I suppose if we were to look back during our mothers’ times, raising children then and now have it’s own differences. Now, it may not be as easy as before to earn money or have a sustainable yet comfortable way of living due to the world’s changing trends. Things are more expensive now, studying and then getting a job may also not be as easy and I may be at the risk of generalizing here but I think that both women and men nowadays have more challenges compared to those starting off in the past.
Moreover, the “rise of women” brings along with it a whole flurry of factors, like how more women are going into the workforce, how many now may have a stronger sense of self or have stronger wants to achieve their own dreams and I suppose this factor could be attributed to the increased exposure we each gain through the media and technology, such as the internet. I suppose women may also think “Hey, I worked and slugged it through my education years, and upon graduation, I still have things I want to achieve yet I may still want to have children, but where does that leave me?”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to preach that “oh women should just stay at home/work to support the family” or if you pick one over the other, that it automatically computes you into being a bad/selfish person. Neither am I trivializing the role of men or saying that they are less important in the balance of life, but I am saying that the struggles now are different and as much as people may have their own respective definite views about who should work/who does more, I am for the view that the struggles now are real and we have to adapt ourselves to our own situations. I am for the view that it is not only about us striving or pushing forward alone in life, that when it comes to taking your partner, your family, your children into account, we all ultimately need to do what is good for everyone yet do not do a disfavor to ourselves.
It is a fine line, trying to balance your own needs and that of others, and no one said that it would be easy or that it is a natural given thing simply because you may have achieved great things in the past. Just because you were a great student or prayed all the time, it does not mean you would not be tested or you would not have to try and do better throughout life. We all may have our own dreams and while we may sometimes feel it is a choice we have to make, ours or “theirs”, it does not mean you cannot balance both. It may just take some extra time and effort, but it is doable In Sha Allah.
It’s unnecessary to put extra pressure on yourself, when what may be needed is merely to reflect once in a while and more so during times that you may be unsure about what you would like to do next. During times of uncertainty, it is better to brave yourself and try in whatever you do each day until you get your bearing/direction again. It is normal for us to be scared by what we may not know, but we should not let that fear paralyze us from making the most out of those days.
I met up with a friend recently and we talked about where we are in life now and I realized we both have been quite busy hence a lot of time had lapsed since our last meet up, but I was so happy for her that she is achieving and doing great things in life and is in a good place. She also had pointed out how depressed/frustrated I had been just a few months ago and how things seem different yet better for me now. Alhamdulillah, God tests us for a reason and through our struggles, which we may or may not have wanted or deemed good for us, they can lead us to somewhere better in the end if we try.
I remember when AK was first born, I wanted to stop my world and be there all the time for her but now in retrospect, being there all the time and still having her as my world were not parallels. She is still my world and while I work and study, I realize I have more of a purpose in the sense that my gains will also be her gains and I make full and better use of all our time together. I also make better use of the hours I have in a day and am able to prioritize and multitask better than I ever did. I still get to play with her and hear her snore at night as she cuddles between Mr Grumpy and I, I still get to feel her love and watch her grow up yet I am also happy that I am working towards her future.
When you have to take a good look and be honest with yourself, you tend to realize a few things. I realized that having different challenges and still caring about everything I love helped me become a better wife to Mr Grumpy and mother to AK. When you are busy, you become more empathetic and kind towards others and it is through hard work, that I realize there still is so much to be grateful for and it is best to make full use of it all and to do better. Yes, mummy, all that you have said in the past makes sense now haha. It is also important to take some time off to chill (and not bulldoze your way through all the time!) and okay, I really have to say I have found it super comforting to pray.
Yes, I am aware that I may not always get what I want just because I may pray but I also know that God is the greatest of planners and while He loves us yet does not need our love or prayers, we should pray to Him as a form of betterment for ourselves. Praying helps me calm down and helps me overthink less, especially when I get totally caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. It gives me the peace and serenity I need daily to realign myself, to remember and pray for those I love, and because it is active, it is even more comforting throughout trying times to give thanks and ask for comfort from the Greatest one of all.
Being a mother may be trying at times, I sometimes feel a pang when I leave in the morning and AK cries in her tone of betrayal to Mr Grumpy and I, but it is still most definitely one of the most satisfying gifts I could have never imagined. I think it is beautiful if you can reach a level whereby you carry your challenges/struggles well yet be humble in realizing life can change in an instant. It can unnerve you, but when you embrace it and you give life your full effort alongside humility, you really start tasting life in a whole new flavor.
(For the record, that’s a balloon… I am not pregnant hehehe)
In other news, AK is turning one in about 2 weeks… She walks so confidently now and seems to like bullying other babies for now…WHY DO KIDS GROW UP SO FAST??