A husband’s thanks – and other real stories

This Women’s Day we received some heartwarming stories from you. While some of you gave us tips, others left thank you notes for their significant others. We bring to you the stories we loved the most. Read and share. Happy Women's Day to all you beautiful women.

Noopur Vasuraj, Copywriter, Artist and Poet from Bangalore writes:

My story is not sad; it is not tragic; it is not monumental… in fact it isn't even a story worth telling. I wake up every morning to go to a job I love, I laugh and cry with friends who love me, and I go back home to a family who has always been supportive. I complain about my weight occasionally and wish my hair was longer or shorter, depending on my mood. I have been gifted with an artistic talent and sometimes I even like my personality. I'm a woman, a girl, a girl-child, a sister and daughter… but I live in a world that judges me from the eyes of a man. And that, I have to say, makes me a fighter.

I am not here to berate men and I am not here to hate a gender either. However, I struggle every day to allow my individuality, my presence as a woman, to shine. Let me be clear (at the risk of sounding lazy): I don't like struggle. Least of all one that forces me to compete with a man.

All around me I see women who are strong, focused and driven. I see them earn a living, drink a beer and sometimes, burp because they couldn't hold it in. I am one of these women. I lift weights in a gym (albeit bi-monthly), on an off day I wear a dirty t-shirt if it smells clean enough and, when things get stressful, I smoke a cigarette from my local paan-wala. And even though I live in a cosmopolitan city amongst proud educated citizens, I still hear male whispers condoning my actions and questioning my femininity. 

And I ask, why?

Some people scoff when I pose that question, some people shake their head at my ignorance and naivety and often, so often, most people raise their fingers in the air and, with a patronizing grin exclaim, "AH! The battle of the sexes!" Not so ironically, most of these exclamations are from men.

They don't see that I'm not looking for a battle.

Most of the men I know do not judge women. They treat me as an equal. They listen to my opinions because I am an individual. They hug me because they know I'm strong and admire me because I am hard-working.

But I also know men who don't do any of those three things. They imply that I'm weak, they grunt at my efforts and they judge me when I try to be different. And these are the men who make me a fighter.

For that I want to thank them. I want to let them know that for every time they tell me I'm wrong, I put myself out there to prove I'm right. For every time they tell me I can't do something because I'm a woman, I create new ideas just to prove to myself I can. And for every time they tell me I'm too small or delicate to fight them, I just use my brains.

I love the opposite sex for the way they look, for the way they think, for the way they love and for who they are. But I also love them for making me a fighter.

And most of all, I love them for making me a woman.

Happy Women's Day to all the beautiful woman who see themselves, and others, through the eyes of a fighter.

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Next>> Chiradeep says 'Thank you' to his wife

Chiradeep Patra - Accountant for a NGO and husband, based in Kolkata, writes:

'Never say, NO.' It won't be wrong if I say this is the lifemotto of a lady about whom I want to share today on the occasion ofInternational Women's Day.

She is a very simple lady, who doesn't like to show off. Butnobody can match up to her with regards to balancing household work with herteaching job. She knows the costs of vegetables, mutton, chicken, and fish. Sheknows the market much better than I. She is always ready to save a penny bysacrificing something or other. Over and above all that, if somebody asks helpin between her work she immediately gets ready to step out. I always tell herto say, 'no' when she is tired or too busy. But as I said earlier, she is awoman who never says no. In this world of busy-ness where women hold highaspirations, try to match up with the men, and seek a career, finding a womanwho loves to give time to others is veryrare.      

Yes! I am talking about my wife. She is not a housewife buta perfect homemaker. In my opinion a homemaker is a woman who balances everywork that she finds in front of her so perfectly that others won't get a traceof it. She makes me so proud doing so much all by herself. 

In the Bible, the wise king Solomon rightly wrote, "Awife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

This Women's Day, I want to tell my wife, she is moreprecious to me than everything else in this world. Happy Women's Day, Asmita.

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Next >> Megha Baghra, a young married working woman shares her tips on how to juggle home and a career.


Megha Baghra -- Working woman, married, from Mumbai writes:

I'm from Aamchi Mumbai. On the occasion of "Women's Day", I would like toshare my thoughts on how I juggle work and home.

I'm a 23-year-old married girl. I got married early (at the age of 21). It was a love marriage. And my new life started. I would not sayit was a new birth but I definitely faced new things I never seen or experienced in my life before.

I spent the first year after marriage travelling, exploring new bits and pieces of married life, getting acquainted with in-laws. Bythe year ended, I realized I cannot sit idle at home, and decided to work.After few hiccups I got a job in a MNC. Life in a city like Mumbaiisn’t that easy; I would get tootired by the time I reached home. I couldn't even eat dinner because of exhaustion.

You see, the kind of family I come from,these things were too much for me. I was young, not mature enough,nobody was around... I was totally on my own. It was very difficult for me tohandle office and home at the same time. But then my husband helped me. Wediscussed a lot and set our priorities. We divided our responsibilities whichhelped a lot to maintain balance between the office and the home.

And here, I’m sharing the same.

1)   Balance:

 Balance between personal and professional life (office and home) is veryessential. One should not carry office work or psychological baggage to home.You will be very irritated eventually.

 “So by the time you step out of office, forget everythingabout it.”

