“Who am I?” I often question myself. Whenever I see the column of ‘occupation’ and ‘designation’ while filing up some forms, my hands shrink back from writing the word ‘HOUSEWIFE’. Something gets killed inside me. My pride, my ego, my self-respect…
The salary cheque by the end of the month used to show me my worth. It used to give me the value of my time and hard work. Being financially independent used to instil a sense of pride in me. I could go out with my head raised up and do anything. But now, what am I? A mere housewife!! What do I do sitting all day long at home?
I was working as a teacher with one the very big and reputed schools of Delhi. The salary amount was big too. I was a big contributor in the family expenses so I could prove my worth to everybody. My confidence level was very high. But there was a price that I was paying. And that was my daughter!
I was leaving behind my five years old daughter. She was going to school and was being very well looked after by her grandparents. Still, she was not happy. She did not like to come back home and find mummy was not there to share her feelings. She did not enjoy her lunch without her mummy. Gradually, she started falling sick. Every now and then she had to be taken to the doctor and was on frequent leaves from school. It affected her school performance too.
Slowly, the guilt started sinking in my heart.
“Was my being successful meant everything? Was that salary cheque more valuable than my daughter?”
I could not bear it anymore. My interest and concentration started falling. Eventually, I gave up.
After my second daughter was born, the thoughts of taking up a job again seemed impossible. I devoted my entire self in taking care of my precious darlings. One day, my elder daughter said to me, “Sorry mom, you had to leave your job because of me. Do you know, when you were not there at home, I used to feel alone. I cannot live without you. Please, don’t ever leave me again. Promise me, you’ll never go to school again!”
I started crying…
We women, even after giving so much to our home and family think of ourselves as a non-earning and unproductive member of the family. We need to change our perception about ourselves. Think it this way –
When we are working as a housewife, we take care of each and every family member’s health and wellbeing, thereby reducing the number of visits of doctors and chemists. We search and prepare meals taking care of the right nutritional requirements of everybody’s specific needs, thereby working as a dietician and nutritionist. We take the responsibility of teaching and taking care of our kids, thereby saving the fees of tutors and day cares. We take the responsibility of cooking and household washing and cleaning chores, thereby saving the salary of the maid. We also take the responsibility of financial planning and work on saving every single penny, thereby increase bank investments and reduce the stress of our husbands. We give more time to friends and relatives, thereby perform the job of a PRO.
We are the indirect income providers and still we consider ourselves as a mere “HOUSEWIFE”.