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We might not be able to change the thinking of our elders. But our husbands? We can do something about how they look at our work and their work.
With the advent of time, women learned to be self-sufficient. They started earning. They learned several business techniques, ideas, skills, and their implementation to stand tall in the meeting rooms full of men. Nonetheless, many key women have left a mark and an inspiration for others, to name a few, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochar, etc.
Amid all of this, there was one thing that never changed. The responsibility of household duties.
These household duties were still the ‘responsibility’ of women, and women only.
The successful women were not only juggling with the business takeovers, retaining key talent, marketing strategies, conflict resolutions among customers and employees but also with the washing of clothes, cleaning up the house, taking care of the children, and in-laws, and lastly, the kitchen duties, which is a whole world in itself.
Unfortunately, women started taking financial duties as their own, but men didn’t learn the household duties to be their responsibilities as well. All this came out to be an extra burden on the females.
Sadly, this is not the story of the past. This is the present and this would remain the future if we don’t try to bring the change.
How many times did it happen with you that your husband came back from office and you brought him a glass of water, cooked him dinner, helped your children with studies, and settled everything for the next day before going to bed? Among how many of you, the readers, have been working themselves and when you’re home after work, you’re given the same treatment, the house is super clean with no spots around, the children are asleep, the food is cooked and the dinner is served on the table for you?
If there’s a notable difference in the treatment, then that’s the gap, we need to address.
Daughters are fed with the knowledge since their childhood that no matter you’re earning or not, you’re supposed to be skillful in kitchen duties and household activities, you should know how to treat the relatives well with hundreds of dishes, how to dress up in heavy traditional attires for people to come to see and praise you. Did anyone try to raise their son the same way? Probably no!
When I got married, I had new relations to take care of, new responsibilities to learn, and new people to be with, in a joint family. Amidst all, being a sole entrepreneur, I got an important project, the very next day of my marriage. You can take an off from the job, but not from entrepreneurship. I was juggling. I tried giving my best, but of course, you can’t get more than 24 hours in a day.
I called my husband to take care of household activities. He is a Government employee and he was having leaves from his official duties. Excitedly, he managed to take care of the responsibilities.
I was happy, until he bragged on a call to his friend, that how he was spending his vacation time sadly ‘HELPING’ me out.
It got on my nerves and I thought of teaching him a peaceful yet important lesson.
The next day, when we were discussing the finance required for setting up the whole house for two of us in another city, I mentioned a couple of things which he would have to manage on his own. Trust me on two things, having to start living in a new house in a different city by building everything from scratch can really take a toll on you, it’s very difficult and contrary to popular thought, I am really good at managing my finances.
Then I mentioned further that I would ‘HELP’ him out with the finances if required.
He was taken aback. He calmly said, “This is our house and I don’t need ‘HELP’ but continuous support. It is yours as much as it’s mine. It’s our responsibility altogether to work on building our house for our good.”
Smilingly, I answered, “You know what, same goes for the household activities. You’re equally hungry three times a day. It’s your duty to cook food as much as it’s mine. You also use utensils to eat food, it’s your responsibility to clean them equally. You also wear clothes and stay in the house. Keeping them clean and organized is your duty too. I don’t need your ‘HELP’ in any of these. I need continuous support.”
He figured it out, where is all this coming from, and passed me a smile.
That’s the last conversation we had about our shared responsibilities. I stopped taking ‘HELP’ from my husband and started being supported equally.
I may not change the thinking of my parents or my in-laws. There’s a generation gap in there.
But the least I can do is make my world a better place to be in, and my husband is my world.
Image source: unsplash
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