 2)   Be Practical:

You have to be littlerealistic in today's world. Be bold. Otherwise you will be a rabbit in lion’sterritory. It will help in long term and also will help to maintain mentalpeace.

 3)   Management:

No one can manage stuffthe way women can! Plan your day-to-daywork in advance. It could be what dress you will be wearing next day or whatwill be the dinner menu;  A presentation or some pending work. Thistime management helps a lot.

 4)    Share your responsibilities:

Your family should understand oryou should make them understand that it cannot be ONE MAN ARMY. You need theirhelp.

 5)   Quality Time:   

Feel goodfactor is very important in everybody’s life in one or another way. Spend some time for yourselves. Go to a spa or shop; anything that makes you feel relaxed.

These tips helped me, hope will work for you too.

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NEXT >> Neha Dixit shares her personal experiences balancing work, home and newborn.

Neha Dixit -- Mother, Wife, Employee writes:

I returned to work three weeks ago after a six-weekmaternity leave. I hated to leave my baby, but both my partner and I need towork. I was really having difficulty managing all the roles in my life --mother, wife and employee. I spend weekends trying to catch up, but I feel asif I am drowning.

We need two incomes just to pay for housing. I have addedwork outside the home to the more traditional role ofmom-at-home/manager-of-all-household-affairs. My husband have added a fullerparenting role which includes getting up with my child at night, changing thediaper pad and participating in household maintenance, to name just a few.

Here are some tips to think about as you work to figure outyour juggling act.

1. Prioritise: Before you try to come up with solutions, itis essential that you spend some time reflecting on all that you are doing. Inthe midst of not even having enough time to sit down for a cup of coffee,making time to reflect can be challenging in and of itself. In order to figureout which things you really must do now, which things can wait and which thingsyou can let go of altogether, you need to look carefully at all of the thingsyou are currently doing and determine which are the most important. It would beuseful to have all of these discussions with your partner.

 2. Explore options: Take a look at everything you are doing,the number of hours you are working, the other responsibilities you have takenon, the demands of the house and of course, the responsibility for your child.Include in this conversation a look at your family’s budget. Are there ways tocut back for a year or two? Do you have any other resources available?A

 It is also important to look at various work options. Couldyou or your partner change your work schedule or the number of hours you work?Would it be possible to do some part of your work from home? (Some people lovethis solution and others find it brings its own challenges.) Think through manydifferent possible scenarios and try to figure out if any are doable.

 3. Share the load: Men’s participation in home and familyhas increased significantly in the last 20 years. However, statistically, thenumber of hours employed women spend on parenting and housework still greatlyexceed the number of hours that men spend doing the same tasks. This doesn’t necessarilymean that men are unwilling or uninterested. Many women feel ambivalent aboutsharing the caring. They may feel as if their expertise is being threatened bysharing more equally with their partners. Many women find themselves beingcritical of the efforts of the other parent in relation to household tasks andparenting. Many partners feel hesitant to pitch-in for fear of being“inadequate.” It is important to look carefully at the division of labor inyour family. Is it working optimally for both of you or could it be shifted?How could it be shared more equitably? Are there adjustments both parents needto make in order for it to happen?

 4. Combine tasks: Some of your many tasks can be combined.Taking a walk with baby (and partner?) after work will give you some timetogether and also a chance to stretch and exercise. You can provide a safeplace on the floor in the kitchen for your child to play, observe and talk withyou while you are fixing dinner. Taking a bath together is one way some familiesenjoy time together. Sometimes the activities will take longer, doing themtogether, but will be well worth the effort.

 5. Enjoy quality time: Remember also, that it is importantfor you to have some family time where you are focusing simply on baby, self orpartner. Babies have their own special pace and communication system. Slowingdown, getting on “baby time” and on baby’s level will allow you to reconnect insignificant ways and to join your baby in seeing the world from hisperspective. You may lie on the living room floor together or sit on the couchwith baby lying beside you. Holding and cuddling are also lovely, but it isdifferent to have time to be close to your baby just observing what he doeswith his body on his own. There is so much to see and learn and your baby willenjoy your quiet attention and responsiveness to him.

 6. Simplify: Your child will only be a baby once. Your housewill be a mess for a long time. Spend time with your baby. Clear a path throughyour house so you can get on the floor and hang-out and enjoy your baby. Verysimple, nutritious meals can be thrown together quickly. Sandwiches, smoothies,quesadillas, there are many options for 15 minutes or under dinner prep.Remember also that your baby doesn’t need things so much as she needs you.Buying lots of stuff is not only costly, it clutters up your home. Keep toys,clothes, furniture, food as simple as possible. Your child is not going toremember that $35 toy 20 years from now. She is going to remember that she hadtime where you really listened to her, enjoyed time with her and sharedyourself with her.

 7. Remember, it's a balancing act: Most parents never find amoment in which they feel perfectly caught up on all the things they expectthemselves to do. If you consider this a normal state you can learn to relaxabout it. Balance isn’t something you necessarily find as a parent, it issomething you are always moving towards. One week you will get lots of goodthings done at work and the house will be a wreck. The next week, you willleave work early to spend some extra time picking your child up at childcareand hanging out at home. The following week, you might arrange a time foryourself to exercise, but you have to leave your desk a mess and the dishesundone. Balance doesn’t happen in any one instant, but it can happen in thelong run.

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