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Nice Girls Don't Watch the Bachelor
Nice Girls Don't Watch the Bachelor

Episode 8 · 1 year ago

Episode 8: The Tyranny of Childcare

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Washing machines, electric ovens, and the birth control pill. These modern inventions liberated women from repetitive, time-intensive tasks that dominated their daily life in the early 20th century, ultimately paving the way for them to enter the workforce en masse. But without any new domestic-related innovations or technology since the pill came out in 1960, women are spending just as much time today on domestic chores as they were 60 years ago. In episode 8, I talk about the tyranny of childcare and offer a new perspective on how to solve it.

Hey Gus, it's Marissa or leadershipspeaker an author of Lenout, the truth about women, power and the workplace,and welcome to episode eight of Nice. Girls don't watch the bachelor where wediscuss all things. Women and all things work, and today's episode isabout the tyranny of child care, something I'm sure many of us arefamiliar with these days very top of mine. For me, as the past two weeks ofvirtual school have been impossible, I'm just exhausted. I spendall day breaking up fights for my kids, upstairs fixing whifying technicalissues, answering questions, preparing, fud cleaning, food cleaning up afterthe kids, forcing them to do something outside it's just exhausting I've. Notime to do work, doing a lot of creative work. I really need to bealone and focused, and I'm just constantly being interrupted, and mylife just feels like a hot mass lately. So this topic just seemed perfect fortoday, and it really came up a few nights ago and I was just feelingso beaten down. I went for a walk to get out of the House and I waslistening to an ardio book. It's by a Jerry Winetrab, who is a famousproducer and in the entertainment industry for many years, and itsstories about his life, it' I', really enjoying it, but once again there's a pattern. I notice, so I reada ton of books and watch a lot of documentaries about successful peopleacross many realms, so arts, entertainment business. I really liketo just hear their lafe stories and learn how they were able to take theirvision for whatever it was and make it um come to life. I really respect andadmire people who have such dedications,though craft. So I love these kinds of books and movies, and I watch andlisten to them all the time and...

...there's a pattern that is so obvious tome, because while I love these stories and respects these people and admirethem, I always notice that there's a pattern underneath where allof these people had the luxury to act on their ambition. What I mean by thatis, they have the time because they're not saddled with child careresponsibilities or chores at home. They have freedom, they have more ofwhat is most important, which is time I remember, reading the steep jobsbiography years ago by Walther Isacen T's. It's a great, I loved it. It's abeast of a book, it's six hundred pages, six of them or about his daughter, thedaughter that he denied Pacernity for and the daughter who lived with the momdown the street from apple and like destitute poverty. Well, steep jobs ismaking like two hundred million dollars on the IPO for Apple, and I justremember it struck me as as interesting that six out of six hundred pages werededicated. His daughter or were written about. You know, is interaction,involvement, daughter's role in his life, and I was think you know if, inthirty forty years, I'm fortunate enough to have had success and somebody writes Ame,somebody writes a biography on me. I can't imagine six only you know lessthan one percent of it being about my kids or me being a mom. It's such a central now is so central to thenarrative of my life. So when you read these books, another one is shoe dog bypill night another. I love that book. Another example. I don't even think hehas six speages about his kids. I think there's like one or two and I'm notsaying these men are bad or don't care...

...about their kids. I'm merely making theobservation of this pattern. These really successful people didn't havetheir time constrain by child care responsibilities. That's the point thatI'm making here I've also never read the biography oror memoir of somebody in that level. That's Strad of success, who was asingle mom or a single dad othere's. This line, so Steve Jives viogorophywas great, and then I read years later, his daughter's memoir small fry, hername is Lisa and she talks about living with her mom all those years of heryouth where they were on welfare and her mother. Was this struggling artistto really was finding it impossible to take care of this Tocare of Lisa and work? And you know again, while theylive down the street from seeve jobs, SI two hundred a million dollars. Ididn't mention that part there's this line from small friwark she's talkingabout what it was like living with her mom,who was so resentful and frustrated about not having freedom or theresources she needed to be both a mom and an artist, and they were watching ashow about whales and whales are born sor, knowing how to swim, Thei'rindependent of their their parents- and she recalls watching this with her momand her mom saying quot. That's how it should be: no diapers, no being stuckno my numbing tasks. I think there's there's heartbreaking arbreaking to mebecause down the road seejobs had the luxury of time to pursue his ambitionand, while Lisa I'm sorry Lisa's, momCrusanne had made the ultimate sacrifice it just resinated. I reallyfelt that, and you know you can be saddled with other things. Besideschildcarea poverty, things like that,...

