Women in the workforce is no longer an exception. It is the norm in many families, either out of economic necessity or for the sheer fact that women are as capable as men in many fields. Of course we are not starting the debate here. There definitely are some jobs that cannot be done by men and there are some that cannot be done by women. Coming to the point, our family is no exception to the norm.
As a family, we always shared the load, in many ways than one. From emotional sharing to pitching in the tasks, it has been a collaboration. If one pitches more in one task, the other lifts the heavy burden in a different one. It is not necessary to share always in the same task, as long as we participate together in the functioning of the house.
Some of the best memories were created when we cooked together in the kitchen on a lazy Sunday afternoon. We have this habit of having a brunch with a full course south indian meal, replete with dal, rasam a curry and rice. After a shopping spree outside or a lazy siesta at home, we return hungry at 4. A decision would be made to make a quick and easy snack and all of us saunter into the kitchen. The husband and son would cut the vegetables, or onion and tomatoes while I get the rest of the stuff ready. It maybe uthappam with left over dosa batter , akki roti or delicious bajjis.Something quick and tasty. We stand around the stove and occasionally eat there straight hot from the stove.
Washing is no exception. With washing machines being a default feature in many urban homes, the task has become easier, unlike the previous generations. One will start the load, and the other will take them and hang them on the string for drying. Our son hangs the clothes and gets the dried clothes back into the home and he folds his own clothes and sorts out those that needs ironing. With all of us involved, it is an activity now that fits into even our weekday schedules.
Our son has been pitching in the household activities from when he was about 9 years old. He even tells his friends when they come over that he helps out at home and I have never seen him feel about it. We always tell him that he should always be in a position to do his own work and not expect someone else to do it for him.
The camaraderie that comes with sharing and the sense of belonging is the real bonus. There is a sense of belonging that comes with sharing. The women of the house will not feel harassed and will have some time for relaxing when everyone pitches in.