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.
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.
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.)