Which is the most overworked yet unpaid job across the world ?That of a housewife.
This ,I have come to realise as I gradually settled into this role of a housewife after quitting my job.I do all the work expected of a housewife like cooking ,cleaning up,caring for my kid,etal.I do engage domestic help but still, at times, the find the job of a housewife daunting - that is perhaps due to the fact that there is no appreciation of a job well done.Ooops,sorry,I need to correct this- there is no acknowledgement even of a task & I am talking of appreciation !Moreover,all at home, take the housewife's presence at home for granted-so she has no free time for herself.She is always at the mercy of others.She has to plead even when she wants to shop for groceries.When she is doing that,more often than not,there will be some urgent work which will recall her back home almost immediately.And mind you,this was not what you can call her free time- she was shopping for groceries.Eventually,the housewife tends to squeeze time when all other members are at work,school etc for her jaunts like shopping,attending calls for repairs,etc.After she has finished with all this,she will try to relax but does she ? I feel,her job is the one which has maximum stress levels.This goes on for days together which turn into months & years without a break.And then that remark,"Oh,You are at home -so good.You can work at your speed without rushing through like us who are working."
Actually,the word working woman is an anathema- is a housewife idle ?The one nice thing about being a housewife is that there is no discrimination- the world over,it is the same story.In poor households as well as rich ,from a home in America to a home in India,the condition of the housewife is the same.It cuts across barriers of caste,creed,color etal.I recall,a friend settled abroad who told me,"I am a housewife now & the standards expected of the cleanliness ,cooking,child's behaviour is quite different from that of a working woman.People comment, that as I am at home,the home should be squeaky clean,the kid well behaved,cooking varied ,on & on.For a working woman,there are concessions.The home need not be clean ,the kid can be unruly,the cooking mundane-after all she is working !"But then, why blame outsiders, when the members of your own household share the view that you as a housewife are just idle at home after the daily routine of cooking,cleaning,caring,attending calls,on & on.The housewife should do atleast this much -what else is she doing anyway ?This will also keep her occupied & she will not get bored.
I am petrified of one more aspect of this job- caring for the elderly,the kids,the sick ones.In spite of my care & upbringing, if things go wrong,then who will take the blame ?Suppose, my child does not turn out well behaved,is bad at studies,unruly,etc,who will be held responsible ?Obviously me- inspite of being a housewife,I failed.Of course,I can do better by being more considerate to the child-listening to the demands,correcting the behavior & so on & so forth but then am I to devote all my time for others without any time for myself ?Failures are intolerable especially if the housewife is the perpetrator.That is why,I am desperately looking for a job !
If a contest is held to select the most suitable person for the position of a housewife,who do you guess will win hands down ?Well,the answer is no one.Who would want to trade places with a housewife ?anathema,idle,