Cooking – A life skill or a mother's duty?

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A mother and baby cooking

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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The web is filled with such pics of mother and daughter cooking. I could not find a clip art image of a mother and son cooking together.

Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

16 thoughts on “Cooking – A life skill or a mother's duty?

  1. ajaybpai says:

    If cooking was a woman oriented domain, there wouldn’t have been any Male Chefs. And we being in 21st century, the belief of only woman cooking has to be trashed.
    Kudos to your strong thoughts and powerful writing.

    Like

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      Thanks Ajay. Its 21st century and obviously the idea of a woman cooking only needs to be trashed. But many of us come from rigid patriarchal families where not only the patriarch but more so the women enforce deeply in their sons this concept of woman of the house cooking. So doesn’t matter if these sons get highly educated, travel the world and get equally qualified wives but the rule set by their mothers needs strict adherence.

      Like

  2. BellyBytes says:

    I remember my own daughter was playing “House” with her boy cousin. They were both under 5 but when my daughter woke up, her cousin told her to make his tea, she told him to do it himself because she was going to work! This despite the fact that we come from a very traditional family where we actually live the stereotype….. So forget stereotyping and getting your son a kitchen set – he’ll cook when he has to!

    Liked by 1 person

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      Love your daughter. Tell her to keep up with her spirit. My mother did not teach me cooking for a long long time because she revolted against the stereotype. And I am going to do the same, revolting against the stereotype by teaching my son how to cook.

      Like

  3. Vidya K says:

    Good one!
    I love taking care of my daughter and cooking for her. What I don’t like is that everyone thinks its my duty and when husband does something for her he is HELPING me. Is it not his duty too?

    Like

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      You have made a very valid point here, Vidya. I hope if it goes the way like the mother in this story thinks, times would be much better in future.

      Like

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      Kudos!! I am so happy to find out there is another mother who is willing to revolt against the stereotype. Husbands would never agree to this thing because it will land them in an altogether different proposition.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Deaf Mamma says:

    Hehahah must say Dhruv is becoming observant with you reading him daily. A great habit. And no comments on breaking stereotypes because it causes a stir in my peaceful happy go lucky life. Guess, i will let myself lose some battles and win over my mind !

    Like

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      You cannot make amendments to a non-modifiable system program. Any attempt would lead to the system crashing down altogether. So what you are doing is an highly intelligent act.

      Like

  5. vidsps says:

    Children imbibe cues from their surroundings, if we hope to raise kids without stereotyped notions, we must practice and not just preach. An insightful post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • the bespectacled mother says:

      Thank you Kalyani ☺ A society devoid of gender discrimination will be so good to be a part of. It is a dream worth having. Welcome to my blog and thanks again for sharing your kind thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

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