It was a lovely and exquisite pattern made with cream coloured thread. “I used to love crocheting, but I barely have any time these days,” says an aunt whom I was visiting after years. She began counting what all she did through any ordinary day, and there was one thing that stood out. There was no me-time on her agenda. Of the 1440 minutes that are in a day, she spent zero on herself, doing what she loved. She isn’t alone, I know a lot of women who give up on their hobbies and passion because they do not have the time and energy to sustain them. Time, because their days are packed caring for their loved ones, and energy because often when a woman tries to reclaim her life, she is met with resistance.
- The burden of household duties after marriage has largely fallen on women, even today.
- As a result, women often sacrifice their passion or hobbies for the sake of their duties.
- Every woman should reclaim time from her schedule and follow her passion.
- Your passion can infuse you with energy and inspiration to carry on with the mundanities and the difficulties of your everyday life.
A lot of women give up on their hobbies and passion because they do not have the time and energy to sustain them. Time, because their days are packed caring for their loved ones, and energy because often when a woman tries to reclaim her life, she is met with resistance.
In a 2017 article, The Telegraph quoted an analysis by the Office for National Statistics which found that men spend around half an hour every week more than women enjoying themselves. According to it, men spend an average of four hours and 39 minutes “hobbies, computing and games” every week. Women, on the other hand, spend two hours and 38 minutes on the same activities, which is nearly half the time spent by men. With the burden of domestic chores still falling largely on women, are these figures surprising? Clearly, it isn’t just their career, that many women sacrifice at the altar of matrimony. Once you have a family and a fully functional household to care for, your priorities change.
This means that hobbies and passion take a back seat for women. Who has the time to paint, write poetry, go on a hike or join a dance class when there is a family to be fed, clothes to be washed, a house to be cleaned and almirahs to be decluttered? Do women, or their families ever stop to think about how much time they put into seemingly insignificant tasks like folding clothes, dusting, arranging kitchen cabinets or replenishing the pantry with grocery every month? Has anyone ever asked them if they like doing these chores? Or what would they like to do with their time, if they didn’t have to take care of these chores, that can easily finish in no time if there are more hands at work than that of the homemaker?
Claiming your time to follow your passion is like marking territory for yourself in your existence and saying that this part of my life belongs to me.
What women don’t realise is that their passion can, in fact, become their source of energy and inspiration, to navigate through the hardships of life. Nobody ever said that marriage or parenting is easy. Women have to also care for elderlies in their family, and ensure that every loved one in the household remains happy. Yes, this accountability to keep everyone happy needs to go away, but women can start by cutting back on the sacrifices they make for a harmonious household. The best way to begin is by stealing some time for yourself and engaging in some hobby. Take that violin lesson you always wanted to. Write the book which has been simmering in the back of your head for that last ten years. And don’t feel pressed to legitimise your passion in front of anyone.
Claiming your time to follow your passion is like marking territory for yourself in your existence and saying that this part of my life belongs to me. It sets boundaries for others in your life, and that is essential. Your children, husband, or parents; everyone who is very close to you should know that you have your individual identity and personality. That you have things to do apart from taking care of them. Besides our family just doesn’t love us because we attend to their needs, do they? If your husband or child truly loves you, they will be happy when you do something that brings you happiness.
Picture Credit: iso.500px.com
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.
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