Have you ever thought of a homemaker as a full-time professional? Their KRAs would perhaps include waking up before other family members, preparing food for them, managing the household chores with no or little help from a third person and looking after the entire family. Plus, the areas of expertise should also include crisis management and mind you, the job does not offer PF (Provident Fund), medical insurance, paid leaves, offs on national holidays and other perks of a corporate job. Would you happily take up this challenging profile?
Well, let’s accept it. A section of people in our society still has a perception that homemakers have it easy in life and fail to acknowledge the immense hard work that involves running a household smoothly. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we bring to you the real-life stories of a few unsung heroes that break the stereotypes.
“I took charge of the situation when my husband lost his job”
Life is full of ups and downs and you never know what the next day has in store for you. When Anita Sharma’s husband returned home from the office one day, he looked a little depressed. She immediately knew something was not right. Later that night, he confessed he has lost his job and was worried about how he would manage the finances. “We were already living a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle back then. My son was pursuing engineering and my daughter was in the 11th standard. My husband was not asked to even serve the notice period and our savings were not enough to last a year,” shares Anita.
But they say it right, when going gets tough, the tough get going. After brooding over the situation for a few days, Anita started her own tuition centre and initially, taught two students in her living room. Slowly and gradually, the number increased and so did her confidence. “It took almost three months to get the ball rolling and honestly, that phase was really taxing. We thought twice before spending anywhere and had to explain our financial situation to our kids as well. With time and after putting tons of hard work, I started minting profit from our centre and even asked my husband to join. We are proud entrepreneurs today!” opines Anita with a bright smile. “Let’s learn to respect a woman's choice” “I was working in the banking sector and resigned from my job to stay at home after having our first child. It was my decision to give up my career and fully concentrate on raising my family. We, as a society, need to respect a woman’s choice and mind our own business. Whether a woman is working or staying at home, let the woman decide her own priorities in life,” tells Parvati Venugopal, 45. “There is a reason why women are called homemakers, and not housewives” “Do you remember the thought-provoking answer of Manushi Chhillar when she was asked “Which profession deserves the highest salary” during Miss World pageant 2017? She rightly opined it’s a mother’s job. The answer won her the crown! There is a reason why we call women staying at home a homemaker, not a housewife. They are responsible for making every other family member’s life smoother and it can be even more taxing than a corporate job.”—Madhavi Taneja, 46 Why being a house husband is a taboo? The social fabric of the Indian society is changing and the concept of husband staying at home and the wife being the breadwinner of the family might not be a taboo for everyone. Kavita Ahuja, 56, shares her opinion, “When we can happily accept the family system where a woman stays at home and her husband takes care of family’s finances, then why is the other way round treated as a taboo. Isn’t this a sign of misogyny? ” “We have a special child and are a special family”
“I was taken aback when I got to know my child was specially-abled. I choose to quit my job and give my 100 per cent to look after my toddler who was two years old at that time. Why should I be judged for that? Today, my son participates in golf tournaments, goes for dance therapy sessions and is doing pretty good academically. We are a happy family today and it would not have been possible if I hadn't been a homemaker.”—Ria Walia*, 36.
(* name changed on request)