Friday, June 8, 2012

How much can a woman do?

It's a rant that goes around in circles. Like me.

I haven't been around a long time. But when emotions build up, this is really the place to come to. To vent vent, vent, cry out in words and go back to life post 7 p.m. and cook dinner like nothing really happened. Though I may be all Hiroshima inside.

Today's been bad. Goes without saying. That explains the presence.

What all must a woman really do? This is something bothering the hell out of me. I'm sure a lot of women do much more than I'm doing now. Maybe without complaint. Maybe they're sharing it all. Maybe they're happy. Maybe they're sad. Maybe they want to throw hot rasam on the kitchen wall.

I mean look at all that I can think of -- work, earn, cook, keep home, clean, manage maids, care for husband, child, ageing parents, take emotional shit from people, go back and still smile at boss while gritting teeth, look good, cook and eat healthy, sun the winter woolies, air the summer cottons, buy a new raincoat, exercise, diet, keep good relations with neighbours, call the in-laws everyday, buy the soap, put away the boiled and cooled milk in the fridge, buy the medicine, catch up with old girlfriends (to retain sanity), set out the clothes that need ironing, call the aunt who always has verbal diarrhea, pack the child's bag, buy the onions, switch off all the lights and fans that spouse leaves on, don't forget to wear kaajal or the eyebags get highlighted, boil the drinking water, fill the forms, decide what to make for breakfast tomorrow, humour the neighbours in conversation in the apartment when all you want to do is go home and flop down, but then go home and head straight to the loo and then to the kitchen and then it will be more than 3 hours before you can actually flop down. Feel guilty you're not doing enough. Cry yourself to sleep. Wake up all bleary eyed and start all over again. Three days of annual vacation DOES NOT offset all this crap.

I mean is there an end to the list?
Is there a day when you can mentally not have a "to do" list?
Aren't there moments in life when you wish everyday didn't seem like a chore or a string of them you "have to" do rather than want to.

And to top it all there's no room for yourself, your reading, your TV watching, your thought process about things not related to home and hearth (chances are it's always interrupted by thoughts of home and hearth). It's just thanklessly moving from doing one thing for someone to doing another thing for someone else. Forget being thanked. Getting criticised. Or worse, ignored.
And whoever said doing all this selflessly gives them joy, I mean, please, for heaven's sake don't say it in front of me. Not today.

And I hate it when the man is emotionally "switched off" -- to to all these things that happen around him. I cannot understand that capability of being more alive to your TV channel, your raucous comedy shows, your Blackberry and your laptop, your office colleagues and your overseas boss, than to the wife and child around you. And being incapable of doing things at home naturally because he's part of the household, but rather needs to be told what to do. Aaaaararrrrggghhhhh.... Couldn't be bothered by all these "small things" mentioned in the big paragraph above. I mean if you make it into a list and give it to a man, he'll scratch out 90 per cent of them as "unnecessary", give it back to you, and ask what's cooking for dinner.

(I think I wrote a similar post a few months, did I? I sound so familiar to myself!)

P.S: I haven't been feeling like writing. I don't know what's happened. Maybe too many things on my mind. Maybe mid-life crisis. Maybe my mom's undiagnosable illness.

My dear dear Aparna and Aparna, Uma, Garima, Sahana...a thousand apologies.
I've been off the grid and not reading either. Guilty on two counts :-(


Uma said...

Tight hugs my dear friend!
Sad to hear about your mom's illness. Am sure she'll be better soon. My wishes for her speedy recovery.
I can understand the rant and the "not feeling like writing" phase too.
May be a heart-to-heart chat with your husband to just let him know you feel so, might help? Even if he doesn't understand, may be it will get across that these bother you so much?? Some men, I guess most men, need to be told explicitly about the work that gets done or needs to be done at home. It is a sorry state and no amount of our rants might make the scene better. It is decades of social conditioning and maybe when we reach heaven or any such place, we can dream of the living creatures out here behaving in a more balanced and humane fashion.

You were absent for so long, FM. You were missed.

Aparna said...

Hugs!!! It seems like there's way too much brewing on that plate of yours. I guess whatever I wanted to say, Uma has said it all. Sometimes one just needs to have a hard (and heart-to-heart) talk to see any changes. I think most of us women just tend to let the status quo continue and do ourselves a disservice in the process.
I really really hope things improve for you. Guess mom's undiagnosed illness isn't helping matters - hope she gets better soon. I'm there as well with my mom and I know how worrying it can be.

Garima said...


Breather breathe and then breathe.. and hugs!
Lots of them.
When i read the paragraphs about day to day stuff, thats exactly what most of my days are as wel.. of course with in laws visiting the list has multiplied.

I really hope having a conversation with the hubby to make sure its not one person running the house hold message comes across. its always hard.. may be not doing it for a week and making the other realise 'unncessary' is actually needed so we dont live like cavemen.

one task at a time may be.. easier said than done.. i hear you. completely.

hang in there, there is light at the end of the tunnel... it just takes a bit longer to get there. may be let og of a few things that you deem must have.. and let them be!

hugs... hugs

Divya said...


I just stumbled upon this blog :)

My!My! You really do have a lot going on, don't you? I hope everything turns out to be just alright in the end...I hope your mother gets better...I really do!

And if you feel like you can't write, it's ok - we all have the writer's block when we are stressed...just use your writing to vent out all the angst that you have got stored up inside...

Wishing You Happier Times Ahead!!

Anonymous said...

Don't think that you are alone in this, I guess it happens to most of us sometime or the other. I could relate everything you have mentioned to me... Like the others have also mentioned, you need to have the talk (ofcourse outcome not gauranteed) atleast you can be sure that you tried. It really helps if you take some me time off everyday even 5- 10 mins ALONE. Don't worry , when things drive you insane, just remember to stay calm and not pull out your hair. Just hug your child, give an appreciation smile to yourself .

My Zoe's Mum said...

Hey I'm new here, (and this is obviously my first comment)... but I feel like I've been there done that. Take a breather, if you take a break you will do yourself a huge favour. We cannot do everything our self, so why try?
You are doing the best you can, and you sure deserve a pat on ur back for that.

Anonymous said...

I landed up on your blog at the perfect time. Your post "How much can a woman do" pulled me out of a terrible feeling. I would have cried myself to scarlet red eyes with the same frustrations you have expressed in your post. Your writings are wonderful. You are so articulate. So many thoughts and feelings concurred with mine. And the phrase - home to hearth so true; men are switched off to things around - tell me about it.
Anyway, it gives me an ounce of spirit to go about rest of the day.