Sharing the load

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Off late there are working women in every household..specially in our generation all the women prefer to work than sitting at home and specifically doing nothing…of course there are women who work from home and have creative brains to use their knowledge and skills without even having to step of the house..I respect them !

But what I’m talking here is about the females who work and are married. Also these days every second family that you see has nuclear set up ..specially in metro cities and abroad. So when this is the situation-Both partners working and no helping hand at home and on top of that a kid/s too to look after. This is a common situation which we get to see.

In such cases if the husband does the chores with the wife,what’s wrong I say ? It all depends on their mutual understanding and respect for each other-that’s my feeling. When the wife is struggling equally hard and juggling between home and office-in this case the husband himself feels his helping hand is required at home too.

It sounds pretty normal,right ? I was thinking…how many people really think this is fair?

I’ve seen people who are still against the ‘husband doing the chores after coming home in the evening’ stuff…like I heard this lady talking about his son the other day:

“Poor son.Slogs the entire day at the office and when he comes home he has to make tea/coffee for him and the daughter-in-law. I just don’t understand why she can’t do this ?”

Please note that the DIL in the above case in into a full time job and comes almost at the same time when the dear son comes home.

Another real life example: of course from a MIL

“So what if she also slogs the entire day in the office..she has to come home and cook and clean..after all she is a woman and it’s her duty ! We did the same..our husbands never stepped into the kitchen…that’s how it is and that’s how it should be”

Yet another example: from a husband himself

“A man does not step into the kitchen..that’s not his area..who asked the women to step out of the house?They chose it for themselves..whereas they should sit at home and look after the kids..that’s their job”

In this case the wife is a school teacher and the couple has two kids..the wife gets up as early as 4 am to do all the chores and then goes to school..whereas the husband is a businessman-which means he can moderate his time slot and very easily lend a helping hand to the wife,but alas !

Yes, these people do exist in the world and I pity these people..they will never know what does ‘opening their brain windows and letting the fresh air come in’ means ! They want to get stuck to their old dogmas and never move a step beyond their circle of notions. No matter how much the other partner keeps suffering or struggling..they will never see the pain…My heart aches for these ladies…

I don’t say that husbands should work in the kitchen or share the household’s load with the wife compulsorily..all I’m saying is it’s fine if the husband is helping the wife when it is really really required !

Having said that, at the same time I’ve also seen and known people who really care and understand what it means for a woman to step out of the house and handle work and home both at the same time…they know that sometimes the balancing act may go wrong or either side may demand more attention than usual and that is where these people don’t hesitate to chip in and take over… These are normal human gods on earth..but they’re sensitive and responsible… like Comfy’s D and Swaram’s Su and G’s boy and My brothers and brothers-in-law or even for that matter…the husband this side too 🙂

Talking of this I’ve an incident to share that took place at our household few years back:

Husband-with the feeling of helping me- had cut the watermelon in a little oversized pieces to eat after dinner. Once the dinner was over we all sat to have the yummy watermelon…A perfectionist that I’m, I instantly commented-mind you very politely- that the pieces could have been a little bit smaller so that it would have been easy to eat them-fit them in the mouth precisely 🙂 and the husband realized that and said ‘oh yes,next time :)’

I thought the issue was over there…I mean was it an issue at all ! But the MIL chipped in saying “ek toh usne woh kiya jo uska kaam nahi hai and you’re finding mistakes in that.You should appreciate he helped you”.

Oh boy !!! there ! I got the hang of it and was careful there onwards about asking the husband to do some chore-after all who wants an issue taking place after silly things in the house,eh?

But I must appreciate that over the period of time she has mellowed down and accepted the fact that husbands do help in the kitchen-some cutting,chopping or slicing is fine-in general and specially when there are loads of people pouring for dinner/lunch.Thankfully it got settled in my household !

But I feel pretty sad for the other ladies who struggle but don’t get any help from the husbands when it is required ! The societal norms ? What kind of norms are these which refuse to treat a woman like a human being who can feel tired at the end of the day and would love a glass of water in her hands rather she getting it for herself ?


