Tag Archives: Ariel

#ShareTheLoad – Different perceptions across generations!!

My mother, me & my daughter are representatives of three starkly different generations, strong characters, well – educated, well-groomed and head-strong individuals. She imbibed some values in me which helped me immensely in my later life (Read: Married life). It cannot be denied that marriage brings along a BIG bundle of responsibilities for which we are not well prepared for. If you have certain ambitions to fulfill, then challenge becomes even bigger!

Tanya & Bienu

For her GenNext she was fully supportive of my career moves but alongside she said that your career should not take heavy toll of your family life which you have willfully chosen.  I assured her that it will not but unfortunately it did. Household chores were too much to handle with demanding office job and cranky child.  For her it was unthinkable for her to suggest me that I involve my husband into household work. What to say of knowing about Akshara which has been at the forefront of the effort to making our society a gender equal and violence free one. My mother fully believed in “division of labour” but she always encouraged me to do it together, but how? Probably she had no answer!

A girl’s life is full of dreams, she is born with the wings and we as parents give flight to those wings. She dreams to becoming a good student, successful professional, loving wife and caring mother but the biggest dream is of having supportive husband.  Unfortunately, social milieus don’t support her dreams. Howsoever well-qualified she is – she has been allotted the roles of wife and mother through an unwritten code which brings along host of household responsibilities. The mindset needs a change and should embrace #ShareTheLoad where mothers of sons have a bigger role to play. So that concept takes firm root with future sons-in-law.

Akshara

I, as a mother has taught my daughter to efficiently balance all roles with élan…it is just not enough that you are a successful professional but a lousy home maker. You are an equal partner with your husband, as a bread-winner and as bread-baker. You should involve him in your laundry especially with the help of Ariel and make it the most enjoyable chore of the household.

My daughter Tanya has noticed that whenever I have fallen sick or travelled on work, house has not come to a grinding halt, courtesy – #ShareTheLoad concept which we adopted years ago. Thus it was not that great a challenge for me to imbibe the concept in GenNext as I was the harbinger of this concept in my family or even social circles.

Now many girls in the family have emulated this model and are proud professionals and great home makers too!!

Having a cake and eating it too!!

I am taking part in the #ShareTheLoad Challenge with Ariel and Akshara at BlogAdda.

 

#ShareTheLoad: It worked! It really worked for me!!

When I received the blogadda post on twitter about the campaign #ShareTheLoad with Ariel and Akshara about the sharing the load of household chores, it interested me no end. I am sort of a champion in my family who has broken the mould of stereotypes of working husband and sulking wife. Even before marriage I had discussed with my husband about my inclination to work, not just work but take up career in the demanding field of media. This way I had eroded that first hurdle hence it did not come as a shock to him after marriage.  I am sure he wouldn’t have figured out what it was like having a working wife coming from conventional Gujarati household.  Even I came from stereotypical Kayastha (UP) background where girls pursued higher education, but were seldom allowed to go for work that too for unconventional fields like media.  I started working at an early age on responsible positions, not bothering much about household work. (Big disadvantage of having efficient mother). Mother being an excellent home maker and father being a breadwinner, everything was well set in Varma household as everybody was in their well-defined roles.

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However this was not the case when I got married. Life became stressful with family, household, kid, office…what not. The carefree life of bachelorhood took 180 degree spin. The life looked like a big trapeze act, balancing so many roles at a time and one slip, you are gone. Time was passing…child was growing up.

It was then, one fine morning, me and my husband decided to walk into each other’s territory, emulating the concept of #ShareTheLoad in toto.  This was some twenty years ago.  I would like to share here that sharing laundry was the biggest decision as it was always a woman’s domain to provide family members with washed and ironed clothes, every single day, so much so…four times a day.  The conventional mould was broken when my husband Mukund started helping me with Laundry every Saturday; yes we did laundry only once a week on Saturdays.  Not only it was like #ShareTheLoad but we started enjoying it together with chit chats on various topics under the sun right from family matters to religion, politics, education, entertainment, banking, finance …what not?  Washing clothes was no longer a mundane course for us now. And yes, Ariel has been our constant companion since then, which is very friendly on hands, clothes, washing machine and on pocket too!

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There have been many such times when I have had pressing schedules, urgent presentations, Blogadda deadlines  or outstation travel, Mukund completely steps out of stereotypical mould of husband and takes complete charge of not only laundry but of entire household. This way in my generation, the mould was re-engineered which enabled me to excel in my work and my house also ran smoothly.

