Share the daily chores during Quarantine
Chore Wars during Quarantine: Men, Women, and Housework
For millions around the world, life has taken a drastic turn. The coronavirus pandemic has put everyone in quarantine.
Undoubtedly, for women, the primary caretakers in a household, the situation was always the same. Irrespective of the pandemic, their responsibilities were never lesser, just shared with the help of a house help, laundry service, cooks, among others.
While the coronavirus pandemic has opened a Pandora’s box, it has also presented an unprecedented opportunity for men in the country to share the daily chores during quarantine with their wives, girlfriends, and partners.
Most men have a perception that as breadwinners of the family, their primary responsibility is to earn money and take care of the finances. However, with more women in the workforce than ever, this notion falls flat.
In the times of coronavirus, nearly all of the white-collar workforce is working from home, the labor for women has only increased manifold, given the fact schools and colleges, have been shut and children are at home, and domestic workers have been asked to stay at home for everyone’s safety.
This is a golden opportunity for men to share the daily chores during quarantine and prove that they genuinely believe in gender equality.
When both of you have jobs, yet one of you does most/all the housework
Women spend more time in paid employment but still come home to the second shift. On a typical day, nearly half of them will do housework, but just 20 percent of men will do the same. And women put more time into scrubbing the toilet or doing the laundry—three more hours each week than men.
Does that make women beacons of cleanliness, while men are genetically unable to see the messiness in their midst?
Studies have also found that girls are asked to do more work around the house than boys. This practice delivers a strong message for both genders: girls learn that housework naturally falls under their domain, and boys learn to depend on girls for chores as well.
While millennial households are more likely to adopt egalitarian views about gender, reporting they want to split household duties and income equally, research shows those promises often collapse under the weight of long-held gender stereotypes.
The impact of this “chore gap”, the difference between the amount of housework done by women and men, is immense,
Firstly, it provides a disincentive for women to look for jobs beyond the realms of the household.
Secondly and more importantly, “unfairness in the division of household labor can lead to feelings of anxiety, demoralization, depression and worry”.
Our country has seen a lot of growth and development. However, in terms of empowering women, we haven’t done enough. Our women are now doctors, scientists, engineers, and leading businesswomen, why is the household still a woman’s job? How can we change it?
Here are some of the ways in which we can make little changes so that the sharing of the daily chores during quarantine is more equitable:
1. Set a strong example:
As a mother, make sure you are delegating tasks to all family members, as a father, ensure that you help out with chores. In fact, men can actively promote gender equality: by taking parental leave, by sharing the double shift of childcare and housework, by helping out with simple chores such as laundry and washing dishes.
2. Get the boys involved early:
Start small, start strong. Cultivate household responsibility at an early age so that it becomes ingrained when they grow up. Besides, studies have shown that giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility, and self-reliance.
3. Find champions in both men and women:
Look for examples around you of women you admire and how men have been instrumental in contributing to their success.
4. Don’t call it a women’s issue:
It should concern every brother, father, and husband. A very touching ad campaign by Ariel #ShareTheLoad thoughtfully and sentimentally dwells on partnering with men to better delegate chores. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, applauded the ad saying it was the “most powerful videos I have ever seen” – showing how stereotypes hurt all of us and are passed from generation to generation. Share the concept; have the dialogue.
5. Don’t be too fussy:
Be flexible in terms of household standard. Agree on the “must-do” and “should-do” jointly with your significant other and keep each other accountable for it. Make it easy. Invest in products that may reduce the overall time invested in household chores.
6. Learn to appreciate:
When the men help out, don’t take it for granted. Smile and be gracious. Most of the time we complain and do not appreciate the effort, love and care put in by the spouse.
7. Be Assertive:
Men may not always be the most intuitive, so don’t expect them to read your mind. When you need help, explain and ask for it. It is likely that they were just clueless.
8. Make it fun:
Plan goals and rewards on the completion of goals. Do not take it as a burden. Celebrate, play music, spend time together shopping, and doing activities that you enjoy. Check out things you can do in this lockdown in another article here.
Reduction of the chore gap is necessary to bring harmony in the family, respect for women in the house, general feeling of happiness, satisfaction, and understanding. This will also lead to an increase in productivity levels of women in various professions and the overall productivity of the nation.
We have a long way to go to close the chore gap but with this sharing of the daily chores during quarantine could lead to big victories. You can try to build strong family bonds.
Happy and safe Quarantine!