How To Encourage A Busy Housewife?

Question: My housewife friend said she is fed up with her spouse and children not helping with housework, and that her son stays home too much. Is there advice I can share?

Answer: Her taking care of the family is right, since she is a full-time housewife. Perhaps you can encourage her to lower expectations of the others helping, and to give herself scheduled days off for breaks, to learn and practise the Dharma too, for spiritual recharging. She should announce these days formally. It is okay to let family members realise the difference she makes when there is occasional absence of her efforts. In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to let them not take her for granted.

On worry about her son, as long as he is healthy physically and spiritually, he should be okay? It is hard to ‘force’ anyone to socialise. Maybe she can get some useful books on social and relationship skills, to leave them lying around, for him to pick up? She can plan for regular fun family outings and meals too, to gently urge family communication with catch-up time.

The first step towards encouraging socialising of family members with those beyond the family is with one another. It would be great to attend carefully chosen Dharma talks and classes together too, to use the Dharma as a meaningful talking point. She can also first try to initiate beneficial Dharma chats too, based on inspiring Buddhist stories and such, without being naggy.

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