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We are quick to judge women who are not a part of the conventional workforce. A Stay-at-home mom writes about being judged for her choices.
I always wanted to be a working woman. This desire to work started from my school days. I dreamed about finding a job and building a house of my own more than meeting prince charming. In fact, meeting prince charming was never on my list. In those days I never liked the idea of getting married, but I was sure that I would eventually get married to someone of my parent’s choice though I didn’t care much. Then with time, my attitude changed and I too fell in love and got married to my knight-in-shining-armour. Well, that’s a different story.
Let me come back to the topic now.
After getting married, I resigned to join my husband abroad as I did not like the idea of leading a marital life staying in different continents. Though I enjoyed the wife role, it took sometime to get to terms with the non-working, non-earning part of my life. Then when I had my baby, the non-working part served its purpose.
What I am saying is – the ambitious working woman in me found the perks of being a house-wife, a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). The SAHM life proved how wrong I was when I wondered how free my mother’s life with no homework or no exam to worry about was. Life with a husband and baby taught me how wrong I was in assuming that a housewife/SAHM’s life is easy.
I guess almost all women out there must be familiar with what I am talking about. So I am not diving into narrating the hectic day of a wife/mother.
When we returned from the USA to India nine months ago, I hadn’t made up my mind whether to join work or not; because my priority was my son and getting him adjusted to the new surroundings. But as soon as I landed, I was bombarded with questions – “Are you looking for a job?”, “Will you get a job?”, and many were asking my husband if I would get a job where he works.
I saw pity in some eyes on account of my worthless housewife life where my engineering degree is of no use.
While many of those were innocent questions – just wanting to know my future decisions – some of them were not so innocent. I saw pity in some eyes on account of my worthless housewife life where my engineering degree is of no use. I saw accusation in some eyes for not helping my husband’s hand in securing finances. No, no one accused me directly. But there was a lot of discussion about the living expenses in India and about the difficulty of supporting daily life even when both husband and wife work. All of this, I found, is a bit stretched. It’s true that India is more expensive than ever before but only for those who support their livelihood with daily wages, not for the average software professional.
I talked to one of my friends who was trying to get back in the software field after a gap of six years. She was finding no luck there. I asked her -why don’t you do the catering business which you wanted sometime back? She is an excellent cook and she likes trying out new delicacies. She told me that she would love to do that but she was asked what is the use of having an engineering degree if you are going to do the cooking business, and that demotivated her.
I felt that years ago, when the 12-year-old me exclaimed about the work-less, worry-free life of a housewife, I was unaware of the duties and responsibilities involved. I was unaware of the exhaustion a wife met with at the end of the day. Years later, I no longer think that a house-wife has the luxury of time. But even today I see the same exclamation in many (mature) eyes when they ask me how I manage to pass my free time.
I wonder, why is the wife with no earning job still considered worthless?
So what, if someone finds their passion a little later?
So what, if following what we are passionate about doesn’t pay as much as the job that our degree can get us?
So what, if taking care of family is more important to one than earning a handsome pay packet every month?
Even after experiencing the hectic day of a housewife, how can any one think that we must work outside the home to be useful?
When what I choose to do makes me happy how does that make me worthless in your eyes?
This post was first published here.
Pic credit: [email protected] (Used under a CC license)
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