Do women deserve a weekly off, or do they need to pay,
For the sins of their husbands mother,
On that seventh day?
The mother who did what she thought was right,
Who never took a break.
Who was an obedient daughter-in-law, who accepted without a fight.
‘Cos she learned from her own mother,
That it was the only way.
To a stable successful family life in the years when it was her day.
But things are so very different now, and so much has changed.
Many men want their women to put up their feet,
And rest a little when they have the need.
Their mother should have had a weekly off,
She shouldn’t have had to pay.
For the sins of their father’s mother,
On every seventh day.
Many Indian families have traditions which give women a weekly off from cooking and cleaning. And many others have traditions which expect a woman to work in the home without that weekly break.
This poem is about the latter kind of family. I wanted this poem to reflect how expectations and ideas of roles have passed down from generation to generation. And also to reflect how many women who didn’t get that weekly off are able to bring up their sons to see their wives as human beings who like them, need time to rest and relax. Sons who make changes and make sure their wives get that break.
To my Mother-in-law. . .
Copyright © Anita E Kohli, November 2018. All rights reserved.