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Sabtu, Oktober 27, 2007

Housewife, anyone?

“Everything happens for a reason.”
This somewhat wise statement was uttered by one of my workmates yesterday. She told me about one of her cousins who is about the same age with her. Since they were child, they were somewhat competitive to each other; such as in education, beauty, career, and perhaps eventually the success to get rich husband.
My friend said, “She got married at an earlier age that made me envy her because that gave me an idea that she beat me finally. I got married after I reached a so-called ‘crucial age’ for women to get married. Therefore, I felt like I didn’t have many choices whom I would marry. When knowing that her husband is quite successful in his business so that they have a good house and car, I had to say that I even envied her more. She is a full housewife, only sometimes she gets some order to make cakes, one of her capabilities that can make her earn her own money. Sometimes when my kids protest when I am about to go to work, because they want me to stay, they really make me down in the dumps. I want to be a full housewife too so that I don’t need to work. But only depending on my husband’s paycheck, we will not be able to survive.”
I kept listening to her.
“However, she is a bit fussy to her maids so that none of them stands working with her for more than one month. This made her obliged to do all of household chores by herself, including to take her children to go to school. Her husband doesn’t help her do the chores at all because his right hand cannot be used freely due to an accident. And perhaps because he thinks that he is the main breadwinner in the family, he doesn’t need to help his wife to do household chores. It is fully his wife’s responsibility. Not long ago, my cousin’s mother –in-law passed away. And in fact this has made her much busier since the responsibility to take care of her father-in-law who is already elderly becomes hers too. This made me think whether I could change position with her: having a rich husband, two children who are still studying in the elementary school, but no housemaid, and also having to take care of an elderly father-in-law, plus one grandmother-in-law, I think I will give up soon.”
This sounds more interesting, doesn’t it? 
“I have two toddlers, one is two years old and the other one is still six months old, and my husband is really helpful to do household chores, perhaps in return of my helping him earn money. I don’t think I can make it without having a housemaid, as I have told you after Lebaran (Eid Mubarrak Day) my housemaid didn’t go back to work anymore, I am often at my wits’ end. It is not easy to look for a new housemaid who cares and loves my children as to her own kids. I start to realize that everything happens for a reason. I am not supposed to envy my cousin.”
A good ending, eh? LOL.
“I believe that being a full housewife is really a hard task for me. I am not sure if I can make it. Can you?” she asked me.
Recently I must say that sometimes I ask myself that question, a question that in the past I would answer strongly, “NO!”
“Well, I don’t mind being one as long as I still can do something that will make me reach my self-actualization. The problem is being a full housewife for me doesn’t give me self-actualization. To me, doing household chores doesn’t give me satisfaction.” I responded.
“I opine that being a housewife is really noble for women, because it is hard to do. I cannot make it either.” She went on.
“I am sorry to say that I don’t really agree with you. Women have choices to do what they want to do, things that give them satisfaction, and even self-actualization. No profession is nobler than any other profession. Women who choose to be a housewife perhaps get that satisfaction and actualization by doing household chores, for example by having a neat, and tidy house, without any single spot of dirt, without anything lying not at the right place—just like the women in “The Stepford Wives” movie. Women who choose to do desk job—behind desk from eight to five daily, probably get their satisfaction in it. Women who choose to do dangerous and risky job, such as working in mining sites possibly get another kind of satisfaction. Women who choose to work in glamorous world, such as models, actresses, etc, get different satisfaction too. And they are all equal, in my opinion. Just like some women who are very proud and satisfied when they get ‘label’ as superwomen because they are willing to do both domestic (read => doing household chores) and ‘public’ job (read => having career outside the house) are equal too with other women who choose to do only one of them, domestic or public job; not better not worse.”
It is just a matter of making a choice.
PT56 10.35 261007

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