Why doesn’t Papa do laundry? #MondayMusings

Mummy, why doesn’t Papa do laundry?

Mummy, why doesn’t Papa cook dinner?

Mummy, why doesn’t Papa drink tea?

The questions have started coming. The books that we read, the movies that we watch, the movies and television that we deliberately stay away from are becoming instrumental in creating a thought process in the 5-year-old.

My answer to the first 2 questions were “Papa se bhi ye kaam karva lenge” (we will get papa to do all this). Candidly speaking, this is crap for an answer because I do not know how to get the same done, how to get those tied up hands untied from the clutches of the restraint of not knowing how to do such jobs.

People around me, including family tells me I am up for a seemingly difficult task. When they witness Dhruv’s aggression, they are quick to comment “Oh he has to grow up to be a man” and I know what they mean. It is not going to be same as – I read, I read to him, I read with him, he reads and thus becomes a reader and a book lover for life. It is going to be challenging to break him free of the gender stereotypes because there will not be any example before him and he will be watching me do all the work at home. Off course, the remedy to my doing the housework is to employ maids but that is not the solution. The solution is partnership.

As of now, I do not have a road map but only a vision.

Linking this post with #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne RodriguesΒ andΒ Microblog Mondays.

#Monday Musings



  1. I understand what you mean..Honestly, I don’t know what you can do because honestly I see S at home unable to do many things..When he tries to do something, it just ends up messing everything up, more work for me this..But yes, to not let gender stereotypes set in our children’s’ minds , we need to do something but I don’t even have a vision about what should be done!


  2. Some men are eager to help but they create a bigger mess but the key is to try to help. The children will like that rather than no effort to pitch in by their daddies πŸ™‚ Thought provoking post.


  3. Maybe by assigning that is relatively simple to do, and won’t mess things up so badly, you can work towards your vision?
    Reading a bedtime story alternately could be one way to start. Or maybe going out to play on public holidays?


  4. This is a task many avoid to even think of. The fact that you have such a vision is good enough to start. Getting partnership in the chores is way harder than it seems, but surely you can get your child to understand and help you? I hope you do… πŸ™‚


  5. I have had similar troubles. Know what I do? I don’t do them either. One day, two days, sooner or later the guy’s going to need clothes to wear to work! I simply raise up and my hands and admit I’m not a superwoman. Take up a simple chore, but you have to help. I even tell my husband, don’t let your boy understand that I did a better job at raising him than your mother! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›


  6. Dhruv’s becoming inquisitive day by day, I must say πŸ™‚ But to support you, I guess having the vision is more important than having a roadmap per se. Things will surely fall in place in due course. You may like to tell him things which Papa does and no one else in the family. This way he might be able to weigh both the scales πŸ™‚


  7. I think I am lucky to have witnessed men around me doing housework. Dad, bro, husband … they know how to take care of a house πŸ™‚ Kids learn from example and there is no alternative to that I believe. Hope your vision becomes practical soon πŸ™‚


  8. Both of you need to talk and discuss, because if it is what a 5 year old notices, then it is starkly out there.. I can’t comment much because for almost 20 years of my life I thought everybody did every chore in the house, because that was/ still is how it is in my family and extended family. College taught me unnecessary details as specifications of roles! if Dad is up early he makes the breakfast, it is mum she does, same way with all the chores, nobody waits for the other to do, they just fill and do it, and get the job done.. a different set of circumstances, I think I may be in for a shock πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The problem is that some men just can’t cook and it’s not a question of gender stereotypes.
    Having said that, working a washing machine should be no big deal.But you can get D to watch some men chefs at work and also see what your husband does that you don’t do – again not because of gender, but simply because he’s better at it.


  10. I do most of the household chores at home, over a period of time VT has started to contribute. The change was slow but it is happening and I always tell him that it’s our house so we will have to do things equally. I have helps to cook and clean but still there are things to be done. You have to ask for change, not just for Dhruv but for yourself. It could be simple like turning the machine on for laundry or filling water, cutting fruits etc. I know many men do a lot more but VT was brought up in a house where roles were gender based. Without having explicitly calling that out, we are both making an effort. Hard I know, but possible.


