As a primary caregiver or a woman juggling numerous roles, you likely understand the exhaustion that can accompany such responsibilities. Amidst setting up appointments, attending meetings, managing household tasks, tending to pets, and fulfilling your professional commitments as a journalist, the overwhelming pressure can reach a breaking point. This sense of being on the verge of explosion often leads to feelings of shame and guilt, as you question the validity of these emotions.
The challenges extend to parenting as well, particularly when your high schooler resides thousands of miles away, pursuing soccer abroad, and learning to navigate life independently. Striving to be supportive while granting space for growth presents a delicate balance, leaving you with moments of doubt about your effectiveness in the process.
The hidden yet significant task of concealing or minimizing our emotions to accommodate others is referred to as emotional labor. This burden often intertwines with unpaid physical and mental labor, encompassing household chores, organizing appointments, coordinating family activities, and remembering and assigning various tasks. Unfortunately, this load predominantly falls upon women. Research reveals that women dedicate around five hours daily to unpaid work, while men contribute three hours on average.
On a tranquil evening, as she sat on her friend’s porch sipping tea, she confided in her companion about the mounting emotional and mental labor that had been weighing her down.
“Have you tried gardening?” her friend suggested while refilling her cup.
She laughed in response. “Who has time for gardening?”
Her friend, with an unexpected hint of excitement, said, “There’s nothing more satisfying than ripping out a stubborn root and hacking it to pieces.”
“So, like rage gardening?” she asked, curious about the idea.
“Exactly,” her friend confirmed with a knowing smile.