I read a beautiful letter written by three working mothers who replied to Mira Rajput's recent comments regarding motherhood and feminism. I do not know whether I am the right person to comment on this because I am a man and I will never know the emotions, intricacies and sacrifices of motherhood. I am writing this only because I have been raised by a mother who chose to be a homemaker and raise me and my sister—despite being talented in studies and knowing that she could have had a shining career if she wanted to.
I personally do not like how homemakers are looked down upon. Is this a result of this new wave of feminism? I do not know.
Firstly I want to say that I respect all the working mothers out there who are trying to balance their schedule in order to spend time with their children and are toiling so that their offspring can lead a better life than they did. This article is not a rant against them. We are living in a society which is seeing a new wave of feminism. Women from all social strata are standing up for themselves and they are not only challenging men, but overtaking them in many fields. As said in the letter, you are proud of your titles and they are part of your identity and rightly so. As patriarchy is still deeply entrenched in the Indian community, such women are pushing the boundaries and paving the way towards a world where women will no longer be secondary to men.
I am a still a student but I am in an environment where I get to meet with very ambitious and independent women who are striving hard to make it big in a discriminating corporate domain. But at times when the conversation goes towards making a family, raising children and making sacrifices for them, I get the sense that not only are they not willing to do so, they look down on others who do. To them, a homemaker is someone who lives a life of subjugation and lacks agency. I personally do not like how homemakers are looked down upon. Is this a result of this new wave of feminism? I do not know.
My mother was a great role model for me even though she was not a lawyer or a CEO. She taught me priceless values such as sacrifice.
I see my mother at home, and I honestly do not think her independence is compromised in any way—whether in her thoughts or how she lives and manages her finances. She has complete freedom to do whatever she wants and when she wants. In the letter, it is said that working mothers work to be better role models for their children. I am not disagreeing with it. But my mother was a great role model for me even though she was not a lawyer or a CEO. She taught me priceless values through her actions—such as sacrifice. I remember during a trip in 2016, my mother was looking at a costly sari in a store. At that time both my sister and I were filing for admissions in our respective colleges and a lot of money was being spent on this. My family members, including my dad, urged her to go buy the sari, but she refused. She made this sacrifice so that my sister and I could study and live the lives we both live now.
In the letter, it is said that working mothers work for a better lifestyle. So that they can show their children the wonders of the world. I am at a stage now where I am sitting in London pursuing my Master's and I am exploring those same wonders on my own. This could only happen because my mother did not buy that sari and made other innumerable sacrifices which I am not even aware of.
My mother didn't need to have a paid job to teach me about the uncertainties and hardships of life.
My mother didn't need to have a paid job to teach me about the uncertainties and hardships of life. I have seen uncertainties and hardships in my own home. Through my mother's struggles and seeing how she dealt with distress, I learnt life lessons which are helping me survive alone in another continent.
At the end I would like to say I respect all the working mothers out there, but I will also say the mothers who are at home, who are making sacrifices everyday for their children, are equally inspirational. Yes, they might not be able to show you Italy, Switzerland and London, but they will create a situation where you are strong enough to experience them on your own.