So I just had a baby.
4 kids down the road and I think I lost myself somewhere. Or maybe I lost myself somewhere when i was 16 and then never found me again.
In the last nine months I’ve learnt things I never knew. I suddenly have a social life. I don’t think I’ve had one since 2006.
I remember the first day of homeschool playgroup I sat there dumbfounded as all the moms around me described the careers they had left behind to homeschool. I felt embarrassed to talk about mine.
Because I had none.
I had aspired to have none.
I had given up the hope to be anything but a home maker years before I got married. Not because society called for it, but because I wanted to be free to give my family every ounce of my time. To make it work. My parents and my siblings and then eventually my husband and children.
I gave it everything. Every minute of my time.
All I wanted was a happy family. I failed with the one I was born into but Allah blessed me with happiness in the new one.
All I wanted was a happy family.
That was my passion, my career, my mission in life.
It was only last year that I realised I should want something for me, because everyone else did. Because I felt burnt out and didn’t understand why. I couldn’t understand what I was supposed to want. My kids were independant, I got time to sit down and enjoy tea alone. I had time to watch a movie quietly. What did I need? Was I missing something? I occasionally wrote children’s poetry and published it. That was something I did for myself.
Being a homeschool mom, my day revolves around the children, their routines, their activities. Then there’s my husband, my best friend. The remaining time I have, I want to spend with him.
Then there’s my husbands family, we go to meet every weekend. Its been 8 years. Through babies and pregnancies we’ve driven to their city 2 hours away. I’m not trying to boast, but I genuinely never thought there was anything wrong with it. People ask me how I manage it. I just tell them that I do. You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Thats my motto. So every weekend is kept uncommitted. My husband is free to plan something, but I never do.
So I realised that I should want to plan things I want to do. Go places I want to go. Tell my husband to watch the kids and head out, instead of feeling guilty for burdening him with childcare. If I want to study something, I should. I should meet people and make friends. I should read books again. I don’t have to act like my time is dispensable and drop whatever I’m doing at one call from a family member and respond immediately. I’m supposed to have a life of my own. I’m supposed to have a boundary and people should respect it.
So today I have a plan.
I’m going to make a schedule for me. Me and the things I want to do. Me and my relationship with God. And insha Allah I’ll fill up the free time for everyone else, because I’m important too.
A flower will only blossom if it gets what it needs to grow.