Author Mom's Card Game Prevents Mothers from Being the Default Task Handler | Working Mother

Author Mom's Card Game Prevents Mothers from Being the Default Task Handler

Or, as Eve says, the "shefault."

Eve Rodsky, Harvard-trained lawyer and mother of three, isn’t going to do chores if they’re not in the cards. Literally.

Eve’s new book and card game, Fair Play, was created to help ease the domestic burden placed on moms. Before writing the book, Eve found herself asking something that’s likely passed through every working mom’s head. "I was thinking, 'How did I become the default or the "shefault" for every household task?'" she said on Good Morning America.

After having their second child, Eve realized that more and more of the household duties were falling on her shoulders. "I got a text from my husband that had me sobbing on the side of the road and that text said, 'I'm surprised you didn't get blueberries,'" she said. "I had a breast pump in my passenger seat, returns for my new baby in the backseat, I have a client contract on my lap with a pen between my legs trying to mark it up as I'm going between traffic stops to pick up my first son from his preschool program."

Clearly, something needed to change.

Enter Fair Play. It simplifies splitting daily chores with four rules, and a card game with 100 tasks. The cards are divided into four categories: Home, Out, Caregiving, and Magic (because keeping up the Easter bunny or tooth fairy charade entails a lot of behind the scenes work). The cards, which can be downloaded after purchasing the book, have four rules that Eve came up to keep in mind while using them.

The first is “All time is created equal.” This came from her field study of over 500 people, in which she realized that people of all genders view men’s time as precious, and women’s time as easily squandered.

The second is “Reclaim your right to be interesting.” Part of the appeal of the game is that parents can choose which cards they pull from. Eve told Good Morning America that her husband pulled from the Out category of cards, and took over all of the responsibilities for the kids’ sports. That meant he had to register them for the team, fill out all the paperwork, carpool with other teammates, and get into the snack rotation. "Once husband understood that it required full ownership, I got 8 hours of my week back," Eve said.

The third rule, “Start where you are now,” is more of pre-card game reflection on what you and your partner most want from splitting up responsibilities. And the fourth, “Establish your values and standards,” really hammers that home. Once you’ve shifted the tasks, it’s important to go over every detail, Eve said, and to make sure the responsibilities are clear.

Fair Play is available now, and and Eve wants it to streamline every working mom’s task list. "My finding was the number one thing men hated about home life was nagging, and the No. 1 thing women said they hated was the mental load," Eve said. But, she noted that while the “mental load” is heavy, it’s invisible. "How do you value what you don't see?” Eve asked. “So if you could make the invisible visible ... things start to change.”

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