I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at BlogAdda.com in association withAriel.
A one year old baby girl dancing to the tunes of Kumar Sanu, while father records the talent show just to let the working mother know that her little one is doing fine and she shouldn’t worry for the household to go into a frenzy mode when she isn’t around… mother returns to a clean home and is greeted with warm smiles, hot food and little dancing diva on the television…
Now, isn’t the scenario symbolizing love, understanding and happiness! Well, let it be out now that this is a real life example of my life. And no, I am not the mother but the dancing baby who is now twenty five and so proud of her working parents who continue to unintentionally set a wonderful example for ‘Sharing the Load’….since 1990!! And trust me; the load has been physically, emotionally and financially demanding at times. But by sharing the lousiest as well as the easiest of loads, both the man and woman have strengthened the understanding and love for each other…!! (Well… verbally confronting such feelings to people may be a task for my parents as they are a shy breed… but try to find the cute factor when the two can’t talk romance!!)
So what is sharing the load??… Sharing responsibilities among men and women in a household isn’t a new age fad that requires a diploma to comprehend but it is more about nurturing the love and respect among members of a home.
It isn’t about set division of duties that makes a house operate but it is more about involving oneself to a relationship that builds and functions a home.
Furthermore, following the orthodox societal norms of fixating the women as homemakers and men as bread earners isn’t ‘sharing the load’ either but it is about voluntarily choosing to adopt roles in a household by mutually understanding and acknowledging the needs of one another….!!
For some, the concept of sharing responsibilities in a household may seem directed towards a middle income family or a home with working couple or say a home with no household helper (what many may refer to as maids, bai, bhaiya, dada, mama or maushii). But even in the most luxurious of lifestyles, sharing the load has its place since it is not only about finishing materialistic tasks like doing laundry or dusting the furniture but it is about strengthening relationships where the man and woman involve themselves in making household decisions and more importantly… committing time and contributing to such matters.
Now, some may have certain objections, excuses or scientific theories to disapprove the importance of ‘sharing the load’! Let this post list out some common instances;
‘My wife enjoys taking care of the house independently. She doesn’t like my interference. So I don’t participate in the chores and allow her to become independent. Aren’t I a supportive partner?’
Some may argue along similar lines that one is considered strong when he/ she works as an independent homemaker. But in the matters of family and its home, working independently and working alone do not necessarily mean the same every time. On one hand, where independent action can result in boosting the confidence and self esteem levels whereas on the other; working alone can be stressful, exhausting and depressing especially when there is no one to rely on even when there are other members in the household. It is only when everyone works together that the common goals and happiness can be realized. So even if one believes the other to enjoy ‘independent functioning’; correct yourself and ‘Share The Load’ by attendance… assistance… appreciation!
Let’s move on to a popular one now.
‘I just don’t know how to do all these chores. Women are anyway better in all the household worship. So I get the money to run everything while she takes care of the house and family.’
Many may assert that women are better when it comes to cooking, cleaning and caring… or that men do not have the innate ability to perform such tasks and they are much better in spurting money. Or some may even proclaim that women are best at being the emotional anchors whereas men are best as sturdy support systems. Well, these cannot be fully ignored as the society is built in such a way that both men and women have grown up to endorse such mindsets. Not going much into the social history; even if there is any truth to these statements, is it logical to pile on the load of household roles to a particular sex. Absolutely not! Just as women are encouraged to involve themselves in paid employment; men should be prompted to engage themselves in the chores… and that too since a young age. There isn’t anything feminine or disrespectful in utilizing the free time to maintain your own home. If anything, it is being responsible for your belongings and relationships. Now, this is logical. After all, the resume attributes of ‘having a drive to learn, enjoy new experiences, enthusiastic, team worker’ doesn’t go away when one is at home… do they?
And finally let’s head to the most typical excuse.
‘I don’t have the time for all this. And I just want to relax on the weekends.’
A popularly known thought ‘It’s all in the mind’ should serve as an apt reply to such statements. It is all about how one pictures household chores to be. It can be enjoyable if it is done with your partner, kids and family. Now, how can one make chores enjoyable? What does one get in the end? … Perhaps the examples below give you an insight!
- Put Up Your Own Song On The Player Which Goes Something Like
‘With your Wipes… and your Broom… Burn the Calories… and get your Tidy Room!! Woop Woop !’
(Wake Up The Artist In Yourself…..and Come Up With Better Lyrics Of Course!)
Wouldn’t it be amazing to multitask the chores and exercise; which as a result gives you a fab body, amazing flexibility and a spotless house?… It surely would, right! So the next time, when you have some flab on you and filth on the home floors, forget the gym and running shoes…Switch on your mopping song, wipe, clean, sway, make this chore your workout and enjoy like never before…!!
- Clean Clothes, Ariel Matic Fragrance, Him and Her… It’s The Time To Romance!!
‘Laundry Time Darling! Plenty Time To Catch Up…!’
In today’s fast paced and busy world, there is little time to talk love. Well; if the time issues are for you too, don’t just sit up and ponder! Create situations for yourself. #ShareTheLoad by sharing the laundry time with your partner… This may be the cleanest and freshest atmosphere you have ever hoped for!
- The Dish Time… My Family Time!!
‘Our family enjoys the dish time as we do it together. Daughter lays the dishes, I cut the vegetables to go in those dishes, the wife cooks and serves in it while the son cleans them up. This is our family time or what we call …the dish time!’
So what if one doesn’t understand cooking or cutting vegetables. One can #ShareTheLoad by assisting in chores he/ she is capable of learning and eventually doing. It isn’t much of a rocket science… after all! By adopting such practices, not only will the family get some quality time but the kids would observe and learn the positives of ‘sharing the load’!
The examples above surely makes the benefits stronger than the negatives (if at all there are any) ….right? And if we really look into the concept… engaging in chores isn’t like another tedious job when you share and do it together… is it?
However; if one person is solely responsible for home chores for all the three hundred and sixty five days of every year, the stress alert will eventually shoot up. We all know that even a machine breaks down after repeated action over time and it needs external support to re-function. However sometimes, only with a slight twist of the screws… the machine starts working.
Similarly; ‘sharing the load’ is basically ‘twisting our screws’ to understand that every member of the household must participate in home chores as per their respective strengths, weaknesses and needs. One cannot just stand up some day to announce all the men of a family to be responsible for cooking in their homes. That may lead to an utter disaster and rampant diarrhea. An example of sharing the load could be when a husband doesn’t know the ABC of cooking but helps the wife in buying vegetables, laying down the table, serving or cleaning. Similarly, if a wife can’t fix the broken television wires, she can help the husband by calling the electrician to fix the same right away. Discuss and realize who is good with walking the pet, teaching kids, rearranging closet, watering plants, washing clothes, moving furniture, mopping…. and the list is endless! Imagine an endless list of duties thrown on a single member of the household. No wonder, Ariel is making sure that it’s #ShareTheLoad campaigns reach every household!!
So, running a household involves a team work from it’s members, irrespective of sexes. It isn’t a moral right of just the women in all households to be responsible for all home chores. Anyone who calls the house his/ her home is accountable for the same. Once you commit to #ShareTheLoad; notice the love, respect and trust blooming for you in your partner’s and family’s hearts.
And now, after all the moral talk…just one question… How are you sharing the load in your house…?