Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons on October 1, 2019
Format & Length: hardcover, 352
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A revolutionary, real-world solution to the problem of unpaid, invisible work that women have shouldered for too long–from a woman tapped by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine as the expert on this topic for a new generation of women.
It started with the Sh*t I Do List. Tired of being the “shefault” parent responsible for all aspects of her busy household, Eve Rodsky counted up all the unpaid, invisible work she was doing for her family — and then sent that list to her husband, asking for things to change. His response was… underwhelming. Rodsky realized that simply identifying the issue of unequal labor on the home front wasn’t enough: She needed a solution to this universal problem. Her sanity, identity, career (and her marriage) depended on it.
The result is Fair Play: a time- and anxiety-saving system that offers couples a completely new way to divvy up domestic responsibilities. Rodsky interviewed more than five hundred men and women from all walks of life to figure out what the invisible work in a family actually entails and how to get it all done efficiently. With four easy-to-follow rules, 100 household tasks, and a figurative card game you play with your partner, Fair Play helps you prioritize what’s important to your family and who should take the lead on every chore from laundry to homework to dinner.
“Winning” this game means rebalancing your home life, reigniting your relationship with your significant other, and reclaiming your Unicorn Space — as in, the time to develop the skills and passions that keep you interested and interesting. Are you ready to try Fair Play? Let’s deal you in.
I first discovered Fair Play when browsing through Bustle and was intrigued by the concept of a system that gamifies the distribution of household work to achieve better balance. Curious to find out more, I immediately requested a copy from my library.
The premise of Fair Play is that all household related tasks are turned into cards to create a deck that is customized to your family, and then those cards are dealt (and re-dealt) as needed to establish who will be in charge of each task. It breaks this down into several steps that couples can follow to play the game. And if that’s what works for people, that’s wonderful. But I don’t necessarily know if this system will work for everyone.
In the end, Fair Play was a decent read. It did get somewhat repetitive as the book progressed and I skimmed the last quarter or so. What this book does do wonderfully is stress the importance of clear communication and gives a vocabulary for all players to use so that they are on the same page. If that sounds like something you need in your life, I’d recommend at least giving it a shot.