The Balance Bar

August 7, 2009 at 12:17 am (Uncategorized)

This is for all working women (of course, indian!) out there…especially in US. How do you juggle ur everyday task.

One who has full time job….demanding one, does not matter technical or not. Brain work does drain one out.

Having old in the house with you. Nice people, full of love and support but too old to lead the house hold things.

A kiddo or two….growing up, going to school, taking various classes.

And a spouse….

I sleep 5-6 hrs everyday, yet i do not find time to do extra activties, and let alone extra actvities, I hardly sit down with my son everyday to play or to snuggle him. Everyday we are togather is when we go to bed….and then he is way to excited to get my time. In everyday so much time pressure because no way one can find or afford labor everyday, all work has to be done by one’s self.  Always running around, doing things on the clock….my 4.5 years old son got into habit of asking “mom, do we have time today?” when I ask him why…..he would probably say “can i take bubble bath?” “can you play with me little bit?” This hurts me the most.

Playing a role of engineer, ideal bahu, wife and mom (note missing ideal infront of wife and mom) is not an easy task. I am looking for some help….how other indian working woman cut corners (literally, not being time efficient but getting into ‘can do without it’ attitude), also be time efficient and find time for theirselves.  It becomes so easy to handle stuff when in-laws are not here with us. Having to cook fresh everyday – twice a day, that too ‘good’ and full meal (no – no entry to pasta when they are here)  – it is not an easy task.  How do you handle in-laws to adjust to your life style and yopu having to change your life style to suit them? In-laws or not, what are your tricks to cut corners, time managment….

Please share away….



  1. Ketan said,


    I’m disqualified to comment as I’m not a woman, and not married. 🙂 But I’m shameless. 😛

    I really felt sorry for you, reading the kind of obligations you’re having to honor. I could feel the pinch of your not getting to spend quality time with your son, who BTW, seems to be bright and ‘too’ understanding. This but must be too personal for you, but maybe, unknowingly, you’re inculcating in your son a quality of compromising too much, of becoming a proverbial ‘sacrificial’ lamb.

    I repeat, I’m sorry if this hurts you, i.e., discussing your son, and if you tell me, henceforth, I won’t touch upon issues so personal to you.

    But since these are the formative years of his life, think of it, he sees you day-in-and-day-out working extremely hard, barely finding time for even yourself. What is he going to conclude about how one should be as a human being? At an age of less than 5 years, he’s asking his mother ‘if you have time?’ instead of throwing tantrums, or trying to emotionally blackmail you. No doubt, he’ll go on to become a very cooperative, generous and benevolent human being, but along with that he might turn into someone not standing up for his rights, and believing the primary purpose of living to be to keep others happy.

    This all sounds good in movies and novels to devote one’s life to others’ happiness, etc., but ideally, I believe, for an optimally fulfilling life, one should have a right balance of living for one’s own pleasure as well as ‘cooperatively’ for pleasure of those who we value. ‘Cooperatively’, of course, means those for who you sacrifice also do the same for you when need arises.

    I don’t have any specific suggestions for your time schedule, but maybe, you should talk these things out with your husband.

    Also, you might want to do a rethink, if your in laws are not able to help you, how reasonable is their expectation of your serving them freshly cooked food everyday, or your desire to accomplish that? I hope you get the hint. 🙂


    • indianworkingwoman said,

      No , I m not hurt and i have the same concern…being ‘too compromising’ and not standing up to hsi rights….and passing hsi childhood without mom, though mom is there, and my biggest concern is hinm developing habit of ‘pleaseing everybody’. That is what i have….(i have not done analysis how i got that) and it keeps me unhappy time to time inspite of no reason of being unhappy.

