Life is full of irony and sometimes God goes out His way to prove that to us.
My mother and I are close. In fact when I was a teenager we were more like friends rather than mother and daughter. I confided in her about my crushes or if I liked a guy in college I could, without any hesitation, talk to my mom about my infatuation. I grew up without my father and I have seen my mom struggling to bring up her 3 children. She had to rebuild her life after the death of my father and from being a mere housewife, she had to venture into an alien world where women went to offices and worked alongside with men and were solo providers for the entire family. I have always been proud of my mom, for her courage to stand tall in any adversity.
|Me and my mom.|
Isn’t it an irony that my fate and the fate of the woman I am so proud of is poles apart and is as different as day and night. When my dad was alive, my mother was a housewife. When she stepped outside alone it was to buy groceries or for ferrying her children from school to home. Her home, her husband and her children were here world and apart from managing the finances of her house, she was blissfully unaware of other finances. You can imagine her horror when after the death of her husband she had to work in a bank and she had zero knowledge of the banking domain. Not only she had to financially provide for her family but she had to single-handedly educate and raise her children. Definitely a daunting task but she stood tall and though I am sure she would have felt like quitting on more than one occasion, she did not.
Time can be a tough taskmaster, testing one’s perseverance and resolve but my mom did beat Time in its own game. She proved that she can be a housewife AND a mother AND an independent woman who can provide for her own family. Just because a woman is a housewife, it does not mean that she does not have the capability to venture into the professional world and contribute financially to the running of her family. She proved everyone wrong who assumed that homemakers are just good for making rotis and taking care of the household chores and tutoring their children in the evening. My mother was never there for the Parent-Teacher meetings at my school but she was there for me when I wanted to confide in a friend. If that is not an indication of a successful and dedicated parent, then I don’t know what is!
Now let’s shift the focus on to me for a little bit, shall we?
I am a software engineer and after earning a degree in Engineering I worked for more than a decade. I am an independent woman who used to earn a 5 figure salary and financially contributed more than my husband. Yet, I chose to give it up all and opted to remain at home, foregoing my financial independence and my career. Some said that it was a foolish decision, to give up my career when I had a good job and a lucrative paycheck. Why did I sacrifice my career despite the well-meaning advices from concerned relatives? I decided to do it for the sake of my daughter. IT career takes its toll on the employer’s family life and every time I left my daughter at her daycare I felt that I was missing out on the most important phase of her life. At work, I could not think of anything else but home and my child and when I was at home, I worried about the deadline at work. For a working mother, balancing her professional and personal life is like walking a tightrope and I had a feeling that I was not doing justice to both facets of my life.
There were many who wanted to rub salt on my wounds and commented on my incapability to smoothly run a household. They would snigger at my failed attempts to prepare a decent dish in the kitchen, ignorant of the fact that most of my free time at home was spent at having quality time with my daughter. After all I had precious little time to spend with her. I was frustrated and had no peace of mind. When finally things reached a breaking point, I opted to give up my career and send some time with my family. Of course the break was not temporary and although I am at home I still earn by doing freelancer writing work.
I transformed from an independent, career-orientated women to a housewife for her family. I am a homemaker AND a writer AND a software engineer AND a loving mother AND a self-made woman. What I find irksome is that we woman are forced to prove ourselves time and again by a society with double-standards thoughts.
Although our destinies may be different, my mother and I are unconventional women because we chose our own paths irrespective of what society dictated for us. We have the spunk in us to decide what we wanted to be. We refused to be shackled by a particular role defined for us and freed ourselves to find our own individualities.