“God does not care who does the dishes, the laundry, the cooking, or the changing of diapers and husbands and wives should share equally in these tasks of the home “– this is what is commonly taught in Christian circles. Another thing we hear today is that “gender roles” are simply a cultural phenomenon and that the gender roles in the Bible were “temporary” and “for those cultures and times only”. But a closer examination of the Scriptures reveals a very different answer to the question of whether or not gender roles are “cultural” or “Biblical”.
“This has been an issue since we have been married. I believe he works hard while at his job, but his work at home is inconsistent… I don’t resent the hard work, I just struggle with resenting him being OK with me racing around while he just sits there. I feel angry, and I feel hurt. I want to feel like we’re on the same team, working together.”
The previous statement is part of a story I received as a comment from a Christian wife who calls herself ‘M’.
M’s feelings are extremely common among many women today. Whether they work full time outside the home or are stay at home mom’s many women bear the majority of the load in carrying for the affairs of the home (cooking, cleaning, laundry) and the care of the children.
In her full story below you will read that M has determined that her husband is lazy from the very beginning. This is not in question for her. You will also read that she feels the domestic affairs of the home (cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry) and caring for the children should be a “team” effort between a husband and wife.
So how should M deal with her husband’s laziness and his lack of a team effort in tackling the affairs of their home? Before we answer M’s dilemma let’s look at her full story in it’s entirety.
“Do you have any advice for a wife with a lazy husband? Obviously since I am not the spiritual head of my household my response should be different. My husband works full time (36 hrs/wk as a nurse). I worked full time also for years but now stay at home with our 1 yr old son. This has been an issue since we have been married. I believe he works hard while at his job, but his work at home is inconsistent. He has been taking classes on and off while working, and he has done some renovations over the years as well, and he does do most of our financial management.
There are times where he has worked hard. But there are also large stretches of time where there is nothing other than his 36 hr/wk job, as well as a period of time between nursing school graduation and his first nursing job, and he contributes very little to the home. This includes the time before I was a stay-at-home-mom. When I was working full time, I was also doing all of the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning, including basic picking up after him (dishes and trash and clothing left lying around).
Now, as a stay at home mom, I expect to do a majority of the housework, but I often feel alone and abandoned and like we’re not a team. I love a clean house, I love making meals from scratch, and I love to be organized, I love to be frugal, and I love to work hard.
But I do feel hurt when I wake up early in the morning on his days off to try to exercise and spend time with the Lord, and then try to wrangle the kid while I cook breakfast and clean up my husband’s messes from the night before and try to get laundry going, etc, while he just sleeps in. Sometimes I’ll have breakfast on the table and he won’t even get up out of bed to eat it with me (this isn’t unreasonably early, this is between 8 and 9 am), wasting the food that I just went through the effort to make.
Sometimes we’ll make plans to go to the park before the baby’s naptime on his day off, and I’ll be ready to go, and he won’t get out of bed to actually go with me. I feel like he is content to sit and watch movies or surf the internet while I am out of breath racing up and down the stairs juggling many different plates at once.
He does help some with the kid (he will change diapers and bath him sometimes, kind of resists if I ask him to read to the baby before bed). This afternoon, he came home from class and fell asleep on the couch and didn’t want to get up, I took the baby to small group by myself, he’s still on the couch now and has been sleeping for almost 6 hours.
We recently went on vacation, and I did the meal planning, all of the cooking, most of the dishes (he actually did help once or twice when I asked but this is very atypical), all of the cleaning and organizing, packing stuff for us and the baby when we’d go out on hikes and such, as well as being the one to wake up early with the child and during the night with the child.
He just sat on the couch watching TV the majority of the time we were in the cabin. After we got back from vacation, we invited some friends over last minute for dinner who were moving out of the country so that we could see them one last time. An hour before they were supposed to arrive, he laid down to take a nap while I cooked, cleaned, and took care of the kid. I said something so he ended up helping.
