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Love Yourself

A few days ago, I went to a party hosted by a friend. My friend works with a company which is into multi-level-marketing of cosmetic products. As part of their business model, a group of ladies are invited for a get together. The agenda of the meeting is fun and business. So, along with some fun games and activities, details of the cosmetics are shared with the group.

We were a group of 15 women who were meeting each other for the first time and our hostess was the only common link between us, so introductions were in order. The hostess asked us to introduce ourselves.

The round of introductions started.The first woman told us that she was a working woman and gave us details of her family. The second one talked about having some past working experience. The third one said, “I am just a housewife…”. The next lady said, “I am also a housewife and I don’t do anything…”

These two statements “I am just a housewife” and “I am also a housewife and I don’t do anything” kept reverberating in my head! How could they say such a thing, I wondered? Why didn’t these women pride themselves on being homemakers? Do they believe that being a housewife is not as cool as being a working woman?

We all know about the critical role of a homemaker in ensuring the smooth functioning of any home. Working 24×7 as a mother, daughter, wife-cum-alarm-clock, cook, maid, teacher, waiter, nanny, nurse, security officer, counselor, comforter… and much more, without any salary or holidays!! A woman is the central part of the family. Leave a home without her being around for a day or so and the whole ship will barely manage to stay afloat. How could they not know this?

I believe these thoughts come when one is suffering from low self-esteem. But why would a person who is the focal point around which everything in the home revolves have low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on. ~ Maxwell Maltz

They say, low self-esteem is due to
Own thoughts and outlook : Perhaps the housewives don’t value their own opinions and views. They might have no confidence in their skills or abilities.

How other people behave with you : Since they don’t take pride in themselves, the others around are quick to take them for granted. And this must be certainly affecting their relationship with their spouses and/or kids or those around.

Their experiences : Maybe they fear failure and thus don’t try new things, skills…

Culture and society : Since, the 24×7 work/care they provide in their homes in not monetized, their efforts are not valued. A working woman gets more ‘Likes’ as compared to a homemaker!

self-esteem

I believe, a homemaker’s contribution in a family is irreplaceable. She should be aware of her role and contribution and should be proud of that too.

Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness. ~ Louise Hart

How can this low self-esteem turn into healthy self-esteem? I guess, like everything else, it starts with “I” or “Self”. One need to answer, “How do I feel about who I am?” It is about channelizing the power of one’s thoughts and beliefs to change how one feels about self.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. ~ Gautam Buddha

Go on woman, love yourself!!

 shilpa garg

A former pharmaceutical professional-turned-soft-skills facilitator for corporates, Shilpa Garg blogs at A rose is a rose is a rose!

59 Comments

  1. […] about you, tell them off. No one has the right to be mean and hurtful and disrespectful. Remember to Love yourself. (Shilpa puts it very […]

  2. Pixie Pixie August 5, 2013

    Very nicely said! Self- Esteem and taking pride in oneself is so important.
    Beautifully written Shilpa! πŸ™‚

  3. Melissa Tandoc Melissa Tandoc March 17, 2013

    I love what you have just shared here πŸ™‚ It has given me time to assess how I look at myself and how I view some things…
    I think it’s the ‘culture of thinking’ that people are valued for their productivity and effectiveness ~ ‘what’ they do more than ‘who’ they are.
    I think in terms of developmental tasks, generativity vs. stagnation, ‘productivity’ shouldn’t be limited to ‘work’ that entails one to earn money. It includes creativity and accomplishments in many different forms.
    I admire those who have given up their careers for their families. And those who opt for ‘more’ quality time than money.
    I think it’s wonderful that these housewives attended the meeting. It might have, perhaps, broadened their way of thinking about what they do…
    Lots of love and thank you for sharing this topic πŸ™‚

  4. jaishvats jaishvats March 16, 2013

    Hi Shilpa

    I have been shuttling between the two – SAHM and Working Woman and I know the pluses and minuses of both…And YES, a home maker’s job is the toughest of all!!!

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 16, 2013

      Oh yes, a homemaker’s role is the toughest. People don’t realize the efforts and hours, patience and energy that goes in maintaining a home and since they don’t realize that they can never appreciate her service! Sad, but true which should certainly change!

