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House Arrest!

Article for Bethlehem Matrimonial - June 2014
 
Have you noticed the typical families around us? There is a family one where you see both husband and wife working with a house assistant to take care of the maintenance of the house as well as the kids, if they are too small. There is a family two where only the husband works and wife takes care of the house and the kids; they may have a house assistant as well. There could also be a family three where the wife works and the husband takes care of the home and the kids, though this is quite a rare sight in our social environment.
The thoughts this time are more focused on the family two. While I’m aware of the risks of generalization I can’t help but think about the commonalities between the wife in such a family and Aung San Suu Kyi, the famous politician from Burma.
Let us look at the life in a day of the former. The wife generally gets involved right from the morning in preparing the breakfast for the family, followed by dropping the kids at school at times, return home where a heap of work awaits her to be done throughout the day, ensure that the home remains tidy and beautiful all the while taking care of these chores, prepare for the return of her husband from work and kids from school, get things ready for the dinner, take care of whatever that is required for the next day before she hits the bed.
The above actions do not stop with a day. This is pretty much the same for all the working days when her husband has to go to office and kids to school. The only exception, if she is lucky, could be the day off in a week where there could be a change in roles when her husband decides to help her with some of the chores. She might be luckier if the family decides to go out to have some good time together.
While I agree that the above may not be the case in every home, I’ve a question to all the husbands who belong to the family two. Ask yourself if this routine applies to your wife. If not, you must be appreciated for bringing some change to this monotonous rigor in her life. She may never ask for a change, but know for a fact that she’s no better than Ms Suu Kyi who was under house arrest for a long 15 years.
Ask yourself if you’ve sentenced your wife similarly without you even knowing that. If so, here are a few things you could consider improving this situation. The very first thing is to accept that such a situation exists. This can be followed by identifying what best could be done considering the fact that every family is different.
The best thing to do to a person who lives a monotonous life is to bring variety to their life. Be aware that interesting things not only happen to you, while you are away from your family. Have an interest to know more about their time away from you. While knowing more about her day, make sure that you talk to her about your day as well.  Go out for a walk, even if it is only for ten minutes daily it’ll make a difference. Engage yourself in games; there is no better way than to refresh your brain. Play with your kids along with your wife. Your kids need to feel your love and not just their mother’s. There are plenty of other things that can be done. I’ll leave that to your imagination.
I’ve a question for the wife from this family two. You are created with a divine purpose of shaping up the present to be future ready. It is quite a critical task that you have in hand. There is no second opinion about how magnanimous an effort is that. Having said that, it may be worthwhile asking yourself the question that is there anything in addition to this pivotal task that you could achieve?
Even if you are not able to apply your education there are many a things you could still learn. Learning opportunities are plenty around you. All what you need to do is, spot them. Search within yourself the long lost interests. The hobbies you once had which got abandoned half way through your family life. Resurrect them. Reskill yourself. Learn something new. A new language, a musical instrument, a new hobby perhaps; options are plenty where you could make your life more meaningful. Your sweet heart need to realize that he should be extending an absolute and unconditional support to you to make this a reality.
Always remind yourself that we all are given this wonderful gift of life only once. You do not even have the slightest of the clue how long will this last. Make use of this gift, every minute of it. Learn to live your life to the fullest.
‘Dio vi benedica’ as the Italians say ‘God bless you’!

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