Monday, June 22, 2020

Share The Work Load | Three Generations

The Grandparents Generation

As a child whenever I used to visit my grandparents during vacations I always used to find my grandma toiling hard in the kitchen. So much so that I for a very long time used to think that was her room. She would always be found there. Sometimes making delicacies for all the grandkids or sometimes taking a break from her day long work to grab a bite or sometimes even catching a nap. While my grandfather was retired and he would spend time going for walks and got all the necessary ingredients which my grandma had dictated and rest of the day he would read or listen to news or play with us grandkids. 

Today, when I look back and wonder on the division of work load between my grandparents I can only remember that apart from getting groceries and doing all the remaining outside house work my grandfather used to wash his own used plates and cups and probably wash his own clothes. Remaining entire responsibility of the food part and cleaning part was on my grandma's shoulders. But I really don't know if she found it unfair... All I remember is her big smile of satisfaction when we grandkids used to tumble on each other to pile on the scrumptious delicacies she made. 

The Parents Generation

Coming to my parents, again the workload division was pretty similar. My mother being a homemaker looked after the house and father was responsible for anything outside the house. But as we were not present in our native state the number of visitors to our house were limited and my mother didn't seem to be living in the kitchen like my grandma. 

As a child I remember my father also helping my mother in getting us kids get ready for the school. Mornings were always a mad rush where every minute counted. My mother would be busy in the kitchen with breakfast and packing lunch for us while my father would hurriedly iron our uniforms and feed us both kids before dropping us off at the bus stop. 

After a few years when we passed out of school my father's work load reduced a bit but my mother's probably remained the same. I remember she never used to allow me come into the kitchen. Her argument was always the same that cooking is no rocket science one day or the other you will learn it for now concentrate on studies. 

I remember asking her at times that do you feel it's an unfair division of work... As I see papa has Sundays off but you don't get any offs. And she used to have a simple reply... It's not easy what he is doing... It's a difficult job to go out there and earn a living for the family.... He needs at least that one day to relax... I get to relax everyday during the day when you all leave home in the morning. I used to ask her what about the days when you are not well... I don't see anyone take care of you... Whereas you take care of us when we fall sick. Again she would say, I get my rest... Your dad goes to work even when he is unwell... Going out for work when you are unwell is much more difficult than staying at home when you are feeling sick. 

I also remember asking her why do you want me to go for a job and she would answer your job has nothing to do with all this that is just for you to feel financially independent....dont you link the two now.  Maybe she was satisfied too in some way is what I used to think. 

Generation Us

When it came to us, things were a bit different.... We both were working. Household work was still there and someone had to do it. So, we outsourced it. We even outsourced a bit of parenting to a baby sitter who lived with us. 

Now, what was the definition of work load division?! Just because the work is outsourced doesn't mean we used to dump our plates with leftover food in the sink. The rule was simple.... each one (including our little one) fully empties the leftover food on the plate to the bin before putting it in the sink so that it's not a hassle for the maid the next day in cleaning. In the same way, the floor needs to be off toys and other litter....each one to tidy up their own clutter....  so that the maid doesn't have to do it while sweeping the next day. 

Babysitter had to take care of the child when we were not at home so she has to get an undisturbed full night's sleep.... So all the tantrums of the child we used to manage between us after lights went off. 

My husband's mind switches off at night 12 am and he just can't keep his eyes open... So the responsibility to manage the kid in the night was mine. Since I did that I got to sleep till the last minute in the morning while my husband woke up early to instruct the cook and got ready to accommodate my schedule. I would keep every thing ready in the night itself for my Son's school so that in the morning I have no work other than getting ready and rushing to catch my bus at 7-30 am to office. 

Now, considering that I got less sleep the whole work week husband would take care of my Son during the weekend when I make up for my lost sleep hrs. While my babysitter would make the world's best masala tea and the entire household's favourite south Indian dosas and chutney for weekend breakfast. And my maid was the most worried person in the house if I left in the mornings without taking my dabba. 

The Workload Division In Real

So, basically where there is a home in true sense there is a workload division. It might be visible is a material sense of way or may be invisible... But it has to be there... And is always there in a healthy happy home. 

And that's what the Ariel advertisement addresses to some extent and also lacks to address to some extent. While it shows that the working lady comes back home and starts clearing the clutter of the toys around and multi tasking and all.....its great to see that the lady's father realises....but it again starts talking about boy/girl teaching of division of work etc. If the lady's father in the advertisement could get up and come and teach the grand kids to have empathy for their mom who's returned tired from work... And help her by cleaning the clutter....the message would have probably been bought by the husband watching the match and asking for tea to his wife also. 

But then why show all this... And indirectly give the message of guy's work and girl's work..... Why not show the empathy between the family members... Show that each one is doing something for the other directly or indirectly and that's how generally the families operate....will that not be a better way?! Will it not be better to teach everyone to have love and empathy in the family than this men/women division of work! Isn't that a better message!

PS : Posted for the prompt of #sharetheload by Blogadda

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers


Tomichan Matheikal said...

There was more work and less leisure in the old days. Yet life had a rare charm, I think. Today it's much easier but a lot more complex too!

Saibal Barman said...

nice read..thought provoking...and very candid in expressing own mind...respect tells about....sense and sensibility...response and responsibility...human mind is a wild field...needs to be cultivated..nurtured...irrigated....and healthy seeds regards

Rahul Bhatia said...

Well written, Could not agree more with your views

Ira Mishra said...

Very rightly said sir, thanks so much for stopping by

Ira Mishra said...

Thanks so much sir... Human mind is indeed a wild field :)

Ira Mishra said...

Thanks so much :)