Indesit: The big family switch up challenge. #DoItTogether
Ever since Emma came into our lives 8 months ago, I’ve been moaning to my husband and everyone else about the lack of sleep, the constant tiredness and the pile of chores I need to get done before end of day. Feeling overwhelmed, depressed at times, and hopelessly facing an imperfect house, along with a suffering relationship, and a limited career, I couldn’t blame it on the child really, so my husband had to take the blame. Which was not entirely fair on him.
A typical day in my life as a mom, wife, and a blogger.
Start of the day: the time we wake up is entire depending on the baby. She sleeps poorly and needs to be fed every 3 hours, but still wakes up countless times between feedings. We co-sleep, but my husband never wakes up when he hears Emma (and he does hear her, no matter how deep his sleep appears to be). Meaning I sleep around 40 minutes at a time, if I’m lucky. Combat style. At 8 a.m. Emma is up, kicking me to wake up and play. I lay with my eyes closed for as long as possible, but she is no quitter. At 9 a.m. we’re finally up. After the changing routine, cleaning the room, and checking my phone, it’s time for breakfast. Meaning Emma is being fed while I answer my emails. That’s when she is not moody and starts throwing food all over the kitchen. And when this happens I need to clean the place, wash bottles, and start thinking about what to make Emma for lunch and my husband for dinner. I finally finish with everything, let Emma play in the living room while I fix myself a sandwich and join her.
At 11 a.m. it’s nap time, but it takes ages to get her to sleep, so I need to rock her, sing, dance, for just 45 minutes of silence. That’s not enough time to check my emails again, and do some research for my next blog post. Around 1 p.m. Emma has lunch and we either go to the shopping center or to the park for a walk, or we stay indoors playing. She goes through a phase now where she is more mobile but really clingy, always wanting in her mommy’s arms, always wanting to be kept busy. Which means there’s no time for myself. It does sound selfish, but I really need a few moments to breath a day. She has another nap at 4 p.m. and I realise I haven’t done anything the entire day. I start panicking while preparing dinner, and Emma cries because my attention shifted. So I need to think about ways to entertain her while chopping onions, and trust me, it is harder than it seems.
In the meantime, I am on my phone doing some work on social media and answering emails. My husband comes home at 6 p.m. if I’m lucky, so I pass Emma to him while finishing cooking. We take turns eating, then I have some me time, which means I can finally have a quick shower, start writing a blog post, and do different chores. I still have to schedule meetings with different Pr’s, RSVP for events (I wish I can attend more but there’s no time, obviously), plan photo-shoots and run my blogging business. At 11 p.m. Emma goes to sleep, and I end up editing pictures until 1.30 a.m. and finishing a blog post (hopefully). As a blogger, my days are never the same, but this is just to give you an idea of how I run things in my household.
My husband’s typical day.
He leaves for work at 7 a.m. He works (hard) throught the day and comes back home at 6 p.m., sometimes even later. This is the only time has has with the baby during the week so he stays with Emma for a couple of hours, playing, bonding, or watching movies together (don’t judge). He puts her to sleep and goes to bed at around 10:30, 11 p.m. I don’t want to diminish the importance of his role in our family, he does bring home the bacon, and he is really stressed out at his job, but this doesn’t mean I am just a stay at home mom. I also have my job (yes, blogging can be a job too if done properly; and a complex one too) on top of everything.
What I am trying to show through this really sincere post is that having a family is beautiful, but it requires some will power to choose what is important, and to be happy with your choices. We can’t have it all, and I might imagine myself as being wonder woman sometimes, where I juggle all my roles in perfect sync, but we don’t live in a fantasy world. So when I heard about Indesit‘s #DoItTogether challenge, I was really intrigued. 16 families switching roles for seven days with one goal of becoming a more united family. Parents follow gender stereotypes, whether we like it or not, even in this day and age. This social experiment saw families from the UK, France, Italy and Russia switching up roles with dads doing the dishes and school runs, while mums worked late and took out the bins. Now that’s a series I can’t wait to watch, maybe we can learn a thing or two about how to appreciate what we have and don’t take everything for granted. The Big Family Switch Up sees family dynamics change, while all members of the family work together with equal responsibilities, and everyone has more time to do things as a group. Starting a conversation about the balance of workload in the home is extremely important because all the little things add up and can create disparities in families. The video below confirms how all chores seem perfectly normal if done by a woman, but so moving when done by a man.
Are you a Switched Up Family?
What is a “Switched Up Family”? It’s a family where everyone contributes to the household chores, switching roles and tasks whenever needed. I’ve seen my role at home shifting from part-time work to a primary earner, although my chores haven’t really changed in line with my work tasks. Working together does make things work out best, so Indesit has created a survey where you can find out your family profile. Through it I discovered our family is 59% traditionalist, meaning we’re heading towards switching up our roles, but we still have a long road to go. It’s not about the lack of appreciation for our partner’s role, but more about understanding that we need to be teammates and to keep our minds open. Seeing my man doing the dishes, cooking (or even better ordering takeout for the sake of all of us), taking care of the baby, organising the household and all family events, while freelance working would make me want to marry him again. Still, how would I cope with leaving so early in the morning, working in constructions with a million jobs to finish while all the responsibilities are on my shoulders, and then arriving home to an energetic baby and a demanding wife?
Indesit’s challenge is about becoming a family that encourages one another, takes turns with chores around the house, and respect their careers as well. Women have a mindset of their own deeply rooted in our history as housewives, but things should change and we better work on everything together. What is your vision regarding the switched up family? Join the conversation #DoItTogether.
*Sponsored by Indesit, but all opinions are my own.