I don’t resent the hard work, I just struggle with resenting him being OK with me racing around while he just sits there. I feel angry, and I feel hurt. I want to feel like we’re on the same team, working together. My heart is to be a good helper to him, to be a hard worker for the Lord, and I am happy to serve him and take a load off of him, especially during times where he is taking a class or doing some project in addition to working, however, I feel like even when his load is light (such as between graduation and getting a job, or while on vacation, or when we were both working full-time), he’s content to just let me do it all while he relaxes. He loves to relax.
I wonder if I’m enabling him, but I want to be submissive and respectful, too. I’ve considered getting pastoral counsel on this, but, again, I don’t want to make him look bad, although I genuinely want the counsel as to how I should best respond. I don’t think I’ve ignored his headship and wandered out on some crazy limb away from his authority either and taken on some kind of heavy work load that he didn’t want me to take in the first place. For example, it’s not like I’m running some ministry he didn’t want me to take on in the first place and then complaining about how tired I am. I believe I’m operating in the vision that he has for our home. And my heart is not to nag him.
I’ve talked to him multiple, multiple times, but I feel like it doesn’t end well. He doesn’t get angry, but seems indifferent. He doesn’t seem very repentant, and if he apologizes, it’s the sort of forced-sounding, awkward apology that a young child would give. He tells me he’ll try to do better, and a few small things have changed over the years but largely things are the same. I feel nervous about having more children although we both want more. I don’t want to live in bitterness, but I fight bitterness almost every day over this issue.
What do I do? Should I just silently press on and fight to keep my heart in check and be a servant like Jesus? Set boundaries? Be vocal and ask for help? Talk to my pastor? We’ve gone to marriage counseling once with one of our pastors, and I’ve brought it up multiple times, but he seems indifferent and I finally gave up asking because I felt like I’d be taking the reins in our marriage if I pressed the issue. Should I just go alone to seek help on how I should personally deal with this (that feels weird to me)? I would really love some help. Thank you.”
My Response to M and other wives who feel their husbands should chip in more at home
M, I think it is wonderful that you love to work hard and take care of your home. I think it is great that you love to make food from scratch which is a forgotten art in many homes today. I am sure you love caring for your child as well.
I know first-hand as a husband who has worked from home for almost a decade how difficult caring for all the affairs of the home can be including having to care for a child while you do other things. I have watched my first wife and then my second wife have to deal with the affairs of the home sometimes under difficult circumstances.
I can also see in what you wrote a genuine desire to serve your husband and submit to his authority but I also see you struggling with frustration and bitterness toward him in this area of helping out at home and working more together as a “team” in tackling on the affairs of the home.
Before I continue I want to be clear on your husband’s schedule as a nurse. My wife was a nurse for about 15 years before she became disabled after a car accident. During that time, she sometimes did the 36-hour schedule. That meant she had to work 12 hours a day for three days in a row and then she was off work for 4 days. The hospital then pays nurses what they would normally make for a 40-hour work week because they worked three twelve hour shifts in a row. Working that many hours a day for 3 days is very stressful and is much harder than working 8 hours or over 5 days. Being a nurse is a very mentally and physically challenging job. I just wanted to clarify that for my audience.
The heart of the matter
I think this statement from you below illustrates the core issue for you:
“I don’t resent the hard work, I just struggle with resenting him being OK with me racing around while he just sits there. I feel angry, and I feel hurt. I want to feel like we’re on the same team, working together. My heart is to be a good helper to him, to be a hard worker for the Lord, and I am happy to serve him and take a load off of him, especially during times where he is taking a class or doing some project in addition to working, however, I feel like even when his load is light (such as between graduation and getting a job, or while on vacation, or when we were both working full-time), he’s content to just let me do it all while he relaxes. He loves to relax.”
You are a hard worker. You don’t mind doing it all when you see that your husband is busy with classes or projects around the house. As long as you and he are both working everything is fine for you. But it bothers you when he has a lighter load going on and he is just sitting there doing other things like surfing the web, watching TV or napping. That is what bugs you.
Before I directly address your feelings on this let me share a couple of stories to try and help put things in perspective.
