Woman with a Dream – A Family Fable
Anu was one of the best cooks I ever came across. Her recipes were so delicious that our office colleagues line up when she opens her lunch bag. Sruthi and Thaman are her lucky kids, always got their food served fresh & delicious. And so was their dad. Anu always cooks a little extra, just like my mom. She didn’t want to run out of food when someone wanted a little extra. I was so curious to know what she would do with the leftovers.
So I asked, and she said: “I would have it the next day for breakfast or lunch, simple!”. I couldn’t help myself from asking her back. “What about the others?” Anu replied, “Oh, I make them fresh breakfast every day. My husband will start complaining if I serve him the leftovers. And my kids won’t touch them. They would even choose to starve. “
“Well, that doesn’t sound good, does it? You are just like my mom.” I grunted. “You cook the most delicious food and you should have it before them”. Anu looked puzzled; she took to moment to respond. “I am a mother, a wife and these are the little sacrifices I make for my family.”
The chat continued, “Did your mother sacrifice too?”. Anu was quick “of course, she did. She always served me food fresh, but these are little things, why do you take it seriously?”
Me – “Do you get it?”
Anu: “Get what? I don’t understand.”
Now I had to explain to her, “Well, it’s right there. By sacrificing your mom taught you the wrong lesson. She didn’t realize that by sacrificing her fresh food, she taught you how to sacrifice .” I paused for a moment. She was quiet and I took that for an acknowledgment, I continued. “You are not just a mother and a wife. You are Woman with a Dream“
There was an awkward moment of silence. Anu broke it. “Not every dream comes true. I wanted to open a restaurant. Look at me, here in front of computers all day.”
I wanted to help her. I know that was her dream long ago, she had said this a dozen times. “Kids don’t learn from what you teach. They learn from what you do. You sacrifice your dreams for them and they, in turn, sacrifice it for their kids and it goes on on a merry-go-round. except its not merry.” And I ended with a question, as usual. “Why didn’t you follow your dreams?”
Anu returned to realization, “Wait a minute, do you think I didn’t follow my dreams because my mom ate the leftovers?”
She had it. “Exactly! If you make the best choices for you, that’s what your kids would learn. It’s not about food, it’s a practical lesson on decision making.” “Being a woman should not stop you from following your dreams. You shouldn’t be here. Instead, you should be working on your dream, your restaurant”.
Anu is not a fictional character. She is 90% of the “mother or wife” who sacrifices herself for the so-called “family.” Bond within families doesn’t get stronger by sacrificing the little things. Instead, it gets strong by sharing instead. Don’t just share happiness and joy, share your pain, doubts, worries, sorrows, and, most importantly, the leftovers and YOUR DREAM.
You Are Woman With A Dream