Punjabis are known for patriarchy and I have been born and bred in a typical Punjabi family. I got married into another with a notion in my mind that household work is my department and whatever I may be I had to fullfill those chores. You wouldn’t have been able to question my ideology then because I was a child of 80s.
Now when I look back, I don’t know how I had those notions ingrained in me. My parents raised me and my brother equal. Infact, if it was someone who could bail out of household work, it was me because I used to score higher. My dad would always help my mom. If either of us fell sick, it was Dad who used to churn out tasty dishes, and the house would be “desanitized” kudos to Dad’s efforts.
Covid 19 has changed the world. One change brought down by lockdown has been an eye opener for Indian males and a blessing in disguise for Indian females. The reliance of Indian families on maids is well known worldwide. The moment any Indian family moves abroad they learn how for granted they take the presence of a maid.
All those tasks don’t take more than 30 minutes each day if each member in the family #ShareTheLoad and #ShareChores. If every person cleans his/her utensils after the meal, there is practically no need of a maid spending hours on them.
Even though living in Dubai for past 6 years, my husband and son have been the pampered boys. We have lived in joint family for most part of our marriage. Hence, both the boys had hardly any exposure. However, things started changing a year after we moved here. My husband became a fitness freak and didn’t want the Punjabi breakfast. I would have to drive at the peak of traffic to reach work so would leave early. This was the entry of my husband in the kitchen. For the past 3 years, I do not remember cooking a breakfast except on weekends.
Lockdown came, and so we were snatched off the househelp who would come once for cleaning and washing the utensils. Being medicos, niether of us had the luxury to be at home. Infact, schedules became tighter. Duties were allocated. Husband would cook breakfast. Lunch and dinner would be on me. Hubby having a heavier shift turned to kitchen for stress relief. Didn’t know the chef in him, have now tasted yummy briyanis for past one month. Little one didn’t want to be left behind, so baked surprise cakes.
Utensil cleaning was divided once for kiddo, once for me and once for hubby. Dry Mop was my responsibility and Wet Mopping was allocated to my son. Laundry would be a combined responsibility. #ShareTheLaundry. I would put them for washing. Husband would put them for drying and son would collect them later.
When we share the load, we multiply the love. #ShareChoresMultiplyLove. Lockdown has been time for reflection, and even though we have not been able to spend much time together, sharing the load had brought all of us closer. How a little effort by one, makes it easier for the other.