#Personal Stories

The Homemaker Stereotype is Overdone. Respect her Choices.

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“I love being a wife and homemaker – because it’s my choice. My husband doesn’t expect me to do it. I don’t mind doing things for him because he does so much for me; we both feel that way so there is no power struggle.” That was Salma Hayek. But not everyone is able to overcome the homemaker stereotype especially because the society, and the larger family around a woman, have only one way of thinking about a homemaker.

Homemaking as an occupation

Being a homemaker is the toughest job anyone can opt for. A woman trying to make all possible attempts to keep her family happy and safe is never appreciated to the fullest. Working all seven days a week with no holiday and no salary is not easy. After all the hard work and back breaking efforts, what she gets to hear is, “Oh, you are just a homemaker, you sit at home the whole day with no work to do”.

Homemaking is a full time job and not everyone is qualified enough to perform it. Why do we demean homemakers as though their contributions mean nothing? Is this why women who aspire to be homemakers hesitate from opening up? Financial independence is important but isn’t it more important to respect a person’s choice? Don’t pressurise someone to have a nine to five desk job if their only aim is to make their home a better place to stay.

This is the 21st century and the conversation on measuring and paying for housework is coming alive forcefully. 

According to a UN report, women perform approximately 75% of the world’s unpaid services which measures up to 13% of the gross global GDP. In the 2011 Census, 159.9 Million women declared “household work” to be their main occupation. The value of this unpaid labour is about 16 lakh crore per annum as stated by feminist economists.

Remove The Stigma

Hearing someone say they desire to be a homemaker must not make you feel uncomfortable. You can’t judge them saying they are ‘ambition-less’. Managing a house is not so easy a task as you might think. A homemaker wakes up early in the morning to ensure the comfort of all the inmates. She then does all the chores silently and doesn’t demand any credits. We should now remove the stigma attached to the idea of becoming a homemaker and hail women who choose to become one.

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Picture Credit: Unsplash

It’s true that being a homemaker is not always a choice women make. Sometimes, it’s the circumstances that lead them to do so.  In such situations, what we should do is show our support for the women who were strong enough to decide for themselves. Are you even aware of the courage a woman requires to take such a decision? Ask a homemaker. You will know.

What Homemakers Have To Say

Naina Gupta (name changed on request) says that the job of a homemaker is a tough one but at the end of the day no one thanks them for what they do the whole day.  “This is the one job that does not allow you even a single day’s rest and yet does not come with any perks. If we take away the lure of doing things for your family from this ‘profession’, there is nothing much left except for a series of thankless jobs with frequent bouts of ‘what do you even do all day.’ “

Rituparna Sarkar (name changed on request) believes that being a homemaker is a hectic task but she gets time to spend with her family which is a bliss. “Being a homemaker isn’t so easy a job as it looks. I don’t get much time for myself and have to wake up early in the morning and listen to everyone’s demands. But sometimes I can take a break from the everyday chores and spend enough time with my family.”

Can a homemaker stereotype get any worse?

Anjani Singh says that she is happy being a homemaker as she can give her full time and attention to her family. She has lately started a page on Instagram and is glad that she can monetise her hobbies from the comfort of her home. “I feel happy about the fact that I can give complete attention and time to my family and help them in their journeys and with the internet today I can work on my passion sitting at home, like build my Instagram page on food called cook_with_anjani. I have time and platform to monetise my hobbies today.”

A homemaker is not an ‘ambition-less woman’. Her aim is to look after her home and that’s just okay as you wanting to be the CEO of your company. Let’s get done with the homemaker stereotype? The debate needs to fast move to how can homemakers be compensated for the work they do and homemakers should not be stereotyped further. 

Having a conventional job is not something everyone dreams of. It is as respectable to be a homemaker as it is to work in an office.

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