36 thoughts on “Sharing the load

  1. Ohh my…this is actually GHAR GHAR KI KAHANI!
    Why just about the husband helping in household chores, our dear MILs have problems with their sons listening to almost everything their wives say and ask for, while they themselves conveniently play the ‘exploited’ party! 😦
    I’m a SAHM mom now, but when I was working A was more than just considerate. Cooking was one area he particularly sucks at, so that left aside he helped me with almost everything! If i was too tired to cook (even now) he was always ready to have food home delivered.
    MIL here always points out how her son helps me out, to which I very quickly reply that its not a very big deal since I’ve seen my Dad do the same, since years. Why just him, any caring husband would do that. These chores are not anyone’s job, they’re everyone’s job!

  2. Yes, while there are men who think its a shameful thing to enter the kitchen to help, there are women around too, who dont allow the men to do anything in kitchen. Why, its taboo for men to touch the broom or mop stick or dusting cloth !!! 🙄

    My S, helps a lot, when he is at home !!! Why, when I went for meeting those ppl at NalandaWay, he had cooked dinner and kept ready, before I came back. He is the best in chopping veggies – so finely, that a chef will lose to him.

    Its the up-bringing of these men, which make a lot of difference. If the husband’s mother had been working, she would have trained her son to help her. And that training and the attitude lessons come in handy when he gets married too.

    1. yes women sometimes are the ones who tell the husbands not to work in the kitchen or the areas they have defined for themselves..and then later cribbing that they don’t have time in life to enjoy !

      You’re right it really matters how the moulding has been done in the child-hood by the mother !

  3. Well, happens in every second house. You know, the husband comes home after a hard day’s work..”Get this, get that, switch on the fan”.

    Without realizing the lady also just got back from work. But not all. There are sweet men as well. Having said that, its with mutual understanding that can make things seamless and smooth.

    I do hate such stereotype ideas that men should not step into kitchen. Ask me!! my husband did not know even to make tea when we got married, now he is a better cook than me 😀

  4. He he, so Su gets a mention here huh 😉 Must tell him I hv made him phamous lol 😉

    But ya, I hv seen this happen @ many places. Su had once told my MIL not to call me in the kitchen esp. when I return home late.
    My Dad cooks dinner on most days @ home, bcoz Mom returns late from work. I think striking a balance is really necessary for a smooth ride 🙂

  5. As someone said earlier..this is a ghar ghar ki kahani..I must say I am lucky enough to get help from V in kitchen or wherever I need it from him without any hesitation. In fact he is perfectionsit to the core and does things better than me. Don;t know when this MIL’s will accept the fact that their sons are not the only ones who are doing this stuff in the world 😛

    1. You indeed are lucky soul 🙂

      MILs shall never accept few things may be…so all DILs should let them just be 🙂 that’s only the way,right ?

  6. The boy is gonna shine in glory when he sees a mention in the prestigious blog of Miss Nu! 🙂

    Anyway, coming from the background that we (the Boy and I both) have been raised in, we have never seen Dads idylling around when Mom is working. It has always been sharing of tasks to the point that if a simple salad (which does not need many hands) is being prepared, Mom would cut onions and Dad tomatoes.

  7. My grandmother is like that…expects my mum to do everything for my dad even though my dad helps out at home. She expects my mum to have everything ready for my dad and gets upset when dad has to make his own coffee once in a while! Mind you, all he has to do is add milk and heat it since it’s filter kaapi!

    Thanks to my dad though I have learnt that my partner will have to help out with chores. 50-50 it is for me. Cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes…all of it. Especially given that we don’t have the luxury of maids here.

    1. oh yes grandmothers…should’ve include them too in the opposition party 😉

      My grandmother does the same even today..that is not liking any house chores done by my dad..but that has always ignored her in this matter has been a helping hand to mom 🙂

      I like your thought…50-50 should be perfect 🙂 why even one partner should exert where both of them are going to be using the stuff 🙂

  8. *Heaving a big sigh of relief here*

    AB’s mum might be too orthodox and all that, but she is totally cool about this one thing. When I started living with him, I happened to mention over the phone that I was busy cooking sambar and dosa for 5 of his friends who turned up for dinner, not complaining but trying to impress her that I can manage heavy duty.

