It is time for the world to value the sacrifices made by stay-at-home moms. It is not always necessary to offer verbal praise, it’s the small things that countsays Aishwarya Pradhan
Despite the rise of feminism, women are still subjected to discrimination in many places around the globe. Women face many obstacles, including fewer opportunities in the workplace, lower wages than their male counterparts, and sexual harassment.
Women’s empowerment, to a large extent, has given such women a voice to speak out against the injustices and biases they face as a result of their gender. On the other hand, housewives, or homemakers- a better term, belong to a category of women, who, unfortunately, do not receive the respect and attention they deserve.
Pre-Defined Gender Roles.
Gender roles have been strictly defined since humans first set the foundations for society. Men are to go out and provide for their families, while women are to care for the hearth and home.
Is this to suggest that women can’t have ambitions apart from starting and nurturing a family? Is a woman born just to serve her husband and children?
The Plight of Homemakers.
A massive segment of society looks down on stay-at-home moms who take care of the family. What’s worse is their own family often fails to recognise their time and effort.
“What exactly does a housewife do all day?” “Being a stay-at-home mom means you probably have a lot of time on your hands and nothing to do.” These are the statements that my mother has heard from friends and family alike.
Surprisingly, such words are spoken more frequently by working women than by men. Is it really necessary for women to pull one another down as if patriarchy wasn’t doing that job already?
Manushi Chhillar of India stated at the Miss World 2017 pageant that mothers deserve to be paid the most of any profession. This salary, she believes, should be in the form of love and care rather than cash. And I agree with her. In many parts of the world, girls are married off at a very young age, with no regard for their ambitions or dreams.
Many of these young girls are promised that they will be permitted to continue their education after marriage, but not all promises are kept. They are expected to devote their lives to their husbands and are under pressure to have children. Many end up spending half their lives caring for their family, their dreams crushed and tossed in the trash.
Even when a woman herself chooses to devote her life to her family, who are we to judge her? While efforts are made to give women the freedom of choice, they are looked down upon if they choose their family over their careers.
Moreover, people who work are at least entitled to vacation and sick leave. Can the same be said for homemakers? Of course not! They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as their health allows them to.
People often fail to understand how difficult it is to run a household. Stay-at-home moms have to adjust the menu to suit a child’s preferences or spend hours trying to coerce children to eat what’s already on the table while enduring tantrums. They meticulously prepare food to her husband’s liking, because the man comes home tired and deserves anything and everything he desires.
But in many cases, no one considers what she likes or wants.
A Simple Thank You Goes A Long Way.
It is time for the world to value the sacrifices made by homemakers. It is not always necessary to offer verbal praise. It’s the small things that count. Recognize that your mother or wife does far more than meets the eye.
After meals, clean your own dishes, tidy your room, and give her a hug every now and then. Bring her small gifts. Tell her that you love her and appreciate everything she does for you. It isn’t much, but it is the very least we can do for stay-at-home moms who work very hard.
Aishwarya is a doctor (MBBS) currently preparing for residency based in Dubai. She plans on starting a society for homemakers which will serve as a platform for them to share their experiences, struggles, meet new people, pursue their hobbies.