Is it for Everyone?

I often see young mothers sitting with their friends and having coffee at any one of the many malls of Western Amman. They would almost always be wearing designer labels while engaging in idle chatter about the hardships of motherhood.
In the background and far from the clouds of smoke their ignited cigarettes create, their, so hard to raise, kids would be running or screaming wildly. Whether alone or in the company of a maid, these kids would be far from the eyes of these stylish mommies. And, surely they would also be far from the reach of their mommies’ perfectly manicured hands. After all, these mommies are too busy talking to friends, and they just assume that their kids are not a priority at this particular point in time.
This is a scene that has been playing itself before me since as far as I can remember, and since as long as I can remember, I would wonder time and time again how these women have it in them to just ignore their kids like that.
I used to always ask myself why they even give birth to kids if they were planning to let the maid raise them, and in a world where the bad health effects of cigarettes are well known to every remotely educated individual, why are these mothers openly smoking in front of their kids? I used to ask myself how they are not worried about their kids being far from them in the mall? And more importantly, why does the maid know more about these kids then they do?
When I was younger, I even used to affirm that “If I ever have kids I will not let a maid raise them. I will be there for them, and I will do everything a good mother should do.”
However, as the years go by, and as I grow older and more confined to my single status, I seriously wonder if this is a promise I can live up to. After all, how many good mothers are there? And more importantly is every female on the face of this earth born with the innate maternal gene? Are we all supposed to be good mothers at a click of a button?
The more important question is this, how many women are mothers because they want to be mothers and not because it is a direct outcome that is to come hand in hand with marriage? Being a person who is naturally good with kids, and who has had her share of kids in her life whether from Gaza camp where for the first 9 months I taught kids, or from contributing significantly to raising my niece, whom my brother is a single father to, I still wonder sometimes if I really want to be a mother?
I know this is an awful question to ask, at least in our society where every girl is just assumed to know how to be a mom by nature, but are we all supposed to be parents be default ?
If you were to ask me If I could be a good mom BSFOLW (Before the snow fall of last week) I would have said” Hell ya, I want to be a mommy and I will be great at it too”, but last week’s snowfall has really got me thinking about whether or not I can live up to such a confident statement.
You see for three full last week, I was snowed in at home with my 4 year old niece. At first, I found the whole situation to be a lot of fun. Me and my niece Hana played snakes and ladders. We put together a Jigsaw, we painted, and we made a huge snowman outside our house. We watched cartoons. We baked, we played the alphabet game, Uno, house, school, and we made popcorn. For the first two days of the snowfall, it was refreshing for me to switch off from the stressful career, the adult conversations, and the hassle of day to day errands. However, as we went into the third day of the snowfall, I started to run out of creative and engaging things to do with my niece. The interesting life of a four year old kid, became a life of nagging to me.
It was then that I realized, that I am really good at doing this for a limited period of time but I am not sure I know how to do it 24/7.
How many people know how to be good at parenting 24/7? I am not sure, because by the third day of a snowed in home experience, I found that I missed having conversations with adults. I missed watching anything on TV that didn’t involve animated characters singing and dancing. I wanted to go out badly, so that the third day at noon I went to the ATM close to my house and I was relieved. I missed being a copywriter in a PR agency, where I work on press releases, and I was even thrilled to hear that we were working on Saturday.
However, on Saturday, and as I got my life back, I realized that I had apparently bonded too much with my niece, to the level where I actually missed her. I missed her ridiculous comments, her strange questions about God which I can’t answer, and her wise cracks. After all, she is my niece so she has to come with the wise cracks. I missed playing snakes and ladders, and on one evening, I even found myself canceling all my plans Just to see her.
However, within this melange of feelings, I am still not sure if I want to ever spend three full days with a kid. I am not sure if I could be a mother who doesn’t make awful mistakes.
However, I am sure of motherhood being a hard job, and one that can’t be taken lightly. I am sure that any mother wanting to care for her kids would be worried about them if she can’t see where they are and what they are doing in the mall. But, since I am still single this is not really a job I have to worry about now. I will worry more about it when and if I find myself confined to motherhood.
But, for now I only know one thing. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am really surely and confidently good at being an aunt and I enjoy it.
You see, the great thing about being an aunt is that you can enjoy the best of both world’s. You can sit with your friends when you want to, be an adult when you want to, and be a child playing with a child when you want to. More importantly you can experiment with kids and what you could or can’t do with them so that when you have your own and  if you have your own n you’re more experienced.
That’s a start ! 🙂

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