I have a buzz of activity around me. I get up in the morning and I see my cousin running about trying to get ‘everything in place’ for her daughter and her husband before the morning starts. They would both then go to work after leaving their daughter at the young children play group for the day. She fishes out an umpteen amount of food tins and pastes and what have you, getting going with her breakfast making and tiffin-making and dinner preparation for later. She has one hour before everyone wakes up and she then has to get ready herself, to go to work and also get her little one ready. She juggles with the food-making and laying out the ‘right clothes’ for everyone. In an hour she has everything spick and span and in place. Everything is ready! She wakes them up and tries to cajole and coax with the tiny tot for the next half hour, to eat and wash and dress. All the while as hubby dear sits at the breakfast table, once brushing his teeth and concentrating hard at the television and the news updates and then again, attacking his breakfast with an appetite of a man famished. All almost done! Everyone ready! My cousin vanishes to revive her energy and appears an hour later, all done. And everyone is ready to go. My cousin screams to my cousin-in-law as she hurriedly scribbles the ‘needed grocery’ on a piece of paper and she dashes to and fro as she gathers scarves and woollies and mitts. And finally they are all gone, leaving me seated in the nice country kitchen, for the morning.
This is not unique to them. Millions of households have the same routine everyday, everywhere. It set me thinking. Here was this woman, doing a massive amount of work everyday. I do not say that the man does not work. But I am focussing on the woman here. She has woken up earlier, she has cooked, she has set things ready for everyone, she has taken care of herself, she too has gone out to work. And she is only a flesh and blood person. How much can she do? Yet we do not thank her. We take her for granted. It is sad that we feel we can do that. That we have the right to do that. Just because someone has taken on the responsibility of taking care of us? And often we do not gloat in the pride that this woman is doing a lot and we never stop to think that she is wonderful. When I was small and my Mom used to take care of me, I used to tell myself that I would eat whatever was put before me, even if it was burnt. She deserves to burn it once in a while. Making demands was unthinkable. While perhaps she never wanted to be thanked……..I feel every woman out there who takes care of a household, should be appreciated.
And it does not cost us a penny to whisper a Thank you, now and again.
By Anusmita Baruah