In today’s day and age, situations have changed and a couple works together understanding their needs and supporting each other in good times or bad. Gone are the days when men just used to sit on the couch doing nothing and women had to struggle their butt out meeting everyone’s expectations, cooking, doing the laundry, cleaning the house etc. Or has it? Well! this one incident opened my eyes on how backward we are still when it comes to the mentality of some people.
Nina is one of my close friends. She is married for 6 yrs now and has a small kid. They struggled a lot financially and personally to have a kid, and after 6 yrs of marriage, they were blessed with a baby girl. And because they spent a lot on this conception, pregnancy and baby, Nina decided to support her husband financially. So she applied for a job and got an offer instantly. Taking care of the baby was a problem, so she called upon her in-laws, who were eager to come and ready to take care of their granddaughter, More so because of the income coming from their daughter in law, they accepted to take care of their granddaughter.
Now this is a typical saas bahu wala ghar. Every day Nina had to wake up early, and then prepare breakfast and lunch for everyone, feed the baby, clean the house, and then leave for office, hardly getting time to have her breakfast. And then once back home, she again had to prepare dinner, feed the baby, wait for everyone to finish their dinner and then she would eat. During the weekends, while everyone relaxed, she would have double work of doing the laundry whole day, other work. So basically, she would not get a single helping hand from anyone. Her husband used to feel bad and tried helping her on occasions, but her mom in law would never allow him and would say men shouldn’t do household chores.
And one fine day, I went to visit her, she looked weak and tired, I asked her and she told me she was too tired doing all the work alone without any help. I really felt bad for her. Her mother in law called up for her, and she just ran to her, I thought this is it, I can’t take it anymore, she is like my sister and I can’t see her suffering, and so I confronted her mother in law in front of everyone. “In one hand you want your daughter in law to help your son financially by working herself and on the other hand, you can’t see your son help her, what kind of hypocrisy is this? With people having your kind of mentality, our society is so backward and you don’t deserve an iota of respect.” She just didn’t say a word, but Nina’s husband also tried to explain his mother to help her and let him do so too and share the load.
Post this incident, I swore to myself that come what may, I will never let my kids imbibe this kind of culture in their life and we have to teach the kids to help in small chores right from the beginning whether boy or girl. So, this is a call to everyone, come pass the values of sharing the load to the next generation as I did.