From the morning tea to dinner and cleaning up after that and ensuring that everyones ready for the next day is HER responsibility.
When it comes to household chores womxn are seen as the one who is in charge and it’s her duty not only ensure the smooth functioning of household chores but also tend to everyone in the house from children to the adults. Irrespective of whether she has a full – time job or not.
Even though today a growing number of people share the workload including household tasks the womxn is seen as the one responsible, the manager of sorts. She has to delegate the work and tell the other members of the house what is to be done and do her share of those tasks also. There is a problem with this narrative of being the manager or the only responsible one for the household even if the physical workload is shared – let me explain.
She has to constantly keep reminding herself as well as others of the task like my husband/partner needs to get his shirt from the laundry, my child has a school project due in a week, my parents need to get health checkup done . This is called Mental Load. The partner or the husband will often say if you need to get work done tell me or you should have told me you needed help with that. Over here, the man denies to take up the mental load of remembering what to do and only sees himself as someone who can assist.
So the womxn not only have to remember their professional work related agendas, but also have to take the house and family members into consideration. That is a lot of mental load! Not only that but also doing at least half of the house chores herself. Think about managers in an organisation, their role is to oversee the other employees, delegate and assist in the projects themselves if need be. They seldom do the task from start to finish. The more individuals a manager oversees, the less they are involved in actually doing tasks themselves.
In certain households we might have parity in physically sharing the workload but not in mental workload. This might or might not be intentional but it has a lot to do with the way we are told to socialise since we were little. Girls are given kitchen sets and dolls to play with whereas boys are given cars and construction sets. In our movies, for example, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, the Naina is the homely yet accomplished doctor who wants to “settle” and Bunny is the carefree adventure who is not at all homely and does not want to “settle” at all.
While womxn are more present today in the paid workforce than others before they are still considered the CEO of the household. For us to get to be closer to parity, it is important for men to feel their own home is their equal responsibility too and to not just be an assistant in their houses.