Why Do Women Do This?

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Sometimes I wonder why life is so hard for women. No, don’t get me wrong, I’m not indulging in a pity party here. Far from it actually. I’m just mulling over reality. The fact is more often than not women take on or rather have to take on more than they have bargained for. How? Well, read on.


A working woman has to cook for in-laws before leaving for work and after coming back from work even if she is exhausted doing so. She is not even allowed to keep a cook because who keeps a cook when the daughter-in-law is there, right? And if she dares keep a cook, the latter is rejected outright. Nonsense, I know. So she not only toils at work but at home too. She is the woman who doesn’t get the comfort she should at home. But she does it anyways. For whom? Well, because she loves her husband and does it solely for him. I wonder what would happen if it was the other way round? There are many like her. I have met at least a couple of women like her. And I hate that I keep meeting more and more like her.


More often than not women take on or rather have to take on more than they have bargained for.


Then there is the woman who needs to massage her mother-in-law’s legs at night, every night, even if she herself is not well or has had a bad day. She is the one who has to bear the burnt of her mother-in-law’s anger if she misses massaging her, especially on mother’s day. How does the son escape this, I simply don’t get it. Again, I have met her too.


Now think about it. The supreme court passes a judgement saying that a woman trying to keep her husband away from his parents is wrong. Alright, granted. But what about this? When a woman toils like an unpaid maid at home, doing all the chores for her husband’s kin while the husband doesn’t have to do any of it. Isn’t that wrong too? Forget social or religious norms, what about right or wrong as humans? Why do women have to alter their lives so much and even live with it day in and day out?


Why do #women have to be superwomen while men can always be just men? Click To Tweet


Or, let’s look at it in another way.


When was the last time you saw a man call his in-laws to ask about their health without being coaxed by his wife? When was the last time you saw a man prepare all the meals at home for his in-laws while managing things at work? When was the last time a man had to take care of his in-laws like he would his own parents? Well? Anyone? While there may be some and I know there are, the number is miserably low when compared to women. So, that’s why I wonder when did women sign off their time and health to doing more than they really should. When?


When did women sign off their time and health to doing more than they really should? #women Click To Tweet


What irks me is women do this? Is it the fear of clashes at home? But why? What’s the point if she is not happy in her own home? Why does she take on so much?


Why are women expected to do so much? Why?


It beats me. I don’t have a clue. Let me know if you do because, for the life of me, I can’t.





Linking to #mg hosted by Mackenzie Glanville


22 thoughts on “Why Do Women Do This?

  1. It’s frightening to see how many women live like this. I already keep wishing that when I get married I wouldn’t have to stay with the in laws, but instead stay at some place that is neutrally distant from both families to make it fair. Women do bite more than what they can chew. I guess that is simply easier than bringing up arguements and dissents in an otherwise peaceful home. One can’t say if the situation will get better or worse if women take a stand of their own at homes.
    Dashy recently posted…Kindred SpiritsMy Profile

  2. Social conditioning, Naba. We live and breathe obligations. And it’s only us women who keep taking it on and on. So unless and until we break and chain and just break the chain, mind you am not talking about revolting, simply about taking care of our own self, being a little less mother-India, and feeling a little more like living for ourselves it won’t change. Sure it’ll need a little bit of adjusting from everyone, but hey people adapt. And honestly, it’s about time we split responsibilities equally without feeling forced about it.

  3. I guess this happens more prevalently in Indian society. However, things are changing a bit now. More so because educated women are putting their foot down by demanding equality. I feel women, especially the educated and independent ones are equally responsible for slipping into a victim mode without setting expectations right.
    Vinodini recently posted…Hopping on and off through VancouverMy Profile

  4. All the scenarios questioned is deja vu for me. I have seen my mother go through most of these situations and I have myself borne the burden of many of these. I will tell you why does a woman do all of this – First she does everything because of social conditioning, because either she loves her husband or thinks that she will get her husband’s attention if she sacrifices herself for the sake of his parents. With time, she realizes her sacrifices were all in vain and nobody cares for her only taking it to be her duties (kartavya). She, however, continues to carry on in agony and frustration within the realms of constant judgemental attitude, criticisms, smirks etc of the in-laws. The in-laws might have no control over their sons but they function like they own their sons’ wives. The other types of women who walk out physically or figuratively, are branded all the more harshly. In both the situations, it is the woman (DIL) who only loses out. She is the one who leads a life plagued with lovelessness and lonliness either which way.
    Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…Back after a hiatus #MondayMusingsMy Profile

  5. There are so many reasons for the things we do. Some women bear it all for peace in the house, others do it out of helplessness. They have nowhere to go if they rock the boat. Some women do it all out of love, their hearts are bigger than the rest of the family members put together. Every family has a different story but the bottom line is that no one should be forced to do things for others. I have seen the working woman being forced to cook both before going to work and also after coming back tired. The ideal family would have each member contributing to its smooth running 🙂

  6. Women are always taken for granted. If a guy cooks at home, he’s great. If a woman doesn’t do the cooking, she’s spoiled. What really irks me are the standards we women set for other women! How many mothers-in-law break the cycle of what they themselves have endured?

