Tuesday, October 28, 2014

An open letter to my son

My boy,

Your earliest memories of me may be tearful ones. Ones of me letting you go as you squeal and squirm to clench on. Ones where it seems like going to work is more important to me than you. Nothing is more important to me than you. Nothing. Not the job, not the career, not the house, not the car, not the world. You’re my world. You may sometimes think or be led to think that those who left their work to be with their babies full time, to attend to their every call and cry, must love them more than I love you. That’s not true. I love you just as much, if not more. Let me tell you why I made this unbearable and sometimes shameful decision. A decision I regret several times a day. A decision my heart cries over and I'm left overridden with deep guilt and self hatred.
Days like today remind me of the reason I chose to continue to work. There are things you won’t understand until you’re much older, and I hope you never need to deal with. You were born in a world where women believe they are equal to men, but some men still don’t think so.
I want you to see your mother independent and fully relying on herself. I want you to know that the words independent, Arab, and women can coexist in one sentence. I want you to feel you can always lean on your mum and she will never have to lean on anyone else.
You see, my boy, that’s why I have to work. The easier option is to stay home. The easier option was to quit work when I was two months pregnant and curled up in a ball of pain, or when I was seven months pregnant and standing out on the curve for what seemed to be forever, dripping in sweat, waiting for a taxi to take me to work, or when you were two months old when I had fallen absolutely and utterly in love with you but had to return to work because my time with you was up. I want you to know that I am sad for every second I am not with you. That I think about you always. That building a shrine of you at work has not helped ease the pain. But I will do everything in my power to make it up to you. And if I don’t, then you can stop calling me your mum.

Yours truly
Your mum

No comments:

Post a Comment