So, tell me, are you working?

No, Not really..

I just relax at home and at the snap of my fingers, little elves do the dishes, put the washing in the washing machine, cook, clean, vacuum, clean toilets, bathtubs, tidy up.. Apart from bathing, feeding and looking after my daughter, grocery shopping, play dates.. I just laze around and relax!

Yes, thats what SAHMs* do! We just have a lazy, lazy life, don’t we?


* SAHM – Stay at home mother

37 thoughts on “So, tell me, are you working?

  1. Smi! Don’t know if I should laugh or be sad but that is the irony here. Most women world over barring the ones with cooks/maids have to work. Most men too. But most men have a retirement age (reminds me of Rash’s post on her Dad retired and mom still working). Housework doesn’t have retirement. Women who work outside too do same housework.

    Very true! And this is true in most Indian families..Though it is changing fast.. For instance, my husband hates it if I am in the kitchen when he is relaxing.. so we either do something easy or order in – so that both of us get to relax.. But that attitude is just missing in so many families. Once we had been out with a couple, and at the end of the day, we had all been exhausted… So we were picking up something so that we did not have to go home and cook. This other guy, actually invited us to come over to his place, saying that his wife will anyways cook – as he does not like eating out.. And this girl, was with us – equally tired – but he did not bat an eye or even consult with her before inviting us!! I felt so sorry for her.. the lack of consideration was appalling!

    There should be a balance. Inside or outside work, hope people help each other and don’t make it something like this is expected of one. Like after marriage now since DIL is there MIL can take rest. People should remember that the new girl is here to be part of family not to replace maid. If MIL was happy with her housework then it doesn’t mean that DIL too. Latter might have dreams of her own. As someone mentioned on my blog, if a girl wants to live separately and have a career then she will be termed a home breaker. Sad!

    This is one the saddest thing I hear.. People just don’t realise that times have changed, that the DIL might have a life outside her house.. And even if she is not working – it is not necessary that she likes spending all her time in the Kitchen.. she might step out with her friends, she might have a social life of her own..

    Times are changing and I hope people’s mentality too change with it. Emotional blackmailing has to stop.

    Oh absolutely! By the way – my post was a result of a conversation with an ex-colleague – who imagined that I am living a life of ‘unlimited vacation’ just coz I am now a SAHM.. People don’t realise that there are lots of things that need doing at home too..

    • I don’t know if your colleague has children or not. In any case, you need to clearly tell her that you have seen both sides and you are happy being both. It was your decision to leave your career to stay at home and take care of Poohi and not a single day you regretted. Everyone has their priority. For some it is okay to leave a 3 or 6 months old at a day care but you prefer to be with the baby at home.

      Exactly! I keep telling people that it would be great not to be judged for my decision to go back to work or for my decision to stay at home.. I was no martyr when I decided to stay at home nor am I a sinner for wanting to go back – and vice versa..

      This is not a blame game or war. People should understand that. Being with a baby at home 24/7 without any help is a difficult task. People easily make assumptions and pass of remarks but just analyze them closely and you will realize that they are doing it because somewhere they feel guilty.

      Oh yes – they have their own complexes.. and their own issues.. It is never a simple thing..

      Now you want to get back to work and that is also your decision. I don’t think anyone needs to be given any explanation, Smi. Now that Poohi will be at school most of the day, you can get back to your career which you loved. This SAHM vs. working mom war never ends.

      Absolutely.. This SAHM vs working mom war never ends! One of my colleagues actually asked me when I was 8 months pregnant – why am I working with so much difficulty – that money should not be so important! That when I was perfectly healthy – no problems and the doctors felt that it is better to work until you can.. Money was not even remotely an issue.. I just wanted to work till I was comfortable.. But people are so quick to judge.. But this guy, had his own issues.. He was 7 yrs senior to me and was reporting to me – and I think he hated that and wanted to see me gone πŸ™‚

  2. Ah yes..! Sahms dont work, dont you know that by now? You should, else you would not be writing about it, Lol!

    LOL ! Yes, I should have known it by now πŸ™‚
    Shail has written this fantastic post on “Do you work?”, on Shail’s Nest. Do take a look [while you can, before you start “working” again. Lol!]

