To men and kids of all home-makers out there…
Today, it doesn’t take us a blink of an eye to accept a working woman – be it our wives, sisters or mothers. It just seems obvious and normal to us. But things were not the same 30 or so odd years back when our mothers were young and were taking this leap of career. Some of them chose to be a home-maker and some of them were forced to.
It was an accepted norm in society and roles were already gender-defined. I think back then, it didn’t make a difference and oppression of choice went unnoticed by the very cliched saying “aisa hi hota hai”, “ladkiyon ko apna career sacrifice karna padta hai”, “kaam karogi to ghar kaun sambhalega” and so on so forth. But then times changed, the society started evolving. And when these women were gifted with daughters – they were doubly conscious of giving good education to her so that she can be independent (rather than being forced into taking up home-maker as a choice)
And in this entire process of bringing up the children, taking care of the families and the household which our mothers did nonchalantly and with ever gracious smiles on their face – we – all of us – forgot to be thankful to them. We also started believing that this is what our mothers or aunts are supposed to do. We started living in this state of oblivion.
We forgot that being a home-maker is a tougher role to be in than any damn corporate role. Your timings are untimed, the responsibilities don’t come with a JD and paycheck. You are not given any appraisals or appreciation. There is just this feeling ke yeh to aisa hi hota hai – this is the minimum we accept of a home-maker. In certain cases even worse where the women have been asked – tum karti hi kya ho!
Recently when 2 women who have been very close to me retorted that “Kanha, hum zindagi mein kuch nahi kar paaye”, I was appalled and shocked. For 2 reasons primarily. Firstly, I always perceived them to be the power-centres of their respective households and secondly on the thought why and how did they reach to the point where this thought kicked in. That made me realise how badly we have failed as a society. Tees saal pehle kuch nahi kar sakte they par uske baad to bahut mauke mile honge kuch karne ke, kuch sudhaarne ke – shayad humne woh bhi nahi kiya.
I think that is the point when it would have felt horribly bad to all those women who made a choice in her life to be home-makers but were thrusted with this emotion of self-doubt or incapability. All of us – be men, husbands or kids (sons and daughters) need to prevent that feeling to reek in where she is made to feel worthless.
And more than anyone else, the first onus is on the husband and the kids to not let that home-maker feel that way. Lend a hand, appreciate what she does for the home, acknowledge the sacrifices she has made, an extra mile she goes to ensure that everyone is happy in her house. And that “thankful” wali feeling cannot come by accepting it once in 365 days. It comes and reflects in the day-to-day actions.
From ensuring we are able to manage ourselves and keep our rooms clean, by lifting the scattered stuff around the house, by giving her a day-off, by planning a day-out for her or maybe by planning a trip for her to her favorite destination or restaurant. More importantly to understand her as an individual and acknowledge she can also have good and bad days, she also has the right to feel sad and bad for something when her body and mind are not supporting but she still continues to deliver because it is her family.
The fact being ‘family to hum sab se banti hai’, just that she decided to take it upon her to keep all pieces moving for all of us. We cannot go back in time to fix things but we can definitely fix what is wrong in the present. Change begins at home and it is never too late. Let’s start today and make her – the home-maker – feel worthy! She sacrificed her life for making that house a home a place we all cherish and love going back to every single day! It’s time we make her feel acknowledged and special about all what she has done for us. 🖤