I was reading the papers the other day about a male journalist writing about how his expectation to become a househusband turned out to be a total opposite. You see, this writer wrote about his experience as a househusband caring for his young daughter who is autistic. That's beside the point. What is amusing about his article is that he was expecting to have a few hours of "ME" time a day, considering he is not working anymore but it turned out to be the exact opposite. He was in fact busier than he was in office and finally understood the fact that why most housewives always say that they are busier than working mothers! And to add in to his amusing piece, he even mentioned that he despised the sarcastic question poised to him and annoys most housewives - "What do you do all day?" It's a total slap in the face for most housewives as if to claim that "You seem to have nothing to do and you have all day to yourself!" and "You dont work. So what do you do most of the time?" Excuse me...may I beg to differ?!
Now let me state some thoughts from my mind. I've been a housewife for the past 3 years and still am. It was not a decision I made; in fact it was somehow made for me. I found out that I was pregnant after I left my last job and was in search for better opportunity. As a matter of fact, I was looking forward to starting a new career life when I noticed that my period was late and hence, pregnant! During my first month of pregnancy, I received a call from HP (Hewlett Packard) offering me a lucrative job as a Communication Executive. As much as I wanted to accept the job offer, I had to tell them the truth about my pregnancy, knowing very clearly that I might not get the job the minute I made the revelation. True enough, I never received any call from them after that. And then I had to hold back my plans to continue working until my baby is born. Then came another bombshell...my Philipino maid gave me a hell of a problem and then one problem after another......I was and still am stuck as a housewife. All for the sake of my son. I'm into part-time teaching now though. Ok, again...that's besides the point of my post this time.
What I'm annoyed, as I'm sure many other housewives are too is that people tend to have a stereotypical opinion that being a housewife is a bliss and that one should not complain being one. Ok, I'm not saying that I'm complaining but we, housewives are not as free as many people think we are. In fact, we work 24/7 and there is not such thing as a public holiday in our calendar. I often received remarks like;
"You are not working wat. You should be able to do this and that."
"You busy? You must be joking cos you are not working for goodness sake."
"Not free? What do you do all day (since you are not working)?"
"No time? But you are not working."
Excuse me......we might not be working as how others do in their offices.....but we DO work alright.......I mean...don't these people ever think that we housewives hold many jobs/positions at a same time? Look...we are:
1. Caregiver to our kids
2. HR manager cum supervisor - to our maids, who sometimes really give us a heck of a problem and have us breathe through fire in our lungs and throat!
3. Chef cum dietitian cum menu planner
4. Laundry manager - otherwise we'd have to kiss goodbye to our clothes should they land in the hands of the maid
5. Financial manager - bills, bills, bills...(though we might not be the one who earn the $$$..but still.....)
6. Production machine - it's easy to say but we are the ones who have to go through the agony of delivering babies.....dont get me wrong....ALL mother (working ones included) go through this as well.....
7. Story teller cum movie maker cum clown....entertainer of the house.
8. Wet 'marketeer' - it's not easy knowing what to buy from the butcher, fish monger, vege/fruit sellers..not to mention bargaining for the best price and ensuring that we are not being cheated.
9. Fashion consultant cum personal shopper cum bargain hunter
10. Etc. Etc. Etc...the list goes on and on....
Not too long ago the Women and Family Development Ministry suggested that housewives be given salaries for their roles in the families. I welcome the suggestion although it might be tough for certain families to abide by it. Well, come to think of it......a housewife's salary can never be measured and we can never come out with a proper figure to fill in the blanks for SALARY:____________. Another suggestion reckoned that husbands whose wives are housewives should contribute some EPF into their wives' account for their unlimited contributions to the family and subsequently give her a sense of financial security when she reaches the retiring age. Again, this is indeed an applaudable suggestion. But how many husbands in our society would actually carry out this move? I have to admit that some actually do. For example my beloved husband. And I'm really thankful that I have such an understanding husband who never seems to take me for granted although I'm not the one who brings in money into the family. But to have a peace of mind at work for beloved hubby, knowing that THE wife is at home watching over the safety of beloved son - PRICELESS!
Well, I'm not saying that my role in the family should be acknowledged but I just cant stand those remarks from insensitive people who undermine the roles of a housewife. Sometimes, it's not just the remarks which irk me...but certain obvious actions do show their insensitive presumptions on us. What I want these people to know is that please...please show some respect to us housewives. We are not trying to gauge any recognition...just bear in mind that being a housewife is not as easy as most people might think. Just compare a kid who goes to the babysitter and a kid who's brought up by his own mother. I dont have to elaborate further......BIG difference.
Sigh...I can never find an ending to this particular post cos there is just so much to write about. But I guess I'll have to end it somehow otherwise this post might never be published.
....another piece of my mind....adios