For the average Filipino family, chores like washing, taking out the trash, sweeping, mopping, doing the laundry are things that are often assigned to helpers. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home with loving helpers too, just like most of you. They have been with us for decades and are really part of our family. I had a very happy childhood because of them and I hope someday I will be in a good position to repay them for all their years of dedicated service to our family. Currently my parents have been saving up to build small homes for our helpers for their future retirement. My parents are not excessively wealthy so they’ve been paying through installments, little by little. It hurts their pockets too but I can imagine it brings a lot of joy for them to be able to set aside money to bless those who have been blessings to us for so long. I guess it’s their way of honoring our helpers&drivers who have given so much to us. This is the same relationship I wish to have with my household employees in the future and as early as now I’ve been praying for Patrick and I to have the provision to compensate our helpers properly and to treat them with the utmost respect just like any other professional in the workplace.
At the moment, we don’t have a helper. It’s just me and Patrick in our cozy condo for now. We have hired a cleaning assistant to come in once in a while and we have our laundry done outside (because we don’t have space for a washing machine here), but everything else we do together as a couple. Being able to manage our household has been a challenge and a cause for petty spats and misunderstandings, but we’ve been able to create some sort of rhythm in the nearly 4 months of living together and I’m happy to report that we’re doing a pretty good job.
I’m not saying it’s been smooth sailing everyday—I still have to drag my feet to the kitchen every time the clock alerts me that my dinner should be in its cooking stage. I don’t like getting my hands dry and itchy after washing the dishes. And to this day, I completely hate taking out the trash! (That’s why it’s Patrick’s assignment!) It’s not like the chores became FUN all of a sudden—like Oh Joy! Ang sarap mag-walis ng sahig! Hahaha! The chores are still tiring, time consuming, and an overall hassle. But it’s our attitude towards doing housework that has changed.
I honestly feel that by doing housework consistently and effectively, we’re able to practice our teamwork as a couple. It’s also a way for us to display affection through acts of service. Whenever Patrick steps in to take over in washing the dishes, or when he sets the table without me even asking, or when he changes the towels in the bathroom—these little deeds show that he’s always thinking of ways to make things less inconvenient for me.
I love that I have a very secure man who doesn’t mind doing household chores and that he’s not gripped by that societal pressure to be macho and leave all the work to the misis. We’re equal partners in our home and we distribute the work evenly. In fact, now that I’m not able to do strenuous activities (due to my operation), Patrick has been stepping up even more with the chores. I recall hearing a girl saying that she and her husband couldn’t move out of their parents’ home because her husband “hates doing chores”. Single girls, please do NOT marry someone with a senyorito complex! Marry someone who you can take care of and who will take care of you too. Hindi yung utos lang ng utos, naku, patay tayo diyan!
Someday I’m sure we will have helpers of our own too, if God grants us that comfort and luxury. But it’s great being in this season in our life right now–being able to be productive and efficient in tandem. Just so when things get rough in the future, we know that we will be able to take care of each other because we started from scratch. Thank you Lord for humble beginnings!