A mother and her son were reading a book together. On one page they came across a picture in which the father was cooking in the kitchen and the mother was having breakfast at the table with her 2 kids. The mother talked about the picture with her son. The son promptly interjected “But the mother should be cooking and the father should be eating”.
This bothered the mother. She realised that her 4 year old who is still not aware about the stereotypes of the society has picked up his understanding from her own household. He has always watched his mother taking care of the cooking and his father idling time on the couch either busy on his smartphone or watching television. He has been witness to his mother’s request of helping her with her kitchen work being turned down by the father even if it has just been helping prepare the salad so compulsorily required by the father with every meal.
He has overheard his parents’ conversation about hiring a cook because the mother feels that she gets tired cooking 3 meals 7 days a week and the father suggesting that the food should always be prepared by the woman of the house.
Unknowingly, the mother herself has set up the expectation of her child.
She counsels herself that she will teach her son to cook. She ponders over – Why not cooking should be considered as a life skill? Why should it be seen as a female’s domain only? She promises herself to make a difference to the stereotypes set.
At the next opportunity, she discusses the above things with the father. And, what did she expect to hear from him?
She was asked to pick up the contents of the books, she was reading to her son, with utmost care in future so that such dilemmas could be best avoided. The father summoned her not to try to deviate the child from his studies by teaching and involving him in domestic chores. He let out the final blow then. “What will my parents think you are trying to do with their grandson teaching him to cook?”
The mother could not contain herself any longer. She countered the father “Those times are gone. I no longer care about people who are keen at judging me about the things I perceive to be right”.
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