      In-laws help up to the extend they can, need of eating freshly cook food is soemthignt heyc an’t compromise with. Basically they help as much as they can to carry out our chores and to fulfill their needs, whether it is following rituals for festival, cooking food, or washing clothes everyday (they washer is too big, can wash once-twice a week and it will just do fine, just need more pairs) etc… but it adds up time at my end. And there are many other things which go on as part of living together which keeps me little agitated. For example, if MIL has cooked food when I come hoem from work, I can not just take off with my son to do something. ‘i should be obligated as dinner was cooked, so now spend time with MIL :(‘

      Anyways, husband helps as much as he can, tried changign parents but they won;t. I can’t push him and put him in the situation like “sudi wachhe supari”. I know you are gujarati so u will follow the meaning…basically for others translation is kind of…holding two edge sword – so to speak.

  2. Indian Homemaker said,

    I guess one needs to delegate or share the responsibilities, that is what we mean by a family being supportive 🙂
    Working women need a lot of support from working men and other family members.

    For example, the Mother in law bathes and father in law feeds the baby so the working mother can read to him. Dad does the dishes so they (the couple) can spend some time being ‘ideal husband and wife’.

    About cooking of course has to be joint effort. Everybody must pitch in. A happy ‘bahu’ is a bahu who gets love and support.

    • indianworkingwoman said,

      hmmmmm, true, efforts are there to run the house together. Just people are physically in capable + some expectation from bahu.

      When is ay incapable….is being old and not being able to do thing on their own, if they end up working more then they will be irriated to make comments on each an every little thing which I do not do… (liek dusting house every day…..) so if i keep them at ease by carrying out their needs, I am ‘off the hook’ so to speak from such tirivial expectations

  3. apu said,

    IWW, I don’t live in the US, but have plenty of relatives who do, so I know what its like without the luxury of supporting labour that we have at home here… I think the balance you seek is difficult to achieve without support from family, as the Indian Homemaker says. Do you think making in-laws aware that it is more difficult for you than they think would help? If you do not want to frame it like “your problem”, perhaps you could frame it as something needed for the kid? (“Kid is growing up, needs more of my time, help with school etc, so can we all agree that I will cook once a day instead of twice?”) Grandparents may adjust more if they see that it is something that will help their grandchild?

    You could look for other options like seeing if your city has an Indian takeaway/delivery service or perhaps get your hubby to help, and make and freeze larger quantity over the weekend? Good luck!

    • indianworkingwoman said,

      possibly i can talk and ask for help, as i mentioned in above comment, following will happen.

      I will get help – by not me having to cook twice but cooking will still happen twice a day by MIL, and argh! she will be so annoyed that ‘i cooked and worked, u sat all day in AC office, all u have to do now is play with your son?” not explicitly in those words but such expressions mentioned in some comments till i go to sleep….I m not imagining things here. It has happened in past. If i carry out most or all responsibility, chance of gettign such comments is very low, SO i tried to do it all.

      I hope i m making sense

      • apu said,

        Just saw your response on this. If that’s the case, then your only solution may be to spend a little more money and perhaps delegate certain things – like getting a cleaner to come in and do the heavier work once or twice a week….or maybe investing in stuff like a dishwasher or food processor? (if you don’t use them already…). I’m also finding that spending about 2 hours on a sunday prepping the veggies for the week saves me time during weekdays.

  4. Ketan said,

    LOL@supari. I too wouldn’t have got it had you not translated it for me. Basically, didn’t know the meaning of ‘sudi’.

    I think, the ideal solution for you is to cook exactly once, and develop adequately thick skin to not be affected my your MIL’s slanted comments. I think, ‘cuz she know that emotional blackmail works on you, she blackmails you. Once she’ll realize that it’s stopped working, she’ll get bored of having to cook herself and stop expecting freshly-cooked food twice a day.

    Emotional blackmail is a very dangerous thing. It’ll make you feel guilty, and drive you to do things, which are NOT your responsibilities.

    True, there’d be ‘disturbances’ in the house for a few days, but eventually, everything will settle down.

    Just because someone is ‘needy’ and ‘complaining’, does not make them ‘deserving’ of your efforts. For deserving, they’ve to earn that right to demand (directly by asking or indirectly through hinting) that off you.

    You’ll have to be stronger. You never know, day-in-and-day-out, you’re building up anger withing you. You want that pressure to be vented out regularly, on a daily basis, or all of a sudden, without even your control over yourself? Hope again, you understand.


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