Woke up at 7:00 am today, thinking of winding up some work before anyone wakes up. My half opened eyes could only hear the sound of the washing machine operating while everyone was fast asleep. Mom (Mother-in-law) would probably have put it on an auto start mode, I thought and prepared myself a cup of tea (you need a poison to start, don’t you?). Quarantine life has kind off shifted us from our usual routines a bit. We, a family of 5, had a fixed time for everything; well almost everything. My mom used to leave for her office at 8:30 am sharp and nothing, in these 35 years of her work-life, had the power to change her routine. And now we have this virus that came from nowhere to change what the world couldn’t. And this change is not just for her but probably for all of us. Sipping my cardamom tea, all I could think of was my mom, a superwoman indeed. Some household chores and some office work- you will never spot her sitting ideal. If you were to assign a brand ambassador for multi-tasking, no one could have been a better choice than her. While quarantine for many is chilling at home, spending quality time with family and catching up with all the unseen series on Netflix, for some like my mom, it’s all about working the whole day. In fact not just her, I was thinking of all the women whose quarantine is not as easy as others. About women who are cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, managing kids all by themselves. There are times when I feel angry, frustrated and disappointed seeing the women working and the men binge watching.
It was just after my last sip of tea and amidst thousands of such thoughts that I heard footsteps on the stairs outside. With a bang, the door opened to let Dad (Father-in-law) in. He was watering the plants on the terrace and keeping some water and seeds for the birds, his usual morning routine (of course the watering of the plants is the latest addition). As we exchanged morning greetings I could hear the sound of the washing machine, indicating to unload the laundry. Clearing up the kitchen, I came down to load the next lot of clothes when I saw the most unexpected. The laundry was already loaded and the machine was working full speed. It wasn’t mom, it was dad. He was the one who loaded the machine in the morning and now as well, to help us with the household work in the way he could. I had no words to express what I felt. It was just then that my husband came over and went straight to th kitchen to prepare tea for all of us. I insisted to takeover and he brushed off the idea by saying “Let’s share the work load.” Don’t we sometimes misunderstand or understate the gestures of our family? A simple task of sharing the laundry work load by dad gave mom an extra hour of sleep and a morning cup of tea by my husband expressed his love and care for us. Doesn’t these small gestures make a huge difference in our relationships? It was so beautiful to see our husbands caring for us in such a silent manner. Dad loads the laundry & waters the plants, while my husband has taken the charge of breakfast and morning tea to share our workload. Men sharing the household work was considered a taboo and it is men like my husband and father in-low who are breaking the stereotype.
Just the other day, we were watching Ariel released #ShareTheLoad video when my husband told me how he got this idea of sharing the laundry and other small household work load from this video itself.
In this phase when people are staying indoors, they are not just working from home but also working for home and it is heartening to see more men coming forward and taking pride in doing household chores to be equal partners to their spouse, just like dad. Helping in the household chores doesn’t make you any less of a man, instead it kinds-of help your partner to grab a little time to relax.
It was so uplifting to see how some videos and the thought of the brand can made such a huge difference in our lives. Loading the laundry machine isn’t a rocket science and just takes a few minutes but how many of the Indian men are ready to do this? While there are so many out there who think that household chores are only meant for women, there is a 68 year old man who made me understand that there are still a few who care to share.
I will #ShareTheLoad and help in household chores in association with Ariel India .