“You have a degree. What are you doing as a stay at home mum?”
“Don’t you want to earn your own money?”
“You have a lot of free time. All you do is stay at home with your kids.”
“How can you be tired when you are at home the whole day?”
When the world is all about women getting the best education, climbing the career ladder and having the very best in life, it is hard to imagine that anyone would aspire to be a stay at home mum. If you ask any young girl what they want to be when they grow up, stay at home mum is usually never their answer. Even for me, the thought of being one never entered my mind until I had children.
I grew up wanting to be someone successful in life. I did very well in school and eventually, through hard work, blood and tears, I got my degree. I secured a great job with an amazing company and I really loved the work. It was challenging and it kept me on my toes. I met the love of my life at 28 and a year later, we got married. I felt my life was complete. That is until I was pregnant with my first child.
I was having a really rough time with my pregnancy. Morning sickness, dizzy and fainting spells. I spent most of the 9 months at the home or at the hospital. It was a 360 degree change of my life and I had a hard time dealing with it. I was very fortunate that I had an understanding supervisor at work, who told me to take it easy and come to work whenever I am well enough to. It is the worst point of my life. But I also called it the turning point of my life.
It was during this period that I reflected a lot on my life, my marriage and my family. I thought about what I wanted and what I want the future to be for myself and my family. With each passing day, the love I have for this beautiful human growing inside me gets stronger and stronger. When I finally gave birth and held my son in my arms for the first time, I made up my mind that I wanted to be there for him at all time, as much as I possibly can. It was then and there, that I decided to quit my job and be a stay at home mum.
My husband is very supportive. He preferred that I stayed at home and took care of our son. However, the reactions from some family members and friends were not very positive. Most of them couldn’t believe that I would quit such a cushy job for this kind of life. Their opinion was that “my degree become such a waste” now that I am “just a stay at home mum”. Only at this point, I realised how people perceived stay at home mums and think it is somewhat degrading to be one.
Fast forward to 12 years and 4 kids later…
I still get lots of questions and opinions about my life choice. I do miss my working life and having my own money. But my children present me with new challenges everyday and they love to keep me on my toes. Nothing, not even a degree, can prepare a woman for motherhood. It is a learning journey all on its own. There is no such thing as free time when you are a mother. There is always a kid crying for your attention, there is always a chore that needs to be done. Your house can be spotless one minute and the next, it is like a tornado appeared and destroyed your house. Anybody who has children will agree with me. Financially, I would say it is not easy especially when you live in a country that relies on dual income. But Alhamdulillah, we make do with what we have. It is all about realizing the difference between a want and a need.
I am happy with where I am. I get to spend every moment with my children and witness their every milestone. This is what is important to me. No job or degree can ever compare to these. I do know there are many women who would like to stay at home and be with their children but circumstances do not allow them to. And this made me appreciate what I have even more. My happiness is based on the choice I make and not what other people think or say.
Whether you are a stay at home mum or a working mum, everyone should be treated with respect and love. Being a mother is already hard enough and there should be no judgement on anyone in the choices that they make or have to make. The sooner we all realise that, the better.
Let’s show love and support to all our sisters in the roles that they carry. May Allah grant them with strength to get through every adversities! Amin.