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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Home CEO or What?

So what do you do whole day at home?
She takes care of the house- said her husband, almost daring me to counter or misguide her into pursuing a career.

My boss used to say-some women proudly claim - we don’t keep a servant. Of course, you are the unpaid, educated servant in the house.

I do not want to cast aspersions on the homemakers- if one were to compare a CEO of a company vs the home CEO ‘she’ would win hands down. No points for guessing that. But like all CEO’s I wish the homemakers understood that it’s not about working hard but working smart. It’s about managing the show and not working your backside off.
Can’t they appoint someone and delegate?

Today most of us are well educated and could contribute in a big way socially, culturally and not to forget, in the upbringing of their children – wherever applicable. I appoint help and my objectives are clear- they are not there to bring my babies up but to do the other stuff so that I can spend all my time with my babies.

This girl in the 1st para of this post is a qualified civil engineer. She says – he does not want me to work. (Un)Fair enough – so what do you do? Oh there’s a lot to do- cooking, cleaning, washing. Why don’t you keep a help? Then what will I do the whole day – well twiddle your thumbs. Then she asks me, do you always wear western clothes. Me says no I also wear other clothes. Our lady says, before marriage I used to wear churidaar (meaning salwar suits) and even nightie- (well, didn’t know that too counted in the list), and now I wear only sari as he says only sari suits me. Well beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder I guess, but what the hell (actually - what the F@$%). And the ‘he’ in question is not a small town guy- he has stayed abroad for a good number of years and I expected him to be more open in his views.

My roommate used to say- even if I decide to stay at home and let my husband take care of all my monetary needs, I will never do the household work so to speak. I have other talents which I would want to pursue.
My mom is a homemaker and I have never seen her idle away. She has too many hobbies to pursue. I idolize my Mom and therefore I could never stay at home- I do not have as many talents as her so I do not know what I would do the whole day at home apart from read or perhaps blog.

Some women are sadistic martyrs. They self-inflict the following commandments:
Thou shalt not take rest, idle away nor do time-pass
Thou shalt not sleep till late but arise at the stroke of dawn
Thou shalt involve thyself in the grueling cycle of cooking, cleaning, washing for the rest of thy life
Thou shalt not appoint a help to do the housework nor permit anyone in thy house to help thee in the above tasks
Thou shalt be house-proud.

Well, perhaps it’s a choice some women make. They want to get the pleasure of doing everything with their own hands, down to polishing the very last tile on the bathroom floor. And I am talking about women in well to do families, not those where the man is working hard to make ends meet. I know families in the West do not have a choice- labour is expensive, but in India?


visitor said...

Your post made interesting reading - there are points I would agree with, for example that regarding a husband imposing his will/wish on his wife:
She says – 'he does not want me to work'

and some that I might not agree with - for example, those regarding:
Some women are sadistic martyrs. They self-inflict the following commandments

if it is of their own choice, and they enjoy doing it, I dont see what is wrong in it.

artnavy said...

If the pursuit for approval is what results in their happiness- then the women are doing right by themselves - The issue is whether they r doing it out of choice or under duress- this reminds me of my Call it quits post

Nee said...

I agree with the visitor on the point "if it is of their own choice, and they enjoy doing it, I dont see what is wrong in it."

However, what if it's not a choice. If you've spent your whole life with someone else making the rules, then you don't realize that you have the power of choice.

A woman who doesn't realize that she has the right to choose her own clothes, is certainly not going to feel like she can choose how she lives the rest of her life. Perhaps the "he" in question wants a wife who will follow all of the commandments listed.

itchingtowrite said...

well, I may be sparking a debate off over here- but tell me who enjoys doing the housework- to me it looks like a necessary evil- a chore & agreed so by women themselves, if i recall a few toplines of research & studies done on this topic

the_outsider said...

Your post has now puts the WM and WD puzzle in a somewhat better perspective.

There appear to be 3 broad areas(tasks)
1. Work
2. Care for the Kids
3. Look after Home.

At first glance it appears that it may be a great task to identify which of these tasks is actually enjoyable.
Families need to approach this in corporate style. Identify resources needed to carry out the tasks as per schedule.
Then hammer out an MS-Project Gantt chart and stick to it. In the process they may also consider an HR department to keep the resources motivated.
Job Rotation should be introduced.

I forgot training ...

After annual evaluation bottom 5% performers should be sacked.

He! He! Zo Zimple No!

@ said...

You've touched on a very sensitive topic here.
As a working mom, I am not going to judge a mom who chooses to stay home - if she and her husband decide thats what is best for their family. (In fact, ever since becoming a mom myself, thats been my secret dream too - hehe :)
tell me who enjoys doing the housework- well, my MIL does. she'd rather cook than go out shopping or meeting people. To her, it is an outlet, she finds fulfillment in doing things for the family - and mind you, she has a masters degree, and was working in a decent paid bank job till she retired a few years ago. When we insist on helping her, she brushes us off with the claim that she doesn't think of it as a burden or chore - to her, there is peace in the routine. And, it is not as if she is 'old-fashioned' - I consider her views to be quite contemporary. So yes, there are women who actually enjoy household chores.

The second point: hiring help is not as much a piece of cake as it may seem. My in-laws employ several people to take care of household activities that they can't do - the bigger problem than having them around is managing and supervising them. Living in Chennai, you probably know best how hard it is to hire and keep reliable help.

mommyof2 said...

Are you talking about me??:-) I like to do everything with my own hand and don't like the way maid’s work:-) Just that I am picky:-)

I am going to start going out of the house when both kids are in school and till then even thought my house look like a tornado hit spot still Im not hiring anyone to do anything. Hubby has always said to get help or nanny when it was very hard to take care of both kids at home but I chose not to.

It was my choice & indian mentality too "I am home & suppose to take care of everything.. If I get some outside help people will think Im lazy and what the heck I am doing at home.":-)

Hubby thinks If I was working somewhere I would've been a great contribution:-) I am gonna do something but after a while since I have the privilege to stay home with my kids.. not that others don’t but it’s the choice we make;-)

I wear whatever pleases me but I do want hubby’s opinion. Not that I make changes accordingly every time but sometime I do listen. So I guess Im kind of in between th types of housewives you mentioned:-)

R.E.B.E.L said...

It s just too irritating to find men who 'do not want their wives to work.' C/mon people deal with it.. Wats wrong with women working or wearing clothes of their choice? Small town men are a lot more broad minded when compared to the 'US returned' ones!

itchingtowrite said...

Interesting!. I guess it takes all types to make the world. while all of us have diverse views, there are some common streaks- about choice & not forced, about family as a unit taking a call,about family members leveraging upon their strenghts and about prioritising which is more important -career, kids, home management, family & who can do the job better in the given scenario. If we were to face a situation, i can positively say that I will be the one to quit my job & take care of the home despite my views on the subject, whereas my hubby would be the one to go to work & do all the outside jobs. as long as its a joint decision & either person is not taken for granted, it works

Hip Grandma said...

You've got the point right across.But your civil engineer friend deserves what she gets.That much I can say.With all the modern gadgets available she talks of washing and cleaning as time consuming chores.What about those who washed with their hands for twenty five years before buying a washing machine?Even if not for money one should put one's education to good use in whatever way possible.why can't she teach her servant's children or some poor child in her neighborhood?

itchingtowrite said...

gmom- u rock! my sentiments exactly

Usha said...

I could have understood if your friend had said that she was doing all this because that is what she wanted to do but I am surprised that she says it is because her husband would like her to be so.Does she even know that she has rights? Loved the way you had summed up the modern commandments.