    Will check it out right away πŸ™‚
    Agree with Solilo’s views above. Sad but true, that young women who are trained in a profession esp. are expected either to put their dreams on hold, or do double time in office and home, for harmonious existence!

    Yes, and that is the tragedy.. I do wish people understood this.. To add to it, it is a catch 22 situation.. Damned if you work and damned if you don’t! On one hand you could hear of how girls do professional courses like engg or medicine to chuck it and stay at home.. And if you do work – then you hear of – ‘why does she need to work – they must be crazy about money’!

    Hope exists because of some wonderful men I know who are equal halves of their spouses, and families who really care about their children, including the in laws :), son or daughter πŸ™‚

    Yes, hope definitely exists! For me – it is my husband who is more confident about my abilities than I am.. Who is more sure that I will get a job than I am and who is sure that I am better than most people out there in the market πŸ™‚ So sure hope exists -but I feel bad when I see how some others get treated.. I get stunned when people tell me that ‘your husband is very considerate’ because he insisted that I don’t cook when I was unwell – I mean I take that for granted.. It just made me realise that so many women, despite being well educated – are still not ‘free’ enough.. They are in so many ways bound by tradition, so called values.. and inconsiderate family..

  3. Tell me Smitha, are you trying to psyche yourself into not “working” again, a “Dhiren Job” not being easy to get, or are you beginning to feel like a “vegetable” sitting at home but want to convince yourself that you are not?

    Not at all, Vinod πŸ™‚ This had nothing to do with my going back to work – it just so happened that it came right after my ‘going back to work’ post πŸ™‚ This was the result of an ex-colleague of mine, assuming that I was on a permanent vacation, just coz I am a SAHM.. You know, the assumption that just coz I am at home – I do nothing..
    The way I look at it.. I would not judge somebody who decides to stay at home nor somebody who decides to go out to work. Each person has his/her own priorities and desires.. I have decided to go back to work coz I know that I will get bored once my daughter goes to school.. So even if I do not get a job, I do plan to do take up something.. Plus the fact that I used to really enjoy my job – pressures and all…. just I am do enjoy spending time at home with my daughter…

  4. Yes, we do πŸ™‚ and we watch ‘Oprah’ all day! Vinod has a point, I think you are convincing yourself that you are productive as a stay at home mother..

    No no Bones – I am not trying to convince myself at all πŸ™‚ I am quite sure about going back to work now – and also quite excited πŸ™‚ This was the result of a conversation that I had with someone who assumed that I am on a permanent vacation, now that I am at home.. As if I have nothing to do but laze around πŸ™‚

    And yes, Oprah:) Funnily enough, I know ‘working’ men who watch far more TV than I do – which is about 2-3 hrs in a week πŸ™‚

  5. The sarcasm came thru…
    I agree with Solilo’s comments…
    But, with times changing, and we have wonderful men in our lives who are not selfish and do not possess supreme egos!

    Yes, very true! But not true for everybody you know! I know so many woman who don’t have that support system.. You and I are really lucky that way.. I came across a man who told me that these days, the money has gone to women’s head.. they don’t value family anymore!

    And, if you really want to get back to work, don’t try to convince yourself otherwise…
    You will do a great job – both at work and at home with your family.


    Thanks Pixie – Hugs to you too! No, this really has nothing to do with my decision to go back – I am quite sure about it πŸ™‚ This was after a conversation with someone who thought that I had nothing to do at home πŸ™‚ permanent vacation apparently πŸ™‚ I am quite sure that I want to go back to work – because I really used to enjoy it πŸ™‚ and coz I think I have had a long enough break πŸ™‚

  6. Well said smitha.My mom says how much ever the women is educated,working still they have to do the household work :(.Few men help women in their house work but can’t do the entire work and i won’t appreciate the work done by them,as i feel we are better in doing certain jobs than men πŸ™‚

    Thats true.. I think the onus of household work does fall on the woman.. Though men do help out these days.. I know some men who are fantastic cooks – who like cooking ! Unfortunately my husband is not one of those – though he helps out in other ways πŸ™‚

    When i was working hubby used to help me a lot,now at home,he doesn’t help me at all.And most men think women just lazy in the house as their is not much work.If we leave everything to them,i am sure they won’t be able to do what we do sitting at home.