  5. Viren Viren March 16, 2013

    That post is well thought of – Low self esteem is killing even the very institution of marriage. To me it is actually a demon and the only person who can cast it out is the sufferer. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 16, 2013

      Well said, Viren. This low self esteem can have a disastrous impact on a marriage. It can affect their communication, their interactions and would lead to frustrations and resentments. Moreover even the children would be affected!

  6. Privy Trifles Privy Trifles March 16, 2013

    I also used to wonder when women emphasize on “JUST” in their convos about being a housewife. What does “just” mean there I am almost tempted to ask… they look down upon themselves then how do they expect others to look upto them.. I would rather say we all should proudly say I am a home maker by choice πŸ™‚

    Truly a perfect eye opening post Shilpa though something not very uncommon it really needs to be changed. Like it is said Be the change you want to see in the world I would say we women need to change the we see ourselves to let the world see us with a changed outlook!

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 16, 2013

      True, this JUST is so demeaning! And this clearly speaks volumes about the esteem they have for themselves! Wish they realize their own value and start bringing that change in themselves! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this PT πŸ™‚

  7. Jyothi Jyothi March 15, 2013

    This is such an important post for this generation to read and understand, Shilpa. What is even more hard is being educated and chosing to sit at home. It is considered a waste of education. I , for one, chose to live my life as I please or what best suits my situation, at home or at work. πŸ™‚

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 15, 2013

      Hi Jyothi. Glad to know that you are independent and live life with your pace, your rules. Wish and hope all women get to do that!

  8. Rahul Rahul March 14, 2013

    Taking pride in oneself is so important as you rightly said, Shilpa! Thanks Corinne for hosting Shlipa a profound blogger:)

  9. Ruchira Ruchira March 14, 2013

    Wow…this was a beautiful post with such deep meaning.

    Jai ho to all the wonderful ladies out there!

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 15, 2013

      Thanks Ruchira! Yes, Cheers to all the wonderful ladies πŸ™‚

  10. AdrianaIris AdrianaIris March 14, 2013

    what a beautiful well thought post. thanks for sharing with us your guest.

  11. ushamenon ushamenon March 14, 2013

    Hi Shilpa,nice to see you here. Both you and Corrine are fabulous writers. Being a housewife is by no means someting to be ashamed of or to induge in self pity. Even a working woman is first a house wife and then a professional. A working womens’ first priority is the house. The house maker , infact, should proudly declare that she is a housewife. It is on her shoulders the whole house depends.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 15, 2013

      Thanks a lot, Ma’am for sharing your views on the subject. True, knowing that a homemaker is the backbone of the family, she should be taking pride in her role without a doubt!

  12. Asha Balakrishnan Asha Balakrishnan March 14, 2013

    Wow Shilpa! Give me a hige five girl! Recently this was the topic by a speaker on Women’s day at our Yoga studio. Most of them were house wives, some WAHM like me, some SAHM, some were professionals. But you would be surprised to know that many working women were also suffering from low self esteem. Many women felt that they were not being appreciated for their work. The speaker said we all know rose is beautiful, but nobody goes to a rose and says ‘Hey Rose, you are beautiful”. She said don’t become a football of other’s opinions. I felt like sharing this here.

    We were also asked to write a few words about ourself and i proudly wrote that i am an asset manager. Family is my asset and i manage it. I felt very proud when people clapped. So true, it is a pride to be SAHM/house wife too. It all depends on how we conduct ourself with pride.

    As always , your thoughts and mine meet:)

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 15, 2013

      Thank you so much Asha for sharing your thoughts and experiences here. That’s such a wonderful analogy… True, your life is what you make of it, you are either the passenger or the pilot, it’s your decision. Proud of you, Asset Manager!

  13. Anu Anu March 14, 2013

    Very well said Shilpa. The problem is people generally take the word “Housewife” for granted, and as someone who sits at home all day! They hardly recognize or realise what that Housewife does everyday. People fail to notice the small yet important things they take care of, albeit knowing them. Even if this Housewife stops working for one day, the whole house will be in mess, rest of them starving literally for food, and would wear dirty clothes to work/school. That said, her role is not restricted to just cleaning, cooking, washing et all. She is there to morally support everyone, takes care that the money earned is rightly spent, teaches the kid, and inculcates the moral into their mind. They work harder than a woman who goes to work in a corporate world; They multi-task more than one who sits at office. Yeah..as you said, they suffer from low self-esteem which often makes them say such hasty words. They should know what their actual capability is.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Liked the way you have shared the role of a homemaker, Anu. True, a day without her can be chaotic on all fronts for rest of the family. She is the main anchor and yet she suffers from this low self esteem!!

