I started this blog almost five years ago, when my two older children were still under 2 years old. All I wanted back then was to meet someone with older children, someone who’d decided to stay home with them and made them her priority, someone who liked to keep a clean house like me and had a head full of ideas. I wanted that someone to tell me what to do, what to expect, where my life was headed and most of all, tell me that things weren’t always going to be insane like this.
Unfortunately I never met that mother. All the women I knew had either decided to hire a nanny and start working or had resigned to childcare and housekeeping and given up all ambitions they’d ever had or they’d enjoyed a good career before having children. I hadn’t done any of those things. I lived in a country that was new to me, where I had no friends of my own, just the family I had married into and their social circle. I did’t have drivers license and was shy and unable to commute far from home without difficulty.
After completing my undergrad from my native country, a place I had tried, but could not fit into, I had been quietly responsible as a companion for my parents and then later on married with children and a busy extended family that my husband and I constantly traveled to meet.
My ideas were still there. They never left. They would haunt me in the night while I rocked my babies to sleep. They brought me to tears when I saw young medical interns at the hospital my husband’s niece was admitted to with severe bronchitis. They mocked me when I read children’s stories written by other mothers. They made my head burn with the weight of life when I saw beautiful paintings made by talented novices. “You could have done that, you could have, but you never tried”, they said.
Whenever I had the time, I wasted it. Or maybe spent it recuperating from the many responsibilities I felt I had. Then one day I found a little book that I had made in first grade. It had pictures drawn by every student in the class of what they wanted to be when they grew up. I had wanted to be a doctor. Always. Biology fascinated me. I was a straight A student. Second if not top of the class my whole life. When the time finally came to try to get into medical school, I stepped back, I wanted it but all of me refused to work for it.(Medical school in Pakistan lasts 5 years and is attended immediately after 12th grade in high school.)
There was something else I wanted more. I wanted someone to be happy with for the rest of my life. I wanted to be free to dedicate myself to that relationship and I felt that medicine would never allow me to do that. I’m sure I was wrong, but at 18 you think you know everything.
I just wanted a happy family. That was all that mattered.
My failure to get into medical school shocked me anyway. I tried and didn’t make it. After that I didn’t have much choice. My second option was a double major in Literature and Psychology. My only option was Pakistan, there was no way my parents could afford to send me anywhere else to study that “stuff”. Sadly back in those days BSc. in Psychology was only 2 years long with an absurd curriculum and I didn’t want that.
Since the world’s all about trends, I was asked to do just that, follow the trend. So here I am now with BSc. in computer science and no interest in doing anything with it. I do feel tempted when I see the latest development platforms Apple comes up with and someday I might give app development a try but its not anywhere near the top of my list.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m sharing all these details. They’re somehow important to where I’m going with this post.
Its about blame. We’re always looking for someone or something to take the blame for our problems and situations in life. My turning point came after my husband started talking to me about motivational speakers like Tony Robbins and Muhammad Al Shareef. I’m not sure who or what I was listening to but I heard someone say that we can only change our lives once we stop blaming other people, things or circumstances. We have to turn things around and ask ourselves what we, ourselves can do. When we give ourselves the reigns, we can alter the course of our lives even if it takes one step at time.
So I finally had the key. I needed to focus on what I could do instead of what I couldn’t and had not been able to yet. I had to see where I could improve myself instead of trying to improve the world.
Thats when I started to write. I started focusing my creativity on my children, with the hope that in the long run something would come out of that someday.
I told myself what I had wanted to hear from someone else. “Kick back and relax, do the little that you can, enjoy your kids, eventually they will be more independent and your accomplishments will add up and pick up pace. Write down those ideas so you know where to find them when that time comes.”
So I wrote a poem to sing here and there, I put everything into them and put them aside to be picked up later. Then one day I got published as an un payed free lance writer in a children’s magazine. Over the years as a homeschooling mother, my ability to teach improved. I have plans and templates piling up in my google drive and I know I will eventually share them and someone might find them useful. I wrote a story last year that I’ve read and revised over and over again and I’m getting closer to publishing it. This blog is beginning to mean more to me than it did in the past and I think I’m going to use it more. I started a Facebook page to write about practical ways to organise. Its not very active yet but I’ll get to it insha Allah.
My daughter’s steroid induced eczema taught me a great deal of patience. It taught me how to wait without the end in sight. To continue to hope despite setbacks in healing. I cared for her fragile skin every day knowing that every day took me closer to the end, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know when that end would be.
So I keep trying every day even when fatigue and responsibility set me back, whenever I can, I write a little, make note of an idea and take the breaks I need, to rejuvenate. And thats what I’d like to say to my past self.
Take the reigns in your hands, build your castle brick by brick and its absolutely worthwhile to lay back and enjoy watching the clouds roll by whenever you need to.