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"How do you want to spend your time?"

A study of PEW Research Center revealed an exciting evolution of how families spend their time now, compared to fifty years ago.   Very positive to see that fathers take care of a more significant part of the housework and that mothers can pursue a professional career. 

Nevertheless, we still see a big gap between mothers and fathers, and it seems that we always expect from mothers to be more at home to take care of the housework and the children.  Unless this is a conscious choice made by the mother, we think that’s not something we want to see in the XXI Century.   It should not be like that because it always has been like that.

We believe mothers and fathers should be able to spend equal time on professional activities, dividing the work at home or with the children in a more balanced way between both of them.

Analyzing these data, it seemed an excellent exercise for us to start from scratch and to make our graph.  How would a balanced life look for us, taking into account that we want to pursue a professional career, that we want to spend more time with our children and have a healthy and meaningful life?

The result you can see in the 3rd graph, right side. 

This graph visualizes the lifestyle we have in mind for ourselves.  The main thing is that we believe this lifestyle should be possible for both fathers and mothers, depending on their own choices.

Both genders should have the possibility to work on their projects in the same way, without difference between male or female. It’s not the total time that counts; it’s the efficiency that counts.  With 30 hours per week, it should be more than enough to reach your goals in life.  Avoid “time thieves.” Only attend meetings that make the needle move.

Housework should be divided equally between fathers and mothers unless one of them decides consciously to take a more significant part of it. 

Childcare takes a smaller portion out of the total time as with Co-living – sharing the same house with more families at the same time – we believe that child care can be split more equally between families.  You can see it as a type of “economies of scale” as more families share the same house.  For example, each morning or evening one father or mother (or 1 family) can take care of the children.  It even will be more fun having a bigger group of children with mixed ages as the older children definitely will try to help the younger ones. 

In our vision, and we insist that everyone is free to choose for themselves, we believe that TV and Social Media should be limited to the minimum and that choosing to spend your time on it should happen in a very conscious way.  Of course, it’s fun to spend a night together watching a movie.  We love it.  But try to do this consciously.  Make something special about it, not something for every day.   In the graph, you can see how much time you can free up to spend on other things.

Social time for example.  In our vision, we increased the time dramatically spend on social contact.  As we will share a house with more families, we believe it will be easier to get in touch with other people, friends and to learn from each other.  As the concept grows, we will be able to swap houses more frequently from one destination to another and get in contact with people from all over the world.  The world will be at our fingertips.

Sports…a tricky one.  We all want to spend more time on exercise as we all know that a healthy mind can only thrive in a healthy body.  It all has to do with habits.  You have to make time for sports and exercise.   Swapping some TV-time for sports time will help.

We added “Quality time with our children” as we believe we will have the chance to spend more time with our loved ones as our children will be there all the time.  They will have their own space with the coach so they can learn, discover and work on their projects, but as they share the house with us, it will become increasingly easy to spend time together. We are having lunch together, taking a swim during breaks or just having a pleasant conversation.  

It all may seem very idealistic, and for many people, it will seem unrealistic, but we believe that once you have a vision in mind, you can make it come true.  It will require some changes, and it definitely won’t be a walk in the park, but we firmly believe we can make this vision come true.

We invite all of you to think about this in a very personal way.  Our vision is just one and can be completely different from yours.  Please, feel free to share your vision with us as well. 

Bart & Evelien

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