I am waiting to pick up my son at his school bus stop when another woman walks by. After both of us have exchanged smiles, she strikes up a conversation. It goes thus…
Her: How old is your son?
Me: 5-year-old, yours?
Her: Are you working or a housewife?
(She stirred up a hornet’s nest)
Me: (controlling my anger), We are called homemakers being which is one helluva job.
Her: No, I mean you don’t go to an office?
Me: (Not wanting to rub her on the wrong side), I have an unpaid job 24/7 right at home, so no time to go to any office.
Her: (Smiling) But don’t you want to contribute to the society?
Me: (chuckling) Yes, I have done my bit by producing a child
Although I kind of diffused what would have turned out to be a heated argument, I was seething with rage over her indifference towards those labeled ‘housewives’.
Several women have given up their cushy jobs to become stay-at-home wives/moms (if that doesn’t sound offensive). No, we are not talking about the women from the middle-income groups alone. We have several examples in the celebrity circles too who left their jobs when they were at their peak of their career to enjoy the bliss of motherhood. Economic independence is absolutely essential for a woman, but that doesn’t mean she has to slog both at home as well as office to prove her worth, right?
Spanish actor Penelope Cruz said after giving birth to a son: “Being a housewife is the best thing in the world. It’s beautiful.” She’s become a public advocate of breastfeeding since turning a mother.
This is true of every mother whose only priority would be to groom her child to become a good human being. But ever wondered what is it about motherhood that makes even highly ambitious woman give up their careers to settle down to domestic life? Let me tell you being a homemaker is no mean feat. She has her hands full with loads of work ranging from cooking and cleaning to running errands and taking care of the kid. And these she does selflessly and happily without expecting any reward.
She’s happy to be a part of her child’s journey, to be able to see him grow up and teach her child to be a productive person. Her reward would be when she sees her child turn into one! Her joy knows no bounds when that happens, that’s the only real award she expects. It’s not easy for a woman earning a fat salary to throw it all away. Having a job, no doubt gives you a different kind of identity while giving you financial independence. And it’s a huge risk to take because if she wants to resume her career, it won’t be a cake walk. But standing by your child, motivating him to reach his goals and finally watch him get there is priceless.
The general feeling is that a housewife is living off her husband’s hard-earned money. But let me tell you it’s not a rosy path being a housewife. I’ll tell you why.
It all starts off after your pregnancy test turns positive. Can you imagine losing control over the emotional and physical changes happening to you? It happens to a woman. From waking up to feeling nauseous and putting on weight to fighting cravings to ensure the health of the fetus to protecting what’s within for nine months, it is a long journey, which has just begun.
Soon after the baby’s out, it’s the sole responsibility of the mother to feed the child, stay up all night and ensure the baby is comfortable.
Here are five reasons why being a stay-at-home mom is a big deal:
- Because I am a stay-at-home mom, I have to be available 24/7 to cater to all my child’s needs.
- There cannot be a mark of injury on my child. When my child fell off while playing (which is common), the fingers were pointed at me with questions like: “I am sure you were busy watching your daily soaps when this happened!”
- I am a trustworthy cook, driver, babysitter and a home tutor so my husband can perform his official duties without any stress.
- No matter how tired I am, I have no time to rest. At times, I don’t even get the time to have a cuppa or eat in peace.
- No me time. Yes, you read that right. I might want to catch up with my bestie on her birthday or meet up a friend over coffee or watch a movie. But reality bites. There’s none home, and I have to play the babysitter as my husband has an ‘important’ meeting at work that he can’t miss.
So, you see I am not portraying women as a scapegoat. Kudos to all those who are perfectly balancing home and work. But I guess it’s time even the so-called housewife got her due. Instead of calling her just a housewife, can we applaud her courage for sacrificing her paid job to tend to her domestic responsibilities for the sheer joy and love of looking after her child?
Before I sign off, here’s a piece I stumbled upon. I am sure this would cheer up all those feeling low because of the ‘Are you just a stay-at-home MOM remark.’
Here it goes…
Just a mom?! I can’t stand it when people say, “You’re JUST a mom?” with their annoying gestures. ” Yes! I am a mom!” (and a Damn good one!) That makes me an alarm clock, cook, maid, waitress, teacher, nurse, referee, handyman, security officer, photographer, counselor, chauffeur, event planner, hairdresser, personal assistant, ATM & I scare away the boogie man or any ghosts that haunt my kids at night. I don’t get any paid holidays, sick pay or days off. I work DAY & NIGHT. I am on call 24/7 for the rest of my life. That’s just BEING A MOM! I may not be anything to you, but I am everything to someone. Enough said.