By Maasi Saba
At 36, sometimes I feel that I haven’t accomplished much in life. Sometimes when I think of what I did that particular day, (cooking, cleaning, some ironing, taking care of kids) it just doesn’t feel fulfilling. I get this feeling, sometimes, not everyday. When I read the paper, or go on the internet and read about people doing so many amazing things, and sometimes particular people are just doing something that needs to be done. I get mixed emotions. I’m happy for them, and happy for what they are achieving in life; happy that someone out there is doing something to make this world a better place to live in. But I get sad at the same time. Sad thinking what little I have done to make life better. I think about all the things I had wanted to do as I grew up, and realize I only accomplished a few things. That too, was to get married, and have kids, and basically, “ghar basana.”
I’m not saying I’m not a happy wife and mother. I am. But I think it’s those days, when things are going wrong that I doubt my self worth. It’s those days when the kids are fighting over something or another all day. Those days when the servants aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing. That day when I suddenly realize that I left my pants on the counter to be altered about 2 weeks ago, and it’s still not done.
Do you ever have those days where you feel unproductive, short tempered? (And I’m not talking about when Aunt Flow is visiting.) I love being at home. I don’t mind. I think venturing out in Lahore can usually lead to time wasted and a big, big headache. I enjoy sitting at home with my kids, reading a book, or playing a game, or just sitting and relaxing. But some days, I’d like a change in my daily routine. I guess nothing is perfect. You want change, yet you don’t. You want to do something amazing, and then yet you just want to live life contently in your own home.
Am I making any sense?
I read in the paper a few days ago about a nursing home opening up in Lahore, or was it already open? Taking time out to spend time with our elders. I do that everyday actually. I live with my in laws. My mother in law has severe osteoporosis and her hands have minimum movement. So she needs help at times making her hair, and eating and getting ready. We have an aid who is with her, but that doesn’t always make her happy. There are certain things she doesn’t feel comfortable if I do for her, and other things she’d rather I do. Such as, she doesn’t want me to help her in the washroom, and to bathe. I’m not sure if she feels uncomfortable or makes her feel helpless if family is helping instead of a servant. Then there are things she wants me to do for her like bring her food or snacks throughout the day, and make her hair. I do, at times, but sometimes get so caught up in my daily routine that I’m rushing with the clock to get the food ready on time, and the laundry should be out to dry before midday, and to help my little one snack and sleep on time so she won’t cry. Sometimes it’s tiring to do this, and I have to realize that my family comes first. I have to remind myself to not get angry with her over things, because for someone who had done everything for herself all her life but now has to ask others for help for the littlest thing such as opening a drawer because she can’t use much force, is harder for her to deal with than anything I am going through. Asking for someone to make your hair the way you have been making it for years with ease is harder to accept. And for me to help make her hair and get it in the right position is hard as well. And the frustration is on both ends. Now she likes to ask the aid to make her hair. It’s not easy making other people’s hair! But hey, I am learning.
People always come up to me and tell me how important my job is right now to take care of my mother in law and the kids and a home. Sometimes I understand it, sometimes I think, “It’s all in a days work.” They tell me that what I do is an amazing job when I take care of my mother in law and try to make her happy and content. These people also know it is the hardest job to do, so when they say this to me, I feel happy and contended. But I have those days where I feel I’m in over my head. I just pray Allah Swt makes me more patient, because life is hard. I pray He makes me more understanding to the needs of my family because sometimes they are all confusing. And I pray for my sanity. Lol.
On my off days, I always tell my sister, “One of these days, you are going to see me on the news as the mad women who is running around the neighbor hood looking like a wild beast.”
Yes, I need my sanity to remain intact the most!