“But, why Riya? We will enjoy the stay with family. Mummy and Papa are so thrilled to go on this vacation.”
“But I was hoping to go and stay with my parents for this 2-week break. It’s been 2 years and I have just stayed with them for 3 to 4 days. I miss them but between you, your parents, and work, I hardly get time to stay with my parents.”
“Riya, but, what would we tell Mummy and Papa? They would feel bad about the cancellation of the plan. Do you want them to be sad?”
While I was thinking about how Rahul casually spoke about his parents feeling and conveniently forgot to think about mine, he further added:
“Let’s go ahead with this vacation and we can plan to go to your parent’s place some other time.”
And, as he closed the topic for discussion so conveniently, I was left wondering, how much do I need to sacrifice and compromise. But this isn’t only my reality. It is the ugly truth of many Indian married women.
Marriages in our country aren’t about the happiness of women, it is rather about how much women can compromise and give up to make others happy.
She is left with no other choice but to find her happiness in other’s happiness. And, if she tends to focus on her own, she is either labeled as unsanskaari or selfish or self-centered.
It is heartbreaking how even we ourselves, tend to stand on the measuring scale, to weigh our sacrifices and assess ourselves how better wives or mothers, we have been!
Neither marriage nor life is easy for the ones like me, who don’t want to bow down to age-old social norms.
After marriage, we are handed over the checklist of endless sacrifices and compromises that our husbands, in-laws, relatives, or sometimes, even our kids want us to do for them. Many of us are raised to be proud of making these sacrifices.
From giving up on our parents to sacrificing our dreams and career, married women have one consistent Dharma – to sacrifice for others!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against making sacrifices. I do understand the success of any relationship lies in how much people can sacrifice for each other. But, I have a concern when the burden of making sacrifices fall on just one gender!
In my life, I have been bashed by many people because I have been vocal about how our society expects one gender to bear the burden of sacrifices to make others happy!
And, most of those people have been women.
These are the women, who are happily making sacrifices in the name of being responsible WIVES rather than WOMEN. These are the women, who happily and proudly accepted that as a responsible wife, we are expected to take care of our husband’s parents, and give up on our own.
These are the women, who have accepted that their happiness comes last. These are the women, who have happily and proudly accepted that women’s core purpose is to sacrifice their own dreams, dignity, career, and much more for others’ happiness.
It pains me how we, women, are so used to accepting social wrong-doing than standing for our own rights that we bash other women who do. So, here is a humble request:
I know you are so used to sacrificing for others that you have forgotten about your happiness. In the quest to be a better wife or a better mother, you have proudly and happily accepted that you need to give up on your dreams and happiness.
Till when you will keep sacrificing for others? Till when you will let others dictate the checklist of sacrifices that you have to make to be happy?
Please don’t let society make marriage an excuse for forcing women to make endless sacrifices and compromises.
Stand for yourself and your dreams! Because, if you don’t then who will? If not now, then when?
P.S. If any of you are wondering, what happened to my trip. I went to my parents and the rest of the family went for a vacation. Because, I decided to stand for myself. Hope you will too!