The Impact of the Invisible Workload on Men and Women

Workload stressIs the invisible workload dragging you down? The article entitled The Invisible Workload that Drags Women Down by Lisa Wade says that in two-career marriages, women do most of the household chores, while men spend more time at work – making the amount of combined paid and un-paid work nearly equal. However, women tend to expend more mental and emotional energy on childcare and household upkeep than men do. In other words, women’s minds are constantly consumed either at work or at home.

By the same token, Josh Levs wrote an article called “There’s an Invisible Workload that Drags Men Down, Too” which talks about the impact that stress is having on men. “More than 6 million men in the U.S. suffer from depression…Men die by suicide 3½ times as often as women – more than 90 men a day.” Men may think less about household needs, but are slightly more stressed than women about work and money.

What does this mean? 1) Men and women are more stressed out than ever before, and the very obstacles that prevent women from advancing in the workplace are also making it harder for men to spend as much time with their families as they would like. Men who take leave or seek flexible work schedules are often demoted or fired due to backward beliefs about the roles of men and women. 2) Men tend to suffer in silence and do not seek help and support as often as women.

As a leadership coach, I find that coaching is often the only outlet that professional men and women have to talk about the stresses that weigh them down and how to find relief. I think there is a stigma, especially for men, around seeking support. Many people believe it is a sign of weakness, when it is in fact a sign of strength. It takes courage and strength to admit that you need help. In my experience as a coach, I have found that everyone has challenges, and we all need support in order to make it in the tough and demanding world we live in. We may believe that we are all alone in our struggles. However, the truth is, we all want the same things and deal with similar challenges. We have much more in common as human beings than we have differences, and we are never alone. There is always someone to reach out to whether it be a friend, family member, minister, teacher, therapist or coach.

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“The difficult thing is that vulnerability is the first thing I look for in you and the last thing I’m willing to show you. In you, it’s courage and daring. In me, it’s weakness.” – Brene Brown

Men walk this tightrope where any sign of weakness elicits shame, and so they’re afraid to make themselves vulnerable for fear of looking weak.”– Brene Brown

 Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous.” – Brene Brown

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