While there are fewer stay-at-home housewives now than there were in the past, many of the household chores such as dusting, vacuuming, washing clothes and cooking are still performed by women—many of whom still work other full-time jobs, Rabbi Shmuley says. "[Most] women are overworked," he says. "They have no down time. They have been transformed from 'person' into 'cleaner,' from 'individual' into 'maid.' They work during the day and come home to even more work at night."
It's not uncommon for women who are overworked at home and in their jobs to become tired, irritable, unhappy and uninterested in their personal appearances, sex with their husbands or time with their children. "Then the whole home suffers," Rabbi Shmuley says. "The family lacks a vibrant center around which it can revolve."
How can this problem be resolved? Rabbi Shmuley offers some advice:
- Hire household help. "Better to spend whatever extra family income on household help than on a vacation," Rabbi Shmuley says. "Better to have a daily vacation than one once a year."
- Children must lend a hand. Start a daily chore list for your children and make sure they follow through on their assigned chores, Rabbi Shmuley says. "It's good for the kids, [and it's] good for Mom," he says.
- Husbands need to pitch in. Rabbi Shmuley says it's a myth that husbands do more household chores these days. "The average husband watches about three hours of TV per night," he says. "Wives complain to me all the time that their husbands are checked out."
- Women must have self-respect. "Women must demand that husbands and children help with household chores," Rabbi Shmuley says. "It is their right, [and they must] assert it."
"When a wife only knows household work, she begins to see herself as a means to the family's ends. She cannot inspire her children, loses interest in sex and often lets herself go. A husband who helps his wife with the home's most mundane chores is the true romantic."