    The lady replied ‘Listen up. Never, I mean NEVER ever entertain or tolerate such a behaviour from him. If his friends are coming, he needs to let you know in advance and share all the work. If he gets them last minute, don’t move a spoon. Be very strict, don’t let him turn into his father in this matter’ 😀 😆

    Even today if I praise AB in front of her saying he helps me a lot, she never feels happy about it, she only says, ‘Of course he should!’

    Poor guy, I can imagine his future!

  9. I know. There are plenty of such characters. But to balance out them there are lot of people who believe in sharing the work load. 🙂
    I am quite lucky in this domain. 🙂
    When two people stay under the same roof; nothing wrong in sharing the day to day things. It actually becomes quite some help.

    1. you are right the balancing is being done by the other nice people who exist in reality 🙂

      yes one roof for both and only one struggling to make it a home..unfair!

  10. Every relationship is based on give and take. It is both partners’ responsibility to ensure that they do not exploit the other one and equally contribute.

  11. ah.. thats the story everywhere 😉 Its not only husband’s perspective by in-laws perspective.. it will really take sm time for MIL to accept her son helping her daughter-in-law especially when her son never helped her in the kitchen 😀 😀 but anyways.. does it matter.. u keep going as u r.. they will get used to it.. u cant change always.. rite?

    1. yeah that’s the story almost everywhere 🙂

      I guess yes MILs will take some more time to see that how things can work when both partners work together at home too !

  12. I certainly think that men should share the work at all times.
    For us daughters we’re always brought up with the mindset that you’ll have to work once you go to your in-law’s place. But the moms pamper the sons silly and tell them they’re the king of the world, which makes them lazy.
    Once they’re married, they expect the same kind of treatment from their wives. Which isn’t possible cos we’re modern women who work and earn as much as them.
    I think all children irrespective of gender should be made to share responsibilities at home.

    On a completely different note, my dad… is on the lazier side. Does not do any cleaning and insists on cooking. The post-effects are ghastly! So we prefer him to stay out of the chores!

    1. For us daughters we’re always brought up with the mindset that you’ll have to work once you go to your in-law’s place. But the moms pamper the sons silly and tell them they’re the king of the world, which makes them lazy

      I agree !

  13. Good post Nu!
    This is the story in most households, sadly!

    I refuse to call K doing chores as “helping me”
    Since, I do the same – I cook, clean, work and take care of him – does that mean I am “helping” him? No right?!
    It’s the balance and how the couple works it out usually matters!
    And like Ums says, some women also don’t let their husbands chip in with the chores! 🙄

    And, a post like this always reminds me of a funny incident –
    My FIL used to chip in or “help” my MIL with the chores, he used to cook regularly and take care of K as well!
    But, when my MIL saw K in the kitchen she grumbled and didn’t like it at all!! And told all and sundry that K is doing all the work and I don’t do anything!!! 🙄

  14. “I don’t say that husbands should work in the kitchen or share the household’s load with the wife compulsorily..all I’m saying is it’s fine if the husband is helping the wife when it is really really required !”
    Hmmm I would rather say husbands must help around in the kitchen always not only when it is “really really” required. I feel it is compulsory husband should share wife’s load.
    In these matters my MIL is quite good.

    1. oh well I meant not always…like for I’m a house wife and have all the time on my hands to do in cases like these I’m okay if H is not helping..this way he also gets some time to do other things :)..though he loves cooking and offers me to cook…

  15. Guys should ideally pitch in with their working wives but they seldom too and all because their moms never reared them to be sensitive to such things and pitch in at home. This always is a bone of contention in many homes.

  16. hehe. I get that too. A LOT! Every visit of the in laws comes with a brainwashing session on how teaching would be a good line for me only because it would give me time to do the household work, so that the poor son of theirs can rest his feet instead of helping me around. Stick my tongue out at such losers. Pfft.

  17. 🙂 True! My MIL is pretty cool, and The Dude is a total sweetheart. But at times, there are cases which bug me. Example, I hate cutting onions, so when MIL asked me to cut some, I promptly handed it to The Dude, and then MIL sees this, and says she’ll do it, why him!? 😮 I got very bugged, and even told her that ‘yeah, why will you want your son to do it ;)’
    But then The Dude did it anyway, so all was well. Hehe.

  18. This is a great post and may be one to be followed up to see what happens

    A mate e-mailed this link the other day and I am eagerly waiting your next blog post. Continue on the quality work.

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