According to a study by the Office for National Statistics men have got a better handle on their work-life balance than women do.
Looking just at the north west of England, it would appear that men spend seven hours more, each week, on leisure time than women do. As an average across the UK, men relax for six hours and nine minutes per day, while women are stuck with five hours and 29 minutes.
The study, which uses data from 2015, seems to suggest that men had more “free” time, because they engaged in less unpaid work than women. For example, women were more likely to be using their non-working time dealing with children, cooking, cleaning or shopping.
Whilst this is undoubtedly true to a certain extent, I know many of my female friends who would loudly agree with that explanation, there is also another one.
Now, I’m going to stick my head above the parapet here, and may well get a ton of backlash, but so be it. Men are far more selfish with their time than women are.
That’s certainly been my experience, and I’m not necessarily saying that they are wrong (or right, for that matter). Men are far better at jealously guarding their hobby time, fitness time, TV time or whatever it is – whilst women, who do tend to fall in to more nurturing roles, will put everyone else’s needs first. Facilitating other people’s enjoyment, instead of focussing on their own leisure.
Equally, and I can only speak from my own experience, men are better at asking for help, and delegating when it comes to their own businesses. The vast majority of my clients are male. Not because men are incapable of doing the tasks that I handle for them, but because they realise their time could be better spent elsewhere.
I’ve had conversations with numerous female business owners who admit they need help, but are too scared to let go. They’re so used to doing it all on their own, that they can’t imagine another way. Two years later, they’re no further on, but far more stressed out.
As women, we really need to give ourselves a break, and be mindful of the fact that Superwoman is just a myth. You’re fine as you are – you can do anything, but not everything.
As a wife of one and Mum of five, I’m still struggling to come to terms with that concept.