    My husband still helps, not as much – but definitely.. Esp over the weekends.. Yes, most men certainly seem to think that πŸ™‚

    It is we women who leave our career for sake of kids and the house,i doubt any men will do the same 😦

    A lot of men are SAHDs now πŸ™‚ I keep telling my husband that he should think of it πŸ™‚ He is more of an introvert, who likes spending time at home – while I love meeting people and get a high from running about and having no time to breathe πŸ™‚ So hopefully one day, we will get to exchange roles πŸ™‚

  7. Smitha, when I left my job to be a SAHM, my husband was just starting out in his profession and worked long hours. So I did ‘ofice work’ for him a few hours every day to lessen his load, in addition to being a homemaker and looking after the children.

    But since I did not get a separate salary for this, my relatives did not consider it to be ‘real’ work and frequently said what you have written in this post.

    I would say the situation is different for everyone. So just do whatever works for you, and DO NOT listen to others. πŸ™‚

    Yes, Manju – that double standard is always there.. Only ‘paid work’ is real work! I mean, it is a cath 22 situation.. you go out to work and people say that you are too job oriented and if you stay at home -you are wasting your education.. And that irritates me.. I think both are difficult, there is a lot of work involved both ways.. and it should be up to the individual to decide what is best for her..

    It was not about my decision – but a conversation with an ex-colleague who assumed that I am on a vacation – just because I am at home πŸ™‚ That assumption is very irritating πŸ™‚ I am quite sure of what I intend to do πŸ™‚

  8. Well said smitha.My mom says how much ever the women is educated,working still they have to do the household work :(.Few men help women in their house work but can’t do the entire work and i won’t appreciate the work done by them,as i feel we are better in doing certain jobs than men πŸ™‚

    When i was working hubby used to help me a lot,now at home,he doesn’t help me at all.And most men think women just lazy in the house as their is not much work.If we leave everything to them,i am sure they won’t be able to do what we do sitting at home.

    All the best for what ever step u take πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    It is we women who leave our career for sake of kids and the house,i doubt any men will do the same 😦

  9. Its a tough job to maintain a home Smitha… being in a room I know that… so I respect the work done by women in home… if you are lazy means you cant do that… and for Sarath babu, he got 12,862 votes.. according to today’s TOI… check the Chennai editions 5th page πŸ™‚

    Thats true Kanagu.. a lot of people take it for granted πŸ™‚

    Oh great! That is a good total isn’t it – for an independant… A pity he did not win though..

  10. well said.. i agree…

    but you know i have seen some women who don’t put in that much effot in the duties you talked about. they either have maids do it for them or they don’t do it at all… i have seen homes like pig stys, children playing ouside in dust in their school uniforms and the so called SAHM watching TV or chatting in groups. now how do you explain that..!

    Yes, it takes all kinds, doesn’t it.. I know, I have come across these kinds as well.. Just as you have really helpful husbands and husbands who will not lift their little finger to help πŸ™‚

    • Even i heard women telling that they hate to do house work,they prefer maids to take care of the kids 😦

      Yes, and I can’t understand that at all.. It has become quite common in India, apparently..

    • I can surely convince her that I can do better than her at home… but I dont think I can convince her to work hard… she is my mother in laziness

      lol πŸ™‚ Your mother in laziness, indeed! It is the opposite here πŸ™‚ Once, when I was working, I had to leave daughter with my husband at home.. As soon as I reached work – before nine in the morning.. and I was supposed to be at work till 6 in the evening, and he asks – ‘She’s pooped – do I have to change it or can it wait till you get back :)’ I still tease pull his leg with that πŸ™‚

      • my son is past that poop age … !!! lol πŸ˜‰

        I am smart aint i ??
        Yes, you sure are – you know just when to suggest being a SAHD πŸ™‚ This was when daughter was 7 months old – when I first went back to work πŸ™‚
        he has just started playing cricket in the house… and i would love doing that at home… !

        and have biwi working… that would be cool… she comes home and I have dinner ready !!!!!
        Very nice plans πŸ™‚ And dinner ready! That is nice! Husband says he is ready to stay at home – but once we go to India – as there we can have a maid to cook, clean and everything! See – I’m the maid now πŸ™‚
        I would cook so many lovely treats !!!