The hard-working woman
A woman straps her child to her back and goes to the market to buy wool and cloth to make clothing for her family. She gets up early in the morning to prepare made from scratch meals for her family for the day. She goes and buys a field and plants it all while carrying for this child while she works. She then comes home and prepares dinner with the food she had prepared early that morning. Sometimes she stays up half the night working on her spindle making blankets or clothing. The extra blankets and clothing she makes she takes to the markets and sells. She takes the extra food she makes and gives to the poor around her.
You know what her husband is doing during all this? He is sitting as he leads their town and leads her home. When he comes home he has nothing to worry about because she has dinner hot and ready and their home in order. It is her pride and joy to make sure he never has to worry about anything at home.
The story I have just described is based on the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31.
Does God care who does the dishes?
I remember several years ago, the Pastor of our church was talking to us as men about helping our wives around the house. He made a comment about a mission trip he had been on to a foreign country. He said something like this:
“Guys – I went to this foreign country [I can’t remember the country] on a mission trip. I got up from the table to take my dishes into the kitchen and scrape my plate as I would at home with my wife. The wife in this home literally stopped me and took my plate from me. Now that might not seem strange except for the fact that her husband explained this was not just because I was guest in their home. It was because in their culture men did not do house work – women would find it insulting for men to do anything in the house.
In his culture, men work outside the house and women work inside the house. He said when he comes home he just puts his feet up and relaxes. Gentlemen – you might wish your wife was like those women but you need to wake up! We live in a different culture here in America and our wives expect us to help them around the house. God does not care who does the dishes!
You know what that means? It means when you get home from your job outside the home your job inside the home is just starting! In the same way, it is insulting to that woman in that foreign country for her husband to clean or help around the house – it is insulting to American women if a man comes home from work and just puts his feet up and does not help her around the house. You are not done working until your wife is.
Christ was a servant leader who washed the feet of his disciples and admonished them to do likewise to their brethren. If Christ washed his disciple’s feet, the least you can do as a husband is to wash the dishes and serve your wife in helping her to care for the affairs of your home.”
There are three things that are Biblically wrong with this Pastor’s philosophy.
Rebuttal #1 – The Bible trumps culture
There are many different types of cultures in the world. Each nation, each state, each city or town and each family have their own cultures. There are also religious and ethnic cultures that transcend all these boundaries.
As Christians, it is not wrong for us blend in with our culture where our cultural values do not conflict with the Bible. The Apostle Paul told us this regarding Christians working within their cultures:
“20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.”
1 Corinthians 9:20-21 (KJV)
However, the same Apostle Paul gave Christians this admonition:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
Culture does not always determine what is right. In fact, sometimes we may have to live as Christians in ways that are counter to our culture.
Rebuttal #2 – Women keeping the home is not just cultural – it is Biblical
So, that brings us to this question – Was this Pastor and the myriads of Christians who agree with him right that “God does not care who does the dishes”?
The Bible answers this question for us several passages of the Scriptures.
“10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil…27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
Proverbs 31:10-11 & 27(KJV)
“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:5 (KJV)
“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)
Who has God given the responsibility for caring for the domestic affairs of the home? The answer as we can see from these passages is the wife. Now I understand to our modern world this seems petty – and we think roles mean nothing.
But there are certain things God calls us to do as men and women that mean so much more than what we see on the surface.
When a man leads his family in following God’s Word, sets boundaries and limits and corrects them when they don’t live up to God’s Word he is symbolizing the leadership role that God has with his people. When a man provides for his family by working each day and providing the resources for his wife to buy food, clothing and shelter he is symbolizing God’s provision for his people. When he stands up for and protects his wife and children again is he symbolizing God’s protection of his people.
When a woman submits to her husband’s leadership – even when she does not agree or does not understand his positions she is symbolizing the way God’s people are to follow him. When a woman serves her husband by caring for the needs of his children, his home and his body she is symbolizing the service that God’s people are to give to him.
So, the Biblical answer to the question “Does God care who does the dishes?” is a resounding “YES”!
He wants the wife to do this as part of her service to her husband and this service to her husband is symbolic of the Church’s service to God. These women in “old fashioned” cultures around the world that insist on caring for the affairs of the home are not just following tradition – but they are following Biblical command and example toward women even if they don’t realize it.