...it's not the only thing, but it's thething that I've experienced in my lifetime bwhen. You really go throughthese books on success and and these biopics and documentaries. They always talk about the elementsthat really made these people successful. So there creativity theirdrive and ambition they're, you know. Sometimes it's luck. Rarely evermention. I don't know. I can't recall ever hearing this, but maybe I'm wrong,but I can't ever recall hearing one of the most critical elements beingdiscussed, which is the freedom of time that somebody else was taking care ofthe childcare responsibilitie so that these people could go out and maketheir mark on the world. This idea that women do moredisproportionate amount of child care and home responsibilities. This isn'tnew. This is something that I wrote about and lean out. It's been sort ofthe case for, since the dawn of humanity, it's gotten extra attentionrecently because of cobed and we're all being home, and you know once again,this issue is coming to light, but it's always been there. It's always been inthe background and the one thing that we don't talk a lotabout is why this happens: the dominant theory, we just all assume its culture-that there or at least that's the conventional wisdom- that women are sort of culturallycondition to play. The homemaker role and our expectations of our boys andour girls are different, and it's really important that the reason thatwe get the reason right because for a solution to be effective, we have to beaddressing the real true route cause. So because we think it's culture, wetry and fix it by tinkering with our expectations or how we treat ourchildren or how we talk to our boys versus are girls et Cetera. I have adifferent theory, though, about why...

...women do more, of course, and I don'tthink that it's culture, I think it's much simpler than that. I think womenfeel more guilt. It causes them to do more. When the kids are sitting aroundat home, I feel guilty, I feel like they should be doing something. If I'mworking in theire home, I feel guilty that I'm that I'm working, I think thatnot all men, of course, but I think for lot of men. They just don't have thatfeeling of guilt and the reason at that's an issue. So we are driven so much of our behaviorand our decisions are driven to alleviate bad feelings, so we eat toget rid of the feeling of hunger Um. You know we exercise to get rid of thefeeling. F, you know being sortout of shape, that's a primary driver, so if women feel feelmore guilt when it comes to childcar related things, they're going to domore to Aleviate takilt, and if men don't feel that guilt, they kind O,don't see, and they don't see. The behavior is asimportant. This isn't a scientific theory that Iread and Research Ha. Maybe research has been done. I haven't seen any it'sjust my observation over time. A lot of the men. I know they're really greatguys, they're good, dads and they're good people, and they want tocontribute fifty fifty. They want that to be even, but because they don't feellike a lot of stuff is necessary. Then the pie of things to split is smaller.So I think that starts a lot of arguments and resentments, becausewomen end up nagging their husbands to do something. The husbands don't feelis necessary because feelings of guilt aren't triggered in the same in thesame way. So if he binds the idea that it'semotional or physiological and what are the possible solutions, how do youliberate women from the tyranny of...

...child care? Well, it turns out we'vedone this successfully many times throughout history, for example, thewashing machine is had more of an impact on women's freedom than anythingwe've done in the past fifty years for much of human history, cleaning clothesand linens. That was a woman's job and it was incredibly labor intensive. Itused to be that women would spend entire days of the week dedicated tolaundry. So the invention of the washing machine freed up massiveamounts of time that previously ha been devoted to these pointless repetitivetasks and in the twentieth century, and you know it's not just washing machines,rerefrigerator electric stove, when these things were made accessible tomore than just or rich people, not to mention the birth control pill whichblew this all up 'cause. Now women could control. When in how many kidsthey had these inventions freed up massive time and as a result, womenentered the workforce. So in nineteen hundred five percent of married womenhad jobs in nineteen eighty fifty one percent women's liberation came on the heels ofthese inventions. So what does this tell us? It tells us that technologythat has aimed at reducing household Labor has been the number one catalystfor Women's liberation. Now What's interesting is today we livein a tech technology economy. Everything is TECTECTAC, so why isn'tanything else come along since the birth control tell like what do we dotoday? That could be automated that we're ignoring, I think part of thereason that we haven't had any revolutionary invention in the past.Fifty years is because we've been so focussed on getting women to climb theladder and make more money. That's really been the focus of modernfeminism, but there hasn't been any focus about putting there hasn't beenany time or energy devoted to figuring...

...out how we're going to make the timefor women to go out and climb the ladder there is nobody focused on howto tackle the demands of childcare and domestic chores, so we're adding moreresponsibility on the career and financial side without taking any awayon the child careside, and I think this is left women worse off. So if we knowan invention, that frees up time is really the catalyst. What would thatlook like today so years ago? I'm going to tell you what my idea is. I came upwith this business idea many years ago and it was based on the idea thatthroughout human history, women dealt with the burdens of childcare bydividing Labor back then people didn't live in these isolated houses withphones and entertainment. There was more of community and communal aspectsraising children and with that they approach tasks of childcare. Bydividing Labor among the women, so sime wash close, SOM supervised kids onprepared food, but today we live in our own little boxes, with each home havingto be sort of recreated, the wel has to be recreated all the time, all theclothes, all the supervision, all the cooking, all the cleaning. All thefinancial staff falls on the woman every day. The wheel must be inventedall over again and it's so inefficient and that inefficiency ends up beingshouldered by us. So I was thinking about this all the time a few years ago,when ad first moved more than a few six over six. Now, when I first moved intothe neighborhood, where I am now, my kids were very young, like my oldestwas four or five. My twins were two or three, and I was working in the city, agoogle. I had three hours a day. I was commuting and I had a babysitter to bethere with the kids after school, but I was so overwhelmed. I had just moved. Iwas overwhelmed by the tasks the mundane, making lunches the dinners ofplaydates, the after school clubs. Like...

