I had someone save me an actual physical hard of the Wall Street Journal for me. There was an article that said finally the demographic white collar men are the ones cutting back at work. And one of their big reasons was because they wanna [00:21:00] do more childcare, they wanna be there for their families. Yeah. So I actually think we're at a precipice of really, really wonderful and important change.

Speaker 2: Wow, that's incredible. How does fair play work for communities of color, LGBTQ plus families, single parents and other non heteronormative couples?

Speaker 1: So I think it's really important that we have a both and around the topic of gender, division of labor, we can start thinking about [00:21:30] and understanding that there's a more complex view of gender at the same time that we can still understand that women are the ones who shoulder two-thirds or more of unpaid labor in this country. And actually it harms us all, even though we center the heteronormative and we have been in this discussion, women married to men and what those dynamics look like. Actually valuing care helps us as a society because [00:22:00] if we valued care, guess what we would have here? We would be a country that had paid leave <laugh>. We'd be a country that actually paid people to stay home when they had to, to care for others. We're the only industrialized nation, US and Papa New Guinea. Right. That does not have a federal paid leave program.

Speaker 1: We would probably be moving towards programs that subsidized childcare. Yeah. That we understood that and actually paid people [00:22:30] who were in the childcare industry, a living wage. Right now, on average they're being paid $12 an hour. Dog walkers make more money than the people who take care of our children. And so why I think this is important to all of us and to all family structures is that on the individual level, even in, and I over-indexed for L G B T Q I A, couples, yes couples who identify as L G B T Q I A do things better, there is a better division of labor, but [00:23:00] there's still uncovered assumptions. And we know that in any case where you wanna end bias, we have to trade assumptions for structured decision making. And so again, that helps with all different family structures because in L G B T Q I A couples, what was happening in my research, Kelly, was that the person who made more money was doing less housework.

Speaker 1: So there were other assumptions around financial capital that were coming into that as opposed to [00:23:30] conversations. So it's not that these conversations will just magically happen based on who you're married to or how you show up in our culture, we actually have to start to really intentionally have these discussions for single parents. I'll give you just one quick example. There was this wonderful leader, male ally who said that he wanted to reach out to me cuz he was sponsoring two single mothers on his team. And he wanted to make sure [00:24:00] that assumptions were not taking place of structured decision making. And I love that about him. But towards the end of our conversation, he said to me when I asked him about his own family structure, cause I said, it's really important for me to hear where you come from. And he said to me, well, I just recently moved to Connecticut and things have been really hectic cause I've been traveling a lot.

Speaker 1: So my partner, my wife has decided to stay home with the kids while they're young because I really can't do my job right now and travel without her being home. And I recognize [00:24:30] her labor and how important it's, so I said to him, thank you for recognizing her labor. Thank you for recognizing you could not do your job without her. But you just told me the single mothers on your team can't do your job. That's how we uncover bias. Yeah. Yeah. If you need somebody to handle everything else for your childcare and housework to do your job, and you just told me that and the single mothers on your team don't have that person at home, will that affect [00:25:00] their career if they don't have what you have? And so we got into a really important conversation how even the best of us, the most well-intentioned our family structures, the way we assume how things are getting done outside of the workplace is really, really important. And so what I can say to you is that I hope you'll come with me on this journey to understand that, you know, leadership, real true leadership in the workplace does begin at home.

Speaker 3: So how does this work for someone [00:25:30] who is a stay-at-home mother or a stay-at-home father who says, okay, I'm not going to be earning income outside of the home. I am gonna assume these responsibilities. How then do they divvy the labor?

