When a woman gives birth to her first child, two births take place simultaneously. The birth of a child. And the birth of a mother.
I am a single mother to 5 sons and only one daughter. Daughter of which I thought I could confide in, in times of need. Of which I thought we could take turn to brush and braid each other’s hair in the nights. Of which I thought we could plan out the week’s menu. Of which I thought we could exchange views while shopping.
If only she could be the daughter I had wanted her to be, I’d share with her what it was like to come of age at the onset of feminism and the sexual revolution, of the euphoria and agony that resulted from being freed to sort out through a staggering array of choices in life, love and career.
I would share with her that when I was her age, I wanted to be stronger and smarter than just being an uneducated housewife stuck in the kitchen. That my outrage at the oppression of women stuck in their kitchens, helped me turn into a savvy woman who’s determined never to become stagnant.
I would share with her how I grew into a woman ablazed with ambition despite the trials and obstacles I had to face with her father (ex-hubby). Share with her how I was always trying to get somewhere better, a woman who was after a perfect job, a perfect body, a perfect relationship all at once.
Then I will also share with her that no matter how high I climb, what I crave most in the deepest cave of my heart back then was, to marry a good man and to have a bunch of kids.
I would stop, smile, sigh and probably start crying as I share with her the extraordinary details when I had my first baby (her eldest brother Qayyum), and the chaos of raising 6 kids. I would tell her how their presence and much needed attention would sometimes derail my ambition to climb up the career ladder. But somehow, its their presence that made me strengthen my bond with AlMighty Allah. I would describe to her how she and her brothers captured me in fleeting moments, and ultimately drew me closer to the spiritual peace I have always been searching for.
I would share with her how I dreamed to live a substantial life. A productive, passionate, charitable and open-minded life. I would pass on to her what my mother had always told me – “If you work hard and never give up, you can be whatever you want to be. BUT NEVER let your profession be an obstacle to knowing and loving your family. Raising good kids is a noble goal in itself.”
I would tell her that should she decide later to make her kids a priority, she should never feel that she had failed her feminist cause. Because then, I would share with her that even if I was liberated, independent and successful, surrendering to motherhood will be the most liberating and powerful thing for me.
I would reminisce about how I lepak a lot in the A&W or KFC outlets with my college peers talking about going everywhere, being everything we wanted to be, trying everything and being the best. Then I’d shrug and laugh and admit that later I seemed content just sitting at my kitchen table. Coz I suddenly realised I wanted to be the greatest mum! I would warn her that being a mother, would suck her dry, she may fight it, resent it or even run way from it all (like I did to Italy uuuuuwwaaaaa). But eventully she would come back (like I did), fully, forcefully, after having discovered a primal and breathtaking happiness.
Alas, my daughter doesnt live in the same nest with me. But whenever she comes to visit me, I will ensure that she, as well as her brothers, hear plenty from me about how to love to the fullest, how to live outrageously. I will tell them about the right and wrong turns along the way. And hopefully, they will learn something about what really matters.
I do take this motherhood assignment quite seriously. I cant afford to remain stagnant and continue with fault-finding with exhubby. It doesnt benefit anybody, especially not towards the morale of my kids. The judgement to punish belongs solely to AlMighty Allah. I am determined to work very hard, alongside with my prayers and do’a to my Creator, towards nurturing and educating my boys and develop them to become good men. Men who will be tender, flexible and responsible husbands in the future.Men who will become fathers who will love their children with all their might.
And as for my daughter, I will then share with her, that on the day she will give birth to her first child, its a day of two births …… her baby’s, and she herself, as a mother. Welcome to motherhood 🙂
To all mothers – HAPPY MOTHER’s DAY!
– narrated with love & sentiments –
Filed under: Life's Reason | Tagged: career mother, daughter, faith, family, happiness, inspirational, life experiences, Life's Diary, mother's day, mother's love, motherhood, motivational, religion, sacrifice, single mum, son |