I saw the name blinking on the LED screen. It was from my Maid. I picked it up holding my breath with apprehensions. Let me confess, I’m really afraid of such untimely calls from my maid as most of the time they’re made to inform me that she would take leave(of course Unexpected leaves as they are taken at last moment) which I never liked (obviously). My apprehension was right. She had called me to inform that she had an urgency due to which she wouldn’t come for work that day.
I felt dejected. Well…no option, I had to start doing chores. Cleaning, laundry, dusting, dish washing along with cooking especially when my son had a holiday that day… all the chore were waiting to be done. I started doing things one by one. Perhaps my son noticed me doing the chores while He was watching his favorite TV shows “Doraemon”. May be he realized that “Aunty (He calls my maid Aunty) wasn’t coming that day.
I don’t know what he thought to himself. He went to kitchen and started cleaning dishes. I heard the sounds and rushed to kitchen. I shouted, “What are you doing? Are you crazy? Go and watch TV”
Mama…let me clean the dishes na. You have so much work to do. I can clean dishes. You just see. He pleaded.
After thinking for a moment I let him clean the dishes though I didn’t like that. I knew His little hands were not ready to do any chores. He may break some dishes. And above all…what’s the need? I’m there to do such things...
After we finished our lunch…we went to bed. Then he started telling how some of his friends help their mothers doing chores. From Sambhavi, Nilanshi to Sonia didi…he took all those names and what he had seen them doing while at their places. One thing…I realized most of the names were of girls. Hmmm...Girls are normally asked to do such works... #Fact
In the afternoon I talked to my mother and told her about it. She was irritated. What are you doing with him? He is a boy and how could you allow him doing such works meant for ladies?
Her last words struck me not because they were new to me but they reminded me my upbringing years when I had been said the same thing numerous times.
I shared the pics in my WhatsApp groups to see the reactions. Some friends’ just teased me saying “its child labor” and some said it’s my “army Rule”…but some of the responses made me feel really bad. and they came from all corners like friends, elders and relatives. It was “are you going to make your son a Ghar Jamai”
So a boy doing household chores to help his mother is an aspiring “Ghar Jamai…”
Well…Let’s admit it. We as a society always think that “house hold chores (with a blend of inferiority to it)” are exclusively for women. They are inferior work and women should do them as they are less equals than men. This stereotype thought existed since time immemorial and still has a strong grip in the society no matter how women have proved their strength in every field. Just see the following statistics....it's giving a clear picture of how our society is obsessed with stereotyping the household works with women.
In my upbringing years I have seen how my mother would always teach me that I should learn house hold chores even if I dream of becoming a career women. Unfortunately Now days also I see many of my friends who are mothers of teenage daughters teaching their girls kitchen etiquette and household works even if it has become mandatory for girls to work and earn now a days.
Chahe kitne bhi padhi likhi and servicewali kyouin na ho jaye ladkiyon ko to ghar ka kaam shikhna hi padega....this is the reality.
I had reacted when my mother had asked me do some work while sending my brother for playing but I was made silent by the word “compulsion”. It’s mandatory to do household works even if we work. Ladke kapde nahi dhote, bartan nahin manjte, khana nahin banate…it’s just not their works…as if some kind of Universal rule created by God.
Same thing I still notice in many families even in a metro city like Mumbai. That time also “boys doing household chores at home” was considered shameful and against their manliness. Now also same thing is going on.
I have seen some of my friends, cousins and other relatives suffering a lot (even it has gone to an extent of divorce) after marriage because of this prejudice.
But my point is Can I afford thinking in same line for my son? Especially when I see my peers who are having only girls and bringing up them the way I rear my son?
Now day’s good news is many families are bringing up their children - no matter girls or boys – equally unlike before when girls were considered less equals. They are now equally educated, given opportunity and respected in the family. They are now even earning equally or sometime more than their male counterparts.
And my son also has such girls as well in his surroundings. Then how can I typecast that “boys don’t do household chores” and they are girlish type of things?
If I’m a genuine mother and considerate about the well-being of my son in future especially his future family life, then definitely I can’t afford to feed him with the age old prejudiced thoughts and beliefs. Can I say him he is superior just because he is a boy? No way! Because that’s not the reality for him.
At least I think…it’s time for us to change this stereotype in the next generation. I think it has become mandatory for us to teach our kids especially boys to #ShareTheLoad when girls have already learnt to share the financial burden in the family.
What’s your say…please share your opinion in the comment section! I would be happy to read them.
In the mean time watch this video that is doing rounds these days in all social media. How a father realizes his mistake for not helping his wife when he notices his over burdened Princess managing house and office.
Laundry is just a work and let’s not tag it with a gender (manly or womanly)…so also other works at home…#ShareTheLoad.
Most households are of the collective opinion that doing any household chore, especially laundry, is a woman’s job. Ariel and BlogAdda fought the imbalance within the household by asking#IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob and asking men to #ShareTheLoad a while back. And now it’s time to think of a long term solution to this problem by nipping the prejudice at the bud.
One of the solution is to teach our sons to #ShareTheLoad...