Speaker 1: So that was the most important thing for me about the Fair Play Movement was that people understood I was asking for conversations around moving from assumption to structure, decision making, and really fair play is about ownership. [00:26:00] This idea that even my Aunt Marion's Maja group has more clearly defined expectations in the home. You don't bring snack twice to that group, you're out. But the home, as one man said to me who's actually married to a stay-at-home partner, he said to me, my house is a home where we die in decision fatigue because every single night we don't know who's taking the dog out. So even in couples where you think [00:26:30] there would be a more traditional division of labor, so you would know who does what. Childcare and housework is really not a one person job. Of course, if you're a single parent like I was in my household, my mother wished she knew that cuz she would have a lot less guilt and shame over the fact that things were falling through the cracks as they would if you're trying to handle it all.

Speaker 1: But if you're partnered, even if you have a roommate, this division of labor in a partnership, if you're talking in a partnership, really is not just [00:27:00] a one person job. And as we said earlier, if you're in a traditional structure, your quality of your relationships is going to determine your health outcomes. And so even if you're somebody who says, I can't do 50 50 Fair Play has always been about ownership, not 50 50, the understanding that this matters, that the holding your child's hand and the pediatrician matters. And that's why I think 50 50 has failed. In the nineties, there was a big movement to 50 50 partnerships. [00:27:30] And how do you even know what that means? Right? You take out the garbage. Once I take it out next, it would be a score keeping headache that I think would just explode us all. And so instead, fair Play is a movement towards ownership.

Speaker 1: The fact that this matters, and if I take it on, whether it's being the Tooth Fairy or whether it's bringing the flowers to our kids' recital, I'm gonna take it on with pride and I'll treat this in our home as my most important organization. Got it. And so that's why I think it's really not [00:28:00] about 50 50 because it can't be because there are those traditional family structures. And in those it will be probably more like a 90 10 split. But even in those structures, the person who makes quote unquote the money, they start to recognize that they can't do that without the contributions of the person who's contributing all the unpaid labor. True. And in fact, the person with the job, they get breaks, they get to talk to colleagues. Their job is actually probably, you know, [00:28:30] more of a nine to six job. Or if you're working hard, yes, it could be an eight to eight job, but a job of the primary parent is a 24 hour job. It literally, it never ends.

Speaker 3: That's a great point. If you're at home with the kids all day, you don't get a lunch break. You don't get some time to yourself driving on the way to work or driving home from work, or even just taking breaks in the day to yourself. Whenever there's downtime or there's not a meeting,

Speaker 2: We are gonna move into the [00:29:00] lightning round. So we're gonna ask you a couple quick questions. The first one is, what gives you hope?

Speaker 1: What gives me hope is that I'm here with you. <laugh>. That for the first time I'm seeing people understand that the mental load, how we treat our connections is who we become. It's how we show up in society and it's important to the workplace. So being here with you gives me a lot of hope.

Speaker 3: What's something you've learned recently about yourself?

Speaker 1: What I've learned about myself [00:29:30] is how empathetic I've become to men <laugh> in this process. People will laugh. A lot of fair play. One man who read the book said to me, there's a lot of rage in the beginning of the book. And he had to get through that to get to the helpful system at the end of the Fair Play book. But really what I've found about myself is the empathy I now have towards men and what and the beauty of what men bring to their relationships [00:30:00] with their families is something I don't think I would've expected. I think I would've stayed, I thought I was gonna stay in anger for all of these years, but I'm seeing such beautiful things and such wonderful stories about men being the tooth fairy, about men showing up in their classrooms about CEOs now saying that they work only till three to pick up their kids from school. And so I'm starting to see that sea change and that's something I'm learning about myself recently.

Speaker 2: Who is someone who has inspired you or had a really big impact on who you [00:30:30] are today?

Speaker 1: Thank you for asking that. I have to say my mother, because it was really, really hard growing up. It was hard growing up with a single parent who held metaphorically all the cards. My brother is disabled, he's highly autistic, a disabled child, a single parent, and she's alive and kicking <laugh>. And she did it. And she raised us the best she could. And I was her parental child. I definitely helped her. I became a partner to her. [00:31:00] And that's why I always think I was so shocked when I didn't have a fair division of labor in my own marriage because I was somebody who knew what it felt like to live in a home where one person did it all. But I will say her perseverance to do and to work and to be a professor of social work and social change, and to stay in the workplace and to tell us and to communicate how important her career was and her dreams were to us [00:31:30] has allowed me to see women as holistic people, not just their roles as parents, partners and professionals.

