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         Joint families today are no longer conventional with a rigid setup and in many households members of every generation have their clearly defined space and activities. In spite of this there are many cases where knowingly or unknowingly activities overlap and the member who bears the brunt is you know WHO?

the insignificant errand lady

        All of will agree that there are a few delicacies and customs which are exclusively mil special and yes you cannot even dream to achieve that level of expertise. The best part is , it is not even expected from you as it is HER FORTE and of course she dislikes any sort of competition. Age is not a deterrent and even though her limbs are not as agile as her mind she tends to continue the same practices. What’s more , she believes that since she is doing the major work it is okay for you (who according to her has all the free time) to do little errands. Let us look at a few situations.


Your mil is proud of her culinary skills and decides she is going to impress the guests with Sooji halwa, Bonda, Chutney and coffee. For all this she needs a LITTLE HELP

  • To crush the cardamoms
  • Measure the sugar
  • Chop the dry fruits
  • Grate coconut
  • Finely cut chilies

And YOU end up doing all this in between your usual chores of regular cooking, serving, cleaning up not to forget washing machine sacrificing your afternoon siesta and just when you feel like taking a break the guests arrive promptly. You are once again on your feet serving all the hot delicacies and waiting on them.


  See how well I managed the show and everyone appreciated the dishes. It will be useful if you learn a little of these and not depend on hotels.


      Definitely your mil has the best knowledge of all procedures and variety of prasads but as usual you are at the receiving end with endless

  • Do it this way not that way
  • Keep it here not there
  • Clean up the pooja room
  • Put the rangoli
  • Arrange the flowers , fruits etc. etc.

And all your routine work goes for a toss.


   As it is you have little work how come you drag it till afternoon after the puja. You need to be more quick.

SITUATION 3: Before Diwali

          It is a general custom to distribute Home Made sweets and savories and preparation for all this begins one week in advance. Of course you need not do any major work but little things like

  • Going to flour mill
  • Soaking stuff
  • Taking out tins and kadai
  • Measuring out flour
  • Purchasing extra required items

 Amidst the rest of house hold duties.


Just when you  are about to lie down after along afternoon your hubby waking up from his siesta coolly remarks “ Why don’t you go and help my mom , look how she is toiling in the kitchen.”


The travel arrangements,  itinerary, menu has been taken care of but you need to do small jobs like

  • Filling bottles (outside water not good for kids)
  • Hunting for extra carry bags
  • Packing emergency medicines, tissues,snacks etc.
  • Taking last minute Xerox copies
  • Keep count of luggage

 And above all this do kids packing ( which includes hubby) and your packing.


See only because we planned so well and arranged everything the trip was smooth.

             Finally since you have free time there is no harm in doing OTHER LITTLE ERRANDS LIKE paying bills, accompanying  an elderly relative to doctor, shopping ————THESE LITTLE ERRANDS ARE ALWAYS ENDLESS AND VALUELESS AS MOST OF THE TIMES THEY GO UNNOTICED.

                The fact is most of these situations cannot be helped and you actually don’t mind doing your bit taking all the remarks with a pinch of salt as afterall They Are Family. But there should also be times when you need to put your foot down, highlight your contribution, make sure that you get due credit , and even take over at times and show that you can also do otherwise you will always remain The Insignificant Errand Lady.

 Athena Mira

Its been a long break but Athena Mira is back and she is all set to make you understand that being the doormat always is not good. Once in a while stand up for yourself and never let you own self worth deteriorate. Catch more on the doormat syndrome with The Workplace Doormat – Is That You? and Casual Crushes And Being The Marital Doormat.

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5 Responses

  1. A very simple post that helps us understand that how many such women who slog day in and day out get nothing but expert remarks. Its time to actually make that stand and show the world that we are actually individuals who do a lot of work, not for the money and definitely not for the criticism but for love and our fair share of respect.

  2. dinesh sharma says:

    I cant say that i can understand this in the home front but reading your post I felt like I am the errand gentleman in my office. Its just that I am the junior and I make all the presentation and prepare all the quotes etc and I get yelled at a lot but never appreciated for the work that I do. Is it that difficult to praise someone? Is it impossible to give a pat on the back?

  3. Subhadra Rao says:

    Athena Mira, I can totally empathize and sympathize with this situation. First three years of my married life I didn’t even know how to make coffee. My mother in law who is an exceptional cook handled the entire home front. Unfortunately she broke her wrist and it was at that time that I got a chance to handle the kitchen and the home. It was only after that everyone including my two year old son began to give me some respect and treat me as a family member and not just a maid.

  4. Sunitha Shashi says:

    Stumbled on this post today as I was searching for something to beat my depression. Guess all that nneds to be done is to get out of the current mold that I am in. Cant be a doormat anymore.

    Thankyou Athena Mira for making me not feel alone.

  5. mira says:

    It is time we make all our efforts count and voice heard. We deserve it.

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