Household work in India is often undermined as ‘no work’. I remember having a conversation with a friend where we were discussing how being a ‘housewife’ in India meant that you are completely unproductive and have nothing to do in life. Even a few years back, people rarely understood the value of wholesome support that our mothers’ and probably their mothers’ generation have put into our upbringing and running an entire household. The house continued to run like well oiled machinery, with everything in place – well dusted living rooms, book shelves, warm home cooked food and ironed clothes in the morning, and yet our mothers never got paid anything for all that. I realised the true value of that wonderful support system when I ventured out to make a home of my own.
It is often told that when you educate a woman, you educate a generation and with our generation, women became aware that it was important for every human being to have world of their own. And so today we are taking flights in every sphere of life. Needless to say, all that would not have been possible without the strong support that we get from our better halves – our beloved husbands!
I got married 3 years back and I wanted to be a strong home maker just like my mother. But I had other ambitions too. I have a day job as a lawyer and I follow my creative pursuits in the form of writing. I love doing things for my home to make it a cocoon of peace and love, but sometimes I am short on time or patience. It is probably the story of every young family today.
My husband has been my strongest pillar of support since our marriage. He has always encouraged me and supported me in all my ventures. Apart from the moral support, he has shared the load of household chores with me. I remember I was the hesitant one to ask him to do some housework just after our marriage since we have traditionally seen female members of our family doing everything related to the household. But it was he who insisted that we sit down and sort out all our ‘to do’s and responsibilities’ for the week.
So while I was good at cooking, I hated doing the laundry and he took up the job. He appreciated that I had a career of my own and when we both returned dog tired from office after work, it was not only my responsibility to make the evening tea or cook the dinner. We both took turns and as a result, we enjoyed the best of both of our culinary talents. I am the more traditional cook while he remains the experimental one.
The quest for giving our best to our relationship has often transpired in the way that I have come up with a wonderful home decor idea and he has executed it with finesse, or the other way round. In these moments we have both worked together to make it a better home and a better reflection of our souls. Apart from the quality time that we got to spend with each other in a week full of choc a bloc office meetings and deadlines, we shared the pride about building up ‘our’ nest, our home – together. We collected memories in the process and stories that we will probably tell our grandchildren.
We shifted to Germany in between for a year and there the need for sharing household chores became more than evident. We had a lot of travel on mind while staying at Germany and I was the one who was good at doing all the research and planning. So while I sat with my laptop and did all the bookings and drew up the itineraries, he would not mind doing up the week’s laundry, weekly grocery shopping or cleaning up the kitchen. I once asked him if he felt a bit weird while doing what was traditionally earmarked as a ‘women’s job’, he replied that if we were equals within the marriage, he had every right to contribute so that in the end we both ended up having wonderful travel memories for a lifetime to treasure and cherish.
I took up writing much seriously while in Europe and just like any other creative process, it took time and patience. During those moments, I did not need to be bothered about what to cook for dinner since I knew that I would not be remaining hungry throughout the night. When a few of my writing assignments won me accolades, my husband was the one who was super proud and happy. Similarly, when he was working hard for a promotion which put him ahead of his peers, I made sure that he enjoyed his moments of sanity and calm. I was very proud when the promotion materialised and he got something he truly deserved.
Actually, it is all about balancing out. The reality of the new age Indian family lies in the perfect harmony with which we make our marriages work and that includes sharing of household chores. After all, a successful partnership only works out when you have two best friends at the helm of affairs, supporting and backing each other up during the times of each other’s needs.
#ShareTheLoad, share the moments because sharing means happiness, pride and lots of memories.