Mummy empowerment

Lately,I’ve been thinking about motherhood and control (lack of). I’m not referring to whether my children sit still at the table when I ask, but rather how my principles effect our lives on a daily basis? Am I living the life that my heart wants to live? In my pre-children days, I had dreams about the “kind” of parent that I would be. The reality of parenting however, is of course something different. It is easy to become swallowed by the basic need to survive. Our dreams sometimes become buried under ten tons of laundry.

For me, this creates a sense of floundering and dissatisfaction. It’s not a productive place to be. The task of raising little human beings is full of promise and joy, but it’s also heavy with responsibility. We all want to see our children thrive.

Survival mode has greyed my mode of parenting. As a creative person, this has caused me great frustration, it has also pushed me into action and I’m reassessing my priorities. I want to reinvigorate myself as a parent and remember what it is that I desire for my children. I am not content living the major consumer, outer suburban dream, this was never my dream. How is it that I find myself going to KFC(halal of course!) once a week? I have always hated multinational companies and the way they eat up small business, not to mention their impact on the environment. Why has becoming a parent caused me to give up some of my ideals?

Ease, I suppose and convenience. Organic juice and sandwich bars do not have drive-throughs! With three small infants to get out of the car and navigate through shops, I have watched my principles float out the rolled-down car window. Quite simply, to live the life that I feel I should be living, the one that makes me feel comfortable inwardly, I have to try a lot harder. It involves more work.

As a sleep-deprived Mum, finding it hard to get the basic necessities done, it sometimes feels simpler to take the easy option. But the reality is that the “easy” option breeds greyness. The life that I want for my children is full of colour. I want them to feel connected to the landscape around them, to appreciate aesthetics. I do not want fast-food children spending their days glued to the television. I may have lost the “sugar wars” temporarily, but Supermum is emerging from the swamp, ready to direct this household once more!

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12 Responses to “Mummy empowerment”

  1. Hana Says:

    Mashallah, they are beautiful, your children! And I’m posting this comment that references your children’s photos here exactly because of how beautiful and vibrant and full of color and happiness their faces are– you’re doing something right. I love the time I spend as a homemeker as well as the time I spend working, but I also can feel dragged down by it– your expression “foundering and dissatisfaction” captures it well. There’s always more to do, something to put away, the next meal to think about, ironing to be done. It gets very tiresome and I feel resentment and insufficiently valued. I still don’t know how to handle this one… Maybe you’ll say things on this blog that will help me clarify my own thoughts! And thank you for inviting me to Asiya…

  2. Brooke Says:

    Yes, yes…too much to agree with while typing single handed! I’ve tried turning to convience foods at the market but almost allll have msg! Thank God my hubby works in a restaurant and my kids’ diet really could be a lot simplier than I try to make it!
    Lovely children, masha Allah!

  3. Brooke Says:

    Oh, I been meaning to send you this linky-dinky…
    http://unschooling.com/

  4. organicmuslimah Says:

    Allahu Akbar.

    You said: “It is easy to become swallowed by the basic need to survive. Our dreams sometimes become buried under ten tons of laundry.”

    Thank you. As a motherless person with lots of “ideal principles” I needed the reminder.

    God. I love this blog. Thanks for creating it.

  5. Asiya Says:

    Welcome all and thanks for commenting!
    Hana, thank you for saying I’m doing something right! I’ve been doubting my capabilities lately so it’s nice to hear that someone thinks that! I think feeling resentment and insufficiently valued is common to a lot of mothers, I certainly feel it, despite my husbands reassurances that it is otherwise.I think that when you play the role of constant caregiver, it’s not understood by people who only do it part-time.

    Thanks Brooke, for the link. It’s really interesting. I’m trying to work out education for our kids at the moment, going to post about it soon iA. I’m glad my husband doesn’t work in a restaurant, I’ve become rotund enough already! πŸ™‚

    OM, keep your ideals, I’m sure it’s possible to maintain them and have kids, it just takes work! I’m happy to create this blog, it’s a way to motivate myself actually, inshaAllah.

  6. tasmiya Says:

    Thank you for saying it! So often it’s not so much about what is best for us in the long run, but what is best right now because really I don’t have the time the kids are yelling and they’re hungry and I can’t very well whip up a meal from scratch right now because I haven’t slept all night and I’ve had to run around trying to get the kids clean and the house slightly respectable and one of the cats has vomited AGAIN! (At least that’s how it is at our place). Good for you, Supermum. Sort out your household and next you can come over and save mine πŸ™‚

  7. Asiya Says:

    Lol, Tasmiya you always make me laugh :). In my case it’s more likely to be my son pooing on the floor, than the cat vomiting, but the effect is much the same, aaaaagh! I actually managed to get the house slightly respectable this morning, first time since my baby was born four months ago! My attempt to become Supermum is an attempt to save myself. Being KFC mum just depresses me!

  8. shaz Says:

    Just thinking about these things and wanting to be a better mom is a clear indication that you already are a great mother! πŸ™‚ I think about this too… the stresses of life just sometimes make me forget about what’s most important.

  9. Hana Says:

    My mother-in-law gave me some advice yesterday, not about motherhood (I’m not one yet) but time and energy-management in life. She said to pick three things that are most important and devote time, energy, and money to those things. For me those things are Islam, my family and dearest friends, and I’m balancing learning (by which I mean expanding my understanding of the world) and charitable work for the third. And then of course you can say, well what are the three things most important to me in Islam? In my family relationships? In my learning? And so on. It never feels like enough to me to just focus on priorities– I always feel artificially limited and like I’m dissatisfied with a smaller focus– but maybe this is a more realistic and ultimately more satisfying and effective approach? I dunno. Do you guys think that model can be applied to motherhood?

  10. Asiya Says:

    oh i hope so Shaz, inshaAllah.
    Hana, your mother-in-law has a point, we will never get everything we need done, so at least if we focus on three things and achieve them, we won’t feel like it’s quite so out of control!

  11. shukr Says:

    mubarak. this feels like a celebration reading here.D

  12. Asiya Says:

    Yes, it is of sorts! A much needed one!

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