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Monday, 20 February 2017

I am just a housewife and if I take a break from my thankless job for a day..

Stay-at-home parents get no rewards as incentives to work harder. It really takes a lot to be such a selfless human being. As a stay-at-home mom, I have had my own ups and downs. There's no pay, there's no holiday, there's no break from the work I do. It's a job 24/7, but I have people around who tauntingly ask me how I spend time at home! With a little baby at hand, we hardly get time for ourselves. The only time we get some time for ourselves is when the baby gets a nap post-lunch. Then also I have two options, either have a nap with him and get some rest, or read and write. Of course, I prefer and always choose the latter. Here's a wonderful piece on AkkarBakkar which says what happens if a stay-at-home mom takes a break from her thankless job for one day:

With so much hustle and bustle in a city, I am relaxing on the couch with a hot cup of coffee, watching my favorite show without any worry for the next few hours.

No stress to eat in a jiffy, no concern for messy hair or crushed kurta. A life of a bindass homemaker! Really though, is it so? I am sure in most of the cases people think the same way. That the life of a homemaker is just to have fun. When everyone is running to achieve their monthly targets, a line of perfection, driving between heavy traffic, mundane cacophony all around and here at home we are so cool and calm, with no monthly budgets, no boss to frown at, and no running errands.

Yes, we are the ones who don’t get paid for our work. We are the ones who don’t bring regular bank credit to our accounts. And of course, we are the ones, who are mostly a part of thankless jobs.

I really don't understand what us stay-at-home mom stand for in this modern era of financial independence.

Ten days ago, amidst the season of viral fever, my younger one caught it. Children falling sick is the biggest nightmare for parents and especially for moms. She is 5 years old and can understand the few things that she needs to take care of. I now got an extra task to fulfil her needs and satisfy her taste buds that had gone for a toss with the medicines. Soon after she recovered, my husband got it. But still things were very much on track and I was able to manage them both without any difficulties.

Then it was my turn and I was completely drained out for three days. But those three days were not the mundane ones. My family finally felt the brunt of the homemaker falling sick. The kitchen was empty and they managed what they could with little time and energy.

The most affected was my elder kid and her school snacks boxes. Thank God they have a canteen in their school and I could survive without feeling too guilty for not cooking for her. Clothes were not put in the washing machine and even if they were, they were not not put for drying. All rooms looked like they had been hit by a cyclone where everything was strewn and no one bothered. The kitchen looked like the most unorganized section of the house. In that phase I realized that everything can be taken care of without any efforts until the mom takes a temporary break if she falls sick.

The job of a stay-at-home mother is that of building blocks or connecting households. They were never applauded for their duties in the past. Even now they are taken for granted and people take this job easy, with no sense of gratitude.

There was a time when women were less engaged in balancing financial burden of a family. Reasons could be many, it could be because of less exposure, fewer expenses, and limited resources. Now the time has changed and surely the role of a woman has changed drastically. She is everywhere and touching newer heights every day.

But in this race and such expectations, stay–at-home moms are a part of the saga of thankless jobs.

I am sorry if you think we have the luxury to live like queens. Please watch us closely for a day! We are as busy as someone in the office, toiling hard to get things arranged for others. We perform never-ending chores that don't let us wash our faces and make us hold our pee for hours so that we can balance the demand and supply chain of everyone around.

Still, just to ease a few raised eyebrows: a stay-at-home mom has a set alarm for each day that she cannot even snooze. Because every minute counts in the morning and the attempt to win over unlimited chores of making breakfast, getting others ready, dropping children to school and so on.

And of course husband too, pack a lunch bag that he takes pride in carrying to give him the satisfaction that he gets after he eats the so-called ghar ka khaana.

Yes, you have the luxury to sit and sip on your coffee with your favorite show as a homemaker. But, our priority is not to sit and watch but to finish those deadlines that have been set for us and that too on an hourly basis. Have you ever wondered how you get all your formals ready in the cupboard that you just take a few seconds to put on? Washing, drying, ironing it all, does take time and I have not hired any part-time fairy to do all this for me.

At least you can take an afternoon nap! Yes, of course, I do crave it daily. If only I could take it but what’s the guarantee that the next generation batch (our children) will allow me to even steal a wink? They are trained so beautifully that they take pleasure in sleeping for an hour but moms are almost super active in that duration.

You have the luxury to eat hot served food. Alas! I wish this could be possible for me too. By the time I get back on the table to eat, everything turns too cold like a day-old food, which is being served on my plate. These are just a few things that are a part of every stay-at-home mom's routine.

It's not easy to dedicate your life to the happiness of others. It also needs courage and love to serve others for life with no expectations. So let’s appreciate the building blocks of every home for a minute, for a second if possible. 

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