Older women spend more than double the amount of time than older men on unpaid work such as caring for family members and domestic chores, new research by the Overseas Development Institute ODI has found. The report describes how the life choices of women over the age of 60 are often limited. In addition to carrying out a disproportionate amount of unpaid domestic and care work compared to men, older women are increasingly entering the labour market to ensure financial stability.
Great relationships don't get that way overnight. In fact, it takes years of practice —and countless missteps—to build the kind of marriage that looks effortless from the outside. However, the longer you're together, the easier it can be to take your spouse for grantedand the things you once did to maintain a healthy and romantic relationship start to fall by the wayside.
How much quality time do you spend as a family? But as Kristen Harding from My Family Care explains, spending quality time together is important — it helps our children to feel more confident and secure, builds stronger family bonds and is good for our own emotional health.
Why family time is so important to me
Spending time with my own family is something near and dear to my heart — especially as I now live in a different country to them. I count down to the Christmas holidays every year when I know we will all be together again.
When we were growing up we had our moments. We argued, played tricks on each other and even tried to get our little brother to do our chores for us without anyone noticing!
What does ‘quality time’ mean?
We had our disagreements, but through it all we were family, and we stuck with each other whether we liked it or not — through thick and thin. There are many defining moments for our family, but when I was 16 my parents made a life-changing decision — a decision that would shock and horrify some families, and maybe even cause some to crack, but for our family it was a defining seven months.
Two parents — already labelled as crazy by some of their friends — and three children aged 16, 13 and 9 piled into a minivan with a map and a few bookings and set off on an adventure.
Where we went, and what we did along the way was for us to figure out as a family. My parents were brave, they recognised our strengths and handed over a lot of power. My littlest brother loved research, so it was his job to find out what was happening when we arrived at a new destination and present us with our options.
My other brother had a budget, and it was up to him to make the money last, reigning us in every now and then. I was an organiser I still am and loved to communicate and meet new people, so I was the networker — the one who made the bookings and made sure we were on schedule. Every now and then I was forced to recalculate when, four against one, it was decided we were staying in Oregon for another week — not that I complained in the long run. We learned how to support each other, and to this day there is no one I would rather have behind me than those four people.
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But to me, a family is the people you depend on — the people who know you better than anyone else and who you can call on whenever you need a hand. Before you have friends, teachers, colleagues, and partners, you have family.
From mums and d to siblings and relatives, the relationships you build are a starting point for all of the other interactions you have with the world, and the people in it. From providing a shoulder to cry on when your first boyfriend or girlfriend breaks your heart to teaching you how to care for your own children and needing your support as you get older. However and whenever you need them, the people you call family will be there — but it takes effort.
Building the bonds between family members can be instantaneous, or it can take work.
Press release: older women spend more than double the amount of time than older men on unpaid work – new odi report
Take my brother and I for example. We used to fight like cats and dogs. I even remember trying to channel his thoughts in an interview a few years ago, thinking if I were him… what would I say? But building the bonds from an early age is important for you all.
Remember that this is not time you get to opt out of. So plan date nights together this can even be a movie once the kids are in bedand take turns to take one of your children to the park, for example, while your partner takes the other for a hot chocolate.
So take the time to find out what you all like to do — or activities you can do with one of your children on their own. It might be that you support a sports team or decide to train for a charity run together there are lots of runs on that offer a shorter event for children.
Or you may find that spending time in the garden or teaching them to ride a bike suits you more. If you work long hours, try to eat breakfast in the morning with them or curl up for a bedtime story — even ten minutes of quality time is better than nothing! If family time is important to you, your children are more likely to want to in. So if you want your child to in, lead by example!
But remember to be supportive — you want your child to know that if they are in trouble they can talk to you. Kristen Harding was a nanny for eight years, taking care of five different families. Today she uses her experiences to help raise awareness of childcare choices through her role with My Family Care and their sister companies.
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Last updated on Jan 31st, by Kristen Harding. Paid. Related Articles. Personal development.
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