I read a few articles today on the comments people make for a stay-at-home-mother. I was both appalled and distressed to hear the word “luxury” being used for the work of a SAHM. My mother was a home maker and let me tell you this, I have never seen her have even a moment’s respite in her role. She worked tirelessly to help us achieve our goals. She made us whatever food we wished, made sure our clothes and uniforms were clean and ironed, even kept my school shoes cleaned and polished. There was not one moment of respite or “luxury” in her life.
The choice my mom made, helped my father go about his business as a high profile manager in his life. He only had one spectrum to handle…that was the money. But money is just a very small piece of the family puzzle. The rest of the pieces were handled by my mother. And she was very skilled at that too. It is due to her talent for saving money that I was able to make it to the US for higher studies. We were not rich or wealthy and so coming from a middle class family, it was a momentous feat to provide for my higher studies abroad. One that I feel grateful for each day of my life.
Today, I am a working mother. But this is the choice I made, and not because I feel it is the ideal. A mother’s life is hard and it is a state change. It is not an option a woman has that she can switch off even for a moment. When a woman makes a decision to have a child, it is a decision not lightly made. She makes a commitment that she will be there for the child as her caretaker, until the day she dies. It is a bond even more sacred than holy matrimony.
I tell all my female friends…the choice to have a child lies only and only with the woman. And it is not because men don’t help out. My husband is a wonderful man who helps out as much as he can. But he is helpless when my son cries out for me in the night, his eyes full of sleep. It is the mother’s responsibility alone to ensure that the child feels cared for and loved, at that moment. Hence it is a choice that only she should make.
So fellow beings, when a woman makes a choice to either stay at home, or to work, please respect that. And don’t judge. The adage goes “it takes a village to raise a child” and it is true…the choice is an easy one, but once chosen, there is no turning back.
Finally, I wish to thank my mother from my heart of hearts…it is because of her choices that I was able to rise in my life. Thanks to all the mothers for all your sacrifices and showers of love.