MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Avantika is a mother of two kids. Her day starts with preparing boxes for her husband and kids. After finishing work at home, she goes to buy vegetables. She then comes home and pays a few bills online. She then irons and folds the clothes. She also has an online business going on for her which she has to take care. She calls her husband to ask whether he could get the clothes which she gave for dry wash at the place that falls on his way home. He immediately replied “I have no time for all this stuff. What do you do at home all day. Can’t you go and get it by yourself?”. Avantika became silent and the next day she went and got them herself.
Sharing work equally between spouses is certainly difficult.
The household works could range across
Household chores – preparing food, cleaning etc.
Childcare work – bathing, feeding, etc.
Women spend more time in household chores and childcare compared to men. How can one maintain balance at home when the load increases on the woman and how can she manage the stress arising out of it?
A FEW TIPS FOR WOMEN AND EVERYONE IN GENERAL
Do not be silent and overburden yourself.
If you are silently taking all the load by yourself, your spouse would never realise the quantum of your work.
In the above example, Avantika could have told her husband “Oh yes, I could have got it myself but I have to pick up kids from school and I can’t leave them in the evening as this shop is far away. Your suit is there in it and you need it for the meeting tomorrow, so I asked you to get it.” Being silent will never make the husband realise the importance of the work.
Make a list of the household works.
Against the list, write down the name of the spouse doing the work. The list could be an eyeopener for a few who do no help at all.
Do not discriminate work.
For example, working at office is no bigger work than cooking food at home. Money is not a measure for the quality of work (Refer this article: Stay-At-Home Moms)
Share work with respect to your child.
If the husband is not enthusiastic to share housework even after discussions, at least ask him to play with the child or take him out in the evening after he comes home, instead of doing office work or watching tv, etc.
Always remember rearing a child is not the sole responsibility of the mother.
If living in a joint family and in-laws do not appreciate their son to be sharing household work, then what?
Realise that peace is very important at home and at the in-laws age, it is difficult to make them realise that times have changed.
What you can do is make changes in the kind/ variety of works for the husband
Example – If they have problem with their son making breakfast in the morning, ask your husband to water the plants or dress up the child for school.
Example – If they have problem with their son getting vegetables, ask him to pay the bills every month instead of you paying them.
Do not nag if the husband is not doing work properly.
For example if you ask the husband to fold clothes and he has not done them properly, do not expect him to do it as you do. If you have to reduce your work, let go off some perfectionism.
Listen to music as your work.
Eat well and do not skip your meals just because you have more work.
Work can wait but your body/stomach can not.
Allot a time slot only for yourself.
It could be going to a parlour, temple, aerobics, shopping, talking to a friend etc.
This time, daily should be only for yourself. It could be a one hour slot or more.
Husbands, if you have read till here, this one is for you: Realise that every woman is different and has a capacity of her own.
Never compare your wife with others.
Never expect her to do all the works that your mother used to do.
Nothing comes easily in life. One needs to work hard for it and also realise the people who are working hard for us. Do not take them for granted and respect and share work.
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