The data in the above picture is of a survey done by ARIEL. And ,yeah !! i know, it is not surprising to most of us because, this is how it has been forever now.Ours is the patriarchal society; where women are supposed to live in home and handle the home affairs and men are supposed to handle the external affairs. But, because the home affairs don't let you make money; so it's obvious that it becomes devalued though, it needs more physical strength than the external affairs.
Well in the same context ,i would like to share my own experience. We were a family of four. And, my mother was the homemaker and my father meant the second bank for us.We had a maid to do the dishes and mopping and we had a washing machine to wash the clothes . So the major work to do was preparing food and arranging the stuffs. Well, being a good student and getting all the pressure to do good academically and become an IAS or Professor, i still tried my best to help my mother by doing beds and keeping my things responsibly. I couldn't help her much in the kitchen; though i was a good occasional cook. Being not a help was ok for my brother and my father but i was described as the worst daughter one could have by my relatives. My mother was portrayed as a poor lady and everyone sympathized her.
My relatives did their best to make me under confident and they succeeded too because i was in a constant feeling of guilt looking at my mother and thought of myself as a loser.Yet, my parents supported me and i will always be thankful to them for this.
But, i still feel the guilt for not being a good daughter to my mother , though i was the only help for her in the family even if on a minor basis. I wonder, if my brother ever felt guilty of not being a good son or my father ever felt guilty of not being a good husband to my mother.
And, then i got married; i lived for a while in Delhi with my in-laws and being a newly married; was not expected to do much in the kitchen and then i moved to Mumbai with my husband.
Living with my beloved, i never tried to appease him by portraying myself as an ideal wife one could have and proving the same. We had a maid to do mopping and dishes and a machine for washing the clothes. So again the main work was preparing food.
I never tried to have a special conversation with him about his opinion of lending a hand in kitchen or sharing the load and his willingness to do the household things r not; nor did i ever go onto arranging his things now be it his clothes or documents.
I always involved him with the household chores pouring all love that i could in my voice and he did it. I never asked him to do things as favor or by portraying myself as an advocate of women empowerment because i didn't believe it to be so. Be it while preparing food or doing bedsheets or washing clothes in machine or whatever.. The only commitment that i asked him for was maintaining hygiene. We prepared food together like he kneaded the flour, I prepared the veggies, we made chapatis in turns or alone .He made salads, helped me in cleaning the kitchen platform and our work was done in an hour.
I passed the same to my kids.
Everyday when we wakeup, then we have tasks shared between me and my husband on a major basis and between all four of us on a minor basis to make them value every aspect of life equally.This keeps us connected and very happy in the interactive environment that we have created at our home.
This has brought the sense in each one of us that everyone in this world is entitled to do everything. Mom doesn't has to be a supermom by being a third bank after dad and a second maid at home. Each one of us are human equally deserving a good health, a career, happiness and love and appreciation . Both the parents earn money ; our kids go and study. This is what we do to survive in this world; that is not life but just a way to sustain life.
All of us have our appearance, clothes, health, accessories and important documents to look after and that is our individual responsibility and not just the responsibility of our mother or our sister or daughter or wife. They have their own life and stuffs to look after.
Our maid does the dishes and mopping and she is earning bucks for that. It's her way to sustain her life. No work is shameful.
Now we are left with food and we prepare food together and it takes us an hour or may be an extra half to prepare the food when all 4 of us are contributing. We prepare food as fun and not as a load. And then with the time left , i pamper myself, help my kids with their studies. My husband joins us or watch tv or does the stuffs he wants because that is his free time. My kids do their homework, check their uniforms, wash if needed. Same goes with my husband and me.
This keeps each one of us active, alert and conscious of things related to our lives in general like our career, health and relationships and yet keep us connected and happy.We are not only sharing the load but actually sharing happiness; valuing each other making each other self-reliant.
My son is not growing up with the notion that his mother and his sister is supposed to do the household chores because they are females and he is supposed to earn bucks because he was born just for that.
My daughter is not living in guilt for not helping me enough nor anyone is trying to put her down.
We all are happy and so are my in laws and they help us too when they come to us. Infact, my in laws have found this a way to find a love in their relationship at this age which they felt, had lost long ago.
Adding to this, my father and my brother also join us while preparing food and doing other things when they come to us and they are following the same now at their places and so are many of our relatives now.
I just hope that this idea of #ShareTheLoad or rather say #ShareTheHappiness will be followed by every family making our society and the world a great place to live in. This will surely help us to eliminate the gender prejudice not only at the family level but also as humans and will genuinely help to eradicate many crimes arising because of this mindset. Gender prejudice that we see in our family sets the standards of upbringing for our children and direction for evolution in the mindsets of adults. Now the standards and the direction of evolution should be set in a fair and positive way and ARIEL's idea of #ShareTheLoad is the most basic and yet the most powerful way to achieve the same.
“I am joining the Ariel#ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.”