Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Day 22: "I Just Sit At Home"

Household work is the hardest job in the world! (Photo credit)
I remember going along with my spouse to an event organised by his company. His colleagues came in with their wives and it was a nice social get together. During the wives' conversation, I asked one of them - yes, I have been guilty of asking this - "What do you do?". She got defensive and went to great lengths to explain how she is an architect and worked till after she had her baby. And how it got demanding with site visits and irregular schedules and she decided to call it quits to become a full time mother.

The evening did not end there. I put my large foot in my even bigger mouth and asked the same thing - as a general query, in my defence - to another of the wives. She resignedly replied that she took care of two kids full time and the tone suggested that there was no scope for taking up a job.

There's a reason why this incident is so clearly etched in my memory even after a year - the attitude of women when they spoke about not having a career outside of home. We - the society and the women - have made the "working woman" such an epitome of success that anyone who doesn't have a job feels inferior. Apologetic, defensive, resigned even. The malaise starts with, "So, what do you so?" which leaves a huge dent in the self esteem of women who do the most amazing job in the world - making a home sweet home! And I don't know who invented the phrase but most women who stay at home call it "just sitting at home".

Just sitting at home!!! If you analyse the phrase, the work that fits that job description is pretty much everything that keeps things functioning in a household. And keeps babies, if any, alive. This is exactly the job where you don't realise things are functioning till someone stops making them function. When I looked up online to research for this post, the stats objectively prove how hard housewives/homemakers/full time moms work. British women work 11 hours  a week more than their husbands. In Italy, women clock the highest - 21 hours per week - more than their spouses. And these numbers don't balance out even if women are part of the labour market and have jobs that pay. While we feel that men share the burden of household chores more frequently now, that's just a myth. According to a survey in 2014, only 19 men do household chores on a given day compared to 46 women. I don't think the numbers have evened out 2 years later.

All this proves that women 'just sitting at home' are mainly responsible for everything that works around the house. From the freshly laundered clothes in your closet to the clean bed you jump into at night and the hot meals at the table. And we should be proud of "just sitting at home". It's worth much more than any job can pay. We should be beaming when we talk about making things work 24/7/365 with no annual vacations or incentives of 401Ks. And this is what I call truly supporting the men go out and earn their 401ks! We should be unapologetic when it comes to nurturing the future of the world full time in the form of our kids.

Here are 8 reasons why it is harder to be a housewife than people think from a man's perspectives.

What do you think about this debate on housewives vs working women? Shouldn't we be proud of managing home full time too?

This post is a part of #NaBloPoMo which stands for National Blog Posting Month hosted by BlogHer.


13 comments:

  1. I've been both - a stay-at-home-mom and a working mom - and working outside the home is way easier, IMHO. You get regular breaks and get to go to the bathroom by yourself :-).
    You also get to take sick days! Hats off to those who "just sit at home" - the hardest work one can ever do.

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    1. I am glad so many of us see the point the way I do! Thanks so much for reading the post and leaving your comments :)

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  2. It is really hard for the homemakers. They don't get the respect they deserve. I hope that changes and people (from both genders) start respecting them by seeing the value in their contribution. But for that to happen, the homemakers shouldn't defend themselves. They should be proud of what they do and they will be when the spouse acknowledges it. I have a friend whose husband told her that he values all the work she does cos that is shaping their family and is the most important thing. She was glowing after this appreciation from the hubby and couldn't stop talking about it. :)

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    1. I think women - as opposed to your gender neutral reference - should be prod of what they do -be it staying home or getting a job. That's where the true difference will start. Thanks again for reading my post and leaving your comments! :)

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  3. Oh, it's high time stay at home parents got their dues too. Often we can't even take a bathroom break without having to juggle it around their schedules.
    And I wonder who said 'sit at home'. Most days I get to sit after my wife comes home.

    😁

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    1. I can understand how hard it must be with a kid around. Thanks so much for reading the post and leaving your comments :)

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  4. I'm a SAHM and I think I can understand the depth of this post! I have never worked and at times I yearn to step out of my comfort and start working. But, I don't think I know what I'm fit for.
    On contrary, it's sad despite of being a home maker I tend to think that this is not enough.
    I think in india domestic help prevails and that's why moms or home makers are credited less.

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    1. I think we need to take pride in it ourselves! There are several things that can done from home in today's times and one doesn't have to venture out to 'work'.

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  5. Thank you, Suman, for writing this. My Mother has been a housewife all her life and I never realised just how much she did till I got married and had to run a house!
    I have always respected housewives, as they put aside their needs and dreams , to care for a family which rarely pauses to think of or thank them for their efforts.

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    1. My mom also has been a housewife and I can see the difference being a working woman has made in my life. But being a housewife shudnt be bad for self esteem. It's more critical to keep a household running!

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  6. We don't give ourselves enough credit. Period. We possibly crave for the experience of going out in the world, being on our own and functioning for a purely personal cause.
    Yes, it is not always that our families don't notice it. We just need to be easy on ourselves first.

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    1. I agree with your first sentence. We have glorified going out and working and demeaned running a house. We need to reverse the mindset.

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  7. That's so correct, because we stay at home moms have the inferiority which takes away all the effort we put in to make the house work, kids alive, food served and bills paid.

    richa
    Allthatsmom

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