Much attention has been given to this issue that revolves around managing the tension between work and home life over the past couple of decades. However, in most cases, whenever the topic of work-life balance is discussed in whatever form of media, it is mostly associated with a woman’s struggle more than a man’s.
Since the ‘80s, we have seen women start to take more serious roles in the marketplace as opposed to their counterparts a few decades earlier when most women were expected to stay home and tend to all household needs while the man takes on the full responsibility of providing for all of the family’s needs.
Nowadays, women are all over the place. Not that it’s a bad thing. But it is no longer uncommon to see them take crucial positions across all industries. You can find them even in sectors that were once deemed as masculine — a design-build firm, car manufacturing company, aeronautics, pretty much everywhere.
For this reason, most women, who also have families to take care of, are struggling to maintain that balance between managing a career and household.
Work-Life Balance Double Standards
When it comes to work-life balance concerns, however, it is not just a woman’s issue. Men also deal with the same problems but this issue is not commonly associated with men because the world simply expects them to stick to what men are supposed to do which is to work and provide for their families.
The emphasis on this issue being just a woman’s concern and not a man’s is quite unfair as men also need to maintain a healthy life apart from work. Their existence is not just about bringing home the so-called bacon. This makes it appear that society has double standards on the issue.
While the work-life balance challenge is quite understandable in a woman’s case, it is important that you also know men are dealing with the same issues but are not as vulnerable and open about it.
Why Men Don’t Express Their Stress
Society has slowly shifted from a one-person-income household into a dual-income household over the past few decades. For this reason, men had (and still have to) make certain sacrifices to accommodate the woman’s career and help take care of things at the home front without the same compassion given towards the fairer sex.
In a lot of cases, households are now found to have the women become more successful than men, which could probably be a big blow to some men’s egos. The fact that women are out-earning men and becoming better at men’s primary household job can be a source of shame for men that’s why they choose not to talk about it. Their pride somehow still gets the best of them because men have long been thought to be the family’s main provider. They are supposed to be the aggressive ones when it comes to earning.
But not that the scales have tipped in favor of women, men are no longer as valued for their drive, determination, and diligence in providing for their families’ needs and wants.
How Men Can Achieve a Healthier Balance between Work and Life
At the very least, to help address this need, we need to talk about it more and shine some light on it. With dual-income households now becoming the norm, men also need to make sure they’re physically and mentally fit to help women run their households. No matter how you look at it, men also need a healthy work-life balance.
Learn to communicate your needs
Don’t stay silent and keep your thoughts and emotions bottled up. Talk to your spouse or partner about your concerns and find ways that will help you become more efficient and effective as a couple, as a unit.
Say no when you need to
If you want something, there are things that you need to say no to. For you to have a healthy work-life balance, you need to set certain boundaries that people cannot and should not cross. Clearly tell them about your boundaries so they understand you when you say no to them.
Take note of how you spend your time and how much time you spend on things
Take a step back and look at the way you spend your days and weeks. What are the things that eat up most of your time? How much time do you spend on each of those? Perhaps you can find a way to make the necessary adjustments that will allow you to bring balance to your work and home life.
The truth of the matter is, both women and men need to have and maintain a healthy work-life balance for them to serve their families well. In the world we live in today, it is not just a woman issue — it is a human issue.