So what do I do all day?

What was it that the mothers did, staying in this mysterious place called home where there really wasn’t much to do except manage a kid or two, keep them clean and well fed and keep the house looking like it wasn’t rummaged by a tornado.

It takes you so long to write a 700 word story! Said the horrified editor friend of mine. I counted sheep in my head (helps me stay calm. Another good alternative is the in-your- head-grocery list) and waited for the one question that I hate hearing ever since I gave up working full time to be a stay at home mother: So what do you do all day?

The days go by in a blur. Pic: Reshmi Chakraborthy

Really, what was it that I did the entire day? And what was it that the other mothers did, staying in this mysterious place called home where there really wasn’t much to do except manage a kid or two, keep them clean and well fed and keep the house looking like it wasn’t rummaged by a tornado. It didn’t require excel sheets or meetings so how tough or time consuming could it be?

If general opinion is to be believed, there isn’t much that is done all day except for the above mentioned cleaning/feeding bits, along with copious TV watching and (gasp) even visits to the salon! With eight luxurious hours stretching before her, what’s a woman to do!

Since I fall in the above category of moms with nothing much to do but still do not get the time to finish a 700 word article in 7 days, I decided to do some stock taking with other mummy pals of mine. Clearly I was a failure in time management and had it all wrong. I was sure they had it all figured out. So I decided to ask them them the question: So what is it that you do the whole day?

“Umm…you really want to know?” Asked the friend with a four month old. The edge in her voice should have warned me off but I ploughed on. “At 7 I clean the baby’s diaper. 7.15 is feeding time. 7.30 there’s a diaper change again. 8 there’s some feeding again. By 9 I grab whatever food I can see around the house as I am so hungry I could eat an entire buffet and possibly even the baby. Happy now?” I hang up, longtime friendship at stake. 

The other one is better behaved but has no time to talk. “Sorry dear. My daughter’s friends are coming over and I need to make some nutritious homemade pizzas or else nobody will send their children over to our fast food consuming house again.”

The third keeps it short and to the point. “Cannot talk. Filing the husband’s tax returns. After that need to take the car for servicing. Busy day. In fact this is how all my days are. I am the secretary cum driver cum housekeeper cum babysitter.”

The fourth cuts my call. I had made the mistake of texting her my question.



  1. Praveen Kumar A says:

    Are we trying to minimize the importance of bringing up children?

    Or are we complaining about the mom having to take the complete burden of feeding/cleaning etc of the kid?

    Does home maker not have very important role of bringing up kids in a responsible, healthy manner with good ethics thereby contributing to the society and the country?

    Home-maker definitely and obviously should claim credit for playing this important role.

    Question/complaint should be about things like not getting credit or not enough sharing of work but should not be about responsibility of bringing up kids and managing home affairs..

    If wife complains about car servicing or paying bills, what will happen if husband also starts complaining about other such things that husband is doing?

    Above questions are meant to only highlight importance of the role currently being played and contribution by mom/wife and not to look down upon their contribution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

The Ultimate challenge: Women’s voices from Chennai’s frisbee community

While men and women indulge in healthy competition during a game of Ultimate Frisbee in Chennai, there are various power dynamics at play.

A little white disc flies through the air; chased by many, and caught deftly by a girl, who then sends it whizzing across the sandy shore. This is a scene that often unfolds along Chennai's Besant Nagar beach, next to the red police booth. The vast, open space afforded by the beach sets the stage for a fun sport, involving a 175g white disc. Ultimate Frisbee is fast-paced, involving seven players from each team on opposite sides of the field, throwing the disc to each other, racing to catch it and passing it along to teammates. The most popular format…

Similar Story

Are Chennai streets safe for women? Here’s what they told us

85.9% of women in Chennai who responded to the survey think that CCTV cameras in public spaces make streets safer for women.

In view of Women's Day, observed on March 8, Citizen Matters conducted an online survey on women's safety in Chennai. As many as 171 women took part in this survey between the age group of 18 to 51 years. These women were from areas like Sholinganallur, Adyar, T Nagar, Kotturpuram, Thiruvanmiyur, Royapuram, Perambur, Madipakkam, Anna Nagar and other parts of Chennai. Though we circulated the survey across Chennai, many of the responses were from women in the Southern parts of Chennai, indicating the lack of access for women from areas of North Chennai to take part in such online surveys.…