This question has often got me pondering. I’ve tried and yet I fail to find answers. Maybe you all out there can give in your perspectives. So before I go into the actual question that haunts me here is a short background.

All said and done, with the male-female equality in mind and the female liberalization; even today it is very difficult to expect a man to sit at home and let the woman run the house. On the other hand it’s far easier for us women to give up careers and be the housewives while the hubby gets in the moolah to run the house. I for one agree to neither option. I’m a little traditional where I would not want the husband to be the house-man and a liberal where the wife should work to earn some bucks as well.

So the question here is that I cannot fathom why women who are well educated, have pursued professional courses like medicine, MBA engineering, Masters, PhD, just decide to give it up one fine day and be at home. I’ve seen the most talented of my friends and relatives do it. I’m still trying to reason out why.

One school of thought looks at them as the epitome of sacrifice and generosity and makes career-pursuing women look like villains. The other one simple cannot comprehend what drove them to take such a step and regards it as a decision taken under pressure to cater to everyone’s needs or simply because they were too lazy to pursue their jobs or lost the drive for it.

The housewife is a nice lucrative option for most girls who don’t want to study and pursue careers either. Men sadly do not enjoy that luxury. It’s easier for a woman to find a husband who will take care of her for the rest of her life and extremely impossible for a man to find a wife who does the same to him. Mind you, I’m not trying to sound condescending towards the role of a housewife here. I think it is extremely difficult to be one and really can take its toll. But it is also a fact that your world gets restricted if you are not going find out ways to indulge yourself in things apart from your house, husband and kids.

When qualified women tread the path as well, it sometimes irks me. I have always felt that all you learn in life and gain, should not be wasted. You will pass on the learning to your kids but why not use it to develop yourself continuously. What drives us to give it up?

I’m not asking you to lead high-profile careers, neglect your families. You need not even have a job. But I do ask of you to develop your own identity and adding onto it; even try to be financially independent. It is extremely important to do so. It gives you a sense of individuality, independance, self-respect, opinion and freedom. You discover a world beyond your own, and the experience only enriches your life.

The experiences you gain only helps you see the things at home in a different light as well. You have lived in that world before so why not go back and help to achieve the best of both worlds. And for ladies who have never worked, venture out and experience, maybe you will discover hidden talents and explore them further.

There are so many things you can do.

  • If you like lending a helping hand, volunteer with a NGO.
  • If you are a fine cook, start cooking classes at home, maybe just once a week. You can also supply lunch-dinner tiffins to bachelors/single girls living in the city/town. How they long for home-made food, and you can obviously make some good money from it. If tiffins are too hectic, how about preparing small snack items and supplying them. Who knows your culinary skills mightlead you to the hotel business or to being a top chef
  • If you paint well, start drawing classes. Pottery, fabric painting etc.
  • If you are a trained classical dancer/singer, you could conduct dancing/singing classes or join a class to teach the same
  • If you have a fetish for computers, you could join computer classes and teach there or take up small assignments from home
  • If you love teaching, you could take tuitions for kids.
  • If you love music, love to talk and have a great voice, try auditioning for a Radio Jockey
  • If you love to be in sync with the happening around the world, ever thought of opting for a news-reader’s job on radio or TV?
  • Writing is your passion, try pursuing for a guest column option in local newspapers/magazines
  • If your husband runs his own business why don’t you try coaxing him to let you come to office and understand it and help in some aspect; the finances, the operations, the administration, or the human resource management. You need not always be qualified professional for that, after all experience is the best teacher of all.
  • If you do not want to go work, then you can be a student for the various classes and develop your interests. Join various hobby classes, and maybe that will motivate you to start one of your own. Learn a foreign language, or maybe kick-boxing.

There are so many things to do.

There was another wonderful and unique option I saw my aunt indulge in. All the elderly ladies in her area formed a small group known as ‘Bhagini Bhajan Mandal’ (Ladies Devotional Song Club) They would perform devotional songs at the house-pooja and at all festivals. They never charged anything. They started it as an interest and with the intention to spend some time praying and praising God. Their songs went down so well with everyone that soon they became well-known and were called to perform at all festivities. They even went on tours in various areas performing with other ‘mandals’ from different regions. It helped them learn about other places, make new friends, learn their life-stories and share their experiences as well. Every time she comes back, she has new anecdotes to tell and her grand-daughters refuse to miss any of her performances being held in their hometown.

Basically the point I’m trying to drive is to find your interests and pursue them. For whatever reasons you might not have been able to pursue a career; due to family pressure or because you were not that ambitious, your priorities were different. Don’t wait for that moment in life when you have completed all your duties and look back, you regret for not taking up those small opportunities which would have helped you develop as an individual. The same opportunities that would have helped you overcome the regret for not pursuing the career of your choice.

Life always presents you with alternatives and it is for us to tap them at the right moment. Life is short and there is so much to learn, why would you want not to?

A career is not what you make in a high-profile pressure job. A career is what you make when you are successful in the little things you pursue. You being a housewife need not always mean giving up everything, you have to look at pursuing the new opportutnites that exist around you. There are many ways where you can do some justice to the education you received and the talents you are blessed with. Prove yourself that you were worth it.