Monday, October 16, 2017

Are you doing it for the kids or for just your selfish need to be free ?

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...

20 comments:

  1. I do number 1. I did 2,3,and 4. (kids are big now) and many more such as cooking cleaning etc. because I enjoy them.
    There are many men who do.

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    1. Apparently there's not a lot as you think... Most men seems to want their wives to stay home and take care of kids.. When I ask why, their excuse is they don't have time. I asked how many off days do you get from work for a week and how many leaves you can get approved from work.. Believe me, there's a lot... If working parents can divid their parenting duties, both can work and raise kids, because many have help too... Seems bit too selfish, one sided, pre meditated crime against their wives to me, If they wish to have a job.. It's just unsettling to see many young men have this thought.. Even as their current girl friends are doing jobs.. They expect that their wives quit their jobs to take care of him and kids, as if it's their "right" to do so... They don't care what their wives will think or feel about that.. Yes, many readily sacrifice their jobs for love but after that, it's just doing house work. It's tiring, it' boring and we began to lost our connection to outside world.. She basically begin to feel and think like a prisoner.. Most woman don't voice these things, since they already know what the society expect from them.. unable to voice their needs and what they actually think, that's why our woman are silently suffering.. Nobody understand this.. Nobody will think this is an issue.. When I talk about them, do you know what the guaranteed responses are.. " You are a Feminist! Do want to stop our women to stop making babies ? .. Do you want our wives to do jobs, then who will take care of me, my kids, my parents..? .. These are the usual responses I get... Nobody care to think what I say is true or just take time to think before throwing accusations at me... I can talk, so I will talk, even that's the only thing I can do for them... ( I've heard so many stories throughout these past four years, to not to speak for them.. ) It's not what many girls are raised to do in this era.. They do want their freedom.. But men seems like they haven't got the memo yet...

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    2. +++ I agree with you 100%
      Like your mum, mine too had to give up a very successful career to bring up her children. It was 'expected' from her and she did not get support.
      Some people's attitude is 'if the husband earns enough, what's the need for the wife to have a career?'. Well its not about money. Its about the freedom to have a choice about your life. And by the way even if the wife earns more than the husband, no one will ever suggests that the husband stays home and takes care of the kids!

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  2. ඇහ්. සිංහල බිලොග්කලාව විජාතිකත්වය ට බිලි දෙන්න හදනවද... පොතක පිටු දහයක් කියවන්න බැරි උනාට ටීවී ඩ්‍රාමා එකක එපිසෝඩ් සීයක් උනත් බලාවි උඹ... හැක්

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    1. සීයක් ? සිම්පල්නෙ.... හි හි

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  3. අන්දෝ සංසාරයක් තේරුනේ නෑ කියහංකෝ

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  4. Very true kaushi, its the failure of supportive system and social norms that has drived us up to this point

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    1. We desperately needs that supportive system.. Starting from home to work place to society.. We sure can learn from western world's mistakes.. That's what most people are afraid of I guess.. And also most of them are still living with stone age, "frog in the wall" mind set... That doesn't help the situation at all..

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  5. I think the society is changing now. Most of the women in our generation likes to have a career and they hardly let go of a good job when kids come along. Most of the hubbies (including mine) likes their wives to have a successful career. There may be exceptions, but in many families, we can see the husbands supporting the wives than in the past. We are both engineers and my husband bathes, changes diapers, puts the baby to sleep when he can. I know hubbies who take care of kids while the wife is away at work.

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    1. Well, the way I see is, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers and teachers (for obvious reason pension and more vacation days and less working hours ) + some government jobs with pension get a little exception.. Not all, but some.. ( The higher your Job in our society's rank, they value it..) So you see, It comes back to money, always.. Nobody think about these things which I have seen women suffer from..

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  6. Point to rethink.. I see somewhat your mom in my wife.. and as it seems, she enjoys her life with me, three kids, two of our families with hell a lot of problems encountered day to day.. to be honest, I too feel guilty now..

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    1. Most guys I know, should feel that guilt, but they take it as a given.. It isn't.. It's a sacrifice of a life... They will talk about it, they will write poems about it.. They will boast about how their wives make that sacrifice, but less then handful of men. make it their mission to not to have their wives make that sacrifice.. It's more work of course but less sacrifices ..

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  7. I totally agree with you Hiru. I have seen this happening.some friends from my batch had to give up their careers for the same reason. Now, the point is they got their engineering degrees from a government university. Government spent people's tax money on their degrees and it has become a total waste now. Also, they got this precious chance for higher education while many other innocent students didn't get it. I just brought this up. This is something to think about in addition to the facts you mentioned. A women, giving up a career is not fair to her. It is not fair to her parents who brought up their daughter in a way that she could have a career and an image in the society. It is not fair to the tax paying society either. Guys, compromisation should be mutual :(

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