  14. Vishnu Vishnu March 14, 2013

    Yes, homemakers are the best! Having been raised by a Mom who worked part-time and took care of us part time, I can see the benefits of having Mom at home. Also, interesting enough, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my little nephew of late who is less than a year old and the amount of time and energy it takes to care for him. As I told my sister-in-law, he’s like 3 full time jobs!! Whichever party (husband or wife) stays at home with the kids and takes care of the home is doing a divine job.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      It is so wonderful to see your positive outlook towards homemakers, Vishnu. Thanks.

  15. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda March 14, 2013

    thank you for this thought-provoking post. i can’t imagine any job more important than homemaker when it is well done. especially when there are children at home, and i don’t know if that is the case here, i truly respect a woman who devotes herself to her family.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Thanks Linda. Glad you liked this post. Oh yes, these women have kids and we all know that kids can be quite a handful! Wish the women respect and take pride in themselves too.

  16. Galen Pearl Galen Pearl March 14, 2013

    That is so true. We do it to ourselves, and society does it to us, too. I have been through some career hiatus times when I felt like I was not “as good” as when I was working. And this was reinforced in settings where I could tell that I was being dismissed because I wasn’t doing something “important.” I knew even then that it was baloney, but it’s hard not to let those beliefs seep in. We all have our roles to play. One is not better than another. When we can really believe that and value each other and ourselves, we will see each person as the gift they really are.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Simply love what you have said “One is not better than another. When we can really believe that and value each other and ourselves, we will see each person as the gift they really are” . Wish we all could realize this!

  17. C. Suresh C. Suresh March 14, 2013

    How true that a home-maker contributes more to Society than a working professional. I like positive spins on things. Two things strike me as also possible motives for those words a. Expectation that the world does not value home-makers and, even if the person herself values her contributions, she says the things that society is more willing to accept b. In the Company of women and with a presumption that working women are also home-makers, she may feel justified in feeling that she is ‘just’ a home-maker and the others are both home-makers and professionals.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Absolutely, the 2 motives that you have shared could be possible too!

  18. My Inner Chick My Inner Chick March 14, 2013

    ***β€œI am just a housewife***
    Oooo, Sad. Be PROUD!
    This is the most IMPORTANT job in the world, man. I mean, we are shaping people, ideas, doctors, nurses, passions, kindess, & perhaps even the next President of the USA!
    xx

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      You are absolutely right!! Be Proud is the mantra to follow!

  19. Latha Latha March 14, 2013

    It’s not just the women themselves, Shilpa. It is much more beyond that. The husband plays a key role. Her friends, relatives, society everyone has to treat her with respect. If she gets a word of appreciation once in a while, that is enough to boost her morale and self confidence.It is a big taboo in our society to ‘Like’ the working woman better than a home maker/house wife. A home maker has more work to do anytime; as she is staying at home, the rest of the household assumes she has all the work in the world and put every other chore on her.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      True, the outlook of the society, the family, the near and dear ones greatly affects the way a homemaker thinks about herself. But if she is assertive enough and takes pride in her role, the winds of change will blow certainly…

