All Our Indian Aunties Were Also Stay-At-Home Moms

I always imagined that I would be a working mom when I grew up. My mom was a working mom. I knew that a lot of the stay-at-home moms I knew weren’t necessarily college educated. I assumed that all of these aunties were stay-at-home moms by default. I thought that they had no choice and this is what they did. I thought it was definitely an easier life than to work and raise a child.

I don’t know if staying at home was a choice or a default lifestyle but that didn’t make it any easier to be a stay-at-home in the previous generation. I think about the things I face now on a daily basis with my children. I think about how many times I burn out and need time to myself before I send myself into a nervous breakdown. I have a supportive husband with the flexibility to allow me to take time for myself.

But what about those aunties I grew up with? Were they able to get time to themselves? In the Indian culture, there is definitely a “put everyone else first” attitude for the women. Your husband and your kids come first. If you have in-laws or your parents, they also come first. You are definitely last in line when it comes to being taken care of. So is that what happened to the women I saw raising my friends?

Our culture here in America has evolved enough to recognize that everyone needs some time for themselves. It’s encouraged and recommended. I’m not sure if the Indian culture has evolved as much yet but I can see the trend leaning towards it. I know if I ask my husband for some time to myself, he will do his best to give it to me.

I really wonder what the generation before went through when they were raising kids. Was it easier or harder? Did they expect anything more of themselves than being a parent or was that enough for them? How did they deal with the day in, day out of being a stay-at-home mom? Were they happy? Did they care if they were happy? Or was it enough if everyone else in their household was happy?

Someday, maybe I’ll try to have this conversation with some of the aunties I know.

 

Financial Stability or Passion? Can I Have Both?

For most of us, our careers are based on what we might be good at and financial stability. We choose them when we are really young and just keep working away until we get to a point where it’s comfortable. We work, we work, we work, and all of a sudden, we’ve been doing this job for over 30 years. We achieved what we wanted. Financial stability. So my question is where do our passions fall into all of this?

I don’t know about you but mine are side projects.  I make time outside of my regular work to do things I enjoy like writing in this blog. I couldn’t do them full-time though. What if I can’t achieve financial stability? What if the whole thing is a struggle? There is a quote that says “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’ve constantly been on the search for that my whole life. I don’t know if I’ll ever find it. 

I really admire those people who manage to turn their passion into a full-time business without letting it feel like a business. My other big fear with turning a passion into full-time work is that what if I start resenting it? What if the business aspect kills it for me? 

Passion. It’s part of what makes life worth living and helps you enjoy every day. It brings people together to achieve common goals. So how does a person take that step towards something that they are passionate about that won’t guarantee financial stability? The people that can do this are amazing. They don’t seem to have any fear. They make it work. And they have enough drive and ambition that leads them to success. 

Why is it so hard for some of us to take that step? We burn out so we can have both financial stability and passion instead of really finding something we want to do and figuring out how to achieve financial stability through that. We get to a point where we don’t want to do anything because we’ve worked so hard at everything. There has to be a balance. There has to be a way to achieve both at once. 

The question is how do we make it happen?