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The stay at home daddy is a fairly recent phenomenon even in Western countries. How does it work in India?
Some fairly recent research states that approximately 200,000 British men love to stay at home looking after the home and children while their counterparts go out to battle it out in the big bad world. How cool is our country regarding the idea of stay at home dads or husbands?
We are still living in a society where daddies are the super heroes and moms the ‘angel’ or ‘Cinderella’ who does magic by her ‘magic mop’. The current trends in urban areas are changing and today both sexes are equal bread earners. Even though the figures are still not very high, a considerable percentage of the female population now go out and work. We should be thankful to the education system and the different types of revolution that has transformed the world altogether.
What if the husband decides to take a break and focus on children and home, and lets his partner venture out and earn her mouthful of sky and make an identity? The common judgemental Indian public will react like “Oh! He is that guy who stays at home whole day doing nothing and wife goes out to work!” There would be ego clashes and family pride would fall at stake. Those pandering to stereotypes would start delivering dialogues in a subtle or loud manner. Some would even sympathise with the plight of the wife, by saying “poor girl, she has to work to support the family!”
If you look around there are several instances where the husband has taken a break from normal office work to pursue a hobby or maybe work from home. Take for instance the case of celebrity actor Atul Agnihotri, who decided to be a stay at home daddy as he was battling it out with his addiction problem. There are families where the wife works for a typical 9-5 job and the husband is into some form of business which he carries out from home. The hubby picks up his wife from office, kids from school, checks the grocery supplies, puts on the chef’s apron, accompanies children to parks, etc. Will such actions downgrade the image of the quintessential Indian super hero to zero?
For families where the husband or the male counterpart stays at home due to job instability or other reasons, it is not easy. Society will keep poking questions and pass comments that will hurt the ‘male ego’ of not being able to contribute to the family’s income. My husband often says, “I would love to take a break and pursue what I enjoy doing!”
For a moment I feel he is right, maybe I should take hold of the expenses now. But on second thoughts, I start to ponder as to – will his male ego and societal judgement let him do what he wants? My friends compliment me sometimes on my hubby helping me out with a lot of household chores, but I think the credit goes to my mom-in-law who has trained or brought up her boys in such a manner that they actively participate in household chores. Most Indian moms bring up their sons like ‘Anmol Ratans’ who have come to this world only to order and conquer. So the moment they come to know that their ‘daughters-in-law’ have become the bread earner and their son has become a stay at home daddy their very existence would be a big question.
The concept has still not gained much popularity in the Indian scenario as the main question still lingers — whether our educated super guys are ready to accept this concept of being in a woman’s world. And whether they would consider themselves lucky to be the ‘Man behind the Woman’s Success’.
Image source: pixabay
Born in the abode of clouds 'Meghalaya', Malabika, is a friendly, frank and sincere person.
Awesome Mala.. Good read
Well written, Mala…Glad to read your article.
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