Dear Working Mother,
How have you been? Did you meet that deadline for your presentation? Did you get sleep when you got home? Is your baby feeling better now? Has your boss forgiven you for bringing your kid to the office because there was no one else he could stay with? Has your mother-in-law stopped telling you that; ‘tumhein ghar ke kaam karne chahiyein ye bahir ke kaam auraton ke liye nahi hote’? I hope everything’s going well and you’re getting the respect and love that you DESERVE.
I’m writing to you as a young girl and as a daughter. Thank you for sacrificing so much for your family. Thank you for being strong enough to pursue your passion despite your community telling you at every turn ‘ye larkiyon ka kaam nahi hai’. Thank you for inspiring me to work hard and for being the best role model you can be. Thank you for coming home after 8 hours in the office and hugging your child with a smile. Thank you for sacrificing your sleep to help him with his homework and give him dinner. Thank you for silently listening to everyone at the office say ‘iss ka toh bacha hai, she can’t get any work done’ and thank you for proving them wrong. Thank you for bearing all of those judge-y comments from the committee aunties. Thank you for working with your husband to put your child in the best school. Thank you for being one of the bravest, strongest and kindest people I know. Thank you for showing the world how brilliant and successful women can be in the office. Thank you for teaching your child about hard work and sacrifice and raising him in the best way you can. Thank you for being the pillar in his world while your world collapses around you.
You’re amazing, please keep doing what you’re doing. I look up to you and aspire to be half of the woman you are.
– Zayna Ahsan, Volunteer from Eye on Ivy