The Supposed Cosiness Of Family Sundays

Sunday is one day which unites women all over the world in terms of work (except in the Arab countries when Sunday is a working day). I am referring to the domestic work that is undertaken in terms of the washing, cleaning, Sunday lunch, getting uniforms ready for the following week, PE kits and the list goes on.

Domestic Sunday is the day, most out of the 7 days, which sees women revert to the traditional role of being homekeepers. What can this be attributed to? Tradition? Yes, ‘Family Sunday’ is a traditional global phenomenon that cloaks women in the culture of domesticity that is expected of them. I have come across many women who will not do something for themselves on Sunday because it is a family day and they feel that they have to be at home on that day because they are in paid employment during the week.

A breakdown of this mentality suggests that women break their lives up into working days and non-working days. The act of going to work is seen as something that these women either feel that they have to or, if they want to work, then there’s guilt associated with it. Sunday, ironically being the Sabbath, is when women ‘atone’ for their acts of supposed ‘selfishness’ during the week by staying at home and being home bodies.

There are women who are happy to devote their Sundays to family life and this post is not directed at them. It is about those women who feel that Sundays are a drag because they cannot do what it is that they would like to do.

Personally, I don’t understand why family life has to revolve around one day but the Western culture does have an obsession with time and physical proximity. Family life can only be achieved if everyone spends many hours together within a confined space with the mother providing physical support and being physically present. Isn’t this a limiting and destructive concept which ignores the fact that family life also occurs on the other 6 days in instances such as a partner coming home from work and needing suppor or a child needing help with a troubling relationship at school? The building blocks of family life occur all the time and women don’t need to face Mondays being exhausted because of another stricture of patriarchal society.



  1. February 16, 2012 / 11:37 am

    I must confess I have never thought of it this way – but I am sitting here nodding my head, and pursing my lips going "what the hell!!"

    You are right.

    I am not sure how this "sunday lunch" things turns into a day of hard work and a wasted day of exhaustion.

    About a year ago, there was a bit of a switch in my house, I just gave up cooking. I only do it now when I "feel" like it.

    My husband has realised if he does not get into the kitchen or stop on the way home and buy take-aways then no one is eating.

    Most Sundays also now turn into braai's – which my husband sorts out, he also does the salads etc, and I just set the table.

    But you are right – there are way too many of these "duties" that we take on for no other reason than we have mammary glands and a uterus.

    I am busy ranting at my psychologist for just this point …. and most of my rants start with ITS JUST NOT FAIR ….

  2. February 17, 2012 / 7:09 pm

    'But you are right – there are way too many of these "duties" that we take on for no other reason than we have mammary glands and a uterus.;

    This comment of yours particularly made me laugh so hard. Thanks for a great insight.

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