It all started for me, on a lazy Sunday brunch with my friends, when one of the male friends said, “Rabab, it’s so easy for you, you just have to sit at home, take care of the kids and enjoy life.” This got me seriously thinking about my sole purpose of life. I was a homemaker and was happy with the way the life was, but my question to myself was: Is that it? What’s my purpose in life? Why am I here? This was the first time I thought about the reason for my existence with so much passion and seriousness.
I was from a middle-class family, brought up in Tanzania and came from humble beginnings and later I moved to Mumbai. The initial years in Mumbai were great. I had a great family and a good social circle but I knew something was missing. The brunch conversation I had with friends made it clear that I missed that freedom and independence of standing on my own feet. Post a thorough self-analysis, I decided to become a trainer and a Life Coach.
Once I started to work, there were a lot of positive changes that started to happen in my life. My overall point of view and perception of the world changed. Also, my relationships with my family became better.
It is these changes that further cemented my belief that women, especially the homemakers, should have a working life beyond the family. It does not matter whether you take up something as part-time or full-time, what matters is that you look at your life beyond your family.
The most positive change was that my perspective about the world changed completely. I had to work with people from different backgrounds, different mindsets, different working styles, and manage them to get things done. This helped me improve my people skills and took it to another level.
Also, I was able to express myself better. When you are working with such a wide variety of people, you learn a lot and become more mature on how to deal with different people in different situations. You become wiser and more mature. Also, you have to make decisions and make choices. This helps you immensely in terms of analyzing various aspects of not only your professional life but also your personal life. This freedom of choice and freedom of expression will eventually spill on to all the aspects of your life and overall make you a better human being.
The most obvious change was the financial independence I got. Although I was not the sole bread earner of the family, I was no longer a burden on them. This additional income helped me fulfill the wishes of my children, sometimes also going a bit over budget with gifts without impacting the overall budget of the family and most importantly I could keep this money aside for difficult times. It would allow me to share responsibilities and be of help to the family financially when it would be most required. It would be like that emergency fund.
This is of great importance in today’s times when prices are rising and things are getting costlier by the day. If you as a woman, can earn some money, how much ever it is, it will always be useful in difficult times.
This also gives you a sense of self-esteem and a sense of self-worth. You feel good about yourself as you are a contributing member of the family and are not burdening them. It also allows you to have an identity of your own and be more than being someone’s mother or wife or daughter or daughter-in-law. People know you because of the work you do and not only because of the family name.
My professional career has also has had a positive impact on my relationships. As a woman, when you are not working, you sort of cling on to your family because that’s the centre of your universe and also the source of all your expectations. You might have a social circle but the majority of your desires and expectations are from the family members. Family members are the focus of all your time and attention. The most common reason life partners fight is because one of them needs space and the other feels that their expectations are not met.
When you start working, you expand your circle as you start interacting with more and more people. You are not always thinking just about your family and stressing about it. Your otherwise idle time as a homemaker would be replaced by your work and it will help you spend your time more productively with your family. You will automatically start giving some space to your spouse as well as your children and will not be clinging on to them. Also, since the amount of time you would have at your disposal also reduces, you would focus on spending more quality time with your family.
Hence, whenever I come across women who are homemakers, I always urge them to start doing something productive with the idle time that they may have. It has loads of benefits.
As a woman, what are your views on this? If you are a woman who is thinking about doing some professional work but has any doubts or queries do get in touch with me. I am sure that in our interaction you will be able to find a solution to all your questions.