I’m a working woman and I love it! There are many women out there who want to work but can’t due to family pressure or the male dominant attitude won’t allow them to. When conversing with old people, they raise an eyebrow on me, with that questioning look. Working doesn’t mean that a woman can’t take care of her house and career at the same time. In fact, on the contrary, these women are more street smart, confident and can carry an attitude of sublimity (if that’s a word!).
I’ve seen the best of both worlds. I was on a sabbatical for 2 years after working for 14 years. Initially, it was all fun and joy. But slowly when the truth kicked in, I felt lost, redundant and aimless. I met many non-working housewives who shared the same feeling. There are a just handful of housewives who’ve marked a true domain around them and set themselves as a good example to look up to. Let me tell you about these mix of working and non-working females I met and I must say it can’t get any better than this.
Suchita, Nike Operations Manager, Bangalore. Suchita having faced enough struggle in her life after her father passed away when she was 17. She took the responsibility of her mom and younger brother and started working at an early age. When I met her, she had those eyes which said, I have seen it all, so if you still have a punch to throw, bring it on!
Today she is settled in her career with two lovely children, father-in-law, and a loving and supporting husband. Suchita has managed to organize her home perfectly giving equal time to her family and work. She’s always been ahead with her children be it homework, school, outing, shopping’s anything. She says:
“PLANNING! Is the biggest key to organizing your life. We take turns in attending children’s school events, be it PTM, Annual day, graduation ceremony etc. PTM dates are given by the school well in advance so I get a chance to move around my meeting dates accordingly. If they don’t email I call them and ask for it. With the grace of God and my in-laws and husband, our kids have turned out to be quite cultured. Every non-working hour is spent with family and we talk and discuss, so I’m aware what’s happening with my family and kids. So a right balance is what I maintain”.
Himani. P. M, Principle of National Public School. Born into a conservative Gujarati family. After completing her college Himani was pressurized to get married. She knew she could do more than just be a homemaker (sounds filmy! Doesn’t it?). While waiting for her fiancé to complete his education, she decided to teach pre-school. She worked for two years before she got married. Taking a sabbatical for 17 years, her complete focus was on her two kids, their education and upbringing. Initially, she faced a few challenges when she resumed work. She had to plan everything in advance be it breakfast for in-laws, laundry, giving instruction to maids etc. (living in a joint family is never easy).
Himani has a son who works for Book My Show at a high position and a daughter who’s a journalist married and settled in America. What else can she ask for?
Deepa. N.M, a typical house. She is one strong lady who fought against all odds of life and still stands tall and proud of her achievement. She has gone through a lot of hardship in her young days. Her only motto in life – Keeps family together. The bond you see in their family make you envious.
After getting married at a very young age she continued pursuing her studies and also started taking hobby classes. Though she was a full-time daughter in law and a full-time mom. She achieved the likes of all the family members and their support, eventually taking reign of the house. Today when I see her training her daughter-in-law in house chores, it shows a legacy that is continued.
In words of PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi – “You know, stay-at-home mothering was a full-time job. Being a CEO for a company is three full-time jobs rolled into one. How can you do justice to all? You can’t,”
…The biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other. Total, complete conflict. When you have to have kids you have to build your career. Just as you’re rising to middle management your kids need you because they’re teenagers, they need you for the teenage years. And that’s the time your husband becomes a teenager too, so he needs you (laughing). They need you too. What do you do? And as you grow, even more, your parents need you because they’re aging. So we’re screwed. We have no… we cannot have it all.