Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day by Day, Moment by Moment

A Typical Week:

Monday-      Wash Ruqi’s hair
Tuesday-      Clean bedroom, wash clothes
Wednesday- Visit Grandma
Thursday-     Go to Children’s Museum
Friday-         Go to Masjid
Saturday-     Attempt to make some calls
Sunday-       Catch up on schoolwork

Perhaps some of you could accomplish everything on this list in one day and still have time to spare, and three years ago, I could have too. But times have changed. I have two children under the age of three now. Over the past six months, I have spent a lot of time worrying, rushing, complaining, and regretting because it seems like I can’t ever get a thing done. And when I do get something done- a simple task- it takes a whole day of more.

If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, I’ll tell you hour-by-hour how this past Monday went:
5am – wake up and lay in bed wondering why I am awake. I feel two sets of legs resting on my legs. I am a mommy sandwich, smushed between a toddler and a very large 6 month old, and I don’t dare move an inch for fear of waking anyone up and disturbing the early morning peace.

5:45am – I realize it is time for the morning prayer, and since I am still awake, I really have no excuse for skipping out on it. So, I slither from between the two sleeping beauties and make my way down the hall to the bathroom, not looking back. I preform the ritual cleansing, feeling the refreshing splash of water on my face and into my mouth and nostrils. As soon as I was started to take in a very deep breath, I hear a whimper, then covers rustling, then a screeching cry. I run down the hall scooping up little Saja into my arms, and a sudden feeling of overwhelming responsibility blankets over my initial excitement about performing the early morning prayer in peace.

6:15 am – After suckling, baby Saja is now asleep, yet with a heightened awareness of her physical connection to me. I try to set her down, and she cringes and whimpers. The longer I wait, the more the sun begins to creep up, so I settle to just pray sitting, while cradling my baby girl. Afterwards, I lay in the bed awake. I glanced over at my 2 year old who was playing in her sister’s baby powder with their 4 year old cousin the day before. Even after washing her hair, it was evident the powder had dried out her hair so much that it was brittle and the strands were tangling and locking together. It was evident I had to do something about this hair dilemma, but dreaded doing anything to Ruqi’s hair because she is tender headed and screams and cries and runs away the minute I confront her tightly coiled afro.

Okay, so you’re thinking, it’s not even daylight yet; tell this story a little faster! I’m sorry, but this is my life. I’ll just stick to the main parts from now on…

The point of the story is that it took a WHOLE day just to do Ruqi’s hair. Actually, two days, if you count the first time I washed it the day before. Just making meals, pampering and feeding the baby, and entertaining the children takes up the majority of my day. In between all that - I have finally figured out -that I can really only get one major task completed a day- if I’m fortunate! On Monday, it was washing, deep conditioning, moisturizing, and braiding little Ruqi’s hair.

I have finally come to peace with the fact that caring for the babies is a JOB and it is MY JOB. I have a wonderful husband, but that’s beside the point. I used to value myself on how many things I could get accomplished a day that don’t concern my children. For instance, doing schoolwork, going grocery shopping, writing a blog, making any income to contribute to the home, making important phone calls, ...ect.

It would upset me if Saja had a fussy day and needed to be held and fed LITERALLY all day, therefore not even allowing me to perform the simplest household task, like doing the laundry or preparing dinner. I wouldn’t be upset with her, but I’d be upset and disappointed with myself for not being able to multitask well enough to get everything on my agenda taken care of.

From now on I’m taking a stand! A stand against myself, for myself. I’m taking a stand against a society that makes women feel as though they have to juggle children + home + work + school + marriage and pull it all off with perfection. That’s madness! I am making a resolution:

1.       Take 1 day at a time. Whatever I can do today, I will. I will plan, but if plans fall apart, it’s okay.
2.       Take 1 moment at a time. Whoever said multitasking was a good thing? Do 1 thing at a time and do it well.
3.       Be Present. Cherish every moment. I will not take 1 moment for granted, and I will not have regrets.
4.       Be Happy. I will enjoy my life and enjoy my children. A happy mommy = A Happy Home.
5.       Remember the Power of God. I am not capable of doing all things, but GOD is. So pray, and ask for strength and forgiveness and guidance.

Life is a journey with ups and downs and turnarounds. As a mother, it’s all the harder to feel like your happiness and peace of mind matter in the scheme of things. But believe me, it matters. Just writing this post - knowing my children will be waking from their nap soon and there was a ton of “important” things I should have been doing – has uplifted my spirit. Do something today, no matter how small, to uplift yours. 

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