Why are Desi mothers so undervalued in their own family? If this question immediately reminds you of any woman that you know, please keep reading.
What is true love?
A desi mother is an epitome of true love and affection. Her world revolves around her husband and children. Qualified or unqualified, these mothers give up on their dreams and wishes only to support their children. On average, people work 8 hours a day and 5 days a week, but a mother works almost up to 10-12 hours a day and 7 days a week. Desi mothers are accustomed to switching roles when needed, they can turn into a chef, server, launderer, teacher, nurse, adviser, caregiver, personal shopper, hair stylist, entertainer, housekeeper and many more.
What do they get in return?
Unfortunately, they do not get paid for their work. Would you work devotedly for people who do not pay you anything in return? No I wouldn’t either. But why do they? That is because these mothers love their husband and kids unconditionally that they never get mentally tired of working for them, however, physically they do. And we notice this when Desi mothers start to become old and weak earlier than their age and you see them having to deal with so many health issues, that’s when you realize desi mothers are so committed to taking care of their kids all their life that they barely remember to take care of themselves.
Why do husbands dishonor their work?
Household labour is unpaid labour. All that unpaid work that mothers do in households is not just unpaid but undervalued as well. At the end of the day when a husband comes home from work, he does not appreciate the wife’s work because in his perspective, “she was home relaxing, sleeping, eating and watching TV all day.” Many people tend to undervalue household work because it doesn’t bring money so it’s worth nothing.
Despite working all day at home, I have seen my mom and aunts serving food to their husbands as soon as they returned from work, giving them the most priority even though they’ve worked for more hours without taking a break. My point is what we fail to realize is that at the end of the day, the dishes are washed, home cooked meals are prepared on the table, clothes are neatly folded in our drawers, socks are sorted out in pairs, floors are squeaky clean, furniture aren’t dusty, mails are checked and many more, you name it.
Why do husbands depreciate their wives?
After so much devotion and involvement, Desi mothers still made to feel embarrassed of their identify as a housewife. I have witnessed many elder men including my father, uncles and other male figures who have continuously disrespected their wives simply because they didn’t earn money in order to gain respect in the family let alone in the society. These hard working mothers who hold the family together are often perceived as worthless and a financial burden to the family and they’re usually neglected by their spouses.
Penny Edgell, a sociologist claims that “It is not only about the acknowledgment of the errands they run, but also how we all look down upon them, deprive them from the appreciation they deserve and the power to make decisions on their own.” It is true that with the revolutionary growth of women in this era, the significance of housewives are becoming worse.
I have witnessed women being criticized by their partners and suffer the humiliation of saying “I’m a just a housewife” as if this doesn’t count as an occupation. The husband is ashamed to introduce his wife to parties or his colleagues. The truth is many of us have unconsciously underrated the value of our mother’s household work when we were younger, but no work should be seen as small or unimportant especially when time and energy is being spent.
What do I want from you guys after reading this article?
I’m calling for action. Let’s stop downplaying our mother’s household work. If a father maintains the financial stability in home then a mother also does everything to maintain stability in domestic life that brings mental peace to all the members of the family. Therefore, both should be equally acknowledged. So, next time if you witness any male figure being disrespectful to a woman in your family, call them out on it. Explain to them why it is wrong and unethical. In fact, tell them to read this article and amend themselves.