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How Can I be Your Lover When I'm Too Busy Being Your Mother
by Sara Dimerman and J.M. Kearns...
Wage-earning women are still doing the heavy lifting at home.

Contrary to some reports in the media, men have not caught up with women in housework and childrearing. Dimerman and Kearns take a hard look (in Chapter 4) at current sociological research.

The data says that women are still doing
two-thirds of the homemaking, and if you look at the "core tasks" (like cleaning and laundry) which are unrelenting and non-glamorous, the amount is three-quarters or more. Women are also doing two-thirds of the childcare. AND THOSE ARE JUST AVERAGES. Things are much more out-of-kilter in many homes.

This causes women to become mothers to their husbands, which devastates their marriage.
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Diane Flacks, CBC Radio columnist and award-winning writer/performer, interviewed Sara and J.M. outside the Gourmand Cafe on Spadina.
Here's her fascinating take on the book:
When I heard about Sara and J.M.'s book, like many women, I had a feeling it was about me. But I didn't have a husband who was dropping his boxers right beside the laundry hamper, or acting clueless in the kitchen. I have a same-sex partner. I am a wife and have a wife. But still, I have found myself turning into the gatekeeper, the responsible one, the controller. I've seen myself treat my lover as my child. This book helped me see that these behaviours are about territorial control; about the fact that women who work part-time or are self-employed or are the default parent are just not as valued in society, and we look for validation in our home roles. We stake our territory and then defend it, sometimes with deep resentment.

I immediately tried the strategies in the book on my partner. I just unilaterally disarmed - stopped nagging, tsk-ing, and expecting her to read my mind, and it turned the tide so drastically, that I think we're ready to negotiate and make some real change.

This book is not about "gender wars" or "mommy wars" or any unpleasant and well-trod pap that makes every modern, even remotely feminist mom's eyes roll. It's about the real dynamics that happen between loving spouses once they become a family and share a home.

This book is for everyone and I hope it sparks a revolution of love and domestic bliss!
Deeper into the Book...
"Ms. Dimerman, a Thornhill counsellor and parenting expert, realized she'd hit on the crux of the problem for a vast number of marriages in distress. While media plays up statistics showing men are doing more of the household duties than ever before, most research shows women are still stuck with the lion's share of the work, even if they work outside their home and this, Ms. Dimerman says, breeds resentment - and torpedoes romance." -- York Region Media Group
Advice columnist Kate Carraway tells it like it is in THE GRID -- Street level in Toronto:
"What's a nice girl like you doing mothering some dude?...The who-does-what stuff almost always gets worse with the stability of marriage and the 24/7 screaming festival of young children-and then you'll start thinking of him as a lazy, incompetent beast, and he of you as a shrill, bossy harpy. Of course, that is all very 'anti-erotic,' which is my favourite new phrase from Toronto-based therapist Sara Dimerman."
Rosemary Counter dishes to her SEX FILES readers in The Sun:
We all know the old joke: the overworked wife's got three rowdy kids and one big kid -- her husband. Haha, right? Not so much, says J.M. Kearns, co-author of the new book How Can I Be Your Lover When I'm Too Busy Being Your Mother?
"Mother syndrome is the situation where a woman finds herself being a mother to her man instead of the partner she wanted to be," Kearns
explains. His co-author, family therapist Sara Dimerman, after more than 20 years of listening to couples bicker about the small stuff, found their problem boiled down to this dynamic: mean mom versus bad child. "Both feel disrespected in different ways."
More From Zosia Bielski's article in the Globe:
As many wives and girlfriends who work full-time jobs find themselves tasked with running the household (and his wash cycle), intimacy is the obvious casualty.
"If she becomes his boss, which is the bottom line here in the domestic realm, that sets the tone for the whole relationship," Mr. Kearns explains.
Women lose respect and desire for partners they are mothering: "You've been mommyfied. The mother-child template presses the wrong buttons," the authors write.
...It's up to the man to link his domestic lassitude to his sorry sex life, says Mr. Kearns, pointing to reams of research that suggest loading the dishwasher can turn her crank: "The guy doesn't realize that doing his fair share is actually going to have an effect on intimacy and all the emotional stuff he thinks is a separate department.
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