Equality in parenting: Society since ancient times has handed the duty of childrearing to women; while men were and continue to be hailed for minimal contribution. With generations changing the narrative and men partaking in activities that were believed to be “a mother’s duty”. Those activities become difficult when a woman has had a tough pregnancy. But they are very quickly labelled as “bad mothers” if they refuse because of the preconceived notions that were solidified over the years.
Keertthi Gunduboina and her husband Chetan are one of those people who have broken past the gendered barriers as they are raising their infant Aarna. Speaking about her pregnancy, Keertthi revealed that it was in November 2020 that the couple found out about her pregnancy.
“For the first 3 months, we didn’t tell anyone, including our parents as we had already gone through one miscarriage before. It was a difficult period for me but during my second pregnancy, Chetan became my rock,” she said.
She said that her husband took on the responsibility of handling the housework when she was advised of bed rest. She added that because of the lockdown, their parents could not visit them when they were told about her pregnancy. However, Chetan was by his partner’s side handling everything.
“Every day he made sure that I had enough protein & was in my best health. He was always there for every doctor’s appointment. His job required him to travel even during the lockdown. So, he left his job to take care of me,” Keertthi said.
The couple’s child Aarna was born in July 2021 and since then, the doting partner has also proven to be a doting father. Keertthi said that postpartum was a difficult phase for her, especially because of her C-Section, and she says her husband became her rock all over again.
“Chetan would often tell me, ‘I’ll do everything for the baby, but I will not change diapers.’ But Chetan happily changed her first diaper and continues to do it even today,” she quipped, and added, “The postpartum was a difficult phase for me but he again came in as my support system. Be it my midnight cravings, feeding and burping Aarna, massaging my legs, taking care of our baby while I had my sleep, he has always been there.”
The couple, she said, since their wedding, have split the chores between the two. Gunduboina says while she is happy to have a supportive husband like Chetan, it is important to recognise that marriages are supposed to be an equal partnership of two individuals.
Watch their story written by Mahima Gupta here.