The Hobart

Fair Play

by Eve Rodsky
Fair Play

Eve Rodsky is the New York Times best-selling author and wrote this piece just for us. For the book, Eve interviewed more than five hundred couples, from all walks of life, to figure out what the invisible work in a family actually is and how to get it done efficiently.

It’s that special time of year. Remember to take some time for yourself. Don’t overdo it. Treat yourself to dinner with a friend, a weekend getaway, an extra hour at the gym. Hold up! When was the last time a well-meaning friend, family member, co-worker or even your therapist, made a recommendation like this? And your reaction went something like: It’s December, people! On top of everything else that needs to get done between now and the end of the year, who has me-time? Adult friendships, self-care and engaging in the interests that make you uniquely you (what I call: Unicorn Space) are all imperative additives to our lives. They’re vital to our longevity, individual contentment and happy partnerships. The problem is that both women and men are unlikely to make time for this “Happiness Trio” until we lighten and more fairly share the household load.

Picture this: when you’re stuck making school lunches at ten o’clock at night and you still have a dozen cookies in the oven and three teacher gifts to wrap, you probably aren’t going to start that vision board for your new business idea before heading to bed. As one woman wrote on Instagram: “Thanks for the reminder to schedule some self-care. I’ll be sure to add that to the long list of other sh*t I don’t have time to get done.” According to findings from Natsal-3, 21.2% of married women aged 16–74 reported “not sharing enough housework” as a reason for live-in partnership breakdown (i.e., divorce). Don’t let that be you! And especially before the holiday!

My advice: In the spirit of domestic rebalance, efficiency and more harmony, take a few steps towards creating a time and sanitysaving holiday season.

#1: Grab hold of this mantra, I do not have to do it all. Rather than doing more, or continuing to believe that you should do it all, save yourself from burnout and instead take an honest inventory of what you and your family most value this time of year. You really have to ask yourself: what is most important? Sit down with your partner and make intentional choices about how you want to spend them together as a couple, or as a family. You can begin to lighten your load by taking things off the table that aren’t relevant or creating more satisfaction in your lives. Give yourself permission to do less.

#2 : Get granular for all domestic and childcare tasks you and your partner deem valuable.

A. Delineate and assign full ownership of those tasks (Who’s planning the holiday meal?)

B. Set clearly defined expectations and standards (Let’s agree on the menu based on preferences, dietary restrictions and budget. Aunt Patty is dairy-free and Uncle Jim can’t have salt. Gravy is out! The kids would each like their own towering dessert, and God bless ‘em, they can fund that effort themselves.)

C. Establish a measurement of accountability (Did all necessary items get purchased or ordered—and ideally, not left until the night before guests arrive?)

D. Communicate regularly (Let’s continue to talk about the most efficient way to fairly delineate and assign responsibilities, so that all hell doesn’t break loose and end in a food fight. Deal?)

Once you’ve systemised the domestic workload and are playing for more time equality and enhanced efficiency, you and your partner will both have more room for The Happiness Trio. And without the resentment! Now, that’s worth celebrating. ■

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky.

Available in bookstores and online now

Love this

Cold Water Wake Up Call
It seems everywhere I turn someone is talking about or participating in cold water swimming right now.
A Short Geelong Getaway
Since the Spirit of Tasmania terminal moved from Melbourne to Geelong late last year, a visit to Geelong has been on the radar.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
February 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!