When I was younger, I distinctly remember writing on a piece of paper: "I will never be a housewife." I was a d*** - not because I had career aspirations, but for what I see now is its implication on the way I saw my mom.
My mother is many things. I know it shouldn't define her, but the truth is, "housewife" is one of those that instantly come to mind when I think about her.
But she wasn't always like that. My mom used to be an accountant. She and my father actually graduated from the same college. She worked immediately at a corporation in Makati. But shortly after I was born - their third child - she and my dad decided that it was best if she stayed at home. My dad isn't the villain here. They were both victims of what society deems as the "normal" family structure. So there was no question as to who between them would stay at home, and who would continue their career.
I'm sure at the back of their minds, they kept the possibility that eventually she would go back to work. Maybe when the three of us got a little bit older. But soon, three became six. And so it got harder to manage the household. Before she knew it, my mom spent most of her life toiling after us, and making sure our needs were met.
Now that we have grown, and the household can more or less run itself, we have suggested that she go back to work. But she rightfully points out that she's 50 now, and out of the job market for more than two decades. It's now hard for her to find a job.