When was the last time you heard of a woman quitting her job to focus on her home and family? In all likeliness, not very long ago. When was the last time you heard of a guy doing the same? Most certainly never.
Homemaking is tough. Granted. From cooking to cleaning, from decluttering to decorating, from managing kids to managing money, it can drive anyone from sane to crazy. It demands not just unwavering commitment but as much resilience, hard work and intelligence as any other white-collar job. Then why is it—even in this day and age--the onus of women alone? To say the least, most men (especially in India) are still not willing to take up a 24x7, round the year job, without any salary and no leaves—not even part time.
Homemaking is sort of looked down upon (yes, till date). It is considered inconsequential and second-rung—not worthy of a man’s time and attention. Women, of course, have no choice. They’re brought up to believe that they must be adept at all the household chores, and cooking tops the list. Their aspirations, ambitions, dreams and desires are of little significance. They must be good homemakers despite whatever they do or become. And in this quest to become good homemakers, most women, sooner or later, quit their promising careers.
It’s time we put this practice to rest—for good. Who is a good homemaker? What are the deciding criteria? And who made that list anyway?
It’s time we give as much importance to our aspirations and careers as those of the men in our lives. Didn’t we put in just as much hard work or maybe more back in school and college? Didn’t we just hate it when as kids, our moms would let our brothers play a little longer but ask us to come help in the kitchen? Then why, even now—when we’re riding way higher in our professional careers than women have ever before—are we ready to let go of our dreams and be just a stay-at-home wife or mom?
And in no way am I implying that the job of a homemaker is menial. Nothing could be further away from the truth. In fact, homemaking entails so much that any one person alone could never do justice to it. And even if they tried, it would cause nothing but never-ending fatigue. Read ‘Why are homemakers perpetually tired?’ to understand why this happens. There is a need for balance—in the distribution of roles and responsibilities. Its high time that everyone, regardless of gender or age, starts contributing to the household responsibilities—and by responsibilities I’m not talking finances. In the corporate rat-race, the men need to slow down a bit (and be half the homemakers) to let the women in their lives pull up by their sides and grow as much as they are capable of.
Though very few but such men do exist. They don’t mind cooking or cleaning or doing the laundry or watching the kids. Such men are a reflection of an increasingly progressive society that is defying the age-old fallacies. They are a promise of a new beginning, a better future, and a modern mindset. A mindset of respect towards homemaking, of appreciation, of support and collaboration.
So, ladies, instead of putting an end to your careers, it’s time to put an end to beliefs you don’t believe in. Stand up for yourself, because if you won’t, no one else will.