I keep writing my problems. I have been thinking since long that maybe I should stop it and write the same issues from a third person perspective, but till now it’s been impossible. My emotions are so strong in these things that I can’t get myself out of the issues I write about.
So, following the same tradition, I am writing about an issue that I have been facing since my marriage and till now couldn’t solve it. It’s about husband’s so called “help” at home.
Now, if you have read my earlier blogs, then you know that I keep ranting about how things are not good and I feel uneasy in certain things where wives and bahus are expected to follow chore/tradition quietly.
My husband is a nice person and he cares a lot about me but then we do have our difference of opinions, which I must say is huge. He has been raised in a typical Indian family where his father was the sole earner and the mother a home maker. So the responsibilities were divided. Father never helped at home and mother similarly never helped in earning. It was not like she was against it but it was kind of not favored by other members. Anyways bottom line is he never saw his father in kitchen or anywhere else helping his mom.
Me, on the other hand, despite having the same setup i.e. homemaker mom, earning dad never saw this demarcation. Though my mother could never help my father in earning, but he never stayed away from kitchen. He used to cook a lot on weekends and on weekdays if he were home, he would usually stand with mom in kitchen at least, when he was not in mood of cooking. So I never saw that kitchen was entirely a women’s business. In fact my dad can do almost everything that my mom does. And since we were only two sisters and no brother, so I never saw the gender biases till I met husband and his family.
Now, post marriage, as was obviously expected, I had to learn all the magic of keeping home nice and tidy, managing everything and of course cooking (which I hate to my hearts core). There were a lot of hurdles and I think I did ok, but one thing that troubled me was my husband’s contribution.
He did do a few things here and there. And believe me, from his perspective he thought he helped out the best possible but that very word “help” would set me seething with anger. Why was it that he was helping me? Am I asking something that’s not in his area of responsibility when we are sharing the house? Wouldn’t that be a given that if you stay together, you have to share the chores as well?
I have been thinking about this since 4 years and still no answer. Now he helps me a little more than earlier but again that’s what it is to him, “help” not ownership or responsibility. Many times I am just so angry when he says that, that I just banish him from kitchen. I don’t need anyone’s’ help and if that’s what he is doing then I can do it all myself. But even that’s doesn’t help.
Many times when I am talking to my colleagues, they also say the same thing. Either they help their wives or not etc. etc. You can’t imagine how I feel in those moments for their poor wives. If the wife is a homemaker, at least there is a division of labor (not that I think it’s fair or believe its right) but for people like us, who wake up and start working in house , then office and then back to kitchen, what are they supposed to do?
How do I make him or any other person understand that we are not asking for your charity or pity that you give when you try to help us, all we need is that you understand your responsibility and understanding that you “own” that chore as much as your other half.