IntroductionWhen we observe Indian wives, there is always some lesson to understand. They are the quiet performers who are rarely recognized for their creativity and innovation. Yes, they are the best multi-task experts from whom we can learn many a lesson. In this article, specific reference is made to multi-tasking as applicable to specific attributes that we can easy see in housewives. These attributes are a) patience b) perseverance c) tolerance of ambiguity d) child upbringing and e) teaching others.
PatienceHousewives are very patient. They are epitomes of endurance and of waiting for the good to happen. From those who are religiously inclined, in particular, we can notice this attribute of patience. She would wake up very early, get to finish the cooking for breakfast rather early, put the stuff into neat hot boxes, devote the next forty minutes for pooja in total peace, and then get ready to welcome the husband and kids for their early morning coffee or tea or whatever. She would then spend the next fory minutes getting the lunch ready for packing into the lunch boxes. In most cases, they would handle the servant maid with ease and would appear to have all the time in the world. This is because they are out of bed so early. There are housewives who also manage the in-laws and since they stay at home, the mother in law may chip in if possible. It is still possible to see a huge amount of harmony in such homes. The lady does not stop there. Even if she is employed, she would have a quick face wash, and manage the homework of the children. All this is done, even when she gets to prepare the dinner. She would even find time to do the cooking and also watch the occasional TV serial, and would push the child or children to another room so that they study undisturbed. Most parents-teachers meetings, even today, are attended by housewives only.
PerseveranceThose with an entrepreneurial spirit are even more dashing. For, they would effortlessly switch between the business role and the home role. They would be happy in both and would achieve what they want. Take for example, a housewife who manages a business of what is called drumstick oil. This is a rather difficult business to be in. However, since the soil conditions near Karur ( a district headquarters town some one hundred kilometers from the city of Coimbatore, en route to Tiruchirapalli). suits this business, with a lot of perseverance, in a small nearby village called Boomadevadam, Ms. Mohana is into this business. He husband is a businessman in distant Vishakhapatnam, in AP. This lady is now fully into this business of making oil out of totally dry drumstick. Since the cost of nine kilo of drumstick seeds is Rs.3,150/-, and the crushing cost is Rs.20 per kilo, combined with the transport cost, the final cost of a 100 ml bottle of drumstick oil is Rs. 500. Though this cost is slightly on the higher side, the huge medicinal benefits far outweigh the cost. For instance, it has been proved that it helps in tackling anemia in ladies and makes them very active. It is also good to tackle the impotency problem in males. Ayurvedha oil is also manufactured out of this drumstick oil. (Manvasanai, a Tamil Newsfortnightly on agriculture, August 16-31, pages 64-67. There are thousands of women who productively spend their time on some business activity through the self-help groups and also manage their homes very well. There is so much to learn about perseverance from them. Perhaps their experience and passion in cooking a huge variety of dishes at home teaches them perseverance as a matter of routine. Men do not have this attribute to the same degree that housewives or even unmarried girls have. We can easily observe this even today in the villages.
Tolerance of ambiguityIn India, we have survived droughts, floods, famine, recession and what have you. It is always the women who does all the planning and the cost cutting. They are simply superb in understanding the requirements of any situation and raising up to any occasion. The ease with which they invest in what are famously called Chit funds, in Tamil nadu, where the returns are as high as 11%, has to be seen to be believed. Even those women whose husbands are habitual drunkards, would slog it out all day in construction sites and yet educate their sons and daughters in Government schools and colleges. There are families where the children only rare see their horrible fathers, who are bad role models, anyway.
In any given situation, the housewife is right on top. They know what expenditure to cut and how. And when as well. They would examine all possibilities and take appropriate decisions. In fact, in hundreds of Indian families the entire banking transactions and investment for the future are always done by women. This is all the more so, when the woman is educated.
