A homemaker’s life is an endless whirl of chores to take care of. Being a homemaker is a choice for some, and a necessity for many who do not have a support system to fall back upon.
Apart from additional workload and ability to keeping life stable, these homemakers also have the thought of keeping their families positive and in good health. Amidst this pandemic, they are also doing all they can to contribute spiritually.
One of such women is Puja Das, a homemaker from West Bengal’s South Dinajpur district, who has been making masks and distributing them for free among the locals. Other women in that locality are helping the elderly in their communities by shopping for groceries and also providing them food.
“Positivity goes a long way. My husband, who never misses a single day of office, even on weekends, is now restless cooped up at home. Thankfully, he takes over some of the household chores, while cribbing that I should have done better. After 30 years of marriage, I simply laugh it off and he joins in after he’s done complaining,” says Karuna, 52, a homemaker from Mumbai. “Thankfully, both my children are adults and while things are messy around the house, it’s nice to hear their chatter. Of course, the work is more, as I have to clean up after their cooking experiments, but I don’t mind. My daughter and I pray together in the evenings and my son and I discuss movies. It’s all good so far,” she adds.
Samyuktha, from Kochi, believes it’s a testing time for all of us, all over the world. “It’s important to stay positive and that keeps anxiety at bay. We stay in the naval area and there is a lot of security around, and we make sure to maintain social distancing. My husband who is at home helps me out with the household chores. I also make sure to factor in a little bit of exercise during the day,” she says. Debjani Som from North Bengal feels nothing much has changed since the lockdown. “The routine is pretty much the same for me. But since the lockdown, although I do not go out that often, I feel a bit irritated and stuck. Normally, after lunch during the day, my husband would be outside for work, but since both of us are both home at all times, it kind of irritates me. I like being by myself and my husband likes digging old stuff around the house. There is no extra workload as such. I like doing the dishes; the housework keeps me occupied and helps the clock move faster,” she says. Nisha Charles from Chennai believes her workload has reduced and she’s happy to be in a peaceful environment.
Despair and lack of time Kavitha Krishnaraj from Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, lives with her two children; her husband is on transfer to Bhopal. “I regret not knowing how to drive a two-wheeler as I am not able to go out even to buy essentials like vegetables. I usually take the bus and now even bus services have been stopped. My son is epileptic and requires constant medications. We were not able to stock up on medicines as the lockdown was announced. His medicines will be over in two days. I am trying to frantically order medicines online but they are not available,” she says in despair. Rithanya Sureshkumar, from Chennai, talks of when she used to have time for herself after her husband left for office and the children to school. Life with children at home, especially young ones, need to think of creative ways to keep them occupied. In cities like Mumbai, where most families live in one and two-room flats, there’s not much room for privacy.
Revathy says she is always thinking of something new to keep her children busy. “We all play indoor games, and my daughter pretend-plays she is a grocery keeper and tries to identify all the things in the kitchen. I have downloaded Amar Chitra Katha stories for my son that are now available for free. COVID-19, I agree is a huge crisis, but it has also increased the bonding between family members.”
Homemakers are indeed our superheroes without capes. Be thankful for their presence in your lives. There are many women out there who may be homemakers out of choice, but still there are women who left their career in strand to take care of their families.
An article from YourStory reports that the National Sample Survey’s Office (NSSO) is all set to undertake a study to estimate the value of unpaid work, especially household chores, by women. This is in fact, the first step towards registering India’s unpaid labour force, a large part of which are homemakers.