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Niharika got married soon after her graduation. She continued her studies after marriage and completed her Teacher's training. When her daughter turned two, she asked her husband,
“Varun, I am planning to take up my job again. What do you think? Mummy can look after Tia now?” Niharika asked her husband at night.
“Niharika, it's completely your choice. I don't have any problems. You should talk to mummy yourself.” Varun replied.
In the morning at the breakfast table, Niharika brought up the matter in front of everybody.
She asked her mother in law, “ Mummy Ji, Tia has started going to school. I was thinking of taking up a job.”
Her father in law happily said, “ why not beta, you must join your work. We will look after Tia. Mummy is at home. She will take care of her.”
Her mother in law interrupted, “How can a small child stay without her mother? Tia is very young, she needs her mother. Beta, I don't have any problems with your job. But Tia is too young. Think again.”
She discussed the matter with her mother. Her mother told her that she can look after Tia easily. She told her to take the permission from her in laws first.
Niharika brought up the matter again at dinner time. She said that she would arrange school transport by which Tia would go to Nani house in the afternoon and she would bring her on her way back after her school. Nobody showed any disagreement. Niharika’s parents were too happy to see her pursuing her dreams. They were happy to help her without any kind of expectations from anyone.
Niharika joined a reputed school as a senior school teacher. She worked hard to create a balance between her job and home life. Since it was her decision to join work, nobody offered her any support in any way.
Years passed, Tia entered her teens but she continued to go to her nana nani’s house.
Niharika’s best friend Arpita once asked her if she would like to join their colleagues for a weekend trip to Udaipur. Niharika asked her who would look after kids in her absence and what about her in laws? Arpita told her that her mother in law wanted a grandson. After her daughter, when she conceived again, she wanted an abortion but her mother in law insisted on going ahead with her pregnancy hoping for a grandson. Fortunately, she gave birth to a baby boy. Her mother in law was so happy that she agreed to look after her children when she wanted to join back.
Niharika sighed. She also wanted her mother in law to look after her daughter. In all these years, her mother in law asked her not even once that she would take care of Tia, even when she came into senior school. And here was Arpita whose mother in law looked after her small children and allowed her go for weekend trips alone. Why was it so? She kept thinking of an answer, perhaps, because Arpita had given them a grandson which she never did.
At times, it used to be difficult to leave Tia at her parents house. They were getting old and were facing their own health issues but they never said anything.
A couple of years later, when Tia turned fifteen, Varun and Niharika planned a trip for four days to Shimla with Niharika’s parents. When they came back, her mother in law was very angry. She did not speak with either of them. At night, Niharika heard her talking to her husband. Her mother in law asked her husband why does she drop Tia to her parents house. Now she is grownup. She should stay at home.
Her husband replied that she should speak to Niharika herself. Her mother in law came to her room. She said, “Beta, why do you take Tia to Nani house everyday, now she is grownup. She can stay at home. I am getting old now, I also need company. I feel lonely and get bored all day sitting alone at home. There should be someone to look after me also.”
Niharika started fuming. All these years, when Tia was small, she had to struggle hard to manage with her daughter and job. Nobody offered any help. Nobody even bothered or asked about Tia. Now, when she is a grownup and can manage herself and perhaps others too, then she should be left at home! Now, her mother in law needed company and somebody to look after her? When her mother in law needs Tia, she should be left at home; when Tia needed to be looked after then she was sent to her nani house. She was really disturbed, Tia had become very close to her nana nani. They lived alone and were very fond of Tia. Why should she leave Tia home now? She did not say anything but stood firm with her decision.
This is the story of many working women. When the kids are small, nobody offers any help. But when they grow up, then everybody likes to see them around. It's never easy to forget the past. When a woman needs help in looking after her small kids and joining her job, nobody supports her. When her kids grow up and become independent then they should be left at home.