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"Take good care of yourself, after all, you are the only one to look after the house. Thak jaate hoge, take rest in between the work..."
Once again I had to encounter this statement and it only makes me wonder when is it going to stop!
This is the last thing I want to listen to and the more I get this from the so-called educated and affluent people of the society the more it boils my blood or sometimes just stifled screams…
What we can do to change this mindset?
Before you feel lost about what all I am talking about, let me take you to the very recent experience that once again made me ponder over this.
With the onset of New Year’s Eve, we got one guest in our house which made us stay inside the house for complete fouteen days! Yeah yeah, it’s our Novel Coronavirus, which isn’t novel anymore but has grown manifold.
So, it all started with my husband. First, he got a fever, then a scratchy throat accompanied by body pain. After two days I also developed the same symptoms.
The day I experienced the symptoms I got the notification on my phone. (Yeah, it seems Google is not only listening to your talks or keeping an eye on your browsing history but is also aware of your physical conditions, even before you pay any attention… Tadaaa!! Google is here with the suggestions!)
So the notification stated symptoms of the Omicron virus which matched with our symptoms and this time I decided to trust Google without giving any second thought. As responsible citizens we went for the test so that we could isolate ourselves and get proper treatment.
We got ourselves checked and guess what? Google was correct with our symptoms and we both tested positive.
Once again as a responsible citizen (uff!! how responsible we are) we asked our house help not to come, decided to take online consultation so that we won’t step out (see how responsible we are!!) at all and the food was taken care of by my husbands’ office.
In a gap of a day or two, kids also started developing the symptoms, but all that was taken care of with the online consultation.
And I must say the doctor was very nice. He explained everything in detail- all the dos and don’ts, should and shouldn’t. He was very patient in resolving all our queries. And within four-five days everyone started getting better except me.
And from here came that patriarchal advice from the doctor, “As Avdhesh is getting better ask him to help you out in your work.”
I mean HELP IN in MY WORK??
For that moment I didn’t pay much heed to that thinking as it to be an impetuous statement made by him. But again after two days, he was checking on my health, “Hello Payal ji, how are you?”
“I am fine, getting better but no improvement in cough and fatigue.”
“Take good care of yourself, after all, you are the only one to look after the house. Thak jaate hoge (you must be getting tired), take rest in between the work…”
“Ummm…”, I was a bit puzzled and trying to understand what he is trying to say. In the meantime, he continued, “How is Avdhesh?”
“He is doing fine.”
“Ask him to go easy with office work, instead ‘help you out’… unko bolo thoda woh ‘aapka bhi kaam’ kar dein” (ask him that he do some of ‘your work’ too).
He didn’t even once ask me whether I have any office work or not, how I am managing that, instead he was so quick with the judgment that household chores are my work.
It seems like, it’s me only using the floor for walking, and the rest all just fly around, so sweeping becomes my work after all.
Similarly, I am the one having who has evolved and having the food in dishes, rest all are still using the old way method of eating like our ancestors (read apes, after all, we have evolved to human from apes) and don’t need any cooking and vessels to eat, hence cooking and doing dishes is my work.
Though at home he (my husband) was doing my work, as I was still not well, I had not recovered, and the more I was working in the water I was developing more cold and cough. So he was the one doing more of our household chores, not his not mine but ‘OURS’ without even thinking once that whose work he is doing. (Not knowing about this command from Doctor and not having the slightest of the hint that I am going to come up with this blog).
It is always been said that education makes all the difference in society, but these words coming from a Doctor that too MBBS, MD once again made me think how much more years /generations we will take to simply understand the thing that “household chores” is not his or her work it’s always ‘theirs’…ghar donon ka hai, to kaam bhi dono ka hai(since the house belongs to both of them, household chores also belong to both)!
When we will stop labeling it as just ‘her work’?
Things have changed in our house at least, but looking forward to having this normalized in society as a whole, without stereotyping any work based on gender.
P.S. No hard feeling or anything against the Doctor, he was nice and proficient with his work. I am impressed with the way he did follow-ups and all; it’s only about the patriarchy mindset that skewed thinking, those oblivion thoughts which are deep-rooted in our system.
Image Source: Still from short film Happy Birthday Mummy Ji/YouTube
I am a mother of lovely boy and girl twins. Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary by profession, working as freelancer.
Fitness enthusiast, you can see me in gym lifting weights and I can also be read more...
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