“I want to quit my job,” was the first thing I said when he entered the house after slogging a whole day at work.
“Yes, you should,” came forth the reply. “I have been asking you for many months now to look for something else, something that you enjoy.”
Yes, that was true, he actually had been asking me to change my job and start something afresh. But I was, as always, procrastinating. This was a work-from-home opportunity and so managing household chores with a small child was easier.
Related reading: Six ways couples can achieve work-life balance
But he had no idea about what was going on in my mind.
“I don’t want to get into any full-time job any more, I want to do something else.” My reply took him by surprise.
But the man was his supportive best; he was patient and loving and enquired about my plans composedly. But only if I myself had zeroed in on something.
I was apprehensive and quite uncertain about everything, except that I had decided to not work for anyone else any more.
I had to spend 6.5 years of my life abroad, because of his job and all I did was cry and scream, blame him for keeping me there for so long. With no work permit, my career withered, well before it began to bloom. And now, when I had a job after so many years, I was planning to quit. I was unsure of his reaction and was expecting him to be angry at my indecisive nature. Rather he stood by me, asked me to relax and take time to decide.
Women write about the issues we face – the problems, the hindrances and the humiliations. But when it comes to sharing stories on how privileged we are at a few things of life, we simply refrain. Isn’t it necessary to break the stereotype, isn’t it important to acknowledge their efforts, to give them credit for all the sacrifices men make, for the responsibilities they shoulder?
I’ve always seen him as a person who would be happier following his passion. The full-time job, the work pressure, the long office hours – these don’t fascinate him at all. He’s passionate about photography and would love to take this up as a profession. But the family responsibility is on his shoulders, as I don’t contribute much financially. So even if he wanted to, he just can’t quit and start living his passion, which at times makes me feel guilty and also grateful too. Because he sacrifices so much, I get a chance to try new things that enthuse me.
Related reading: I became a stay-at-home father to be with our daughter
But I never took him seriously until recently, when these exact same feelings did hit me. I now know how it feels to be stuck, to do things we don’t like, but just for the sake of doing and not for the love of it, to be overburdened with responsibilities.
But the liberty that I had, the generous acceptance that I got in no time, would I or the society ever appreciate or support such desires in a man?
It’s time we start counting our blessings, time we look around and see the advantages we get as women, time we stop considering ourselves deprived or unprivileged. The more we women change our perspectives, the more we women become appreciative, the more we know how to acknowledge the acknowledgeable, men will start taking more interest in our lives and desires and marital relationships will become much more cordial.
N.B.: I have started my own venture recently and he’s giving me all support possible. Without him, I could never ever think of taking such a huge step. He gave me a thumbs up to proceed, in spite of knowing well that it was a big risk I was taking (with no entrepreneurial background or experience). He also helped me a lot with my initial investment and is still doing it. Being a good photographer himself, he also helps me with every small thing related to photography that I need on a daily basis.
Someone else who thinks that men don’t have the options that are open to women is Arjun Sharma. Do you agree or disagree? Get in touch and let us know!