She retorted when I told her that I have a cook who prepares delicious food for us. For a second, I looked at her wondering how quickly she judged me for not cooking because I am a stay-at-home mom and not earning (in her world) but then I responded with a sarcastic smile on my face – “Aunty, I am not fond of cooking at all! Also, I do work-from-home and as you already know, being a mother to a toddler is a 24/7 job.” She smiled back in surprise and said, “Oh you work from home? What work? How much are you paying to your cook?” And, on and on… she continued.
‘My 10-15 minutes conversation with her made me think, why are we stay-at-home moms supposed to cook? Why do people judge us for not cooking? Why do they think cooking for two doesn’t take much time? Why do they think cooks can’t prepare tasty meals? Why do some of these aunties think we new mothers should carry forward their legacies? I mean why!?’
We all especially the older women should understand that younger women are not supposed to cook and clean. You enjoy cooking, it doesn’t mean she will also love it and appease her man with her culinary skills. Through this post, I don’t mean to hurt those who love cooking. Even I have cooked for good two-years and that too willingly. And today also, I (have to) cook when my cook is on leave. 😀
Those were the days when while match-making, girls were asked if they know how to cook food and if the girl responded ‘yes’ then she would be considered a perfect bride-to-be, for she can cook and serve the family, friends and relatives. But now, times are changing, rather I would say roles are changing, new age girls are becoming career-oriented and they look beyond kitchen and cooking. They think of earning name and fame and work towards creating their own identities and also, doing good for the society they live in. And in doing so, the new age boys too do not shy away from supporting their partners and support them in their choices and endeavors (I clap for those who do so and request those who don’t). I have heard about some of the cases where husbands are happily baby-sitting at home and taking care of the household chores and wives are performing the role of bread-winner for the family. In the west, this culture is prevalent but in India, it will take some-time. I personally would not like my husband baby-sitting at home and me working to run the home. That’s how I have seen and learnt so far. But I strongly support gender-equality and oppose gender-stereotyping (and people who encourage this).
Thing is, it should be your personal choice whether you want to cook on your own or want to delegate it to someone who can do it for you. By saving that time, you can invest it in some other thing that makes you feel complete and defines who you really are! Doing things to make others happy and neglecting or suppressing your happiness is not a mindful choice. Is it?
My question to those aunties- “If your daughter hires a cook for her family, would you ask her the same question?”
This article was originally published here.