Monday, February 1, 2010

Home Makers or Pay Makers ??

*Sheila Jain is a housewife or to be given a more meaningful name a home maker. She does not feel elated by this name as for her its still quiet the same. She gets up 5:30 in the morning gets fresh and pushes herself to the kitchen where she finishes filling water chores and tea and tiffin making chores by 6.30 then she wakes up her little boy and drives him to school by 7.30. Next she has to next start making tea coffee breakfast and then lunch for her husband and her in laws then run around with her maid. Next shoots her day in her home after 12 its time for her to re-cook lunch and clean her kitchen. She pleads sometime for herself by 2 but she then has to welcome her kid next. She smilingly does that and feeds her boy. By 6 she makes her way for the evening snacks and tea and later by 7.30 she heads preparing for the dinner since she hardly wishes to compromise with her daily soaps. By 11.30 her day ends and while going to bed she feels it’s only the night that’s only for me next day everything begins the same way.

For most housewives’s the schedule is quiet the same, how each one deals with the daily work depends on the willingness of the home maker. As the name suggests she is the living light of a home, a maker of the foundation of the first brick of society “Family”. But from past 2 decades India has been on a rapid change, a change that’s inevitable to not effect even on the part of housewives. Indian homes are no longer a part of the old traditional joint families and no longer the life in cities is left comparable to that of the past. Life is fast family members need to earn more money to survive in cities and so the trend of being a housewife is simply on decrease, partly because women have themselves chosen to be a part of work-force and partly they are forced to work.

When a home maker or a mother cares for her family she keeps a lot of things in her mind from the kind of preferences family members have, to the kind of restrictions they have. She has to keep in mind and maintain a thin balance between freedom and discipline in family. She cares for what who’s choice is from food, to clothes, to holidays etc at the same time she has to discipline her kid to study, her husband to eat correct, her in laws to eat medicines so on and so forth. Each of these looks so miniscule but it’s a job that needs endless attention and thoughtfulness that no matter what - a maid or an outsider can never give. The story of institutionalizing marriage is the need of adding wholesomeness to the smallest unit of society, which fulfills both the physical and emotional requirements of a human being, the mother or the home maker being the deity in that. Have these deities’s been rightly praised and valued???

The average housewife is said to work almost nine hours a day, seven days a week. If the same hours were worked in another job it would warrant a salary of about **15000INR. So when the thought of “Paying our home makers” arose from west there where many people who can forward to support the stance. But will a given amount of salary to a housewife do justice to a mother who spends her labour selflessly on her child??? Who should be giving the salary?? Would it not demean the mother’s role in her house?? Would she next time get the same respect from her child as she gets for her selfless sacrifice in their upbringing?? Yet demanding a pay for their sacrifice seems to be the new way of gaining that recognition that women have been deprived of for ages.

*Mrs Singh aged 65 a housewife states “Yes, they should. If you can pay an outsider for those jobs, the same rule should be applicable to a family member too. And nobody can match the commitment levels of a housewife. This will make her feel important and eventually lead to some savings as most housewives will spend the money on the family only.” On the contrary her daughter *Shweta aged 20 college student says “I don’t think so. This will act as a big hindrance to the education of a girl child. Today, girls are encouraged to study, earn and become independent. If they are paid for household work, many parents will stop sending them to school. This may also result in early marriage of girls. “

Now a mother daughter fight bought into our notice another important question – “Who should pay??” while shweta said it’s the government who should be paying the housewives arguing “What’s the use if husbands pay?? The total money within the house will be the same pass from one hand to another.” On the other side Mrs Singh wanted her husband to pay “I want him to know how hard my work is and while paying so much to me he would know my value at home.”

On asking “If paying home makers for their tasks at home correct way to value them??” - *Manoj an engineering student and a MBA aspirant explains “Society should always try to reward its citizens for vital work in some degree at least. Under a capitalist system the value of goods and services is recognized in financial terms, so a wage would recognize the important contribution of homemakers. As well as being important, housework is physically taxing, time consuming and in balancing the needs of a household, a relatively specialized task. These features are all valued highly by the marketplace, and it is a pure accident of history that home makers have not been included in this. “

On the other hand their where many who wanted women to be recognized and valued for their work but completely disagreed on the thought that husbands should pay their wife’s at all. *Meenal a soon to be married girl said “No...a woman is not her husbands servant or housemaid. Monetary compensation would be an insult. If a woman now days is lucky enough to stay home, raise her children, and provide the best environment she can for her family, while her husband is working outside the home to provide the means, that is how it should be. It's a partnership, not a business deal.” And keeping accords with her *Anju opined “No way! How demeaning would that be?! It also opens up a whole gamut of other problems including "boss/employee" expectations, and lets face it, do we really want to give husbands any more power over us?”

Our society needs not just housewives who struggle at home for their work but women who work dedicatedly for their families. And it is for the well being of a happy and healthy family to value and appreciate a mother, a wife whenever required after all rules of Motivation follows for every human being. Brick by brick good work has to be heightened; the benefits of having mothers at home would become apparent soon. I expect we’d find a nation where, on average, our children were better educated, truancy were diminished, broken homes were decreased, crime were severely curtailed, society be more gender balanced and even though our ways of doing things change with time we wouldn’t change in heart. Beauty of a home maker is in her values and sufferings she endures for her loved ones the only thing she genuinely wishes to see is her importance in the eyes of those whom she loves. Is it so difficult for us to recognize this?????

( *Names changed to protect identity ** Pay based on a hospitality services survey)

Courtesy - Comments and quotations internet/ opinions personal copyrighted post


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Saucy said...

Hello Shreya. Nice post. this is a good thought actually.
In my opinion for a family both the things are equally important - a home maker and sb who can bring financial support to family.

I have a novel idea for the issue. If my wife is good at home-making and I'm earning better then so be it. I believe there should be at least one person for both. If it's other way round I shud play the home-maker....

Shreya said...

hey Saucy,

thank you first for posting your comment...
and yap your idea is really novel :) and i agree with the same idea there should be at least one person for one job, sometimes we do argue that a single person can manage both fronts but there are times when you have to let go one job for sake of another and we call it "compromise" saying you cannot have everything :)& well that stands true...
Anyways its always a personal choice and mutual understanding between couples my case i would better let my husband work instead of asking him to manage home :P

Shreya said...

@proswet654 & anonymous:

thanks for visiting but i didn't understand your comment...
try next time

Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

Shreya said...


thank you so much...i am always candid when expressing my views so i hope my writing will always be likable..

keep visiting..


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