Work, Re‑cultured: A Housewife Who Is Itching to Go Back to Her Pre‑Pandemic Routine
In Work, Re-cultured, The Swaddle brings you a snapshot of what work-from-home culture looks like for Indian professionals across industries. In this installment, a 42-year-old housewife, Husna Mansuri.
I have three sons. They all work in the film industry. Before the lockdown, I don’t remember ever being able to celebrate Ramzan with all three of them at the same time. We have never been in one place. This was the first time that we could celebrate together and it just warmed my heart.
It’s true we had no income during the lockdown, but we managed to have good family time. Under lockdown, my sons helped me to some extent, going grocery shopping for me, making all kinds of different foods they had learned while on shoots. Their creativity and enthusiasm were great, but in the end, all the utensils fell to me anyway.
For us, having a maid was never possible. One son needed his tiffin at 4 in the morning, another in the night. I’ve always cleaned the house, washed everyone’s clothes, made everyone’s food by myself. Under lockdown, whatever crazy routine we had was disrupted. Earlier, our routines were intense but they were still predictable. After March, there was no timetable. My sons woke up in the afternoon, had breakfast at 2:30; everyone wanted to eat at a different time all throughout the day. When their routine was all over the place, mine was too. I realized I was never free, I didn’t get any time for myself. I also started making food for all my sons’ friends who lived alone. They would come to pick it up from downstairs. Who was going to feed them?
Before the lockdown, I used to exercise, do yoga, and visit my friends’ houses in the few hours in the morning and evening when I could take some time out for myself. I have to do socializing too, it’s very important. Thankfully, shoots are starting up again and I’m slowly going back to doing all those things for myself. I really like my routine. The change was nice for a little bit, but without any income, it wasn’t so easy. I’m a housewife, so I had to figure out the expenses for the home. The money coming in had changed, but everything else was the same, no?
I’m enjoying it now that everything is going back to normal. My sons go to work and I have time for myself. I’ve gone back to taking tiffins to my sons’ workplaces. One of them is still in school so I go to his work and try to cram in some studying in between takes. It’s the best.