When I was a child, I was told that we should not call a mother a house-wife, instead we should call them a “Home-maker”. I was touched by this vocabulary change. It is not about being fancy but about giving the due respect to homemakers which practically has been denied for long.
In India, it is not rare to find a spouse in a couple minding the house full-time. This is generally the woman. In fact, it has long been seen as the duty of the wife to not take any employment and take care of the house. Also, apart from the metro cities and generation Y, most women are uneducated and end up being unemployed.
Photo by juliamaudlin
Doesn’t a person get bored being at home all day, do you wonder? I think a homemaker handles a lot more responsibilities than the employed spouse! It is a full time job- morning before everyone wakes up until everyone sleeps and there are no holidays on weekends!
I am sure, everyone has seen the memes doing the rounds on Facebook about Indian or Asian mothers and their super protective and loving nature for their children, it is not one bit untrue! She wakes up before her kids and husband wake up and prepares their breakfast and lunch and packs their food for lunch. It is a common sight of a mother running with her children clutching their school bags to the school bus here. While the kids are gone, one of her jobs is to worry about them the entire day. Another, is to take care of her in-laws and the house upkeep. Women occasionally indulge in socializing and “kitty-parties” but it might not be every day.
Before she knows, her children are back home. She has to feed them, help them out with their home-work send them for extra-curricular classes and so on. Then comes the time for dinner. Each meal has to be nutritious, delicious, and interesting otherwise her children are going to starve to death, at least what a mother thinks will happen! It is no wonder the world-wide reflex is to connect mother with food and food with mother.
What we don’t realize is between lunch, breakfast and dinner, the homemaker raises and shapes her children. She watches out for the company they’re keeping, their performance at school, their manners and values and their health. It is the science and art of management- management of a home.
While the lady cannot afford to fall ill even for a day as the entire routine will derail for the house, she is the custodian of her family’s health. The duty to prevent any illness and to take care of first aid home remedies and doctor’s appointments fall on the woman of the houses, a lot due to the
Sheryl Sandberg points out a very important facet though, when women work at home they have responsibilities all day long. When a spouse is back from work and on weekends these homely responsibilities should be shared between the two. However, in India the roles are very well cut out and husbands are supposed to take care of bread winners’ role while wives are supposed to take care of all chores at home. While we venerate home-makers for their supreme sacrifice, it is important that it is not a forced choice. Even working couples play an indispensable role in shaping their home and children. But if someone decided to be a stay at home parent- it should be purely out of personal choice and not because of societal pressure.
A homemaker’s contribution is taken for granted, but I hope not anymore.
Featured Photo by d.real