“Marriage is not just spiritual communion and passionate embraces; marriage is also three meals a day, sharing the workload and remembering to carry out the trash.” Joyce Brothers
“Mom, Can you keep my cricket gear ready by evening, I have to rush to the cricket ground immediately, as soon as I return from school?” Shyam, mouthed these words, while leaving for school, in the morning. Mom smiled and nodded her head. She was always ready to go that extra mile for my brother. He and I were very close and this partial behaviour, had never come in between our relationship. A lot was at stake, so we never gave this attitude of our mother, a second glance. While our father was not exactly conservative, he did endorse the view, that a girl had to learn housework before marriage. Our mother kept ill quite often and it fell upon me to care for her, as dad and brother were both busy with their respective works.
One thing which I noticed was that, it was not expected of my brother to take on such duties, while the same was not true for me. I had to do my bit, no matter what my schedule was like. This thought did not go down too well with me and it was then, that I had decided that my son would not be raised along these lines. I must also add, that my brother was always helpful and ever ready to offer his bit, wherever and whenever required. It was just that, this was not usually expected of him.
Years rolled by and I got married. My man, is a hands on husband and a doting father. He helps me around the house, mostly with laundry. We share the chores at home and the load has never weighed upon my mind. We are blessed with two sons, the elder one is a teen and the younger one is just entering his 10th year. My elder son was only four, when I was carrying our second child. My son, all of four had assisted me with my routine tasks everyday, throughout the pregnancy, which I had found tough to do, due to the morning sickness, which to my horror, lasted throughout the day. He would pile up all the dirty clothes in one corner and assist me in loading the washing machine. He would then fold his clothes after they had dried. He would play comedy movies to divert my attention, so very thoughtful, for a child of his age. Post delivery, we used to take turns in looking after the baby, when he returned from school. He would feed him, change his nappies, put them for wash in the allotted place and help in the folding and stacking of the washed and dried baby clothes.
The bond between the brothers has only strengthened with time. They help me in cleaning their room, in loading the washing machine, drying the washed clothes, sorting, folding and stacking them in the respective cupboards. Did I mention that they are excellent cooks too? In fact just today, my younger son was awarded with the second prize in the Mini chef competition held at his school. Cooking can stain the clothes, especially white ones. My sons take care of their white uniforms very efficiently by using the right wash cycle in the washing machine. Since my aged mother stays with us, as my dad is no more, her responsibility is also on me. As I’ve mentioned earlier, that she has always kept ill health, the issues have only gotten critical with age. There were a couple of times when she had to be admitted in hospitals for around almost a whole week, holding my husband and me in the hospital as her attenders. My sons have stayed all alone by themselves. They got together and washed their uniforms, got them ironed and kept them ready for school. They have always managed themselves independently, which is a boon for me, given my conditions. Needless to say, I am a proud mother.
It has been a combined effort between my husband and me, to make this possible. As children imbibe what they see, more than what they are told, they got ample opportunities where this is concerned. On weekends, my husband gives me ample rest, when he takes over the laundry, attending to the kids needs and cleaning up after meals. The boys have been watching my husband help around the house, right from when they were babies.They don’t have a sister, but I have ensured, they treat their cousin sisters as their own. After all, it’s in childhood that bonds for life are made. . When I look back at my childhood, I feel blessed that I have been able to raise my boys just as I had envisioned.
In fact, I don’t miss not having a daughter, as my sons have never made me feel that lack. They are perfect hosts to guests and assist me in all household chores. But yes, while I say this, I also cannot take away the fact that, boys can be lazy, beyond patience, at times. If every family ensures that their sons are brought up along these lines, the gender differences would never arise. It’s perfectly fine for a boy to help around the house without feeling awkward.
Here are a few pointers for thought
# Gender differences arise because of upbringing and conditioning.
# Gender differences are one of the main causes for breakups in relationships.
# Sharing the workload makes for a happy family.
# When boys are taught to partake in the household chores, they become more empathetic, in that, they begin to understand, what it takes to keep a house running smoothly and efficiently.
# Such boys grow up into responsible adults which makes for better marriages.
# The girls are fed on preconceived notions of their near and dear, which is the very cause of their fears. The balanced outlook of a man can help, make her feel at ease, in the early years of their marriage.
# A happy couple raises happy children.
# The most important fact which cannot be overlooked, is about the women of the house being overworked, ill and unhappy. With a little assistance, this can be changed, ensuring love and peace at home.
# Man and woman together constitute a successful team. When this is understood, gender differences can be eradicated.
What matters most, is your peace and progress. When people understand that Sharing is the biggest form of caring, it aids in bridging the gaps. So, are you willing to do your bit? Take that step today!
Image credits – tipsandtricks.easyfreshideas.com, villagefamilymag.org, greenbabyguide.com, housekeeping.about.com, dothanfamily.com