Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Just a Housewife Syndrome

Following are my thoughts on Juhi Chawla’s ‘Conversation with a Mystic’ (an Isha Foundation video series where celebs come and ask questions from Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev)
Here is a video link of the same:
The full text of the talk:

To give you an idea of the talk, here is an excerpt:

Juhi Chawla: Today, many women in our modern society are stepping out and having a career. What do you think about women having a career, managing a home and being financially independent?

Sadhguru: Every woman should do what she wants to do as an individual. It should NOT be made into a trend in society or be the only right thing to do in the world. 
I think that if a woman intends to have two children and raise them, it is a full time job. 
I am not saying she should not go out and work. If she wishes to, as an individual, she is free to do what she wants. But having children is not about reproduction. You are manufacturing the next generation of people.
I have asked many ladies, “What are you doing?” They say, “Oh, I am just a housewife.” I say, “Why do you say, you are just a housewife?” 
They do not seem to understand the significance of being able to nurture two or three new lives. It is a very important job. 

Now I must admit that most of Sadhguru's videos have inspired me, and have given me fresh perspective on most topics... but this particular video touched me in a most special way because it made me go back in time when I wanted to quit my respectable, well paying job in brand management, to take care of my daughter.
Though previously, I had intended to continue with that job, and had even joined back after my Maternity Leave was over, but within a few months I realized the folly of my decision.

I was not happy; even though I was selected for a promotion. Something was missing - and I honestly asked myself - what is it that I really want to do? The answer which naturally came to my mind - was not the answer which was in accordance with society's expectation from me.

I finally decided to listen to my own heart and figured that the best thing for me is to invest my time and energy in raising my daughter by quitting my job. 

It was then, that I faced pressure from my well-meaning friends, relatives and even my own parents - who thought that after all my educational degrees and professional experience, it was not fit for me to be 'just a housewife'. 
I had to explain to them, that I was simply making a choice which will make me a happier and more satisfied person.

Well,  there was a time when women had a pressure to stay at home and not venture into the outside world. 
Now, it is the reverse; today if a professional decides to go on a sabbatical on account of her children, she is judged as a being a loser who quit because she could not manage both family and professional life. 

An educated woman's choice to devote all her energy into her house is not understood well by most people. Unfortunately, as Sadhguru pointed out, too much emphasis is being given on the economic and material aspect – how much is she earning, what level has she reached in her job etc. The fact that child raising is also an important, full-time job, is ignored.

I do wish to make one thing extremely clear, I DO NOT judge the women who make a different choice than what I made. I personally believe each woman should follow her own heart; sometimes, what the society is telling her to do – might not be right for her.

Anything which is made into a trend is wrong. An individual should be free to decide for herself. 

Taking care of children, raising them well, managing a household should not be considered of lesser importance than having a job which pays in terms of money.

In this regard, I found Sadhguru most liberal and a staunch feminist (more than most of the self-proclaimed feminists & liberals). His point is clear – child-raising is a crucial, full time job, and should be respected as such. Moreover, he asserts - if a woman likes music, or dance, or if she simply lives her life like a flower, she should feel free to do so. 

And most importantly - her choice to stay at home should be respected as much as her choice to step outside the home. 


  1. Well said - too much emphasis is being given on the economic and material aspect, how much is she earning.. We need to have a more open perspective.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. very well said.
    I'm just downloading the video and try to spread some cuts with friends and family via whatsapp and facebook.
    Thank you for such a good article

    1. Thanks for your comment, I am humbled by your kind words.
      Yes, I have also shared the clips from this video with people I know.