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The household burden is often skewed in most homes – but maybe you should expect a more equitable distribution if you are an earning member too?
What is the one thing a working woman who doubles up as a homemaker, wife, and mother most desire? Balance- a state of equilibrium where work, home and family all co-exist in joyous harmony. But making a house a home calls for love, care and hours of toiling. Hard work done the smart way by outsourcing, off-loading and of course getting your own hands dirty.
How to get it all done, yet spend time with the family, and keep yourself in shape both personally and professionally, is the tight rope walk which today’s modern woman constantly strives to achieve.
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In many double income households I know, the financial burden is almost equally distributed between both the partners. For instance a major expense like rent is usually borne by the man, while groceries, monthly bills, fuel & all other miscellaneous expenses including comfort shopping are usually borne by the woman.
It’s a convenient arrangement where the load almost equals in monetary value but distributes the hassles unequally. After all paying rent only involves a click of a button in today’s digital payments era, and probably a calendar entry as reminder. While one half does this every month, the other half slogs with multiple calendar entries for various bills & payouts to be made. Plus she has to remember the inventory of the household from groceries to toiletries.
This exactly mirrors the way even the household burden is distributed in most double income families of modern India. The woman puts in place a system to offload cleaning, mopping, doing dishes and laundry to a household help because she being equally employed would rather spend her free time with her family rather than doing such tasks, which can be outsourced to a househelp and cook. But this outsourcing doesn’t mean that the home is on auto-run, because there are bathrooms to clean, stores to sort, wardrobes to manage, shoe racks to clean, dusting of surfaces, watering of flowerpots, and many such tasks which go unnoticed, but help a house stay a home which is tended to. Hence the household burden remains lopsidedly on the shoulders of the lady of the house.
Times have changed and women today demand an equitable distribution of this household burden.
Come on men, you may have not seen this practised in your parental setup because of as many reasons- maybe your mother was not employed, or employed in a less equitable manner with respect to the salary she drew, or was equally employed but unequally burdened due to patriarchal norms, or was the sole bread earner but circumstances called for her to be the champion both outside and inside home! Whatever the reason be, the times have changed and along with that have changed the ambitions of today’s woman- she knows she can’t have it all but has to still strive to have it all.
So ladies, play it smart, continue to outsource and offload. Make the family part of the activities and make activities part of the family. Over and above all ‘live and let go’ – not everything will be achieved, but what is important is your happiness and peace of mind; only then will you be in a healthy shape to be a healthy mother and a healthy partner!
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