Bosses Expect Women To Work Like They Don’t Have Kids, And Families Expect Them To Be Primary Caregivers!

Why does having no career after motherhood seem more of a viable option for most Indian women? It's the unjust expectations from them!

The number of women in the workforce has indeed increased significantly over time, yet a fair few women are opting to be stay-at-home mothers.

I have noticed many women after marriage, especially after entering motherhood quit their jobs or back out of their flourishing careers to cherish moments with their children and family.

The tricky question of work-life balance

One of the reasons behind this may be finding a work-life balance, and dealing with the relentless juggling between professional and personal life. Another may be long exhausting hours at work and never-ending job demands that don’t let them meet their family expectations or their family obligations and commitments don’t let them pull out all the stops to meet the otherwise possible deadlines at their workplace.

Women are supposed to work like they don’t have children and mother like they don’t work outside their homes.

Women are expected to show no vulnerability at work and then despised for not being relatable.

Hence either they are delaying their motherhood or taking a career break once they become mothers.

Some women’s stories I have seen from up close

My cousin confided this in me a while ago – Increased workloads and non-flexible hours at work are not letting her think about planning a  child as she will not be able to do justice to the role of being a mother. And getting consistent pressure from parents and family to have a child, “taking a career break seems a viable option, she confessed.”

In another instance, one of my friends gave up her full-fledged IT job when she was conceived and now working as a freelance to optimize her family time. She is delighting in her time as a new mom.

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Other reasons may include, limited transport facilities, long commute hours, invariable work hours, delayed promotion and pay parity, why women are stepping down from their jobs.

On top of that, not having unwavering support from family and having unexpected expectations from the family may be another trigger for quitting their job.

A more flexible freelance career may appear preferable

“The gig economy being in full effect” could be another reason for women taking a break from their jobs.

The gig economy refers to the workforce of people engaged in freelance and side-hustle work.

They can start a freelance writing and blogging gig and rack in some extra cash. The advantage of freelance work is that it can be done from any corner of the world and on your own time.

They can also earn by turning their hobbies into business. If they are into painting, knitting, photography, jewelry making, or graphic design they can monetize their hobby as an individual seller on Etsy, an online marketplace that provides a large audience and a huge consumer base.

Offering online tutoring and having an authentic online cooking and dancing channel can also help add a few extra bucks to their household income.

Additionally the burgeoning base of affluent individuals and boomed economic growth over time points to the fact that Indian families are better off now than they were a generation ago.

The affordability factor

The availability of adequate income and the ability to manage savings has also led women to choose not to go back to work if they can afford to. As per capita income has increased as an economic prosperity, women are reassessing the need to grind themselves between managing home and office. The security and assurance of being able to pay for their children’s higher education and healthcare of family members has made women look at work as a choice not as a mandatory requirement.

There is enough evidence that shows many qualified women have come forward and pursued their interests of volunteering for social causes and entrepreneurship who otherwise could have earned and contributed to their household income.

They choose to fulfill their duties as a wife and a mother and lead a peaceful and better family life over becoming a working woman. They take a break from their careers to see each of their children’s developmental and academic milestones be physically, mentally and emotionally present with their teenagers and support them when they navigate through teenage trauma, peer pressure and exam stress.

Image source: by filadendron from Getty Images Signature Free for Canva Pro

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