Dawn's when you wake up, lady!

Dawn's when you wake up, lady!

Being a homemaker has traditionally meant giving up on one’s personal aspirations. It needn’t be so. Lavi M Kumar offers some inspiring examples of women, who have dared to revive their dreams.

As the dawn breaks into a new day, she wakes up with new aspirations, new plans to achieve her long-lost dreams.

She is looking for an identity for herself, to be recognised as someone other than a wife or a mother. Some of her plans get cooked and packed away in school and office lunch boxes, some washed away with the dirty laundry.

Some are neatly stacked away as clean utensils, to be used for the rest of the day. Maybe, she dropped some of her ideas at the grocery shop, while others are preserved with the monthly ration supplies.

As the day moves on and the bright rays of light surrender to the darkness of dusk, her dreams tone down with the setting sun. Will she never ever try again to reach for her dreams?... Nay! She is the new-age home manager (more logical than terming her a homemaker). Her “I can manage it all” attitude can put the best of corporate managers to shame. She is not done yet; she’s just waiting for a new dawn, to wake up with new plans and more excitement.

At the age of 55, when many think of retirement or settling down to a quiet evening, Anitha Banerjee starts a new chapter in her life. Coming from a conservative background, she always nurtured a dream of becoming a doctor. After marriage, she wanted to tutor kids, but her spoken English was a hurdle in this path.

Anitha, the fighter that she is, scoured all the English books in her reach and became her own master, finally achieving her goal. She taught at home and some good educational institutions, as and when her hectic family life left her with some spare time.

When her kids were old enough to take care of themselves and she was relatively free of her ‘family duties’, she decided to give a second chance to her long-lost wish. She applied for a Master’s programme in nutrition. Her dreams completely overpowered her age and other constraints, when last year, she completed her Master’s from a reputed institution.

This achievement is not the end, but the beginning of a wonderful and enriching life ahead. “If you have a dream and you don’t have the means and time to fulfil it, don’t just forget it. Write it on a paper, keep in touch with the dream regularly, until one day it becomes a reality for you”, suggests Anitha, to all those who have a dream to fulfill.

Slow and steady
A long wait for kids to settle down or a voluntary retirement from our workplace...are these necessary conditions or prerequisites for any homemaker to reach for their dreams? If you are nodding your head in a ‘yes’, then you are definitely
mistaken.


Anju Agarwal, a successful designer and proud mother of two, has a story to share. “I was always an energetic person, beaming with innumerable ideas of leading my life
constructively. Family duties were and are, always a priority for me, but I also had a wish to explore the real me.” When you are not aiming for money or a conventional career, then something else drives you to your dreams. This feeling of proving herself was what motivated Anju to choose a difficult path.

“When my daughter was just six-months old, I would wait for her to go to sleep and instead of napping with her, I would leave her in the safe arms of my trusted neighbours. I would use those two hours to run around the market, looking for designing material.” Anju did this for quite some time, even managing to run a small freelance jewellery designing business from home. After trying diverse fields in designing, she found her final calling as an accessories designer.

“Initially, I would only work in the afternoons, when my kids were off to school. I was not greedy for quick success and was thoroughly enjoying this slow, but steady journey towards my dreams. I had given my one hundred percent as a mother and now when my kids are grown up, I want to give my one hundred percent to my work and passion,” she says.

Today, her husband and kids are known by her name and her daughter aspires to become like her. “There is no perfect time to accomplish your dreams. Set small achievable goals and move slowly towards them. Enjoy the journey of
self-discovery, instead of stressing on the final destination,” says Anju, now 41, and still as enthusiastic as ever.

Wrong sense of altruism
Many homemakers are made to believe that thinking about oneself is selfish and irresponsible behaviour. Their lives are supposed to revolve around their husbands, children and families only.

Dr Manjari Bhatnagar begs to differ.

“After my daughter was born, with support from my husband and in-laws, I managed to complete my doctorate in statistics. Since then, I have juggled with many professions, teaching mathematics to MBA students to working at a heart research centre to films and theatre. I got my priorities correct, right from the beginning; whatever happened, my family came first. I always made it a point to return home before the children arrived from school,” says Manjari, dwelling on her
interesting journey.

Today, as the director of Samiksha Foundation (an NGO caring for children with cancer), she has found contentment. “I may not have risen in my original career as a scientist, but I have lived an enriched life. And now my priorities have shifted to my kids at my NGO...Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself,” she says.

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain,” goes a saying, “but all the
happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” Ask Manjari, Anju and Anitha. Everyone - homemakers, too - can achieve their dreams, even as they
continue to lead a satisfying family life. So, if you are looking to tread a new path, just set your priorities right and head towards your goals. You will reach the peak, eventually. There’s a new dawn awaiting you...

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