Take A Break Dear Women, You Need It. Don’t Feel Apologetic
You just need a break, a small voice in the back of your head tells you, and as if reflexively, you swallow the cries for help from your exhausted mind and move on to the next chore at hand. Who has the time to take a break when you are swimming, or rather sinking neck deep in chores, depending on how you look at it. Juggling duties at home or work, or both, can be a tiring ordeal. Yet, I never come across many women who take that proverbial much-needed break they have been wanting for months or years. Even the thought of wanting to slow down a little is followed by a surge of guilt or panic, thinking about all the tasks that will pile up if you do that. But must a woman feel guilty of wanting a break from her responsibilities?
- Every person who earns a paycheck gets a day or two off so that they can rejuvenate and recharge themselves.
- This concept, however, doesn’t apply to women, when it comes to domestic duties.
- Often women feel guilty even if the desire to want a break creeps upon them.
- But is it wrong to take a break from the burden of chores that you shoulder day in day out?
Every person who earns a paycheck gets a day or two off in the week, which is considered legitimate as everyone needs to recharge their batteries. But then why is it wrong to need a breather from your household duties?
Women mostly bear the burden of unpaid labour, on their own, in every household. There are chores that need to be done every day, and while your work-life pauses for a weekend or at least on Sundays, the domestic life continues in full swing. In fact, most working women spend their Sundays catching up on pending domestic chores and before they know it, Monday is breathing down their neck again.
The mere idea of taking a break from your domestic life infuses you with shame and guilt. You think it is cruel to not want to care for those dear to you. But that could just be patriarchal conditioning playing tricks.
But patriarchal conditioning, which puts this burden of domestic duties solely on women’s shoulders in our society, also plays a neat trick on us. It conditions us to think that we must do these chores and see them as a way to express our love and dedication to our family. With this logic drilled into our heads, we see cooking three meals a day, washing clothes, folding them after they dry, dusting, decluttering cabinets, etc, as our way of letting our loved ones know that we love them. Hiring a maid to cook your meal makes you an uncaring mother, or not fussing over your husband after he gets back home from work makes you an unloving wife. While most women today have detached themselves from these notions, the deep-seated one, which correlates chores to care is still there somewhere.
Juggling duties at home or work, or both, can be a tiring ordeal. Yet, I never come across many women who take that proverbial much-needed break they have been wanting for months or years.
Which is why the mere idea of taking a break from your domestic life infuses you with shame and guilt. You think it is cruel to not want to care for those dear to you. Firstly, the burden of household duties needs to be shared in a marriage, or largely, in a household. Secondly, there is more to love and care than picking up dirty socks off the floor or spending your Sunday planning an elaborate meal for your child. Yes, we all love to fuss over those we love, but it is okay to fuss over yourselves occasionally too. Besides, if you are doing your duties because you feel obliged to do so, then it isn’t about love, it is about validating yourself as a loving mother and caring wife, isn’t it?
Every woman deserves to take a break from her household duties, so that she can find the energy and strength needed to carry on doing them, without resenting her loved ones, or her own life. So the next time you feel like you need to take a break and focus on the pleasures of life, please do it, and without any inhibition or a sense of guilt.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.