Rebuttal #3 – Jesus washed his disciple’s feet but his disciples did not EXPECT him to do it
Many Pastors, teachers and other Christians attempt to use the “servant leadership” of Christ to cancel out a large portion of the Scriptures in regard to the duties God has given to wives. In fact, most Christian teaching today makes marriage into a “wife-centric” institution.
If we look at the life of Christ – did he spend the majority of his time cleaning people’s homes, serving people food and washing people’s feet? The answer is no. It is interesting that even in the story of the feeding of the 5000 – Christ simply provided the food (as men do for their families) but he passed the serving of that food to others. Christ spent the vast majority of his time pursing his mission.
God has given each man a mission. Some men are called to full time Christian service as Pastors, missionaries, Christian school teachers or other Christian ministries. But many other men are called by God into secular fields such as science, military, engineer, construction or other labors. While a man’s home (the loving, leading, providing and teaching of his family) is a PART of his mission from God – it does not make up the entirety of his mission.
A man’s career is to do two things. It is to provide for his family and it is to make an impact on his world for God. The Scriptures exhort us that “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10a) and “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”(1 Corinthians 10:31).
So if a man is a carpenter – then God has called him to be the absolute best carpenter he can be. If he is an engineer – then God has called him to be the best engineer he can be. In his pursuit to do his job to the best of his ability this will sometimes require a man to work more hours or get more education in his off work time. If a man talks with his wife and children and spends time with them yet he fails to provide for his home or make an impact on the world outside his home then he has failed the primary mission that God has given to men in this life.
But for a Christian woman her primary mission from God is very different. Unless God calls a woman to a celibate life in his service – her primary focus is to be on serving the needs of her husband, her children and her home. If she becomes distracted by activities outside her home to the neglect of the needs of her husband, her children and her home then she has failed the primary mission God has given to wives.
This is not to say that Christian wives cannot have an impact outside their home for God. But it can never come at the expense of their first duty to their home. For instance if a woman has a great ministry at church teaching a woman’s Sunday school class but this causes her to neglect her husband or her children or her home she should step down from such a ministry.
Let’s now return to the topic of Christ washing his Apostle’s feet. You know what another very interesting part of Christ’s washing of his Apostles feet was? Did his Apostles expect him to do this? No. In fact, they were shocked at him doing this and initially refused until they understood that he was trying to teach them a lesson.
So, what was the real lesson from Christ washing his Apostle’s feet? The lesson was twofold. The first lesson is that those who are in authority should be willing to help those under their authority. The second lesson is that those under authority should ALLOW, but not EXPECT those in authority to help them with tasks that rightly belong to them.
The Bible tells us this regarding helping one another:
“2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.”
Galatians 6:2-5 (KJV)
While the word “burden” appears in both verse 2 and verse 5 the Greek words behind these English translations are different. The First “burden” in verse 2 is a translation of the Greek word “Baros” which is a “heaviness” or “trouble” and the context indicates a burden that is beyond what someone could reasonably be expected to bear on their own. The second burden in verse 5 is a translation of the Greek word “Phortion” which in this context means a “load” as in the load that might be put on a ship or a cart.
So, when we combine Christ’s washing of his Apostle’s feet (John 13:14) with Paul’s admonition to bear each other’s burdens but also to carry our own load (Galatians 6:2-5) the truth of the Scriptures becomes clearer.
In the context of marriage, husbands should be willing to help their wives when they believe their wife is truly overburdened and in need of assistance. Every good leader should be willing to step in and help those under him when he sees a true need for help. But those under authority should never EXPECT for their authority to step in and help them – especially when it is something that falls within their sphere of responsibility. But if their authority wants to help – they should graciously accept this help.
Expectations verses Allowances
My father has said to me many times over the years that “expectations are marriage killers” and he is absolutely right. But let me clarify something. It is not wrong for us to expect our spouse to do tasks which are part of the primary roles God has given to husbands and wives.
A wife is not having some unreasonable expectation when she is upset that her husband has been sitting on the couch and out of work for 6 months playing video games. It is reasonable and Biblically backed for a woman to expect that her husband will do his best to provide for their family.
