Who leads?

It was a cool night, with a glowing full moon. Was way past midnight, but a bunch of us sat around the campfire sipping on our cognac and cracking up on silly jokes. One of them said in jest pointing at my husband , “And, he is the leader of his family!”

Everyone laughed. Except me.

“Leader of the family?”, I questioned the crowd. “Who appointed him the leader? There’s no leader in our family”

“Haha. Come on…”

I looked straight and said , ” No, am serious. I believe my house has no ‘leader’. As husband and wife we decide on all aspects of life together. We are a ‘team’, nobody leads or is considered higher authority.”

Laughing stopped and silence fell. While some of the men started fidgeting with obvious discomfort over the topic, the women had a confused look.

I asked one of them, “You tell me. Do you have a leader in your family?”

She hardly gave it a thought before saying, “Yes, of course. My husband”

“Okay. Why do you say so. Any reason?”

“Well. Be realistic. If there is a thief trying to break into the house, my husband will be put in the front line to safeguard the rest of us in the house. Isn’t that what the leader does?”

“Hmmm. I don’t think that alone is a good reason to be termed a leader.” I turned to another woman and asked, “What about you. You think your husband is the leader of your family?”

She took a second and said , ” Yes, I do”

“Why?”

“Because it is his surname the family takes on. For example, a bank official will ask for “XYZ Family” where XYZ is his surname”

“Then, what about people like me who don’t take up the husbands surname?”

“…”

I continued. “Forget the societal norms. Do you truly believe he is the leader? Which means he has full authority to overrule any decisions made for the family?”

“Well…no, that’s not what I meant”

“That brings to my point – where I think families of this age and generation do not have a ‘leader’. A family runs on team effort, mutual understanding ,conjoined decisions. It’s not like the old days when women stayed in the kitchen and meekly abided by the words of the husband , gave him supreme authority. Don’t you agree?”

The conversation was flipped over by another random joke and the topic met an untimely stop.
But, I keep wondering if my thinking makes sense.

Sharing here to see what you wise people out there have to say.

Am happy if you agree with me. More power to us!

But, if you don’t agree, I am here to listen. Tell me if there is a leader in your family. If so, on what basis and why?

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13 Responses to Who leads?

  1. Scribby says:

    Our family also runs on the same rule ‘team work’ and I’m not saying this because we both earn bread and butter (because there would be people who would jump on this reason for the ‘no leader’ theory running in our home) but in principle that’s the concept. There was a time when I was not working for good 3 years and it never made any difference to our ‘team work’ concept to run our household… so it is not only about earning, it is about the attitude and thought process..

  2. Scribby says:

    btw how are you doing? 6 months is slightly longish break no for writing? :P

  3. Comfy says:

    I don’t even think there was a leader of the family between my parents. My mom took independent decisions on certain things and my dad on others and then they sat, talked and took joined decisions on the most important of things. I never saw the concept of one person bowing down to others wishes all the time.
    A relationship is all about give and take. Playing to each others strengths and covering each others weakness. There can’t be leader and follower in it. And if there is then God bless both the partners. I will go back to my delusional world and be happy there.

    • Right??

      Phew. I was beginning to think I’m being over-dramatic while others were so cool about having a ‘leader’ at home.

      My parents didn’t seem to have that concept while I was growing up too.

      Thanks for confirming am not crazy Comfy :)

  4. Stone says:

    Simple hai…Biwi all the time :-)

    • Stone says:

      On a serious note, “who is the leader or head” such thoughts never come to mind, we all are running our shows.
      It’s a team work done at subconscious level. There are no clear boundaries or limitations.

      My wife still uses her before marriage surname that sure confuses my son though :-)

  5. Surname: my mom didn’t change hers, I use my mom’s surname, no my parents are not divorced or separated and after marriage I still continue with my maiden name, so don’t believe in that theory.

    I am laughing loud at your friends theory on the thief coming and husband going in front , looks to me like a movie scene .

    In our relationship I take certain decision and he does some, but most of the time it’s a teamwork to run the show. If you ask my husband and daughter who the leader in our family they both will happily point towards me. They think mommy is the boss of the home.

    No you are not alone to have such thoughts , I thinking why do people think like that in this era.

  6. HappyFeet says:

    My family never had a leader. Like Comfy put it, some decisions were my mother’s alone, some Father’s, some joint. Its the same pattern in my sister’s household.
    Coming to me and Hero, most of our decisions are combined effort. But sometimes, its Hero who takes major decisions like which property to invest in or which insurance policy is the best, but really, that’s only because I am not interested/aware of those things. I don’t think its like her leads and I follow. :)
    I take solo decisions too.. like which restaurant to eat in, or where to go on a holiday etc. Some would say I take the petty decisions while he takes the major ones, but I would disagree. I have the full right to jump in and say NO to any thing he recommends, and if I have my reasons, I do just that!
    So no leader at my place too :)

    Yo go girl! You spoke out in front of the bunch. I might have just kept my thoughts to myself! So proud of you!

  7. La Vida Loca says:

    Hubby leader ya. Coz he is the man and I am clueless, hapless, woman.
    Seriously though I never thought about it. Shared responsibility is the way it’s going…

  8. i cant even believe you are asking this question. it is paapu in your family and proton in mine. as if us hapless parents have any choice :|

  9. My family my dad leads all the way. N I don’t agree with a lot of what he says which leads to fights.
    In my marriage I wanted it to be a team but then again my hubby dear just like his dad wanted to lead. U already know what it lead to:)
    most of the marriages I know its the men leading. Women dont even question it. Very few have a team.
    Im just hoping to raise my son to be a team player. That will be my contribution to making this world a better place:-)

  10. Errr… By that concept, the security guard is the leader of all homes no? :D :D

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