Tuesday 15 January 2013

Time and Energy in Households

Picture: mural by artists Nora Theys & Gerard Alsteens at HIG

When you talk to modern parents about their concerns, the main complaint is lack of time and energy to get everything done in the household, from practical stuff, like cooking, washing and cleaning to helping kids with homework, bringing them to school activities and getting the house in good order.

In many or most households, both husband and wife have a job. The strain of work is already high. On top of that comes daily traffic in the rush hours. The concern to get the children safe at home. Kids often go to multiple side activities. They need to be the best.

Moreover, many houses are very expensive and yet poor quality. Whether they are old or new, there are usually many problems to be solved before everything is in good order. This is not new, but it is not easy to find affordable help or you need to do everything yourself.

Household costs also tend to rise faster than household income, so more and more households are facing a difficult time. Fortunately grandparents tend to live longer, so they can help if they are living in the vicinity. But this is not the case with everyone. Moreover, if you are struck in your household by a problem like chronic disease or loss of a family member, you can end up in deep trouble.

I'm still convinced society is putting too much strain on the households. The centrifugal forces have become too high and divorces have increased spectacularly. Yet the households are raising the children who will work for our retirement in the future. They deserve a little more attention.

I also refer to my earlier blogs 'raising kids in the 21st century' and 'meritocracy'.

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