To work or not to work?

I was surfing the net earlier today when I came across this.

I have been having the same kind of discussions lately with friends and with Amma- whether to work or not after marriage? From the article and the comments made by readers, the following questions emerged:

1) Why is it that only the woman is asked to make such a choice? Why not the man?
More or less, in Indian society, it is believed that the man is the breadwinner of the family and it is the woman’s responsibility to raise the kids and to instill values in them. Well, I think a woman is emotionally programmed to take care of the kids, be patient with them and bring them up. It is a great role that has been traditionally assigned to women. It is a privilege to be able to mould someone’s life and teach them the lessons of life. Of course, the child would have a better and fair understanding of life and its complexities if both his/her father and mother contributed equally in its upbringing. But, when it comes to staying at home with the kids and looking after them, women are naturally and instinctively better.

2) Why can’t a woman have both – a career and a family life?
You can, but only if you are TERRIFIC! Having a full-fledged career and having to manage the household and the kids simultaneously does become nerve-racking at times. If you are lucky enough to have someone really dependable with whom you can trust the kids and who can also manage the house in case of emergencies, it is a pretty tough job. Of course, there are women who manage both, but ultimately it takes its toll on you.

3) Why does this question arise at all?
Women by nature are highly emotional. If they are career-oriented, they usually feel guilty after marriage for not being able to take care of the family and the home. On the other hand, modern-day women like to be better prepared for the challenges of life. What if my husband leaves me or passes away or he loses his job? – these are questions which many young girls think of before marriage, while contemplating whether to be a stay-at-home wife or a career-minded wife. And there is always the issue of financial dependence. Today’s woman does not prefer being financially dependent on anyone. They also realise that it is a tremendous waste of talent and education to not work at all. Hence, the choice of making a decision arises.

I feel both these situations are extremes- either be a stay-at-home wife or work full-time. There are some in-between options too, like:
1) Pursuing a part-time job
2) Freelance work
3) Working from home
4) Taking up soft jobs such as tuitions instead of a full-time office job
5) Keeping oneself updated and active so that one can join the work force after the kids do not require staying at home
6) Making sound investments before getting married or before having kids so that you do not have to worry about being financially dependent

7) Reaching a certain stage in your career before getting married.

Of course, every case is different. One should decide upon her course of action based on her individual circumstances.



Filed under Everyday polambals, Musings, Work

4 responses to “To work or not to work?

  1. Nithya

    Well..I can possibly put forth, a different idea in front of you, a leaf out of my book πŸ˜›

    My mother is basically a Chartered Accountant. She wasn’t allowed to work after her marriage…My mom was pretty open to that idea and did not work for around 19 years..but just about a year back, all on a suddden, miraculously, my dad came bak home saying “a famous auditor in town wants me to hire a CA to manage the audit firm, along with him. Would u like to go ? “..And that was a biiiiig turning point in my mum’s life..She felt so happy..Right now, she’s bak to being an auditor πŸ™‚

    Actually ladies can quit/temporarily quit their jobs, till their kids become mature..They can ensure that their kids are grown up enough to handle various things by themselves..At that particular point, they can go bak to working..Why waste the knowledge that they have imparted during their childhood and college days ?

  2. Priya Iyer

    thats great!!!

    my thoughts exactly….why waste your talent and knowledge? but after a long gap, a woman finds it difficult to get a suitable job, after having been out of the workforce for so long….in these days of tough competition, it is necessary for a woman to keep herself updated during her abscence from the workforce so that she can join as soon as her children mature. thats what i meant by point 5.

  3. Sathej

    Good analysis of tricky questions.Finally,it is an issue that has to be decided by the woman herself.Forcing to work or not to work is not nice at all.
    And yes,Nithya’s suggestion(coupled with an example) seems nice too.

  4. Priya Iyer


    my point exactly…

    thanks πŸ™‚

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