The Importance Of Housewives In Malaysia Is Often Neglected, But Why?

These days, being a stay-at-home mother or housewife is not an expectation. It’s a choice. Any true feminist will tell you that it’s as worthy a choice as pursuing a career in medicine, law, education, science, entertainment and more. In fact, being a stay-at-home mother is a career path and it goes without saying that household management is incredibly complex.

Back in August, EPF announced that housewives, single mothers, and widows will receive a minimum of RM5 monthly from their husbands on top of government incentive of RM40 per month, through the Caruman Sukarela Insentif Suri (i-Suri). This issue has sparked a nationwide debate, with husbands stating that they shouldn’t be pressured to contribute anything to their wives.

Truth is, being a housewife isn’t the same as being an unpaid janitor — and to see them as such is insulting. Have you ever spent time with a stay-at-home mother? Their lives are hectic and busy. It’s a difficult job! But why do some people still think otherwise?

Being a housewife is not an easy task

Society assumes that being a housewife is an easy task since they don’t have to go out and “work”, but they are basically the managers of a household. From taking care of the husband’s and children’s needs to doing the house chores, cooking, cleaning, budgeting as well as helping the kids with their homework, she can do it all.

Society portrays housewives as dependent and submissive

As depicted in movies, trophy wives are always pictured as beautiful, incapable and very dependent on their husbands. What’s worse, they like to portray stay-at-home moms as women who are well-organized, can-do-it-all and diligently listen to what her man says, all while maintaining a polite persona.

Despite what the TV presents, in Malaysia, you’ll see that mothers here are strict, loud and pretty much the dominant person in the relationship.

Not all housewives are uneducated or unambitious

As a matter of fact, today’s stay-at-home moms come from professional backgrounds before having kids, in which some graduated from top universities abroad or even had a promising career.

The reason why many choose to stay at home is mainly because they want to attend to the child’s needs so they don’t miss out on the little moments of their kids’ growing phase. For others, it’s either they want to cut on the high cost of child care, or they’re scared to send the young ones to nurseries due to the rise of so many unpleasant cases at child care centres right now.

It’s often easy to say that housewives are lazy, until you’re a mom yourself

Housewives hardly have any time to themselves because they’re so busy taking care of everyone else’s needs. The chores at home are never-ending. Even when you’re done cleaning the house, it’s not unusual for one of your children to spill something on the floor five minutes later, which automatically sends you to pick up the mop once again.

On top of that, you’re also usually the first one up at home since you are basically the alarm clock. You need to get the kids dressed, prepare breakfast and sometimes, even send the kids to school. How can that ever be considered as lazy?

No Annual Leaves for housewives

The reality is that the hardworking housewives are the real chefs and their work often goes unrewarded and unnoticed. How many times have you been tempted to tell the whole family to cook for themselves while you take a few days off?

With that, a stay at home mom, just like any other mom, is making the best choices for her family. So let’s give them more attention, rather than stereotyping their role in society.