Can a wife have a reasonable expectation that her husband will give her leadership and guidance as to how to handle things in the home? For instance can she expect him to help set policies for their budget or how to discipline their children? Of course she can. Because that is a primary responsibility that God has given to husbands.
But on the flip side – can a wife expect that her husband will just come home from work and that he will just jump in and help with the dishes and making dinner? No she should not because that is not part of the primary responsibilities that God has given to a husband. Now if he volunteers to help than by all means she should allow him to help.
Wives need to change their perspective and their expectations
M really it is all about perspective. By your own admission when you feel your husband has worked hard and is busy with classes and other projects around the house besides his job you don’t feel bad about working hard because you know he has worked hard. But where you feel resentful is when you feel that you are working harder than him and he should be helping you out.
You need to let go of this expectation.
M, earlier I described for my readers what a typical 36 hour week for a nurse looks like working three 12 hour shifts in a row. I was not saying that your husband is not capable of helping you around the house and with the kids those other four days he does not work. In fact, I know of many of my wife’s nurse friends who do the 36 hour work week and then during their other four days off they are taking care of all the needs of their home and caring for their children.
So the question is not whether or not your husband would be capable of jumping in and helping you on his days off. The question is do you have a right as his wife to expect this?
When you feel more like a maid than a wife
Let try and frame this another way. There is a popular Christian female blogger named Sheila Wray who runs a blog called “To Love Honor And Vacuum”. The theme of Sheila Wray’s blog is “when you feel more like a maid than a wife and mother”.
How often do we hear women say things like “I feel more like a maid than wife and mom” or “I feel more like a nanny than a wife” or “I feel more like a sex slave than a wife”?
To her credit Sheila Wray does encourage women to care for the needs of their husbands, their children and their home. She often offers good advice to women in helping them to organize their days better. But there is also some feminist tendencies that poison her teachings. I disagree with her on the basis of Christian marriage, submission and her take on male sexuality (but that is for a whole other series of articles). But now let’s examine these three common complaints from wives.
What is a maid?
It is a woman who cares for the domestic affairs of the home. Sometimes maids cook, clean and do laundry. We have previously shown from the Scriptures (Proverbs 31:10-31, Titus 2:5, I Timothy 5:14) that God in fact does expect wives to do the very same things that maids typically do.
What is nanny?
A nanny is a person who cares for the needs of children. She feeds them, bathes them and weens them. Again the Scriptures show us that this is part of the primary responsibility that God has given to wives.
What is sex slave?
A sex slave is a woman who is purchased by a man for the sole purpose of having sex. They is no intimate relationship between the two beyond the act of sex. There is no commitment by this man be a husband to this woman or to be a father to the children this woman might have as a result of their sexual relations.
Contrary to popular belief – the Bible never allowed men to have sex slaves. I wrote an entire article on this subject entitled “Did the Bible allow men to have sex slaves?” where I debunk the common belief today that concubines in the Bible were sex slaves. If a man wants to have an intimate sexual relationship with a woman then he must take on the full responsibilities of the marriage covenant with that woman. There are no half measures allowed by God when it comes to sexual relations between men and women.
Concubines were “slave wives”, not “sex slaves”. In the Bible there were two kinds of wives. “free” wives and “slave” wives.
A “free” wife was a woman who was the daughter of a free man and another man would give her father the Bride price to purchase her as his wife. Any children they had together would be legally entitled to certain inheritance rights and would bear his family name. Sometimes a “free” wife was a widow or divorced woman. If a man had to marry his brother’s widow then their first child would carry his brother’s name and not his so that his brother’s line would not die out.
A “slave” wife was acquired in one of two ways. Either she was purchased as a slave(simply to do domestic work) and the man then decided to take her as a wife or she was captured as a prisoner of war and brought back to be a man’s wife. Husbands could elevate their “slave” wives to the status of a “free wife” in granting her children his family name and giving them full inheritance rights but they were not required to do so unless the woman was an Israelite servant girl whom they chose to make a wife. They had to treat Israelite female slaves differently that foreign slaves in this regard.