  20. rama rama March 13, 2013

    Many times, women feel this way, for it is quite natural for them to feel the way they feel. In these modern times, if a women has chosen not to work means she can afford to stay at home. Now a days, all stay at home women don’t have to do all the jobs around the house, They may have outside help to do all their household work including the cooking, or they may have understanding husbands who like to help around the kitchen etc.
    They maybe well qualified, and skilled too, but probably they choose not to get into the business of using their qualifications or skills, who knows they maybe actually enjoying just chilling out.
    The feeling that, they are not trying to use their talents productively might be bothering some women, and that is why they end up saying they are ‘just housewives’. Actually they enjoy being just housewives but they feel that if they made it known to others who were struggling with their professional jobs and also handling the house, they might feel, Oh, these women are so lucky, they might even resent their joy in being just housewives. Whereas if they themselves put themselves down, people might feel pity for them, and tell them, they are not just housewives, and that they should never underestimate their contribution to the family.
    Gone are those days when being a housewife meant equal or more amount of work, now a days we have help for everything and we don’t hesitate to make use of them, however how much help we like in our house may vary from person to person.
    And also one more thing, housewife’s role is different here in India , than in the west, for here we have maids to do most of the work for us whether we are working or not, but in the west it is not possible to afford a maid for help, so the stay at home moms have to a lot of work, the kind of work our mothers and grandmothers used to do, in fact even more than them.
    Well, you may not agree with what I have said, but I am sure stay at home women are not lacking in self esteem, they just like to play the role they are expected to play in society.
    I was always a housewife, and I am still a housewife, and when people ask me what I do, I say: I do nothing, and I enjoy doing nothing. It really shocks a lot of people when they hear me respond like this, but that is a fact and I cannot lie.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Thanks a lot, Rama for sharing your perspective. Appreciate it. I can imagine the look of the people when you say, ‘I enjoy doing nothing’ πŸ˜€

  21. B k Chowla B k Chowla March 13, 2013

    My wife was working.My wife now is full time house wife.
    I don’t accept the thought,idea that housewife is just a housewife.
    For God sake…..try and manage your life for one day without her.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      I like the way you said that, Mr Chowla! True, a day without the homemaker spells chaos and confusion!

  22. janu janu March 13, 2013

    I do agree….I am a homemaker and blissful to be one.

  23. Destination Infinity Destination Infinity March 13, 2013

    Maybe they didn’t mean it that way, but their mannerisms could have been mistaken for low self-esteem? Either way, your message in this article is quite valid and will be useful to homemakers.

    Destination Infinity

  24. Punam J R Punam J R March 13, 2013

    I have been both, Corinne, and I tell you, homemakers are seen with such disdain, that one can only sigh and give up, rather than argue the case. But being a homemaker is a tough job and it is a lot of hard work. Good article.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Thanks Punam. True being a homemaker is a very demanding role. Somebody said, you must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy. The change starts with “I”!!

  25. NBose NBose March 13, 2013

    Hey Shilpa

    You nailed it. I had been a working individual before my baby was born. After that I chose to an SAHM and believe me I am more worked than before. No holidays, monotonous routine, and somehow a thankless job. And yes monetary factor plays a big role in it.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Hi Nibedita! Oh yes, the work at home never ends and you said it, people don’t appreciate the hours and the efforts that goes in maintaining a home. Try leaving the chores for a day and see the look of the home and of course all others living in it too! I guess it is the woman who has to bring about this change in attitude about her role and then the others will follow suit too!

  26. G Angela G Angela March 13, 2013

    Very well expressed, thanks for sharing this, it is really sad when we find women, not valuing themselves, and taking themselves for granted. As you have rightly stated the reasons for such thinking.

    Many women are conditioned to believe that their contribution has no value, and so women themselves, do not take pride in doing these work, and they fail to affirm themselves.

    They shy away from appreciating the beauty that is in them, and constantly compare themselves with other women, who according to them are valuable, and deserve respect and honour.

    I am happy to read this post, and the saying of Gautam Buddha is truly inspiring, it was one of my favourite quote. Thanks corinne & Shilpa !!!

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Hi Angela. Thanks. Glad you liked this post. Agree completely, to compare yourself with someone is to limit yourself. It is like wishing you were someone else and that is like wasting the person you are, which is just not right! As they say, believe in your dreams and they may come true; believe in yourself and they will come true!

  27. Kaddu Kaddu March 13, 2013

    Well written, Shilpa!

    I think somewhere along the line, the concept of “housewives” changed in India. Back in the Doordarshan and pre-Doordarshan days, full-time housewives were primarily involved in home-making activities (cooking, knitting, interior decorating, art/craft etc.). We had homemade pickles and homemade mathris. Even home-embroidered bed-covers. Food preservation and elementary sewing was a part of every housewife’s skill-set. And kids did not have so much pressure regarding studies, so “extra tuition” was also provided at home, by the very same housewives.

