I have to admit I have so much respect for mom’s out there that juggle work ~ whether it is self employment or working for someone else, keeping their houses clean, dinner ready every night by 6, have healthy marriages and friendships, stay diligent in their prayers and true to their religion, helping with homework, taking the kids to practice, playdates, make sure their kids get a bath and are in bed on time… and still have time for themselves… making it all look so easy.
I feel like sometimes I fail or fall short at a lot of those aspects. Looking back at my childhood and all the things my mom did for us, she made it look so easy. Being adult now I still feel she is my wonder woman! Mom’s sacrifice a lot to ensure their kids have what they need to grow to be strong, educated, independent and respectful adults. My mom turned down promotions with more pay so she would be available for us, be able to take us to practice, watch our games, help us with homework…
I have stepped down from positions, not because I couldn’t handle the work or didn’t want the challenge but because I wanted to focus on my family and be here for my little girl. As much as I lose my temper sometimes, because she is in that stage where everything I say goes in one ear and out the other, or because it takes her 2 hours to eat her dinner… I want to be here to help her, teach her, and show her the love and respect and mother showed me and instilled in me growing up.
I want to be more hands on, and more patient. I suppose that is one thing that as she grows she will teach me. Some say patience is a virtue, I say it is a gift you learn, not everyone has it and not everyone can teach it. I struggle with patience everyday in my job, while driving, with my children. I feel over the last few years I have learned to be more patient with at least my children, and when she does something right or good or helpful and I say thank you, or praise her for being so smart and helpful her face lights up and its all worth it.
I used to be a workaholic, would pick up extra shifts any day, any time… wanted more money to get out of debt, take vacation, go shopping… but money isn’t everything. I read something the other day on Pinterest…and then realized it was from the movie The Godfather II
The only wealth in this world is children. More than all the money and power on earth.
Apart from this movie being one of my all-time favorites. The character Michael Corleone, the head of the family and godfather, is a lot like the person I was becoming. He worked and worked, he was tired all the time – or at least he looked it. Thought the things he did for his family were the right things and the only way to do things… in the end, he lost his wife, respect of his son, and ultimately his daughter. He died alone not surrounded by family, not wealthy like he struggled his whole life to maintain but old, alone, unloved and unwanted. Who wants that?
I don’t want to ever think about losing my family. Like his phrase said… the only wealth in this world is children, and my children are more precious to me than all the gems, money and possessions in this world.
And my wonderful husband, sure we have had our ups and downs, what marriage doesn’t, but looking back all those ups and downs are what made us who we are today. The parents we have become and the spouses we are to eachother. His happiness and approval mean so much to me. I was raised Roman Catholic, he was raised in a strong Islamic family his whole life. So our upbringing and experiences are very different! Everyday I am learning and striving to be a good wife and mother as I see I need to be in the teachings of Allah (swt) but also for myself, to feel complete and happy because without a strong and healthy and happy family… what else is left? As I lay here at nap time with my baby in the bassinet beside me, my little girl sleeping next to me and knowing my husband will be home in a few hours with a smile on his face greeting us as he walks in the door, kissing our heads… this is the life I want… peaceful and happy!
What I grew up around and what I see as the normal way of things, he doesn’t and I do my best day in and day out to retrain my mind and actions so I raise our children the right way. Am I perfect … no, but who is? I have had a slip of the tongue with my words like saying geez or gosh, which in my upbringing isn’t anything. You hear those words in cartoons, on the street, my own parents say it all the time but to him its wrong and I am constantly having to remind myself especially when I am so tired… think before you speak, are the words I want to say something that is wrong for my children to hear or will it make him upset?
Another issue that is a constant battle within myself and relationships is my tone. I grew up in a house where arguing was normal, raised voices were normal and I was taught to argue with the ones you loved meant you cared and arguing was healthy… crazy right? Most of this stems from my father… my mother is not an arguer but she knows what battles can be won and what battles are a waste… probably from the nearly 4 decades she has spent with my father. When he got upset he would just yell to get his point across… probably because hes partially deaf and wanted to be able to hear himself and make sure we heard him too (at least thats what my brother and I came to believe as we got older).
Also punishments… how do you punish your kids? Spanking, time out, silent treatment… I was raised that if you act up you get a spanking, or get things taken away, or if you back talked or said a bad word you got soap in your mouth… my husband believes in the silent treatment which…. in my opinion is the worst thing you could do to a child, it doesn’t solve anything and they don’t learn from their mistakes.
Not consistent… I will admit I am not consistent in my prayers. Everytime I turn my back on my daughter she is coloring her wall in marker, or getting into food in the kichen, spoiling her dinner. She says she wants to pray with me then lays on the floor or runs into the kitchen to drink water and turns on the tv… so I wash up to pray and baby cries, or she does something that requires my immediate attention. So I chose attending to my children over prayers… then I need to start dinner before it gets too late… then baby is hungry again, or its bathtime or I need to do dishes, or fold laundry…. the list goes on and on, by the time its bed time, I have prayed maybe twice if I am lucky and I am so tired I fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow. Allah forgive me for my transgressions and help me strive to be a better mother, wife, and muslima…
I need to be less negative, I need to be more positive, I need to be more steadfast in my prayers and instill the importance of prayer into my children. My mother made it look so easy, I am sure she had her moments of doubt and exhaustion but she never showed it… To all you supermoms out there, I respect you and praise you for all you do! If you are never told thank you or given the appreciation you deserve… just remember all that you do will be rewarded in your childrens futures and their childrens futures. You may not get the thank you today or tomorrow, but one day you will and all that hard work will be worth every smile, every tear and every generation to follow you!