#ShareTheLoad: What The Lockdown Taught Me About Sharing Housework
Splitting household responsibilities helps foster a sense of equality at home.
Like a lot of other young urban couples, my wife and I are both working and have quite a hectic lifestyle juggling home and work. This was of course until the lockdown happened. In many ways, the lockdown slowed things down. No running to office, no traffic woes, no rushed meals. That constant sense of urgency that we felt every day was no longer there. Of course, it also meant doing all household chores yourself.
The very thought of doing all domestic chores on a daily basis can be overwhelming, so my wife and I obviously shared the load such that both of us are able to contribute equally. Not joking here, but Tina and I actually made some sort of a time-table that we mutually agreed upon. And just as we went about doing our share of chores, I realised how I had been taking things for granted all the while.
The sheer effort that goes into maintaining a house day in and day out is monumental and my contribution until now had been so little.
On regular days, you have your domestic help no doubt, but there are still so many smaller chores that the members at home have to do. And I must admit, I’m guilty of hardly contributed to anything. It was Tina who pretty much handled all the load and did all the multitasking without any complaining.
This sudden lockdown realisation reminded me of Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad campaign. The brand has been at the forefront of advocating gender equality at home. I have followed the campaign over the years, even admired it, but it’s only now that the message hit home. It’s only now that I truly learnt the importance and benefits of sharing the load.
I could sense it first-hand that splitting household responsibilities helps foster a sense of equality at home.
It gives both of you an equal amount of time to pursue other interests and also get equal sleep. Sharing household chores is also a great way of bonding with your partner as my wife and I discovered during the lockdown.
Now, I didn’t exactly apologise to my wife, but we did speak about this whole ‘realisation’ thing. We decided that from this point onward, we’re going to follow the #ShareTheLoad mantra at home.
When both of us are a part of the house, it’s only fair that both of us contribute equally to the chores.
I’m sure that just like in my home, the lockdown laid bare uncomfortable truths about men and household chores in other homes too. To be honest, no one’s really to blame here. Yes, social conditioning and differential upbringing of sons and daughters does have a role to play in this. But then life is all about living, learning and improving. And I’m glad that this lockdown gave me a chance to do that.
I don’t mean to sound preachy here, but here’s a little request to all the men out there. It’s time we up our game when it comes to participating in household chores. Be it crisis or comfort, it’s time we #ShareTheLoad.
All you need to do is take the first step and then gradually keep adding to it like it’s some sort of to-do list. It worked for me and I’m sure it will work for you too.
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