Cooking, washing, cleaning, raising children and handling the whims of the family, women are expected to excel at all these jobs within a household. So much so that our society doesn’t see a woman’s duties towards her home go hand in hand with her having a flourishing career. You can either be a good mom or have a successful career, so just pick one, women are told. But is this really true? Are women with flourishing careers bad moms and vice versa? Or is it just a notion that society has been peddling to keep women from realising that they can do both, if only they have adequate support from their family?
We have glorified the sacrifices that women have been making for their families for generations to such an extent, that they have ended up becoming a norm. Our society expects a woman, especially a mother to adjust and forfeit her career because that is both self-centered and misplaced according to them. It is not a woman’s job to be a breadwinner for her family. Many people assume that employed women spend all their money on themselves, and thus their employment is seen as a self-centred act, which comes at the cost of “neglecting” their children.
We have glorified the sacrifices that women have been making for their families for generations to such an extent, that they have ended up becoming a norm.
Our families are our source of strength. We seek support from them in every decision that we make. Imagine if they look down upon you for standing for yourself? But this exactly is the plight that many moms have to endure even today. Not only do working mums face backlash from their families for prioritising their career, but are also labeled as incapable mothers by default.
Let’s make this clear, once and for all, parenting doesn’t work by a rulebook. A working mother can very well raise a successful child. Constantly being around the child is not a prerogative to sharing a healthy bond with your child. Besides it is important for children to see their moms work and live on their own terms. That is one way we can help them break free of the patriarchal mindset. In fact, think about it, if a mother won’t stay at home for twenty-four hours a day, her children won’t imbibe the ‘everything-served-on-a-platter’ culture highly prevalent among Indian households.
It takes two to bring a child into this world. Then why should only one parent be responsible for raising one? the same goes for household chores. Why must women perform all the unpaid labour at home? Should they turn their backs on their potential and skills simply because of motherhood? If at all motherhood does impede women’s careers, then it is so because most women do not have a strong support system to back them up. Give a talented mom all the support that she needs and you’ll witness her ace motherhood and her career at the same time.
If a mother won’t stay at home for twenty-four hours a day, her children won’t imbibe the ‘everything-served-on-a-platter’ culture highly prevalent among Indian households.
Of course, entirely resting the blame on the people around us isn’t the solution. As a child, support your mother if she chooses to hit back the road years into marriage and motherhood, and fight for her if need be. We, as a family should never belittle the women in the household as incapable of fulfilling their desires. If a woman can manage a kitchen well, she can also run a business, or be a good employee, if she wants to! All she needs is our support.
Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.