The Guilt of a WAHM

I am in the middle of a writer’s block and trying hard since morning to write something. In the morning I started writing for my other blog Wanderful but left that midway. Last Friday I completed 200 posts for that blog and I realised it is more than 5 years that I have been blogging there. I felt good that I actually sustained this long in Blogosphere. I wanted to write a nice emotional post to commemorate but sadly am yet to complete the post. Hopefully by end of today I should be able to post it.

It had been a hectic day and I believe am just tired. We women do get tired a lot. More than physically we get tired emotionally. We get tired because we have to multitask. It is not easy to be a woman, especially a WAHM.  Modern women have evolved as a multitasker. Our previous generation were only expected to be good at household chores. They were expected to be domestic goddesses however we have to be everything. We just need to wear an invisible cape and do everything.

The other day I went for my son’s school parent teacher meeting where I met another mom. When I asked her ‘what do you do?’ her prompt reply with a tinge of guilt in her voice was ‘I don’t do anything, I am a homemaker.’ This is not something new that we heard. We are living in a age when a woman feels guilty if she is going out of the house to work, one who is working from home and also the one who is not working for a third party. We are always guilty and never ‘completely’ proud of anything.

If we go out and work we are judged as the one who is neglecting her family and kids. If we decide to give up our career we are made to feel ashamed of only cleaning and cooking and the worst kind is the WAHM who are the typical example of “dhobi ka kutta, na ghar ka na ghat ka”. We belong to nowhere. Family thinks we neglect them and always busy on our laptops and boss thinks we are always sleeping wearing sexy nightdress like Madhuri Dixit in Dil to pagal hai.

WAHM are expected to do the grocery, pick up the kid from school, prepare food, and go to the bank while simultaneously talking over the phone with the client and typing proposal documents while running the washing machine. We are expected to attend PTA meetings and meet friends for brunch and movie and also go and make a presentation in front of the client.

How to identify a WAHM? From the perpetual sign of guilt on her face. We always fear we are not good mothers because when other mothers do their child’s project we juggle various time zones to attend conference calls. We are not good wives because when other wives accompany their husbands in classy outfits we are busy writing e-mails with hair tied in a messy bun. And if some of us also have hobbies like blogging then we are the doomed.

Why is there nobody in our home or workplace who understands how tough it is to multitask? Why do we perennially suffer from guilt of not being able to do enough? I honestly feel our next generation of women will remember as the multitasking yet perpetually guilty generation.

This post is part of the #FeministMondays series (previously called #IAmAFeminist series) hosted by Nabanita. Inspired by a TEDx talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists. 

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Linking this post to #MondayMusings hosted by dear Corinne.

 

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20 thoughts on “The Guilt of a WAHM

  1. Suja says:

    Wonderful post. I could so much relate myself to this modern multitasking yet guilty mom. It’s true that we don’t feel proud of anything because we are that perfectionist who looks for perfection in all we do. To overcome the guilt we should understand and let go of the perfection.It’s ok to be not perfect and it’s ok to have a mess.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bluerosegirl08 says:

    I think women feel guilty because we are taught to give to others even at the expense of ourselves.If we take time for ourselves we are often seen as selfish

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mali says:

    You asked, “Why is there nobody in our home or workplace who understands how tough it is to multitask?”

    Because they never have to do it. Women really do so much of the emotional labour in relationships, and so often it is ignored. Makes me fume!!!

    And yes, while there are advantages to working from home, it can be really hard too. You have my sympathies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rajlakshmi says:

    A women doesn’t need to do all that you know. They don’t have to run the washing machine and type an email at the same time. The husband could do that… Women take too much responsibility on their shoulders for the fear of being judged. Delegating the tasks to family members would make a life lot easier. Afterall a home isn’tjust made by a woman. A home belongs to everyone and it’s everybody’s responsibility to take care of it. It’s high time people recognize this fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thesingleswan says:

    I think my challenge as a parent is how to deal with the guilt of working full time, being a single mum, being tired, being desperate to get to my glass of wine and blog in the evening. Guilt is to parenthood as grapes are to wine. There is no way to get the balance right. Pen x #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mackenzieglanville says:

    Guilt is sure something that gets hold of all us mums and many dads too. I try to be aware of it and not let guilt of trying to do and be everything whilst never quite achieving perfection at anything, get to me, as we have nothing to feel guilty about. It is hard though not to feel guilty, I will keep working on this. Thank you so much for linking up with #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  7. the bespectacled mother says:

    Tell me about it. One can never get rid of the guilt. A woman cannot have it all. Just yesterday, when I went down to pick son from the school bus in the afternoon, a mum to his friend was also sitting at the bus stop. She is working full time and can never be seen around. She told me she had taken off for the whole December, thus she is coming to drop off and pick up her son. And then she said, how much I envy you that you stay at home and remain relaxed. Oh yes, I stay at home and feel relaxed all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Working mothers envy stay-at-home moms. They feel that SAHM have all the time in their hands, and are often stereotyped as the kitty party going, saas-bahu serial watching and sleeping in the afternoon types, whereas the reality is quite different. On the other hand I envy the moms who go to office,,They have the money (yes, that is a reason for sure) and ( SAHM assume) working moms can play solitaire in office and gossip in the cafeteria, and go for parties etc etc..grass is always greener on the other side..

      Like

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