Rigged and Rigmaroled

As We Journey Through the Daily Grind

Posts Tagged ‘choices’

“Just” a Housewife

Posted by Rani on June 26, 2009

A recent discussion with a friend led me to think of how we view the homemaker (housewife) role. A lot of stop-gap working women see the domestic life as their ticket to easy street, assuming the hubby can afford it (ahem). Being a homemaker means you no longer need to get to work at a particular time, there are no deadlines to meet, no crabby bosses to please. And, your hubby and kids are happy since you’re making these wonderful meals for them and watching soaps in your free time. The women who have to continue to work (since hubby still doesn’t have a six figure salary) resent the demands of being forced to maintain work(ugh)-life balance, which they could’ve had only if they weren’t darned working, grrr.

Cut to the other side – women who were “forced” (for want of a better word) into the domestic life. They would have wanted to work, have a career, make their own money (!!) but domestic demands regulated they be home. For them, being a homemaker is opportunity lost, endless time in cooking and cleaning, and just no rewards for all the work. Yeah yeah, the kids have their moms full time and really I love my kids and want only the best for them, but but…. you get the drift.

The perfect middle path, as Buddha ‘d liked it, would be that you want to be where you are. No guilt about latch-key kids, no feelings of opportunity lost, no negativity. Just happy, even if it’s a constant race against the clock.

As daughter to a stay-at-home mom, I know I was glad for a “full-time” mom growing up. The highlight of our day was the evening snack mom would’ve creatively (yes, that’s the word) made rivalled only by the school snack, oh the anticipation of opening that snack box. But today, as a woman looking at another woman, I wonder about the choices she made. Her domestic life definitely was not the easier route.  No deadlines? When you have three kids that need to be sent to school in time, breakfast and snacks ready, you can’t get slack on timelines. No people to please? I like to think we were non-fussy, but I know we were none too easy to please either. Work-life balance, cutting some slack? When there are no boundaries between work and life, it all becomes one fuzzy whole, and no one cuts you any slack. Would my mom have had it any other way? Perhaps not, she’s one to be happy with her choices. Or perhaps yes, just to see what lies on the dark side of the moon.

So really, where does this pivotal role fit in? I’m old-fashioned enough to believe a woman needs to focus more on home. Oooh, there, I said it. Before the feminists cry foul, I also believe it always takes two to tango and both partners definitely need to be involved in making a house a home. Also that focusing on home cannot and should not be at the cost of your individuality. In reference to an earlier post (here), I finally believe you make a choice, including whether you’re going to be happy with that choice.

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Posted in Women's Options and Choices | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Accountability, thy name is (wo)man

Posted by Rani on April 24, 2009

Too often have I heard the words “I had no choice”. Particularly from women, who see themselves as “victims” of a society or system that holds them back and doesn’t let them be. And then from the great working class who sees work as a necessary evil and would love to leave but..yeah, “I have no choice” (no no, this is not another post on jumping off any darned cliff!).

I think we always have a choice. Its often just that the options available are not what you might want. But we need to get that we choose the path we tread…… So accept it already.

A woman whose husband doesn’t want her to work (with all due respect to his reasons) thinks she has no choice but to stop working. Yes, she does have a choice — (in its simplest and most basic form:) maintain domestic harmony and go with his wishes, or stand up and discuss why she wants to work, why he does not want her to work and how they can resolve it. There is a choice, but it don’t come easy.

Each choice then opens up a vista of new options — if I choose to maintain domestic harmony and go with what he wants, how will I now handle it? With grace and acceptance that it was my choice finally? Or with resentment that this was imposed (when it really wasn’t, I chose for a peaceful home!!)?

Get it — we are a product of the choices we make, and the sooner we take accountability for it, including for those really aaargh choices, the sooner we learn to live. And enjoy. And really, feel a little more empowered that the (sometimes) terrible options notwithstanding, I chose my path, rocks and pits et al.

Just like the nothing of a free lunch, so goes it for free will, or the lack thereof: there isn’t. It exists, you just have to look really hard to see it.

Posted in Women's Options and Choices | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »