*Disclaimer: This is a personal opinion, not a generalization. The aim is to give voice to many unspoken and unheard voices of a housewife.
Never been a housewife fan. Neither wants to be one. Not because I don’t find it worthy enough to be one being well-educated. It may not suit me neither all housewives are not educated nor worthy of a decent job that’s not the case. The fact is the kind of status the Indian housewives have is heart-wrenching. I don’t want to be one of those under-rated workers!!
Yes, for me housewives are the world’s most dedicated, always motivated, unpaid, full-time workers. It may sound harsh to some, but let’s be honest at least until the end of this article.
Very few of us, very few, appreciate the work of our wives and mothers. It’s a general notion that’’ It is her duty, her 24 X 7 job, nothing more than that’’. Let’s be honest, isn’t it a coarse statement? At times, I fail to understand, who are we fooling?
We all know for the fact that she works the most without single daybreak. In fact, on holidays her work increases, but why do we care. She isn’t doing something great as earning bread for the family, working 8-10 hours on a laptop, managing files, and attending meetings.
Let’s understand the market price of her work to get a clear picture of the amount and quality of work she does without getting any appreciation neither monetary nor with pleasing gestures.
A housewife works 17-18 hours a day for 365 days on an average. If she were a manager in a firm she would have been getting at least Rs. 25,000 per month for 8 hours job with 4 Sundays and other holidays. But the management of home-affairs is not at all rewarding.
With this calculation, one thing is clear that the status of a housewife is not encouraging. Her woes increase due to financial dependence. Now, in this situation, they solely depend upon her spouse’s income.
Seeking Financial Security and stability
The financial dependence makes her under-confident and she tends to lose confidence in herself. With time, her dreams (if any), passion (if there were), gets succumbed. Under the over-burdened responsibility of the husband, children, and in-laws. It’s quite ironic that they add a new surname in their name but loses their own name in this process.
The search for an identity, of equal partnership in the responsibilities(not as a breadwinner but bread manager), fair treatment, and equal importance to their work is all a housewife dreams of in return of all that she does in her entire life for her loved ones.
Monetary benefits, social status, respect in society, and your own identity motivates you to get up every day (don’t count the holidays), manage your files, and rush to your workplace. Isn’t that amazing feeling to receive a paycheck every month after 8-10 hours of work daily?
But, isn’t it more amazing to wake up every day (on Sundays, holidays too) all motivated to work for another 17-18 hours, knowing no paycheck, social status, neither a pleasing gesture from loved ones are waiting at the end of every month. This is a harsh reality.
You may think that things have changed, it’s 21st century, a housewife is empowered and well-informed. Yes, you are right but you are talking about a cake with a cherry in the center only.
The resources and broad mindset not well distributed. Many housewives in rural areas and small -towns are still trapped in the web of Patriarchy. The responsibility of taking care of the child lies in a mother which forces her to become a housewife. But later on, for many, it becomes their only identity.
The idea here is being a housewife is not a job it’s not a duty. It is a sense of love and sacrifices the housewives do for their families. A job pays you, a social work acknowledges your devotion for less loved but the role of a housewife is beyond any paycheck and social acknowledgment. It’s a devotion of a wife towards her husband, love, and care for her children and aging parents (her in-laws).
A fulfilling Role
Her paycheck gets heavy with the smile of her children and family member, the respect we offer (not all of us do) gives her identity of a successful wife and mother.
Whatever be the qualification of a housewife, it’s the most under-rated life-time job. An M.B.A holder gets to manage a company, but a housewife manages a lot of work in her life without any professional degree of Home Managing Skills (H.M.S, an imaginary degree).
Why a housewife is the most under-rated job? The answer is the profit ratio is greatest with the least resources involved, no extra cost of Internship but the performance quotient remains unparalleled.
Thus, as per market analysis( input-output ratio, and cost-benefit ratio), it is the most under-rated job.
Overdoing things like loving and caring makes her life miserable, taken for granted. A new outlook can appreciate her work, it can uplift her status from a housewife or home-maker to home-manager like an M.B.A holder.
This will boost her confidence and instill in her the desire to relive the life she might have dreamed of as a young girl.