“Anika, can you find me my tie, please, I am getting late for work.” Anika who was rushing to make breakfast for her husband, immediately joins him to find his tie. On reaching their bedroom, she notices everything from the cupboard has been rummaged and dropped on the floor in the process to find the tie. She opens a drawer, takes it out and gives it to him. Despite her irritation about the mess created in the room, she decides to keep quiet, not wanting to spoil her husband’s mood when leaving for work. She is again beckoned by him asking if the breakfast is ready. Once again she dashes to the kitchen and fetches him what was made. “Oh, I’ll rather eat something at work. This is not made according to my liking.” He gets up and leaves. Before Anika could register her husband’s discontentment, her daughter summons her to find her book.
This was a regular morning feature for Anika who lived with her fifteen year old daughter and husband of 20 years in Ahmedabad. Once the father and daughter left, Anika a stay-at-home mom would get busy with the household chores only to find some breather to read the newspaper later during the day. It used to be her stress buster. She would read for hours together thinking about the happenings and developments in the world. Somehow it took her away from her own reality.
Humdrum of daily routine got on her. She sensed something was missing in her life. Her wish list from the subconscious was suddenly out. And she now felt the urge to work towards her wish list, only to make her wonder why she couldn’t do it all these years. She realized her time was used only to complete the chores and run some errands for her home and family. There was no time for herself. How she wished for some ‘me time’!!!
Many women can identify with Anika and relate to her life story. It is a very common lifestyle of quite a few women. Salute to such women who dedicate their life to their husband, children and home. But, at what cost? If the trade-off is a sense of fulfilment at the end of serving one’s family, it is maybe worth it. But, in Anika’s case, the equation is different. The husband and daughter seem to have taken her for granted. She too has started feeling the void despite doing what she has been doing for years. With no financial strain, no physical abuse in her marriage and divine gift of motherhood, Anika’s situation would be ideal for many.
Well, Anika is very normal in feeling the way she does. Not that doing things for one’s family is something wrong. What is wrong is the fact that she is taken for granted and expected to do whatever she has been doing for years. Along with the basic needs, a woman has many secondary needs to be fulfilled. Appreciation is one of them. Taken for granted attitude corrodes any relationship. It is a basic human tendency to be liked, cared for, valued and respected. These small gestures can go a long way in making a relationship worthwhile. In Anika’s case, the biggest mistake she made was she forgot herself in the process of meeting her family’s needs. She forgot she too had needs. Respect yourself and others will follow – is the philosophy everyone should practise. Women, wish to be treated like a doormat and you will be, wish to be treated like a queen and you will be. The choice is yours…..