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Does only a super clean house make a worthy woman? What if I wanted to do more fulfilling things instead of dusting and mopping everyday?
My mother surprised me with a visit this month. I was overwhelmed to see her and we both hugged as she entered my home. It had been a long time since she saw me.
On entering, the first thing she said was,“You don’t take care of yourself, see how thin you look.”
I smiled and said, “Mom, I am not thin, see! How wonderfully I have maintained myself.”
“Haan-Hann today’s girls…”, she began and then stopped all of sudden. Her smile faded and I saw her eyes examining my house.
“What is this Ritu? Your house looks scattered and unorganized. There are toys all over the floor. There is a layer of dirt settled on this vase. The ceiling fans are so dirty, as if haven’t cleaned since a few months.”
“Mom please don’t start all this. I was very exhausted last night, so I went directly to sleep without assembling the toys. I had cleaned this vase just the day before yesterday, and can’t you see I am not tall enough to reach the ceiling fan to clean them, even with the help of a stool? Rohit has promised to help me as soon as he gets free,” I said.
“Do not give me excuses Ritu. You should keep your house clean. Anyone can come anytime. What if your mother-in-law would have come, instead of me? She would have loaded you with taunts,” my mom said as she got picking up the toys.
“Mummy its 6 AM. The day has just started. Soon Nevaan will get up, I have to cook for him, make breakfast and lunch. I can’t just jump on to cleaning my house. After completing the important household work, I give an hour daily to clean and dust the house. Leave the toys, I will pick them up later. Have a cup of tea,” I said.
My mom gave me an angry look, as she sipped her tea, sitting on the sofa.
“You are a lazy homemaker Ritu. Just look at me. I used to get up at 5 am. I never kept a maid and did all the cleaning, sweeping and dusting by myself. After making breakfast, I would send you and your brother to school, and your father to office. I used to clean the sofa, kitchen platform, dining table, fridge and flower vases every day. Every month I would clean the ceiling fans, drawers, cupboards, and shelves. My house would dazzle like a diamond. I thought you would be my shadow, but you aren’t”, my mother complained.
I remained silent for a few minutes and then broke my silence, “I am sorry mom. I am not your shadow and I never want to be. I do not want to spend my 50 years just cleaning my house and waiting for someone to come and appreciate me. I have many other things to do. I am a doctor. I give 2 hours daily to my clinic, I am a writer and in spite of wasting my time in cleaning a already cleaned house.
I would prefer writing some masterpiece. I am ambitious and I have to push my career. I am a mother who wants to play with her child, and to help him with his homework rather than picking his toys every half hour. I am a wife who just can’t spend her whole time serving her husband, cleaning his clothes and making his bed. I want to go with him on a long drive and candle light dinner. I am a human being who prefers to sleep when exhausted, rather than picking up toys before going to bed.
I love you mom for whatever you did for us. But mom, I can’t be you. I have many important things to do than to waste 6 hours of a day and 50 years of my life cleaning my home. Cleaning can wait for some time. The bed can be made a little later, but I don’t want to miss precious moments in my life, nor can I compromise with my health.
Twenty five years I have spent with you. It was only occasionally that someone would visit you uninformed and suddenly. In my case, if someone comes, including my mother in law, I really don’t bother what they think or how they judge me on seeing a few scattered toys, clothes or little dust on flower vases.
I am proud of myself because I am a friendly wife and a caring mom. I am good doctor and an appreciated writer. I am happy and contented with these titles.”
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