  11. Hey Anamika,

    It will be a slow change for our Husbands as they had witnessed their Mother doing all household chores. They don’t know how to do it but neither we did. We learned and so can they. What if they take more time to learn, they create a mess, let them but it will help us in the long run- from teaching our children to sharing our workload.
    I started with telling my Husband to sanitize and prepare milk bottle for our kid. We need to remind them that we expect a helping hand. My personal experience- Nagging doesn’t work but a humble word does.

    Good wishes. Hope we could bring the change though slowly.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My husband has watched his father for 60 years now doing the laundry ( first hand wash and now he operates the machine), do the shopping ( as an 85+he still buys his own groceries, fruit and WALKS home with them ), lays the table and helps clear up , even makes tea for all of us when we don’t have help, and keeps an eye on his great grandchildren but my husband still doesn’t follow his example.
    And I’m glad he doesn’t simply because when he washes the clothes , he doesn’t squeeze them dry, when he looks after the children they are watching TV with him and as for shopping – he only knows how to buy expensive presents.
    Of course he chips in when I need it and is self sufficient but the point I’m trying to make is that children don’t always emulate what they see their parents doing.
    Let your son grow up to be himself. I’m sure with a sensitive and sensible mother like you, he can’t be anything else!
    Don’t fret the small stuff . Enjoy your little darling man


  13. Children learn what they see.. most men in our society have seen their moms work in the home front where there dad’s are out the whole day. This thought process some how settled down in them and they carry it with them in adult life. Now breaking this thought and getting them to do household chores at this stage could be a herculean task. Lil Dhruv in all innocence seldom understands this. So u have a tough job at hand there.


  14. This is the hardest bit. It is hard to keep kids away from gender stereotypes. I’ve seen it happening with my kids and it makes me sad. However, since mine a little older I have begun to talk to them about changing roles of men and women, how they are meant to help out each other. I wonder though how much of it is being retained.


  15. What kind of man do you want to raise for the world? That’s a question for both parents. I think those sons who appreciate the work that it takes to run a household because they have done it, can appreciate and treasure those who do the work. I met and married a man who is quite capable of cooking and cleaning but now does neither on a regular basis. But he still does his own laundry (bitches about it a little bit) but I had to ruin a few t-shirts for that to happen. Hahaha.


  16. It is so hard to step out of those cultural roles, even when the other person is trying to meet you part way. I think you teach your son how to do these things, even if he isn’t seeing it modeled.


  17. I am only nodding all along reading your post! I have come across all kinds of men, the ones that can do the work but won’t, the ones who are genuinely bad at it and the ones who simply won’t even try to do it, leave alone learn! It is a social issue more than a personal one I think. Gender stereotyping in some parts of the country is a lot more prevalent, especially in Northern and the Eastern belt of India (sorry to say so). In the north-eastern states of our country, I have seen men are much more eager to share the housework and caring responsibilities. My stay in England for close to ten years and seeing the British men so happily joining in and being totally hands-on with housework, sharing the mundane chores, looking after the kids and cooking as well, has actually opened my eyes to what our Indian men are so capable of doing IF and ONLY IF they want to do it! I have seen men in my family from both categories and can tell you most Indian men look for the shortest escape route when it comes to housework and other chores. Its all in the mind, you see! But, despair not, Anamika. Your son is being shaped by you and so, as Manish says, the vision is more important…the road map will appear in due course of time. Good luck ahead!


  18. I guess kids learn (if they want to) when they grow up…some grow up to have biases depending upon many situations.
    More importantly, you can teach him to what he should become.


  19. Kids watch adults and imitate them, true. But kids do hear us talking about these and those words will also have an effect on them. In our house, I do most of the household chores. But when I am tired and sick or when I feel overwhelmed, I ask my husband to do some of the chores and he does that, not exactly happily but he does (As if I am doing the chores happily πŸ˜‰ ). These days my husband is doing a great deal of tasks around the house and he is starting to feel guilty when he doesn’t get the time to do. I am glad to see the change. But when we visit India he won’t step inside the kitchen because it is expected so. I make Kanna do small chores like tidying up his room, asking him to help me with laundry, etc. I believe discussing and delegating tasks are important if we want everyone in the family to pitch in. I hope your vision will help you reach your goal, Anamika. Dhruv has a mom like you, that makes all the difference. πŸ™‚


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