Child upbringing It is not for nothing that there is a saying, "the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world". It is the mother, from whom children learn most. It is she who finds more time to spend with the children. In hundreds of thousands of Indian homes, even today, they are told tales of Ramayana and Mahabharatha and all the good things in life. Their are rich mothers who drill into their children, the superb quality of empathy, making them realize that there are millions of unfortunate souls who are not as lucky as them and hence should know what it takes to treat them well.
Housewives also teach the children the value of hard work, sincerity and punctuality. There are superb multi-task experts in this field. One has to really observe what they do, to understand their worth. In particular, those housewives who devote their entire time to their children, have more lessons to teach anyone of us.
Teaching othersIts time to celebrate the New Woman of India, the real entrepreneur. There are hundreds of them. They are yoga teachers, music teachers, Hindi teachers, web designers, information technology experts, bakery experts,experts on nuances of cooking a huge variety of dishes on you tube and what have you. The entire world seems to have opened up to them. These are mostly housewives who are happily into these businesses.
They effortlessly teach others and are happy to take on the mantle of teaching at any time of the day or even night. For instance, there are yoga sessions even between 7 PM and 8 PM.
As usual, they are experts too. They have a huge amount of patience and are hugely skilled. They spend a lot of time honing their skills. But once done, they teach others so well and happily manage their homes as well. Of course, in most cases, their husbands would also understand and appreciate and support their efforts. Their mission goes on..
ConclusionThe whole world is our laboratory of learning. When we closely observe and understand what our wives do, so effortlessly, we can easily understand the nuances of multi-tasking from them and also try out some of that learning at different points in time, in our lives.
Housewives are normally multiskilled. They may do many things at one time. Maybe it is a special quality of females.
How can an employed woman cope up with pressure at job and lots of work at home? The author has not explained much about how such woman after being patient sometimes get irritated also and lose patience. How to cope up with such pressure?
Housewives, on the contrary, does have plenty of time at home.
You are correct. The working woman does have quite a bit of problem since her time is limited. But she does manage to dump the clothes into the washing machine very early in the morning, have a quick wash, prepare dinner or the breakfast and get going on other tasks as well. I have seen such women do so much even at 9PM in the night. Their husbands do chip in at times. However, they are also human. It is perfectly alright to be irritated at times. The holistic picture has to be seen in this perspective of the realistic situation of their performing many roles with incredible ease.
She will still manage. There are situations where the woman manages everything. Even the difficult situations and the real cost-cutting is done by the women only.
Our real women have been put to strenuous tasks since their childhood and they had to help their mothers in the tasks of cleaning, washing the clothes and cooking apart from her normal studies. Mothers were hard taskmasters inculcating the multitasking tasking roles within her.
Once these ladies enter into the marriage, especially the ladies of low/ middle-class families, they have to take up all sorts of assignments such as cooking, housekeeping, cleaning and the most difficult task of upbringing the kids.
It would appear quite surprising how the women-folk discharge their duties so effectively without missing a single task essential in her household chores. They remain engaged for all such activities without having any expectation of financial or other incentives.
Perseverance, tolerance, sacrifice are within their blood and with these qualities, they prove to be the effective time managers.
The author has incorporated all the essential features to make the article lucid and informative. A well written article.
I appreciate the author for his understanding of multitasking. If we see a lady while working in a kitchen we can understand her multitasking capabilities and managerial qualities. She can manage alone making three dishes at a time on a gas stove having three burners. She will plan the dishes in such a way that she can concentrate on a dish when it exactly requires her attention. She knows where is what and she can easily take out the required item from the shelf at the required time. She will not leave the tin taken out outside but keep it in its place.
A lady in the middle-class family will definitely have a tough morning. She has to send the children to the schools and husband to the office. But she will never get late for the works she has to do so that her husband and children will catch the bus in time. She plans by calculating time backward and so will take the time when she has to give the box to her husband and accordingly she will start her cooking. Such is the meticulous planning of ladies. That is why I always feel that ladies are always better managers than many gents.