Boundations of independent thinking women in supposed modern families

“Jhanvi is an independent women, she is working in an Indian government Bank since 3 years. Her family is traditional having ideology that girls should educate well, stand on her feet financially and after marriage manages home, children and job well. In other words, she is supposed to become super-woman like many others who have passion to continue professional life.”

Does this situation resonate with you or any one in near relations. We can count many examples of women who have managed home and career perfectly. Do look closer, you will find imperfections in their every facet of life. Every married couple has faced problems and build their customized solutions.

Some difficulties faced by modern wife

Women are supposed to be expert in culinary skills as well as home management. In addition, Indian wives should adjust according to husband’s changing mood swings, in-law’s traditional rules as well as looking beautiful always. God forbid if exhaustion shows on face. You should be always smiling, willing to help. It does not matter you are tired or have your own mood swing. Neither does it matter if you have returned home from office just like your husband.

I have often wondered if we are still children at heart. Are Indian males groomed to be forever children. First mother, then wife then daughter/ daughter-in-law takes care of his needs. Without women they will perish. Mothers teach girls at time of marriage to make your husband dependent on you as soon as possible. This act will establish power in household. Is that so really?

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Most people in our society, men and women alike are victims of “gaslighting” abuse  prevailiing in our families. To understand what this abuse is, remember, Sridevi’s husband in “English Vinglish”. He was a very good husband, take care of all physical and financial needs of family. But, he used to undermine his wife continously in private as well as in front of audience. He used to make her feel inferior and did not respect her decisions.

Similar situations are created in parent-child, husband-wife relations, often from both side. Women often are more impacted, because they are critised from all directions regulary from well-wishers. Women easily give-up confidence or become defensive to protect thier right. Extreme ends of both situation are harmful for mental health and relationships.

What can be done different

Some mistakes are of us women also. We become so much dependent on our spouse for approval and small decisions, we have lost freedom. Occasionally, we need to take stand on how we want things to progress.

I recently interacted with a relative who was working women, lived in joint family and had children quite early comparative to others in same age group. Some of her life tips are really helpful.

1. Set defined expectations and conform to them: Following this approach is very important. Often, we blame or take blame even after clear expectations. Think of positive and negative outcomes and course of action in both cases. This approach simplifes decision making in critical situations. Expectations should be realistic with some extra margin.

2. Think calmly, remember happy memories, then speak: Before blaming, always think twice. This should be followed by men and women alike. Remember, people are not always wrong but you tend to overlook their positive points in your heat of argument.

3. Both husband and wife take pocket money monthly: when there are financial issues or  we try to live life on tight budget, many fights/misunderstanding occur due to financial issues. So whatever be financial condition, set aside some money for personal usage which will be non-accountable. You may splurge it, pamper yourself, buy some essentials or save it. But, that money should be non-accountable. This little freedom gives lot of happiness in overall fast and demanding life.

4. Treat Children as the responsibility of both parents: It is common occurrence in our families that once a women starts motherhood journey, she is forever mother. Same should be applied to fathers also. Men should start doing their own daily chores as an good example. Do not treat sharing house tasks as help to women. Men should be able and habitual to do their own work. Children learn from daily routine most.

5. Take vacations regularly: Never think that we do not have time, money for family/couple outing. Regular breaks from daily routine increase productivity and boost mental/physical health. Take some time without children also, without guilt. You will feel light-wighted and enjoy immensely. Remember, personal space is needed even for mothers. Mothers need a vacation from children occasionally, period.

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These are some of the solutions. Let me know what problems you face and what solution have you implied. Your response may be useful for some reader. So please share your thoughts and advice freely by commenting below and sharing this post.

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