Do What Works For You.
Once, while soul searching after feeling beaten and defeated by a rollercoaster of a day, I recalled something.
It seemed unrelated but nevertheless there it was.
It was the time when I had planned our Eid and every thing about it to a T.
I wanted a flawless, perfectly coordinated and choreographed day free of mishaps, burnt cookies and wrinkled curtains.
We were out the door heading for Eid prayers when Little Man, then still very little, remembered he had left his Eid bag. It contained a prayer mat, water bottle and his kofia. Was it in the living room, his bedroom or the hallway neither he nor I could recall…..
I could not believe it.
After all my meticulous preparations, all my juggling, all my army drill sergeant tactics: “we will leave for the grounds at O Seven Hundred Hours, pray, then head back at O Nine Hundred Hours for breakfast….” and here was a hitch.
No. No. No.
Going back for his bag would mean being late for prayers and yet I couldn’t let him go without. It was important to him and to me that he feel part of the whole Eid process and this little bag was an essential part.
We undid the many bolts and locks to the front door that we had just so carefully secured only moments earlier and thankfully found the bag on his dresser.
We arrived at the grounds with not a minute to spare before the swalah began and just in time to find the last few remaining spaces under the tents.
Later, I would wonder why I was getting upset about such a trivial thing and immediately I realised I wanted to be the perfect mother with the perfect kids and the perfect house with the perfect time management skills and I would have done pretty much anything to get there.
Our very discerning, judgemental, quick -to-find-fault mom culture of the time (what am I saying, it was 2017 so still prevalent) demanded that.
For instance, our homes needed to be hospital sterile clean as to almost erase any signs that human beings with small energetic children live in it. No heena on your hands during Eid pegged you as incompetent and a disgrace to womanhood.
I didn’t want a good enough Eid ‘experience’- I wanted an almost miraculous one.
I find as women we are the most judgemental to our own.
We smile haughtily, shake our heads and tut tut at our sisters for not being ‘up to standard’.
So, if you are young mother or a young woman struggling to fit in, to conform- take it from me. You don’t have to be in competition with anyone, don’t have to look for approval from anyone.
You do you.
If anyone wants to judge you for it, well, it reflects badly on them not on you.
Do what is practical and compassionate and self loving for you and your kids.
Not a judgemental society that ought to know better.
Photo Courtesy of Pexels.