By Dr. Afshan Ahmed.
Women are considered to be the backbone of a family as they have a high level of patience to deal with every issue. Since many decades, the world has been witnessing the power of women.
Some women prefer to stay as housewives while some decide to continue professional life after marriage. Earlier, people across the world were narrow minded and they restricted women from obtaining education and pursuing career after marriage. But today, the world has started accepting the strength and power of women. Even the countries like Pakistan came out of their nutshell of not allowing the women to work. Women are striving to join the workforce and are reaching new heights; however, in many cases the expectations of their partners and in laws discourage them from pursuing a career post marriage. Every professional woman has her own experience of managing her duties as a professional person on work and as a housewife. As usually what works for one person may not work for the other. A working woman still has to do lion’s share of housework despite going to work. It is really difficult to strike a balance between professional life and duties as a housewife but it is not impossible.
Firstly, women should be able to choose of their own free will that how they are going to manage the family as their career. There should be a balance of both. The problem arises when you give one precedence over the other. It is up to you to do your duties well, inside and outside home. You can raise wonderful children even if you are working because the amount of quality time that you give them surmounts too much more than 24 hours a day. Staying at home does not guarantee the best upbringing. Do not crush your ambitions, but take responsibility of your life including your career and marriage. If your husband is a true supporter you both can manage it together.
Life without family is incomplete but there is life beyond family. There is a little bit of independence we all seek to think freely and for ourselves. Being a professional lady helps to achieve that independence. A working woman has financial freedom. She is able to take financial decisions for her family. She has freedom to think and invest . This goes a long way in helping her build respect for herself and work towards the betterment of the family and home. No matter what stage of life you are in there is always something to learn and explore. Working helps learn and explore new areas of life and get to know about the happenings in and around world. Learning new things means giving oneself a chance to develop. When we open ourselves to developments happenings around us, we try to embrace change which in turn is very important for self-development.
A woman working also means that the task of fending for the family is share by the couple. This eases out the pressure on both husband and wife. A mother who works and takes care of a family passes on this message to her children that a woman is not only capable of taking care of a family but can also manage a job with equal efficiency. The role of woman, as perceived by the society, needs to be changed and only women themselves can do it best. A woman may sacrifice all her hard work and time caring for her family – cooking, cleaning shopping, caring for children and husband etc. Seeing her family flourish will surely give her immense satisfaction yet there will be voice in her asking what she has done for herself and she would not have internal satisfaction. When the woman gets a chance to realize her own dreams, she feels more satisfied and is less complaining which keeps the environment at home happy.
A woman has a lot to offer in terms of talent and intelligence in her studied area. Woman can successfully have both – a family and a career. One can play their outside work around their inside duties and obligations. Also the husband can help with collaborative schedule and hired help. But usually in the long run, in a situation where both parents are working and not spending enough time with their children, it can have an adverse effect on the child’s development. Children feel neglected and seek stimulation outside the house. Servants can look after a child’s basic needs, but they cannot be responsible for the child’s intellectual, social and emotional development.
On the other hand a housewife has more time to spend with her family and kids. She does not face any time limits and thus, she does not need to hurry with their life. A housewife is free from the control of an angry or depressed boss and can take her own time in doing the household chores. She is free from work stress and meeting the deadline of her work. One of the reasons most marriages fail is constant stress. A housewife is free of this.
The main advantage of being a housewife is to watch your kids grow. The biggest guilt a working couple faces is the lack of time that they devote to their kids. A housewife always stays with her kids and ultimately, becomes their best friend. This keeps the man of the family relaxed as his kids are in safe hands and being looked after properly. A house wife has a lot of time to spare for the activities of her like. She can engage herself in cooking classes, gardening, fashion designing, crafting etc. and explore new skills. She can also practice her existing skills and can develop herself. This gives her a feeling of achievement and keeps her happier. She can sit at home and take care of her family as well as do some part time work from home. This helps her grow professionally while taking care of her house and family.
Being a housewife or a working woman is a personal choice, both can equally good and every person has the right to do anything in his/her life. Probably the best thing for women to do if they want to work is to either work part time or to get a job that has flexible hours or to work freelance. However, in cases where mothers have no family at home to leave their children with, a good day care may be an option to consider. Ideally, a person running a day care will be educated and experienced with children and definitely a better option than leaving children to their servants.
A woman should definitely be properly educated in order to properly raise and teach her children, and provide good intelligent companionship to her husband and maintain the home and finances thereof, but caring for her husband and properly raising her children is more important than a career of course after the children are raised she can work if she likes (to keep from boredom) and in times of financial difficulties she should work, however, I do not see putting any career above the responsibilities of those being a good wife and mother, these should always come first and it is the will of Allah that it is this way.
Writer is Pharmacist by education and writes on social issues.