My mother often cracks lame jokes. But this isn’t about her lame jokes. This is about a time when she was in her grave and thoughtful demeanor. Possibly trying to drill us, siblings, down, she asked: “What are your achievements in life”? My sister, who is always a badass, threw the ball in her court instead. She gave her a piece of paper and pen and said: “Why don’t you list down your achievements first mummy”.  Still deep in her thoughts, she took the paper and started writing. We were thrilled yet anxious to know her answer. Finally, she stopped writing and showed us the paper with a sigh. “This is all I have done in my life; rearing the three of you” she said in a melancholy tone. All that was written on the paper were just three names, my sister, my brother and I. Not that she is proud of us any less, but her longing to have a life for herself was obvious.  

Does ‘sacrifice’ define women’s lives?

This is not just some conversation. Rather a deep-rooted issue in our society. How women are made to believe that they have this inherent characteristic to sacrifice. Women are deemed happy with their Sisyphean tasks; the household works and the child-rearing.

And this sacrifice comes in various forms, sometimes even without us realizing. A woman might leave her job to look after the kids, or to let her husband’s career flourish or sometimes for the sake of family. This sacrifice can also come in the form when a woman continues a job she doesn’t love because who has time to switch jobs. At times women stop thinking about their dream career and give up on their aspirations. While there are a few examples of women following their dreams and living on their terms. But those are only a handful of examples. A larger lot succumbs to the societal pressure. 

Discover yourself and nurture that dream

Women are gifted with innate worthiness. It doesn’t make sense to let it go in vain. It’s time to stop being the sacrificial lamb for the society. The society will glorify our martyrdom at first. Make us believe we have made the ultimate choice for our family. And then crush us at once and let us feel worthless.

And I completely respect those who prefer a family life over career, when it is their choice and not someone else’s decision or even suggestion.  In fact, I too left my job to look after my little one. But that didn’t mean I stopped living or dreaming. I took it as an opportunity to explore newer things, to discover my passion, to discover myself and I am still in the process.

It isn’t fair reducing ourselves to a mother, wife, sister, daughter and daughter in law alone. We women don’t need labels. We are women of substance, strong-headed, dreamer and self-belief. Laying the foundation of our family on our crushed dreams and lack of personal space will only make our lives miserable. Let’s steal our time, nurture our dreams, and travel the world, sing, dance, and laugh. Do whatever makes you happy. And you will be amazed to see that your happiness is contagious.

Sounds Dreamy; who has got time for that

The people will criticize you for your choices and call you self centered. You will be judged even if you take a day’s break from your duties. But don’t budge. It’s ok to be selfish at times, it’s fine to be happy, and it’s perfectly alright to live our lives for ourselves.  Living a little for yourselves doesn’t mean you don’t care for your family. It means you are not making a denial of yourself. So go out often, drink your coffee while it’s still hot.

This post was previously published here

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