Movies always show working women as those who gracefully manage their time between personal and professional lives. They keep these two distinct yet manage to give equal time and attention to both.

However, real-life is often not so rosy.

10 women reveal the unsaid struggles of being a married working professional in India and the answers are telling.

Note: Some answers have been edited for length.

1. “There is nothing wrong with my life. Everything is fine. I have been feeling very anxious for 2-3 months now. I work the second shift,12-9 PM and live with my in-laws. We have a maid who takes care of utensils and cleaning but still, there is so much work at home. My MIL always keeps on taunting me about cleanliness and stuff. She doesn’t take my job that seriously and my job is also bad. I started at a new place 6 months back. Ever since I joined, I don’t feel like showing up to work (BTW, I am WFH). I am getting frustrated. I don’t get time for myself. Whenever I am free, I just sleep. No exercise, no sunlight. All I find myself doing is cooking food day and night because my in-laws are old and they have medical issues. So I need to look after them or work (which I don’t do much these days). I just don’t feel like it, seriously. IDK is it just me or is it normal?” – SplitPhysical

2. “I am newly married for two months and depressed due to the workload, managing kitchen chores, waking up early. I’m literally cooking for 8 people and then getting to work from 1 pm to 10:30 pm. I take a break in the evening again to cook dinner. No sunlight, no exercise, no Me-Time. I don’t even get to know when my day passes in the room. I end up sleeping exhausted and depressed. Coming from an Indian marwadi family, I’m not allowed to go out and work. The sad part is that office is resuming and they have given me 3 months to convince my in-laws. I’m 100% sure I won’t even attempt as I was clearly told earlier that I cannot go out and work because LOG KYA KAHENGE! Also, I can’t afford the time to go out and work as I have to take care of the domestic work.” – Drajpro

3. “The moment an interviewer came to know I was 4 months pregnant, I kinda flunked the interview process at a $1bn startup. Now it seems to me that hiring managers think hard before recruiting a woman with kids.” – StraightSwim

4. “I was asked about my childbearing plans. Humiliating, personal questions. Lots of personal stuff about my marriage and husband. Interviewers bash women who join a company just to get pregnant. Maybe this guy was born out of immaculate conception. This was not an exception, but the norm.” – buttercup987

5. “Managing work and family are two different fronts a working Indian woman needs to handle. Being a working mother, I realize the fact that I need to give proper attention to family needs as much as to work requirements. However, maintaining a balance never comes easy. It requires compromising on either front. When you compromise on work, your career gets hampered, and when you compromise on your family, you suffer from parent guilt. It is always better to maintain harmony between the professional and personal lives. I chose to work close to my home which saves crucial time that I used to spend travelling. Now I can work at a company where I can be productive and sustainable. This way I can devote time to my kids and my family.” – Sukirti Bansal

6. “Finding time to relax. I refuse to believe that humans were made to spend so much of their life working.” – Yonderponder

7. “Work-life balance. I’m an ICU charge nurse and while it’s always been stressful, the past two years have been the worst. I’m a single parent so the stress doesn’t end when I leave. I’d love to take normal hours, a less stressful job, but I don’t want the pay cut.” – Night_cheese17

8. Some women also shared advice.

9. “Now with WFH, it gets a little difficult. Male colleagues often take shorter lunch breaks because someone has the meal prepared for them. I take longer breaks because I have to meal prep, cook, serve my husband, and my sick in-laws, and then get back to work. We cannot afford hiring a domestic maid.” – Simran De

10. “A company turned me down because my husband works in Bangalore and the job was for Pune. Apparently I’m expected to follow my husband like a puppy.” – Manya Ranjan

11. “Women-  married middle class women in particular- often have to face the problem of double burden. They are expected to take care of the household chores and the domestic needs of the entire family, irrespective of whether they are working outside or not… In spite of the various laws passed in favour of equal pay for equal work, women in a lot of Indian companies are still not rewarded a salary at par with their male counterparts… Women have a much lesser job security and this might not be solely restricted to India… Then again, women in most parts of the country are not allowed flexible working hours because unfortunately, it is not considered ‘safe’ for them to venture out alone after its dark or apparently their character is questioned if they work late nights. This poses as a big problem for these women. A lot of jobs are still not considered ‘suitable’ for women which significantly lessens their career options.” – Dyuti Dutta

12. Women revealed how their life changes after having a kid.

13. “I can say about working Indian women. They are really stressed! That is probably because no matter what at the end of the day and an Indian women have to get in the kitchen to cook! And no matter how modern the family is, a majority of Indian women have to face this. The amount of responsibilities is comparatively high. The families are changing now, no doubt. But if we talk about the major chunk, it is still the same. Also the work environment is not as healthy as it is in other countries.” – Shraddha Nyati

14. “Working in an administrative position and having to look professional as a woman is incredibly time-consuming and expensive.” – dublthnk

And finally, the truth bomb.

It’s 2022, high time women are treated as equals in a marriage.