It's her job and his too
Many men shrug off household chores,
saying it's a woman's domain. But, they must learn to pitch in
Raju uncle, my 65-year-old neighbour, makes filter coffee for his
wife every day before she wakes up; he can cook when called upon to do
so, buys groceries for the house, and does other chores week after
week... all on his own, without being asked to. In fact, I have seen
many elderly men with a similar attitude.
Starve than cook
On the other hand, Raju uncle's son, and many other men of his age,
would rather starve than cook a meal themselves; they never ever venture
into the kitchen, except, perhaps, to drop a greasy plate into the sink.
And, I hear their mothers say with an air of pride: "My son can't make a
cup of coffee for himself". This attitude will not help any more.
Mothers need to remember that the woman their son marries is most likely
to be employed. She may be equally, better or less employed, but
nevertheless, girls of the present-day expect their spouses to share the
housework. She is not going to be amused if her spouse sits glued to the
television, the computer or the newspaper, leaves her to do the
housekeeping and tells her "That's your job, not mine".
To imagine that men can somehow bypass home chores and outsource
their housekeeping is to ask for trouble. Like in the West, domestic
help is soon likely to be in short supply in our cities too. Even if
your son is going to earn wads of money, it might not get him
trustworthy household help. The point is boys need to experience what
it's like to do household chores. They need to be initiated into
housekeeping so that they don't snigger or think it is for the sissies.
As a matter of fact, both boys and girls need to be initiated into
housekeeping and practical life skills, as much as they need to be
trained to manage their emotions and career. Not just fixing a light
bulb, a leaky faucet, or changing tires, boys should even be taught to
sew buttons. "Believe me, your son will thank you when he sees this
attitude help build smooth relationships," Mriganayanee, an elderly
The best way to assign chores is to start early. Here are a few
ideas. Earmark chores for your son, according to his age. At four, you
may get him to help. At five, boys and girls need to be taught to wash
their own plates and cups. At six, they can learn to lay the table
before a meal.
Your own plan
At seven, they may be given the additional chore of wiping the table
after a meal... Make your own plan for your son, and encourage him to
come up with suggestions on where he can chip in.
Take this tip. "Working becomes a lot easier for my son with music
playing in the background," says Nalina, Gaurav's mother. Try switching
on your son and daughter's favourite music and let the entire family
plunge into dusting and organising the home during weekends. At times,
you can eat out or go for a movie, play a game, or trek, post this
A cousin of mine who had never as much as even washed his own socks
was miraculously transformed following a single event - he went abroad
"Abroad, with the limited resources students have, it is either cook
and wash on your own or starve and stink; every chore you outsource
costs so much that you start doing things on your own," he tells me.
When he returned to India, he amazed his mother by washing his plate,
ironing his clothes, and helping about in the kitchen. Well, habits die
hard. Hmm... perhaps, all males need to live abroad for a while to lend
their wives a hand with the household chores. The Hindu