My mother was quite surprised at our decision as she could not imagine in her weirdest dreams that Papa would step in to help her with the laundry.

Nobody taught me or worked towards it at that time. Also I did not know about #Akshara as we went by the dictum: Necessity is the mother of invention!

Akshara

Indeed Akshara has been at the forefront of the effort to making our society a gender equal and violence free one.

Today I can proudly say, #ShareTheLoad worked and worked quite well. Was it a dream for me? Oh yes! But not that far-fetched!! I took the inputs from my mother’s generation and started working on gender equality since then.

Today I have imbibed these values in my young daughter Tanya who is studying to be Digital Designer and is near adept at household work too! Oh yes making her think on these lines was quite a challenge. How? Read it in my next blogpost.

I am taking part in the #ShareTheLoad Challenge with Ariel and Akshara at BlogAdda.

Men for OFFICE, Women for HOME! Need to change!

Sample this Contrasting data:

80%
Indian men feel, sharing household chores
makes men and women equal partners at home*
82%
Indian men believe sharing of household
work is important for a happy marriage*
75%
Married Indian women feel that if their husbands help with household chores, they will get more time with them*

( You may chose to relate with whichever one you want)

So what do we derive from the above statistics? Indian Men believe in sharing load of house-hold chores…but how many actually do it? If they did, how does it help?

laundry 1

This topic has lot of emotional attachment for me as it takes me down memory lane …cut to early seventies when I witnessed my mother struggling complete house-hold chores alone. Juggling life with busy / working husband, two kids, no gadgets to boot and demanding in-laws, life was near hell. To make it worse, she never complained and took it happily on her. At that age, I never understood all that and it was imbibed in my mind that Men are made to work in office and Women are made to slog at home. My father would come home from office, hot tea would be served to him who enjoyed it over reading the News what ever was left in the morning newspaper, go to club for a game, come home, have shower and enjoy hearty night meal. Now was time for news on Radio, followed by Hawa Mahal and off to sleep. Whatever went in-between during the day was none of his concern. He was doing great service by earning and fending for all of us…

laundry 2

…I had grown up with this scenario till the time my father was alive! No body cared a dime about my mother who had to take it all on her cooking, laundry, cleaning, grocery, schools, studies, guests…outings what not. I did not know the men around me who helped women with their house-hold chores. Such men were just unacceptable to my psyche. How do you tell men of the house to do the laundry or cook a meal for ladies of the house? But yes, some times my heart revolted, why we should as women go through this grind all the time. It was then I decided to be working women so that my life would be like my father’s. (Child’s wishful thinking).
But times changed with women taking centre stage in all aspects of life, men of 60s needed to change too, and they did change. We started witnessing gradual transformation happening in the social fabric which was laying the roadmap of happier (read: acceptable) married life.

Mother’s took initiative by training their sons for house-hold chores who were “Sikandars” from generations so that when they got married, they were cool about “Helping” wives in the kitchen with the “Laundry”.

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Now the story of my generation…I grew up to be a working professional, a self-confessed “Workaholic” for whom working in the Kitchen did not make much sense. Hence I was labelled “Unsuitable” marriage material. But as the destiny would have it, I too got married to a person who was “Cool” about my Cold kitchen sojourns.
For the first time, I was with a man who was comfortable helping me with the Kitchen, Laundry…what not so that I could concentrate on my career and some other better things in life. As a conventional Indian girl, it pricked my senses, many a times, seeing husband sharing responsibility of house – hold chores, but I could not help much. Moreover, sometimes I thought that what would my relatives say if they come to know that my husband helps me with laundry?

But times changes and I started witnessing many more husbands, brothers, sons helping wives, sisters and mothers in their domain (???). Indeed, our life is very different from our mothers. We have better time management so that we are able to devote good amount of time with children, their activities, socialising, Social Mediazing, Outings, Reading, Travelling, Writing, Blogging…what not. Life has become simpler! The biggest technological help has come in the form of “Washing Machine” which has taken away load of laundry & indeed a pleasure as it is under management of husband. This way I am substantially off that department. Most importantly, the sharing of load has made me happier & healthier person.

laundry 3

My heart goes out to my mother today, who is facing so many health issues and many could be attributed to taking exertion at the time when her body needed rest. Things changed for me, I hope things change even for the better for our future generation. The change may be attributed to MNC players in the field of detergents who portrayed women as modern & independent and men as equal load sharers. ( Read: Ariel Ads: Is Laundry only a woman’s job).

Home Makers or Career Women, Ladies you rock! Provided you know How to!

I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at BlogAdda.com in association with Ariel.