A thread on FB got me to think of something.. It's about my mom. She was 21 when she had me. She was fluent in English and had a really creative mind. She was already doing her own baking in a kerosene oil oven when she got married. And she had already applied for a nursing job. After that my father didn't want her to do a job and because they were having difficulties with money, she was forced to remain home and raise me. To help the money situation she made hoppers and other eats to sell. She says she didn't enjoy that much, but was happy to at least provide something for the family. When we finally settled in one place, with walls made from used rubber wood boards and takaram roof, she began to make cement blocks for our new home. I was 5.
That was the beginning of the story. She kept baking throughout, but after 20 years later, when we opened the shop, that's when I saw the happiness in my moms eyes, that I haven't seen since she and I used to take showers together in the dark, me washing her back and she's covering me head to toe with soap, she was 25 and I was 4, and when I saw her singing off key while making my birthday cake when I turn 5, or when she used to braid her hair in to two long strips and draw with me on cement floor with chalk, my grandmother - her mom- got for me. The times when she was truly happy.
I always wonder how she does this. I get exhausted after 8 or 18 hours, even when we have steady work. It was the boredom that made me apply for a job. But she does this 24 hours- 7 days a week without compliant. After 7 years when she was diagnosed with cancer, I forced her to close the shop at least for a one day each week, so she can get some rest.
I now understand that she's able to do that because she truly love the work she's doing and she is happy and feels independent and important. She's using her talent and you should see how her face lights up from compliments she gets from her customers.
I am 33 now. Thinking back about my moms life, I always feel so guilty to be honest. I was the one who robbed her youth. I was the one who got in the way of her success. I was the reason for her to be forced to remain home. To push her dreams back, maybe never to achieve them. To sacrifice her happiness for my sake.
Some days ago I went to the book sale #BigBadWolf and bought about every book on baking they had.. They all are hard back, beautifully printed books, which were still in their original wrapping. She knew I was going but it was a surprise for her to see all of those books were for her ( They were 15 Kgs in total, believe me I weighted them.. ) But when she opened them I was her eyes gets watery. I didn't know why but I assumed it was because she was happy. But little bit later I realized that she felt sad because, she can't fully understand the English in those books.
As I said in the beginning, she was fluent in English when she got married. Her father worked in Malaysian Embassy and fluent in English. She says he always spoke in English with his kids when he was at home. Sadly he died when she was a very young. She was a book worm just like me. After years of not using it, she can hardly read now.
After that, I began to read every book aloud, ( I only got to 10-12 pages in one book so far, so yuh.. best of luck for me... ) in the small free time we get from work. I read, so she can listen. She can understand and if she doesn't get something, she would ask me. ( I'm not fluent in English too.. Most of the time I had to look up for meanings of those words. )
Most people don't get this. Doing a job doesn't mean it's always have to be just to make money. it's supposed to be something you enjoy doing. Something that make you truly happy. Of course it always doesn't work out the way we wish but, that doesn't mean we must abandon everything we like to do.
It's about ones satisfaction. Of course some women wish to remain home, there's nothing wrong if you do. I'm talking about women who actually like and love to do a job. If you are keeping (or hoping to keep) your wife from working, maybe ask yourself, why do you think you have any right to do so?
Doesn't she deserve any free time from the hassle of kids like you do ? Every morning you get up, and get ready with your wife's help and go to work. You have only one duty maybe, you have things written and listed neatly,if it's a desk job. Then you come home hoping everything is in order, dinner on the table, kids asleep and so you can relax. What about her ?
How many of you men, actually wash your own cloths, at least once a week, if your wife is a housewife ?
How many of you men, who has kids, at least once told your wife to go rest, I'll put the baby to sleep, and kept on your feet rocking your baby all night long, without complain, after first three months?
How many of you men, keep taking turns to feed your kids, keep putting them to bed, take time to read, tell stories to them, after they pass the infant age ?
How many of you men, take your kids to school, attend their parents meetings without whining, if your wife is a housewife ?
Think about it.. Are you doing it for the kids or for just your selfish need to be free ?
Among other things which I don't really like to list off here, like her friends, hobbies, shopping...
Just be honest ..
Don't tell me... I am tired of arguing...