Walking the tight rope

work and family


Today morning, I got a WhatsApp message which read and I quote verbatim ,”Some days I am extremely focused on my career development and future goals. Other days I just want to quit and become a housewife and bake shit!”

What a strong expression of opinion. My immediate reaction was anger, disgust and an urge to give back. As I cooled down, I realised the writer has raked up a sleeping monster and a hot topic of discussion- nothing’s right or wrong here, nothing just black or white. There are opinions , differences and interestingly no one`s right and wrong.

I feel ,our life is based on our choices; choices we make as per our priorities, circumstances and  interests. And it`s dynamic, nothing is static. Our age, maturity, health, loved ones, finances all influence all choices.

There was a time I was working outside home( I would not say I was working woman once because I still work, just the place has changed). I felt liberated, modern, independent (financially and emotionally), happy, satisfied and complete. I had money, name , fame and admirers. It was a perfect balance of work and home. My parents were supportive enough to take my responsibilities and manage my kids and home. I never had to bother about nitty gritty stuff, everything was going perfect. My kids were doing great in school, my spouse was happy (I had no time to complain about trivial stuff in the evening when he was back), I spend my late evenings with kids and oversaw their work. It was a dream life.

But deep down I knew something was not right. I would get irritable, pour my office frustration of meeting deadlines, work place politics and stress on my family. (Again, this is not generic; depends on individual to individual). I was in a hurry to tuck them in bed so that I could get some time to myself. I would often complain how busy I am with no “my time”. When my parents moved back, I hired a maid to see that the kids were picked up from the bus stop, they were given their lunch and oversee them till I returned. However, this arrangement did not last for a long time- I felt guilty, my health was getting affected and that was the time I made a choice- the choice of being a  homemaker…….

My kids were elated; they no longer had to wait for weekends to have mumma at home, she was 24 X 7 available, my husband was outwardly fine with this decision too and my parents were obviously happy. But what no one saw , thought or heard was my sacrifice, the shattering of my heart and the foregoing of my passion. Appreciation and acknowledgement never hurts anyone. Anyways, that`s a different story.

It`s never easy making a hard choice.I was a rank holder in my CA foundation exams(I had AIR 42). I did my masters in English after having both my kids with distinction competing with fresh grads. I come from a middle class family with my parents being doctors . My education, their efforts and sacrifices in raising us up and making us stand on our feet can never be overlooked. This is not just my story but there are countless such females who forego their ambitions , careers and dreams not because they are not capable of pursuing them but because of the choices they make as per their priorities and circumstances.

Being a ‘housewife’ was and will never be derogatory. Our mothers did that and we love  them with all our heart. If  people still find it demeaning , then it is not her fault but the fault of the society which she breeds, it’s the fault of her immediate loved ones who never value her and is a blot on our still regressive beliefs. So next time if you try to throw your weight around or brag about your supposedly more progressive views, remember this  lady who coyly smiles at your achievements is no dumb wit.

After spending 8-9 hours in school, when a child gets back home, nothing refreshes him/her than the smiling face of the mother. Our parents are more lovable and patient with our kids than what we are with them, but they can never fulfil the emotional needs of a child as parents can do. I still remember, as a kid when mom used to be home, she always made a point to pick us up from the school bus stop , walking by her side , clinging to her saree pallu and  chatting with her were the moments still etched in my memory.( I grew up in a joint family and yes, my mom worked because she didn`t have her choice)

A home-maker might not have a fat bank balance, might not be supporting her husband financially but she is raising a life.She is the presence that the child needs during exam times, she is the magical hand that heals a scraped knee, she is the softest touch when the child needs support, she is the hand that caresses the bruised ego, she is the mentor when teenage years trouble, she is the best story teller when lights go out, she is the guiding spirit when puberty strikes, she is the relentless punching bag when kids fight, she is the soft kiss which gets sweet dreams and brings a dawn, she is the referee when siblings squabble, she is a companion, best friend to her spouse, she is a listening ear to the whole day of work for her family, she is the cool scented spring breeze which fills life into a home….Need I say more 🙂

The point is, this debate can go on for a long time with no conclusion but in whatever capacity a woman decides to act, she is going to give her best.  She might make or BAKE anything but it’s assured that it is nowhere near sh*t !

(Image courtesy – Google)

2 thoughts on “Walking the tight rope

  1. Loved the way you put both sides of the story.. A mother sould do whatever she feels happy about because only a happy mother can raise happy and confident children.

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