    Now, full-time Indian housewives are mainly involved in watching the never-ending TV serials, shopping, and kitty parties. In fact, most of the full-time housewives I know, don’t even do their cooking at home! They have cooks, or even full-time servants! And kids usually require professional tutors now. So that job is also taken care of. I find them just sitting around and gossiping about people mostly! They are the ones because of whom being a housewife/homemaker is not considered as respectable an occupation as it was a few decades ago.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Thanks Kadambari. Agree the times have changed and as say the choice is yours, but so is the responsibility of your own life and its outcome and this holds true for the homemakers too!

  28. Reema Sahay Reema Sahay March 13, 2013

    Lovely post Shilpa and absolutely bang on. I don’t work any more but I am not ‘just’ a housewife. It is the conditioning of the mind. Women who have never worked outside their homes, have been made to believe that what they do does not make a difference or is not worthwhile. Traditionally, women were always given second-grade treatment, you know, eating after the men, taking care of the complete household, while the men could come back from work and rest. A home maker never rests. I know many mommy-friends who have never worked professionally, consider their duty to make life comfortable for their better halves like making dabba, taking complete care of the children (while the dads can play with the kids when they feel like or not), doing all shopping, absolutely eveything! It just irks me no end because in our household we look at each other as equals but certainly that confidence has come in me by the fact that I am as educated as my husband and drew same salary when I decided to quit. Another thing that has to change from our generation – respect for the home maker πŸ™‚

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Hi Reema. thank you. Glad you connected with the post. Sad to know about your Mommy-friends. Their attitude, their actions all talks about they think about themselves and the way they are made to think about themselves. Well said, a homemaker is working in a home and not outside and that should be respected. Period.

  29. Harleena Singh Harleena Singh March 13, 2013

    Hi Shilpa, and welcome to Corinne’s blog πŸ™‚

    You raised a very important point of self-esteem and lack of self-confidence that we see in a lot of homemakers or housewives. I guess just the thought that they aren’t going out and working or earning, makes them feel they do nothing – not realizing without them the house would turn topsy-turvy!

    Somewhere our society is to blame too as they look down upon such women or treat them as just stay at home, good for nothing women or simple housewives looking after the kids and home. Again, no one realizes that a housewives work never ends! She is working even on holidays, so where’s the break for her, which other working women as compared get. I remember the time when I left my full time job to work from home – and this was something that I underwent too, even though I WAS working – but from home. Even that bit is taken as a housewife or like she works from home – nothing as compared to going out and working in people’s eyes.

    Hope people would realize the simple fact that if the women of the house isn’t home, will things function smoothly? I wonder. And for the women, I feel a housewife has to work the maximum as compared to others, and if shes a working woman too – hats-off to her πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Hi Harleena. Thank you so much. You have shared a very important perspective. True, our society does not see a working woman and a home-maker in the same light! And I have even seen that look of superiority in the eyes of working women when interacting with the homemakers… so all this surely affects the homemakers in some way. I hope so too that people realize the efforts and the hard work a homemaker puts in ensuring the smooth running of a home, 24×7, 365 days a year, in all seasons, even in sickness and in health…

  30. Inspiring Citizen Rafi Inspiring Citizen Rafi March 13, 2013

    Hello Shilpa,

    In my perspective the women who are home makers get more time to play with their children and invest more time with their families.

    This was one of the reason for the strong bonding between families in Indian culture..If you look at Western culture relationships are more virtual and bonding is quite minimal between parents and kids. My mother still says if you are financially stable then its better only the man works and the women takes care of the home..

    Ideally speaking you need more skill to take care of home than an office, I guess and I may be wrong as well..

    You have rightly said that we need to take pride in whatever we do and that’s a must for us to move forward in life…A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE….You have given an amazing tag line..Will see you over there..

    Sincerely,
    Rafi

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Hi Rafi. Thanks for sharing your views on the subject. Agree completely, a homemaker plays such a vital role in the family, multitasking is her forte… all in the family look up to her, she has to feel good about herself! And take pride in what she is doing for all around in the family!

  31. Lazy Pineapple Lazy Pineapple March 13, 2013

    As always, a lovely and thoughtful post Shilpa. Self esteem actually makes or breaks a person as it is connected with so many things like ego, self preservation and self respect.

    • Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg March 14, 2013

      Thanks Vinita. Glad you liked the post. True, self-esteem is all about yourself, how you see yourself and this very outlook speaks volumes and affects the quality of life he/she leads.

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