Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
The #WomanInMe doesn’t like to share her food. During the initial days of dating, when ever my husband and I would go out to eat, this is what my husband observed. We would order our respective dishes. My husband would happily give a spoonful of his dish to taste and if I want, he would be more than happy to share more. But then he would reach out to taste the dish I have ordered and I would be watching like a hawk. I would let him take a teeny weeny bit.
I #WomanInMe doesn’t like to save chocolates for her children. When people give me chocolates so that I can give it to my daughters, I hide it away. I eat it in my leisure. Come on, I love chocolates. I tell myself that my daughters have a whole lot of life ahead of them to eat chocolatesJ. As if I am on my death bed and my life is ending tomorrow. But that’s how I live my life, like it’s the last day. I live for the moment. Always have.
I hate the words compromise, sacrifice. I grew up watching too many women, compromising and sacrificing their smallest needs for their children, husband, etc. I watched them turn bitter as they grew old. I watched them go into depression, aggression. I promised myself that I would not compromise, that I would not sacrifice my needs and put someone else ahead of me. Not even my children. Well, its easier said than done. It is so much engraved in us women to sacrifice, to think of others before us, that its difficult to break that mould.
After I got married, I realized that it is not the bigger compromises that irk. It is the small compromises, not being able to dress up like you want, not being able to eat what you like, not being able follow the customs that you grew up with, are what make you bitter as you grow old. So I made it a point that I would never sacrifice my small happiness. I don’t have single conventional bone in me. I am against all senseless and meaningless traditions. I have no problem if others want to follow it. Please don’t ask me to follow. I was born a rebel. Accordingly, I don’t like wearing bindis, mangalsutra on a daily basis. I like to be comfortable at home, so I am usually in my sweat pants and tees most days. Yes, I do believe in dressing according to the occasions. I wouldn’t walk into a temple or a pooja wearing jeans. I definitely don’t like hurting sentiments in a gathering or when I am a guest at someone’s house. But at my house, I live like I want to and not to please anyone else. Yes, I do have a very supportive husband. But I ask women, why do we need the support of our spouse to stand up to our needs?
I have heard too many women tell me, “My husband allows me to wear any dress I like to. He doesn’t put any restrictions.” It saddens me that they think that their husband/ in-laws/ have to allow them. That they think their husband has the right to restrict them. It angers me that women are brought up to think like they belong to someone like a property. That someone else has a say when it come to their dreams, their aspirations, their likes, etc. Every day I thank my parents for having brought me up, to think for myself.
Now, because I think for myself and think of myself, doesn’t make me a bad DIL/wife/mother. I have never asked my husband to keep his parents or his family away from us. No, I am more than happy to have his family around us. And my in-laws have also realized that my heart has always been in the right place. I am always there for them when they need any help. My husband, well, I couldn’t have found a better person. He understands me completely and he agrees with most of my thoughts. Yes there are times when I listen to his advice, seek his support, take his opinion, but it is done mutually. He never shies away from taking my opinions, my advice or my support. Aren’t we partners for life? My daughters know that I will sit through the night when they are ill, I will never let them go hungry, but they will not get a bite of my favorite chocolate!!