I remember one night driving home fromwork- and I remembered I had to get hore- we weretold that day I din't remember exactly, but the twins were doing art projects intheir preschool the next day and they had to bring smocks into their classand th. I just remember thinking like where do I get a smock? It didn't occurme at the time. I could use an old t shirt. So, let's put thaut aside for asecond. In my mind, I had to like go find an Aprir in a professional smockand I'm thinking like where do I get Afr? This is the last thing on earth. Iwant to deal with right now and it sounds small when I tell the story, butin the moment I spoke crushed by it. I'm thinking you know, there's allthese women in the neighborhood I didn't know yet, but a lot of themdon't work and th. They had all day to get a small. I wish I could just findone of them give her money for the smock and an extra twenty bucks for thetrouble. Then I was thinking I'. Also pay twentybucks for a mom to pack an extra three lunches every day, she's alreadypacking lunch for her kids. So would she be willing to just pack three moresame lunches for a certain amount of money or what? If a mom loves to cookrat, she loves cooking. She cooks, a hole, maid meal for her family everynight. I'd love to give my kids a homemade meal. If she could just siphen off threeextra portions I'd be willing to pay for that. So I had a great job and alucrative. I had a great salary, so I had extra money, but I didn't have anytime, and I knew there were a lot of MOMS in the neighborhood that had extratime they weren't theire, making they weren't making their own money, andthis is a classic economic dynamic for Opportunity where you trade time formoney and at first I was thinking. Oh...

...maybe I could use task rabbit, but whenyou're dealing with your children and child related or school related tasksthat just go to Anywey, you need to trust the person. So I was alsothinking o I'd. Pay someone you know to take my kids home from school, so Ididn't have to sort think about this stuff every day, but when a mob, so going back to hi task rabbit thisstuff kind of exists in pockets, but there is not that trust with a mom inthe neighborhood whose kids go to my kids school. That trust is more Um,implicit or automatic. So I started sketching this business idea out onpaper. I thought now over works by connecting writers demand forides withthe axess capacity drivers. That's it that's Yo were in a nutshowl. So what?If we had something like that for MOMS local to their child school, somethingthat connects the exess capacity of stay at home moms with the excessincome of working moms? Now I understand not all working moms haveexcess income and they're still just trying to make ends meet, but in thereare a lot of cases where working moms would be willing to t to give money tosave their time. So, for example, I always thought if I pay someone to domy laundry, I'm not really paying them for the laundry I'm paying for the timethat that frees up that I can spend with my kids or do other things that Iwanted to do, and I know that as kids row intoelementary school age, I knew a lot of women who had left the work force to bea stay at home, mom and then suddenly, as their kids got older, they foundthemselves with lots of extra time in their hands and their husbands areworking and they still have to be cautious about money. And you know theykind of feel like they don't have anything of their own. So it thoughtyou know this would give them an opportunity to make their own money for...

...very little extra effort. And if youcould connect moms in this Wav, then suddenly you had this virtual communityof MOMS helping each other and it almost recreates those close knitcommunities of the past where women helped each other by division of laborand the best part in my opinion of this idea was the name S. I wanted to callit my wife now whether you think this is a goodidea or not. What it does is address an underlying issue that constrains ourtime and limits our freedom and uses technology to solve that problem and itfrees up time of a working mom and it givesfinancial independence for stay at home moms, and I really like this idea ofyou know mom's helping moms that were not feeding into this whole. You knowdumb stereotype, of how there's some divide between us and then maybe thebest part. Is We get more freedom? It doesn't depend on women nagging theirhusbands to do stuff all the time. So that was my solution for liberating women fromTatyranny of childcare, and I went so far as to make a business plan and allthis stuff. But I've learned over the years- I'm not a kind of person, I'm anentrepreneur in the creative realm. I love writing and speaking, and all thatkind of stuff pot ca all that stuff, but building a business requires awhole other set of talenge that I do not possess. I still think the IdeaisMerit I. I think it could create a new billion dollar industry and economy byempowering women, and I think it's the true essence of when we use these pithyphrases like women helping women. What does that mean? But in this way, withmy wife, that's a true manifestation of...

...women helping women in a way that givesus more power, more freedom and more time. So I love Er from you guys whatyou think on this topic- I'm don't want to just be in an echochamber, so hit me up on instagram or twitter at Marissabethor or Unlinkon I'love to hear your thoughts on this episode in general and any othersolutions that you guys have in mind or your thoughts, so don't hesitate toreach out hope. You guys enjoy this episode and I will talk to you nexttime. On Nice girls don't watch the bachelor have a Great Day.

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