But you know what both “slave” wives and “free” wives had in common? They were both required to have sex with their husbands whenever their husbands asked for it. He did not have to earn it by doing romantic things for them. It was his right. One of the primary responsibilities of a wife is to submit her body fully to her husband for his sexual pleasure.
So while husbands should never treat their wives as sex slaves – wives should realize that part of the primary duty as a wife is to fully submit themselves sexually to their husbands.
My point in covering these three categories of “maid”, “nanny” and “sex slave” is this:
A wife is called by God to perform the very same services that a maid, a nanny and a sex slave would be expected to do toward a man.
This does not mean she is a maid, a nanny or a sex slave – because a wife is so much more than these things.
Are maids and nannies called by God to submit to her master as unto God himself (Ephesians 5:22)?
No, but wives are.
Are maids and nannies called by God to give their bodies sexually to their masters and do they have the right to sexual access to their master’s bodies (I Corinthians 7:3-5)?
No, but wives have these responsibilities and rights.
Does God call on masters to know their maids and nannies and honor them as they would their wives (I Peter 3:7)?
No, but husbands have these responsibilities toward their wives.
What it really means when a woman says “I feel more like a ____ than a wife?”
When you as a wife allow this thought to go through your head – “I feel more like a [fill in the blank] than a wife” you really need to examine your thoughts closely. If you feel more like a maid than a wife this shows resentment toward the domestic affairs of the home to which God has called you. If you feel more like a nanny than a wife this shows resentment toward your duties to care for the needs of your children. If you feel more like a sex slave than a wife this shows resentment toward your sexual duties to your husband.
Why do women often feel resentment in these areas? There are two answers to this question:
- Lack of praise and gratitude (in whatever form they like praise and gratitude) from their husband for their performance in these areas.
- The feeling that he is not doing what they expect is his part in these areas.
Should a husband praise his wife in her various roles as the keeper of his home, the mother of his children and his lover in the bedroom? Absolutely. The Bible gives us this example in Proverbs 31:28 where the husband praises his wife and I Peter 3:7 where the husband honors his wife.
But lack of praise from a husband does not grant a wife the right to harbor resentment in these areas. Two wrongs never make a right. A woman should always remember that ultimately her service to her husband is her service to God. While praise makes it easier and gives her energy to do even more – a woman should never use lack of praise from her husband as an excuse to allow bitterness and resentment to grow toward him.
In the same way perhaps a woman feels her husband could do more around the house or more to help the children. Maybe she feels he could do more in the bedroom to sexually please her. Again his real or perceived failures in these areas does not grant a wife the right to become bitter and resentful toward her husband.
Yes God does care who does the dishes, the laundry, the cooking and other cleaning around the house. He cares about which gender is the primary caretaker of the children. He cares about who leads the home. He cares about who provides for the home.
All of these gender specific responsibilities are symbolic of the relationship of God and his people. They represent so much more than what we see on the surface.
Are there reasonable expectations that husbands and wives can have toward one another based on the roles God has given husbands and wives? Yes.
A woman can reasonably expect that when she goes to the grocery store to buy food that money will be in the account because her husband has provided it for her. In the same way a man can reasonably expect that when he comes home from providing for his family that his wife will have dinner on the table and his house and children in order.
But in the context of this discussion of husbands helping with the domestic affairs of the home – wives should NEVER EVER expect this from their husbands. If their husbands want to help (without being nagged to do so) then they should allow them to help. But never should this be expected.
This expectation toward men in regard to the domestic affairs of the home has sown the seeds of resentment and bitterness in the hearts of many wives in culture today.
M – As exhausting as being a stay at home mom can be sometimes you will find that when you let go of these unbiblical expectations toward your husband and leave him to God you will have more energy to do these things. When you realize these things are your task – and your task alone and any help you get from your husband in these areas is a BONUS and not a right you will feel like a weight has been lifted.
Hand washing fork – free image from pixabay.com
Woman with child on back in market -By Peter van der Sluijs – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Woman washing dishes in sink – Villalobos, Horacio, Photographer