        Oh lucky wife of yours!! Here both of us prefer not to cook – if there was an option πŸ™‚ But we had a cook when I was working – made life much easier – and a gujju cook – so it was Hubby’s idea of heaven – he loves Gujju food πŸ™‚

        • I love cooking but I cant cook the routine gujju food… naa… no roti dal bhat for me… ! I love experimenting and putting whatever in anything.. !!!! πŸ˜€

          Wow!! I like experimenting too! Hubby on the other hand is a proper daal-chaawal guy πŸ™‚ Give him that and he is very happy πŸ™‚

          but it always turns out quite well… seriously !! kasam se… succhi… !

          So when are you inviting your blog samaj to dinner πŸ™‚

          I m ready to be the maid or anything as long as i get to stay home and not go to office.. i can bath at the time i want and stay messy.. watch cricket while cutting veggies… and having so much more time with my son !!! nothing like it… ! i dont mind cleaning and washing either …

          What a reason to stay at home:) – ‘I m ready to be the maid or anything as long as i get to stay home and not go to office.. i can bath at the time i want and stay messy.. watch cricket while cutting veggies… ‘ πŸ˜†
          Too much, Dhiren πŸ™‚
          Won’t you get bored when Hriday goes to school?

  11. awwww Smitha! hugs from me and more hugs from my mom! (coz she’s sure to agree!!)
    Thank you Crafty! Hugs back to you and your mom!!! My mom would agree too.. She starts her day at 5:00 and is busy till 11:00 at night!!! Dad calls her a workaholic πŸ™‚
    i hate it when ppl say “aare, ghar pe kaam hi kitna hota hai?”

    That irritates me so much!!!!! And I have heard that from so many people.. and from a lot of women too.. They undermine themselves!!!

    sheesh…dimwits! being a home maker is a full time job, coz u not only manage home, you manage lives…and i fail to respect anyone who doesn’t think the same!

    Yeah! Dimwits!! πŸ™‚ It is tough and it is still tougher for women who work – because a lot of the workload comes on the woman.. So its difficult either way.. The only way it can work is if you have a supportive husband and family.

  12. Couldn’t help laughing!

    Very true, though. People assume staying at home is one big vacation.


    Quirky Indian

    Yes, QI , They sure do 😦 And I laugh too – and sometimes I rant here πŸ™‚

    • yeah…… πŸ™‚ staying at home is the biggest job in the universe πŸ˜› It is hard……
      I can say because I have been trying to keep a house clean, and cook food for 4 months now πŸ™‚ LOL it really is hard work………….

      LOL πŸ™‚ I agree πŸ™‚ I am so not cut out for it πŸ™‚

  13. I think for the first three years, when the kid is young, maybe women could take a break and take care of them. One of the reasons is – men are very bad baby sitters (in general!). After that both the man and the woman of the house ought to take turns to manage home and work. Easier said than done, but I think men are more open minded these days (comparatively) and taking a break from the career no longer ‘kills’ your CV.

    Destination Infinity

    It does make sense to take time off work when the child is young.. But I do think it is a personal choice.. it works for some.. it does not for some.. Men are more open minded these days.. but the fact remains that one person’s career does take a back seat.. atleast from my experience.. Yes, taking a break no longer kills your CV – but things are slightly tough thanks to the recession.

  14. I think I will use the bloggers’ language…Huggggs to you, Smitha! I was working once upon a time and since I did not have proper help, after I had a baby, I left a good job and stayed at home. After some years, had another son and was busy till they finished Plus II. They had shift school and I was busy all the time, preparing food and other things. Then, slowly, I started getting a lot of free time and I started regretting leaving my job. And now, because of one son’s odd time job, I am busy again…full time job – not 9 to 5 job.

    Thank god, my husband knows cooking and helps me a lot, so I am happy and don’t feel like a maid! Though, he was thinking that womens’ job is cooking and taking care of the house, for some years after marriage. Now, he knows, how tough it is – taking care of the family, single handedly.

