Opinion » Open Page

Updated: January 16, 2011 09:59 IST

The Super Mom

    Sandhya Pentareddy
Comment (40)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

She wakes up early. While the rest of the family is still in bed or reading the newspaper, she makes coffee for the family and prepares breakfast and lunch. She gets the kids ready for school and races against the clock to get herself to her workplace

Which superhero is your favourite? Superman — the strongest alien hero with multiple talents? Batman — the genius vigilante dark knight, the impervious Mr. Fantastic or Hiro Nakumura, the incredible time traveller? If you look closely, you’ll find another superhero in your own home or neighbourhood. This hero is the Super Mom.

She wakes up early. While the rest of the family is still in bed or reading the newspaper, she makes coffee for the family and prepares breakfast and lunch. She gets the kids ready for school and races against the clock to get herself to her workplace. At the office, she gets to compete with the younger generation who are more up-to-date and the colleagues who have the luxury of time to go that extra mile or do the home work.

Best Juggler

She rises to the challenges at work despite the fact that work is not the only focus in her life. After a hard day of work, she comes back home that has scores of chores waiting for her. Besides, she helps the kids with homework and makes dinner while the rest of the family engages in banter or watches TV. After the post-dinner cleanup, she takes care of the office work that she may have brought home and then goes to bed to wake up to yet another ‘normal day’ in her life. Most of us can’t handle her ‘normal day’ without our favourite super hero’s help.

Why does she work then? Maybe, she has a dream to pursue just like the rest of us, or is forced to do so because of economic circumstances, or wants to contribute her skills to society, or simply wants to be on the same wavelength as her husband and children and be able to carry on an intelligent conversation with them. Whatever the reasons, it is simply her right.

If you ask Superman, Batman, Fantastic four or Hiro, they’ll tell you that their favourite hero is the Super Mom as she, unlike them, is not born with super powers or super IQ but has the courage, perseverance, love and sacrifice like no other.

Family’s responsibility

Does she yearn to relax once a while, have a cup of coffee without rushing or watch her favourite show when she’s back from work? I believe she does. All the household work is not really the Super Mom’s responsibility. It’s everybody’s, in fact. Take on your share of responsibility. She is sharing the bread-winning burden.

So it’s only fair you share the household responsibility. When you get home, help the kids with homework or prepare dinner or do the dishes or clean up the home. And children, grow up. It’s a lot of fun to do your own work with help from your mom and dad when needed. Take pride in shouldering your responsibility.

Ladies, do you really need to silently suffer or rise up to be a super hero? Your husbands and family members will understand if you explain and train them well. Set the expectations right. Keep an open communication. If you tell the family members, they will come forward to help. And please delegate. If you can afford it, hire help where you can, cleaning, cooking, driving, etc. You’ll be helping other people earn a living.

Friends, won’t you help the Super Mom relax and pursue her own dreams and hobbies. Won’t you give her the same chance that you have?

(The writer is adviser, strategic planning, VIT University, Vellore.)

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No doubt the energy and spirit of these women is impressive. But it raises some fundamental and disturbing questions: Is this really what an ideal life is like? What are things that are lost in leading such a life? Is there no 'third option' for a woman to consider other than 'doormat housewife' and &'hyper-active super-mom'?

from:  Anita
Posted on: Jan 14, 2011 at 17:40 IST

The article reminds me of my mumma who since last 17 years has so well balanced her home and work place. The best part is that she has not once freaked and has been progressing at both ends. I salute you and all the moms in the world and aspire to be like you in future.

from:  Shruti, a very proud daughter
Posted on: Jan 14, 2011 at 11:17 IST

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your feedback, from the bottom of my heart. Nearly an year after I wrote this, I looked at the online version to forward it to a friend and then I noticed your feedback. I'm sorry for missing this earlier. There are several good men who share responsibilities at home and I hope many more men learn from them. And great men realize that they are not just 'helping' their wives when they do household work but are pitching in, for it is their work too. And as Aarti stated above, "Women need to confidently demand help" when they are not getting it. Sachi, you are very much right - 'Sorry' and 'Thank you' are two powerful words that are used so much less in our society than they ought to be. I have written an article about this but haven't shared it yet. Thank you all, for your thoughts and constructive criticism.


