Radha was busy in the kitchen preparing dinner. Her 12 years old son, Viraj was sitting at the dining table, munching on his favorite cookies she had made for him and working on his latest craft project.
Her husband Sumit, walked in and sat beside their son, “Hey champ, how was school?”
“Good Papa, lots of homework though”, Viraj grumbled.
Then he continued, “Papa, do you know any inspiring woman I can write about in my assignment? Women’s day is coming, and our English teacher has given us the assignment to write an article about a woman in your life who inspires you”.
“So write about your Mamma,” Sumit replied, grabbing a cookie from the table.
“But Mamma is home all day, and she doesn’t go out to work, though she cooks us delicious meals, and helps me with my homework, but what’s inspiring about that? You have to do something big and work a lot to be an inspiration right?”
Radha heard her son’s words and stood rooted in her place, thinking, “Is that all I am in my son’s eyes?”
Sumit looked up at her, and though she averted her eyes quickly, he saw the hurt in his wife’s eyes.
“Sure, I know a woman who inspires me every day, even you know her well.” He replied thoughtfully to Viraj.
“Who is she, Papa?”
“I will tell you who she is, but first let me tell you why she inspires me so much, and why you would be inspired by her too when you hear about her.”
“Radha, why don’t you sit? You should know about this amazing woman too”. Sumit pulled a chair for her.
Radha sat, wondering what her husband was up to.
Sumit began, “So, I have known this woman for more than 16 years. She was a colleague in my office. I know she was always a brilliant student, as her academics were great. She was a hard-working woman, and her bosses were always happy with her. Then she got married, and she was responsible for a whole new family. But she balanced her career and family really well.
After a few years, she gave birth to a baby boy, and her whole life changed. She decided to quit her job and be home with her baby. Mind you, if she wanted, she could have managed both motherhood and career brilliantly. But she is a strong woman, and chose to leave her high paying job so that she can stay at home with her child. She knew it was her choice, and no-one had the right to judge her.
She is a great mother and wife. I have seen her working so hard all these years. She wakes up before everyone and prepares breakfast and pack lunches for her family. She always cooks their favorite food, like the cookies you are eating. She is great at multitasking. Though, she is home all day, she is equally busy with housework and chores. She helps her son with homework and crafts (he said looking pointedly at the craft project on the table). When her son and husband come home in the evenings, they relax, but despite being working all day, she still cooks for them, cleans up, and does preparations for the next day. She doesn’t get Sundays, sick days, or holidays.
So you see, though she doesn’t go out to work in an office, she still works all day.
She takes care of the mental and physical health of her family. She is their rock. Her opinions and suggestions always help them in life.
And she inspires me to give my best as she does it every day”.
“Any guesses who I am talking about?” Sumit continued, looking at their son.
Viraj pondered for a moment, and then looked up at Radha, “Mamma, you do all these things for us. I never realized how hard you work. The woman Papa is talking about is you… right? He is inspired by you! I am going to write about you now!”
Sumit patted his son on the back “smart boy”. And Viraj ran to his room.
Radha just stared at her husband, eyes glistening with tears.
Sumit got up, came around the table, and kissed her forehead. “Don’t ever forget how awesome you are.”
Radha sat there a while, and realized that somewhere along the way, she too had forgotten the woman she was, and silently thanked her husband for reminding her.
She vowed to herself, “I will never forget the woman that I am, a daughter, a mother, a wife, but more than that, I am a smart, hard-working, intelligent, and as her husband said, an amazing and inspiring woman“.