She sat everyday on her chair reviewing her house and how to set it tidy but she failed. That was not her only failure. “I am failing as a mother” she thought. She looked at her son playing alone, it was not the only day when he used to do that. It was everyday the same pattern, a pattern that mentally exhausted her. She wondered when she would break down, when would that terrible day come when she would yell, cry or throw everything away. “When and how did I go wrong?” she questioned herself.
She saw and heard about other women, they were strong and not coward like her. She is a woman. NO she is a mother and a wife. So it was a duty for her to forget herself and she’d rather focus on her family first. However, there was something wrong with that, people expected too much from her. Was she right or did she simply refuse to assume her responsibilities?
She needed help, she wanted some time for her please. But her husband would never understand “A woman has to look after children. Why did you even wish to have a child if you can’t take care of one?” That was the common reprimand she would get when asking for help. She thought “I know I am a mother but I am first and foremost an individual. I need some time for me” It was the same story when she confided in her sisters, they would reply “That’s what a woman has to do. It’s life, you should accept it.” She wondered why society went on instilling to people the idea that every woman could by herself look after a child without the help of others. And yet, in the hospital people were ready to help her. There were professionals who understood the psychological status of a woman after giving birth. How strange life is! Unknown people empathize with you while your own family say you are not doing well as a mother.
Her only family was her husband. Her mother lived far in another city. When she offered some help by looking after her grandchild, his father would say NO. He expected HIS wife to look after the child. No matter how she felt inside, she had to be strong for her child. As for him, he could not help because he had something else to do. It is normal for men not to be able to stay with children alone, that is a woman’s task.
Well, she tried her best to do what she was compelled to do. On some days her face was sunny, on other days it was reflecting the storm inside of her. She read that the other mothers affirmed that they never cried in front of their children. They managed to bring sunshine into their babies’ life no matter what were their difficulties. She tried to be like these women but she failed.
“I am failing as a mother, as a wife and as a woman” that is what she concluded. Was it her fault? Her husband’s fault? She had no answer…
© Fateema Abdallah