Speaker 2: Beautiful. Thank you so much for joining us today. It was such a pleasure to have you here.

Speaker 1: Thank you both so much for having me.

Speaker 3: I appreciate Eve's framing right from the beginning of when she started this, you know, where she [00:32:00] said that there was, she even was coming from a place of frustration and anger, right? To building out a system that really talks about how to make a household more effective. All right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And also to make sure that people are not unfairly taken advantage of, regardless of who that person is, regardless of that person's gender, marital status or relationship status. I think that people need to understand what it takes to run a household, what it takes to run [00:32:30] an effective workplace, and how to equitably divide those things up to the point where they're fair. And I tried to reflect, I came from a place where I did not know any women who voluntarily stayed home from the workplace. Every mother that I knew growing up, even through college, worked if they were able to, unless they were on some sort of [00:33:00] disability or had some sort of issue that precluded them from working.

Speaker 3: Right? Nobody had the luxury, nobody had the privilege to do so. However, I heard countless women, particularly my mother who used to voice wishing they had the opportunity to stay home, right? And so now that I've moved into a place where my wife has the option and the ability to work at home [00:33:30] as opposed to working outside of the home, I don't see that as like any type of negative thing. And so sometimes when there's like a negative, somewhat inflection of what a man needs to do at home to better support and whatnot, or things that kind of look at more of a quote unquote traditional division of labor, because our household is quote unquote traditional in that respect, when those things are looked at somewhat negatively, I kind of push back on that, right? Because again, my [00:34:00] frame of thinking even coming from somebody where all the women did work, was I wish I had the ability to stay home because there were only certain women who had the privilege to do that.

Speaker 2: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I mean, it is interesting that it's like this conversation can appear one-dimensional on the surface. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but there's so much more underneath, especially once you start to talk about culture and you know, just different expectations from communities and families and at the individual level and what you grew up with. Like, it's so nuanced. And what's coming up [00:34:30] for me as you're describing this, is like stigma and mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I think that's something that I grew up thinking actually was like, I don't wanna stay at home. I have to be like making money and in the world and like whatever. But that has to do with my background. And for you, it's interesting to hear that it's sort of like the reverse. And so it's interesting to think about these different perspectives underneath this same topic and this umbrella of like, okay, where are we at now? Is like a people and is this really working or not? And I think to me, [00:35:00] what's interesting is the health outcomes, you know, burning out is just like those things are what make the individual issues that we're describing much more salient and important for us to actually bring into a public domain. Yeah.

Speaker 3: And, and the thing is like, like things evolve too, right? So you talked about where we both started in the different perspectives, but like now again, when you speak more specifically of black communities, and I mean there's outside data to support by [00:35:30] and large, more than any cultural group in this country. Black women are the bread winners, period. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so now as an adult, I have a black wife who's a stay-at-home mother who falls outside of the norm of all of her other peers, if that makes any sense, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so it went from a thing of like, man, I wish that I had the, you know, opportunity, the ability, the privilege to stay at home, [00:36:00] to now that's not something that we do, right? And so it's been interesting watching my wife reconcile that, right? And find a place where she's comfortable and also adequately supported and seen and valued even amongst her peers because everybody works. And not only do they work, mm, they're by and large bread winners more than white women, Asian women, Latino women, or any other subset of women in this country.

Speaker 2: So interesting. [00:36:30] So we had such a good conversation and I'm hoping this gave you a lot to reflect on. I know it definitely did for me. In the bonus episode, next week Eve will be back and she'll be telling a story about something that helped change the division of labor in her home. And of course the one actionable tip that we'll give to you all to reflect on too. So that's it for today. Thank you for listening. Make sure you're following subscribing wherever you listen to your podcast, and we will talk to you next week.