  7. Societal norms are such that it’s a woman’s responsibility to look after everything. She has no respite even on vacations. For most women, it is not a vacation but just a change of location!!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Pattern #WriteBravelyMy Profile

  8. Conditioning and stereotypes are my two-word answers. I just met a few who think that taking care of the kitchen and meals is solely their responsibility. It made me question if they don’t think about themselves or am I too easy on my life?
    Women need to find a way to put their foot down at times. Say it aloud of what they want and stick with that.
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  9. Root cause of the problem: deep-set gender stereotypes & socio-cultural conditioning.

    But all it takes is for one to stand up and call out the BS. I do it at my place, and I refuse to perpetuate the gender stereotypes. It doesn’t always make me the most popular person around, but it makes me happy, calm & contended with my life, so all is well, as far as I am concerned.
    Shantala recently posted…Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg – Book ReviewMy Profile

  10. Gender stereotyping for sure. Thankfully, in our two-mama household, we both feel the brunt of things fairly evenly. But I was married to a man before, and I do remember doing all of this. UGH! Great post. Let’s make some change where it is long overdue. #mg

  11. A massive pet hate of mine was when hubby said I did the washing for you or I made the boys lunch for you. He doesn’t do it anymore as I firmly told him it is not for me! However, I must say that in general Dutch men are very hands on parents and do share a lot of the child care. #mg

  12. While there are some cultural differences in exactly what a daughter-in-law is expected to do, the theme of extra expectations/obligations for women is depressingly familiar. It’s hard to break away from the standards you were raised with.
    Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) recently posted…Museum Day in the GardenMy Profile

  13. Naba, this is the situation in most homes. And it is not even questioned. Especially when the woman stays with her in-laws. I know of a few who stop their sons from helping out. It really is evil. Of course, women put up with it or they will be allowed to quit working. And imagine living with daily clashes? It is sad but I don’t see this situation getting better any time soon.
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  14. These standards are set by women… If a son doesn’t get involved in household work, or is not even compassionate enough to see the wife toiling away, it is the fault of the parents. I am not surprised more and more girls want a nuclear family. It’s sad to hear these stories of wives still being treated like a maid.

  15. do these things really happen,i never saw this in my family or relatives or in my neighbourhood .we have a maid, cook and driver though my sister-in-law left job after marriage and we are not rich ,just works for a MNC. even in my apartment,all working women have maid and cook who make breakfast and lunch by 8 am. whatever you have written saw in movies ,but never in south indian families. my brother who works abroad share work with his wife. he leaves early to workplace so she does breakfast and he prepares dinner by 7 pm by the time she returns from office.

    i never saw working couple or working women cooking food in india .may be in families from north or some families don’t understand responsibilities in a family.

  16. My husband helps me at home with everything. Then he asks me how would have you managed if you were married to a conventional, conservative, non-helping, man. I reply that I wouldn’t have stayed in the marriage if I was taken for granted. He thinks that I am saying that because I don’t have to do any extraordinary measures as I am with a man who cares. But even with my husband when he slightly starts to take me for granted I protest. I tell my husband that he helps me because he is a good person and because he realizes that it is his duty too to take care of everything and not because he wants appreciation from me or to be put in a pedestal. He has not accepted my reasoning completely. But I believe that we should stop saying ‘wow’ at the sight of a man who helps with the chores. I hope that it would become a norm. Taking care of chores by both men and women together should be the norm. Women should not toil their lives because that’s what is expected from them. We have to make the choice and stand by it. I believe that it’s up to us, Naba, to be the change.
    Vinitha recently posted…Celebration Time #writebravely #WriteTribeProBloggerMy Profile

  17. When i think about the position women are put by fellow women it really sounds illogical to me! Why would one want to bestow all that they have been through on their daughter-in-law? Why can’t she be their daughter instead! Why blame others when women are responsible for this situation more than anyone. Such instances makes me sad! Why is it not a man’s responsibility to share the load? Why always woman are entitled to do all the house hold work? many questions but no logical answers indeed!

  18. It amazes me that the mother in laws go through this and then make their daughter in laws go through it too. Social conditioning and strong traditional beliefs are so hard to change. My husband is great an does so much, but it does annoy me how much my parents go on and on about how lucky I am they think he is a hero for cooking a meal. #mg

  19. I hear you, sister! I have met so many women who had to go through stuff like this. Why, I’m in the list as well.

    I stayed with my in-laws for close to two years before we finally moved out to a place of our own. Those two years were no less than hell. I have a sleeping problem and barely sleep at night which makes me not able to wake up early in the morning. Since I have to get to work only by 11 am, waking up at 9 am works for me. But for my in-laws it was a crime. My MIL is a housewife with no other interests or ambitions and stays at home the whole day. But I was expected to wake up in the morning, make breakfast and pack lunch for the husband and me only (she insisted that I cook only for the two of us and not the family), then head to work, come back and then make dinner for the entire family. I love my husband a lot and believe me I tried a lot to do this just for him, but it was way too unreasonable. My husband saw it too and insisted that I have to do nothing, but the silent whispers and annoying faces were way too hard to ignore. Soon, I learnt to ignore it and just did what I could.

    It is really hard for a woman to stay with the in-laws. Now that I’m away, I still cook, clean and all but it doesn’t feel like a compulsion and I definitely do not have eyes prying on me all the time, so it helps ease me out.

    Women need to take a stand, put down their foot and step away. Mostly the husbands would stand with them. If they don’t, he doesn’t deserve all the effort that you are putting in a wedding.
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