Why Can’t A Mother Be Dependent On Her Daughter In Old Age

As a working woman, if I wish to take care of my mother, why do you have a problem with it?

When I joined one of the organisations on deputation, I was asked to fill up several forms as usual.

One of the forms was related to the individual’s dependents. In that, I also filled up the name of my mother, which I had been doing since the time my father died.

Immediately the junior official exclaimed, “You can’t fill up your mother’s name as a dependent!”

I was annoyed. All my male colleagues did have their mother’s name as a dependent if they had no other source of income as per the company’s policies. Then why I was being singled out?

Don’t you have a brother?

The answer came soon enough. He asked, “Don’t you have a brother?”

Yes, I do have a brother and he’s more than willing to take up his responsibilities. However, he is ten years younger than me, and my mother always felt comfortable with me in certain things. Medical issues were one of them.

Being a firebrand (as they call me), I immediately called up the official’s senior and expressed my annoyance and the matter was resolved immediately, but that did leave a scar on my heart.

Why can’t a woman declare her widowed mother as her dependent when the mother has no other source of income?

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The question, “Don’t you have a brother?” kept twitching my mind every now and then. I did know that the mistake was on the part of the junior official who had that mindset, and it was representative of the company, but that’s what worried me the most.

Why do we have a problem with daughters being caretakers?

Patriarchy is so embedded in the thought process that a daughter taking care of her parents is something that is not digested easily by society. Even if the immediate family has no issues, outsiders will comment so much about it, that one might feel awkward.

I wondered about myself and my husband. We only have a single daughter (as per choice). With this archaic thinking of society, can she never take care of us when we need it? Obviously, like everyone else, I hope that I never do need her help. Financially, obviously, I won’t. However, physically, I might.

Will someone ask her the same question, “Don’t you have a brother?”

Image Source: Canva Pro

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About the Author


Neelam Saxena Chandra is an Engineering graduate from VNIT and has done her Post Graduation Diploma in IM&HRD and also in Finance. She has completed a summer course in Finance from London School of read more...

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