Two weeks ago, our housemaid had to go back to her country, the Philippines, to look after her sick mother for a while. Since then, all family members had to share the burden of the household-chores. However, the work was not divided equally among all members in the family.
Everyone had to wash their own dish after every meal, and do their beds every morning, even my 11 years old brother. My dad likes to cook sometimes. so, whenever he feels like cooking, he would go and make something for lunch. However, my mom is usually the one responsible of cooking.
Since I am the big sister and my mom is working and doing her masters, most of the household work is assigned to me. Even though, my 16 years old sister is responsible enough to do the same work I do, I still have to do more than she does. This is because, as my mom claims, because I’m the eldest sister, and so I must hold most of the responsibilities among my siblings. My sister cleans two rooms and one bathroom, whereas I clean four rooms, three bathrooms and the Kitchen. When it comes to laundry and ironing, my sister and I take turns. My little brother is only responsible of washing his dishes, doing his bed, and taking the trash out.
It is interesting to see how gender roles and power play out in the family. Women do more house-hold work, and the parents try to give as much work to their children as they can because they hold more power in the family.
It also seems that my little brother have socialized to think that males are not supposed to do house-hold work, whether it is from watching my dad, watching TV show and movie, or from his friends. One day he was complaining to my mom saying that he doesn’t want to clean his plate because boys are not supposed to do this work, women are supposed to do that. however, my mom hold more power in the family than he does, so she forced him to clean his plate after all.