Becoming Microwave Madam – Chapter 3
Marriage for many starts with the premise that the income of the husband is permanent and therefore more important, and that of the wife an option and not a real need. That’s the way she thought, and the way he did too. It’s the way it was for their parents, and a system familiar and therefore easy to adopt.
Both had careers that were equally demanding at first, but that changed over time. Running the home meant she could no longer adapt easily to the work culture of ‘late sitting’ that was the norm where she worked. It was rewarded so much that leaving on time when work could fit very effectively within regular working hours, was considered leaving ‘early’ and was noted. And this could come up at performance appraisals.
He worked long hours in a very different corporate culture. That was fine though, because he came home to dinner cooked and served at the table. Commuting was an issue for him. She worked close by, but he had a two hour commute which is the norm for those living in Mumbai. Those were the days of major road repair and ongoing transport infrastructure projects. And potholes. Lets not forget them and the impact they have on family lives and health.
So often a two hour commute would stretch out longer. Many avoid traffic jams and crowded public transport by leaving for work much earlier than they need, so it stretches the length of the commute. It was the case for him.
Some cope with this by leaning on their parents. Others hire a maid.
I invite you to read all chapters of Becoming Microwave Madam and understand why many women give up their careers and stay home.