from:  Sandhya Pentareddy
Posted on: Jan 9, 2011 at 17:33 IST

Often working moms are being taken advantage of by their loving families. It is exquisitely difficult to meet the emotional and physical needs of all of the people in the family while taking care of the house and working to earn money. Thank you for your tender article.

from:  J. N.
Posted on: Aug 27, 2010 at 09:50 IST

Times have changed. We are bringing up our girls to pursue a career. Men, better pitch in with the housework or face the consequences!

from:  Bhagirathi
Posted on: Mar 13, 2010 at 20:04 IST

Moms are very special. They do everything for the good future of their kids and they are special. Angel on earth!

from:  Aadil Fahim
Posted on: Mar 4, 2010 at 21:42 IST

Really, Sensitive but all should realise and help...

from:  Sadhana.AD
Posted on: Feb 25, 2010 at 15:49 IST

Being a good mother and raising civil children are the hardest jobs in the world!

from:  Nancy
Posted on: Feb 21, 2010 at 00:21 IST

Times have changed now. Gone are those days when women tolerated or had to tolerate undue pressure of family responsibility on themselves. My observation has been that women now feel it absolutely OK to tell their other family members to do their bit so that they are not stressed out. I have seen office going men doing atleast some parts of the house hold as they can no longer afford to do nothing!

from:  sundara
Posted on: Feb 20, 2010 at 04:28 IST

I think gennext, community or even women themselves need to see women's role in community diffrently.

from:  mandar bhide
Posted on: Feb 19, 2010 at 16:57 IST

Dear Sandhya,

Very well written indeed. I am a stay at home mom but have been seeing my mother and sisters work away.My father and brothers - in - law thankfully help around in the house a lot , which makes their life easier. I do wish many more men, sons, daughters all understand that mothers are human who are simply superb -- the ordinary women with extrordinary strength to run the home smoothly.

Keep writing.

from:  Shubha Shashikanth
Posted on: Feb 16, 2010 at 08:03 IST

I am truly humbled by this piece of opinion. The toughest job on the planet I would say, with no monetary values involved. It's just a mother's love and passion for the family whatever it takes. Apart from all this I see a real technocrat in household moms. I am amazed by their solutions to some household repairs!!

from:  hari srinivas
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010 at 23:40 IST

Simply super.

from:  Dilawar
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010 at 14:56 IST

Nice article!fully agree with the author. I would like to add a few words about the moms who are not going for jobs.In addition to managing the household,they nurse their parents/parents in law. They constantly pray for your good results in exams, promotions, health and ease you even from that task. They attend to relatives whom you want to avoid, take care of school meetings, bank work etc without expecting a word of appreciation and running the house in perfect harmony! I would call these Super Moms as God in Human Form.

from:  Lalitha Khokar
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010 at 12:06 IST

Well said. The title is truly fitting. We must respect our SUPERMOM because heaven lies at her feet.

from:  manish
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010 at 11:31 IST

While saluting all moms who balance work and life well, in today's world women get a helping hand from their other halves and extra hand from the maids and gadgets like washing machine etc. Not to say the ready-to-order food stuffs. Housekeeping is not a single person's job, everyone pitches in.

from:  Hari
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010 at 09:46 IST

Thank you. The article boosted my Sunday-evening sagging spirit. Thanks again.

from:  Lakshmi
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 20:07 IST

This article is just a imaginary creature called super mom. Mothers who work outside home are no super or special creatures, only the fact that they choose to ignore the prevalent social norm of women staying at home after marriage, and are immensely helped in their domestic duties by their husband or by servants. No woman can maintain full time job without at least a significant portion of household work done by someone else, though she still remains the single largest contributor to domestic work.
In advanced countries like America, mens' contribution to household work is rising steadily, as revealed by numerous surveys, though its also true that its still lower than what many career women might desire.
The article seems to be written by someone who has never met any working mom. Such misleading articles would only hamper the pace of womens' emancipation by creating a myth of "super mom or super woman ".

from:  manu
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 19:48 IST

This should be read by the in-laws at home and that will make the family happier if they share the work.

from:  V.T.Rajan
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 15:54 IST

The article portrays a virtual reality. The menfolk usually turn a blind eye towards the service of women not only in the family but in the society as well. The time is up to recognise and respect the contribution of women to humanity at large. We should stop preying upon women for the selfish needs of men.

from:  jaison mathew
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 15:46 IST

This article is really good. I always feel that a female is stronger and a great multi tasker with commitment. How I wish the spouse and the children recognise this and celebrate the association? Instead of Valantines' Day, people should celebrate mothers' day with greater sensitivity and on a larger scale. I saw my mother raising 5 kids, so well and I used to wonder how she was managing. Today I see my wife raising my daughter, the way, I can not dream of. Hats off!!! I am totally convinced that we are what we are because of Super Moms---job or no job.

Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 14:50 IST

I was pleased to read this and I have copied this article to my sister and sister-in-law who happened to fall in this category.

from:  Balu
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 14:04 IST

No doubt.. Mom is sure a Visible god...

from:  balaji
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 12:57 IST

Very well said! These days, a woman's income is more than welcome, but all the house work is still considered her responsibility. Sometimes the husband is willing to help, but this is looked down upon by in-laws/society. I think the key is to not to be afraid of the society and confidently demand help.

from:  Arti
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 12:33 IST

I encourage you to write more and more articles on women. Really a woman deserves to become SUPER HERO in every part of our society.

I noticed my wife do her everyday work right from 6:00 am to 10:30 pm without expectiong help from anybody and takes care of everybody. I used to remind her time to time about her meals, refreshment and rest. She never feels deprived from normal life we all enjoy in a family. May god bless womanhood.

from:  K.MURUGAN
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 11:16 IST

Very Nice and Touching !

from:  Vijaypal
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 09:55 IST

Well, mom is nature gift to us. Supermom is just a little appraisal of her work & dedication. They are the fuelling aspect of our lives.They are the most illustrious and emotional character of God's creation.You can't limit their work to mere words. One can aptly define mom as " God on earth".

from:  manne
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 09:14 IST

This "Super Moms" wave started in 1960s. We took safe jobs , in Government, Bank or educational institutions. We also had another challenge. The men who worked with us. They were still in the 1900s, and we had to be extra careful. We had to tread with care, lest our reputations were torn to shreds in the Office canteens.

All that is history now, but we did it !

Hats off to Super moms.

from:  Jayalakshmi
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 08:50 IST

This is one of the best articles I have read in a newspaper. Well done.

from:  ananth katrapalli
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 08:40 IST

Excellent. Definitely we will gave her (Super Mom) the same chance that we have.

from:  Viswanathan.R
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 08:15 IST

There is a word called soccer mom or American mom in West. for same!!

from:  amit chauhan
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 07:02 IST

Super Mom -- This title really fits to mom .A Cute idea.

from:  nagender
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 06:30 IST

I am very sad to see this story being portrayed as the Mom alone doing the work and no one else. I really appreciate the efforts of "The Mom". But in today's world things have changed, as the Dad also involves very much in family affairs in very many families.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 05:44 IST

I agree with many of the statements in this article. My amma was such a person (she did not work outside the house) and I remember very well how hard she worked at home raising her children. She managed the limited amount of money my father made; she made sure the children and sometimes grand children are well fed and taken care of; and she will be the last one to have dinner with whatever that is left. Now she has Alzheimer's disease and does not do any house work but she was a super amma for all of us. Yes, men folks in the house can help the super mom by sharing in the house chores and taking some pressure off her.

from:  Pacha Nambi
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 05:35 IST

Well written, Ms Reddy!I lived through these situations as my mom was a lecturer and father was always away. And right now my daugther-in-law is a SuperMom. Apart from helping one another we also need to shed the myths and stereotypes that cramp our Indian family life. Also, two words that find less usage in Indian families are "Sorry" and "Thank you"-especially being said from the heart.

from:  Sachi
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 04:24 IST

Superb article. Very true. This is the need of the hour. In India women are looked down upon. This article must be published in a big way.

from:  dhirish momaya
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 04:02 IST

I agree with the writer in sharing responsibility. But at the same time I stress most working women(or generally most women) have started employing maids for household tasks.

from:  Eldho Titus
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 02:41 IST

Very well written. Its unfortunate that people realize this a bit late!

from:  Pankaj
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 02:35 IST

Articles like this brings a smile and tears.

from:  Indumathi Kandasamy
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 01:57 IST

It gives a very nice message to us to come forward for our superhero mom...

from:  Nitesh sharma
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010 at 01:07 IST
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