Champa used to ‘work’ once. She discovered the joys of staying at home. Here’s her candid account about the changes she made in her life, irrespective of what others have to say.
People often ask me, ‘Do you work?’ and my answer these days is always the same, ‘No’. That I cook two meals every day, keep and clean my home, do groceries and look after all the day to day necessities doesn’t count as work, I know. I do all these chores though I have a paid help at home, not because I am forced to but because I love to do them. I hate the term ‘homemaker’ because that makes all others sound like ‘home-breakers’, which they aren’t of course.
I used to ‘work’ once. I was a teacher for many years and then I served in the IT sector too for a couple of years. I loved my first job, hated the second one but both my jobs enabled me to bring home a substantial amount, at the end of the month. I splurged freely then on kids, my personal wardrobe and many small luxuries of life but I hardly had any time, for myself or for anyone else.
Though we are blessed to have domestic helps in this part of the world, their tantrums and truant nature is known to all. My first job needed me to leave home before 6 in the morning, when children were still at bed. Both my jobs, in the college and at the corporate often kept me away from home till late in the evening. My children grew up, spending long hours by themselves, with their two best friends, the television and the desk top computer. House was often unkempt; dinner was mostly take-away, picked up on my way back home.
My daughter, in her primary school days, used to come back home from school often with a severe headache. She had been taken to many doctors and also had to undergo multiple brain scans but nothing could be detected and so her headache never got cured. She never featured anywhere near the top ten in her class as a child and was often bullied and punished by the extreme rude teachers of her well known school for getting her spellings wrong and forgetting the carry the craft materials.
My son somehow coped up well in his academics and he never needed a single tuition teacher except for that preparatory period for the Joint Entrance Exams. He had been an introvert all throughout and a football addict. As I stayed busy with my own work and spent most of the time outdoors during his growing up years I never realised the agony he was going through, the penalty of being the son of a middleclass parents in an elitist school where classmates judge each other by the brands of the biscuit they brought for tiffin and the cars they rode back home.
I stopped being a working person and became a full time Mamma at home, much later. That year, my daughter was awarded with the trophy of ‘Best All Rounder Student of the Year’, by her school. It was just before her class 12 board exams. I was sitting there in the first row of the auditorium and I felt extremely happy that I didn’t have to apply for any leave on that day. She is twenty two now and today, she is one of the most confident women of her age.
My son, who would be twenty seven, is an independent young man and has been doing extremely well in his IT career. Everyone, who knew my children, when I was a working mother and met them, after I quit, would notice the change in their body language and confidence level. I am not exaggerating or trying to propagate any particular idea but it does work, mother’s constant attention and company can bring a lot of changes to a kid.
I was quite good at both my jobs, as a teacher-administrator and as the SEO head of the IT Company, I had shortly worked for. I have no qualms of saying that I also knew that I wasn’t irreplaceable anywhere. They have found my substitutes after I left and though my bosses and my colleagues missed me for some time. They also forgot me in due time. The ‘job’, I am doing now, is unpaid.
Some even call it ‘purposeless’. I am very often lectured by my well meaning friends and close relations on why qualified women should not ‘waste’ their ‘time’ and ‘education’, sitting at home and not trying to make an earning. Some look down upon me, some do ridicule.
What these people would never realise is the joy I get from this freedom and the flexibility I enjoy. Today, I am being able to live a life of my own, pursuing hobbies, socialising with friends and cousins like never before, attending all family functions, visiting my octogenarian mother in law, who lives in a different city and spending quality time with her every month. By keeping my heart closer to the hearth (like my daughter says), I am being able to make home feel like a real ‘home’. My husband and my children understand and support my decision to be a non working woman, it has been my privileged choice and yes, I do consider myself to be a very lucky wife and mom.
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