    I can imagine what you went through! It is tough to handle everything.. I took a break because it got too much for me. My husband was travelling to Europe every week – so he would be out of the country for 4 days a week – that left me with everything else to do.. and add to it the fact that my job also had travelling for meetings and stuff.. There were days when I was travelling 6 hrs a day.. Just did not make sense at the end of the day.. I am hoping to change my profile a bit and get into a less demanding job – if possible.. My husband does not cook – but he helps in everything else.. And we used to have a cook so that was easier.

    And hugzzzz to you too πŸ™‚ Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  15. Hi Smitha,
    ignore what people have to say or would say anything about you. as long as u are happy and Ur husband supports your decisions, u need not have to worry about others. Go ahead and do whatever u feel like doing: be it job or some thing else..

    Oh yes, absolutely! It does amaze me that so many people seem to think that way πŸ™‚

    • lol at ur and dhirens discussion.
      its sad though that people look down upon the SAHM.

      Yes, it is! And you know, women themselves look down on ..

      • no its a wrong thing that they look down upon… !!

        cooking is hard work and cooking well even harder… its not the best thing to clean the house… etc… its all boring stuff… !!

        I agree πŸ™‚ Atleast it is for me πŸ™‚ And no cash incentive either πŸ™‚ And no co-workers to chat to!!!
        However i m sure I would love doing these boring things… than sitting in the office and working for someone else… !

        LOL πŸ™‚ I enjoy office work too πŸ™‚ I miss all those high pressure days every once in a while:)

  16. Ah I don’t understand why when we have “choices” we look down upon ppl who dont work? Some choose to stay at home.. and there is nothing wrong with it!

    After all.. its all about choice right?

    Yes, it is supposed to be all about choice – but funnily enough – you will find people looking down – either way.. If you work – you are too work oriented and if you don’t – aren’t you wasting your education?

    • Education is to know that we have a choice.. doesnt mean everyone of us has to work no?

      Why cant we look at it as a fact that someone else who has more need and inclination for that job got it?

      I totally agree with you – just wish more people thought like this! And that the neither the decision to work or to not was not judged upon…

  17. It good to hear that you have started the CV, so atleast you have got over the moment of inertia of rest, and it start moving, my best wishes to you. I think you should move back to corporate world, let me know…

    Welcome Here Noname:) I do hope to get back soon πŸ™‚

  18. “Nope, I’m not working. I’m at home full-time, taking care of my baby. Are you working? WHO is taking care of your baby then??”

    See it can go both ways πŸ™‚

    It does go both ways! Its damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

    Its just how comfortable you are with what you are doing. Don’t bother about what other people have to say.

    Absolutely! Thats all that matters, isn’t it?

  19. Loved the sarcasm! That’s exactly what half the world thinks about SAHMs anyway. Yeah – and I have two elves who do all my bidding and I laze around being waited on hand and foot, too, when I’m not cooking, cleaning, organizing, keeping toddler entertained, racing the clock and staying up nights to submit assignments πŸ™‚

    Thank you Mystic Margarita πŸ™‚ It just makes me mad when I see people assuming that πŸ™‚

  20. The role a mother plays in the emotional growth and well being of a child is longterm, intangible, and often indirect. It’s wrong to compare mother’s call of duty and a conventional job or career. It should never be done.

    There is and should be no general rule of whether a mom should quit when a baby comes. Because, cases vary from individual to individual. And one should never be judgemental if someone has quit her job or decided to keep it. That’s their choice, which works best for them.

    In my case, my wife quit her journalism job, returned to her career when our child was in LKG and now after so many years, she has caught up on career with such amazing speed that she has overtaken me! (We both are journalists.) I am so proud of her. And remember, she quit her job knowing well what she was doing and why she was doing. Neither she nor I had or have any regrets.

  21. Ofcourse us moms do NO work. My husband comes home after a looooong day at work, gets the meals ready, takes the kids for the various activities, then rushes home and feeds them. Loads the dishwasher. Quickly washes the floors then gets the kids going on their homework and prepares for the next day. Then he goes straight to the den to start on his assignments. Heck, what am I doing… Having a martini, shaken not stirred πŸ˜‰ thank you very much

  22. There should be a law against tht question ;-/

    I’m serious…..I’ve been asked this question umpteen number of times & till today havent been able to ‘give it back’ to them 😦

    I know!!! There should be a law against that question!!! You can almost see the wheels turning in their minds as soon as they get to know that ‘I’m not working’!!!!

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