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Last month I got fed up and quit.
On a Whatsapp group with my husband and kids, I wrote: “I am tired of being blamed for the lack of ‘interesting meals’ or issues with the house help. It is not a job I signed up for. It is a role I am forced to take on simply because I am someone’s mother or wife. Managing the kitchen is not something I enjoy or am good at, but I do it because no one else will. From today I quit.” My message was met with a digital silence the size of a black hole.
Of course, I was back to managing the groceries and coordinating everyone’s tiffins the next day.
As cover personality Sagarika Ghose (p.18) told me over her interview, “Women work all the time. It’s just that most are not paid for it.” We take up so many extra burdens over the course of motherhood and wifehood – or simply womanhood – that when we’re older, we’re either completely exhausted or else driven to ‘antisocial’ behaviour like my friend Madlén who left her job in Sweden at 58 and is currently in a homestay in Bhagsu, Himachal Pradesh, backpacking her way around Asia.
I’m already inching towards her option. I’ve booked a single ticket to Dubai this month. Dinner will have to wait.
Enjoy your September, ladies.