Thursday, March 22, 2007

Alone Time

Although this blog is only about Iman and my experiences while raising her... this post has entirely to do with me. But somewhere, there is a parental connection, because like me, all mommies must go through this too!

Yesterday in between classes, I had about 15 minutes where I had nothing to do. All my corrections were done, all papers marked. I didn't want to take a trip down to the staff room, and there was no one in my classroom. Instinctively I called Omair, because I'm not used to not doing anything. He didn't answer... so there I sat.

I had nothing to do AND I was alone. Normal people usually take this time to think about things, but really, I sat there thinking... I have no thoughts! Jokes apart, all moms are always working double time. We're doing something, thinking about something else while planning the next task ALL at the same time. So really, my mind is so cluttered with nonsense that its forgotten to think.

I looked out the window. Nicely manicured soccer field. Boys kicking the ball around. I tried to listen to the sounds, kids were on break so there was that "playground" noise. I had an orange in my bag, so I took that out. And perhaps after the longest time, I ate an orange so peacefully.

And while I ate my perfect orange, I decided that I would find some thoughts of my own. Thoughts that had nothing to do with Iman, Omair or school. Nothing to do with anything. My own personal thoughts. After all, I am a whole person on my own, I should be capable of thinking. So I started with current events. What were my thoughts on today's headlines? Uh oh. I really didn't know today's headlines. Not that I am shelled up in my own little hole, but really, I only catch the news once a week. Really.

Moving right along... what were my thoughts on the current cricket world cup happenings... ok, too painful, can't think about that EVER. Forcefully pushed that out of my mind.

Let's keep going... What movie did I want to see? Damn, I have no idea what's playing or what will be playing. I don't go to the movies.

And by this time my orange was just about finished, and so was my capacity for finding my "own" thoughts. So I came to a conclusion: This is who I am. Mom, Wife, Teacher and Friend. And for what it's worth, my thoughts can only consist of my existence. Trying to look for thoughts to think wouldn't be possible. So I decided to embrace my life for what it was and finished off the last couple of minutes thinking about what to make for dinner :)


At 11:53 AM, Anonymous cheeky said...

first time commenting, been readign your blog for over a year! :)
i love mommies who embrace thier roles and love what they do!
those who start their sentences with 'if only..' seriously turn me off.

i think your post really sums up what you say about yourself 'currently losing my identity in helping her find her own'! :)
but i guess once in a while, it's good to do your own thing. inshalla, in a few years when iman's old enough. she'll be at school, will have her own friends and go out. then it might be tricky to adjust your life and thoughts then.... slowly but surely prepare yourself, one day at a time.
was talking to a mommy last week (she has three kids, youngest is now around 7) anyways, so we were talking about similiar topic, and she was telling me about how much she loves her 'alone time' in the morning when kids are at school and husband at work.

btw, iman's beautiful mashalla!

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Dariush Alavi said...

I really liked this post, Hina.

As you know, my wife is basically at the opposite end of the 'mothering spectrum' from you. The last 25 years of her life have basically been devoted to her kids, and although she realises she's always going to be their mother, she also knows that her role in their lives is not going to be nearly as 'hands-on' as it used to be.

She's always tried hard to ensure that her 'private identity' doesn't get totally consumed by her 'maternal identity', if that makes sense. And I think that's why she's not overly worried at the moment about what her post-kids life is going to be like.

Unfortunately, some parents put all their eggs in one basket (so to speak) and years later, when the nest is empty, they realise they've got no sense of who/what they are.

I think it must be a very difficult balance to pull off as a parent.

At 4:08 AM, Blogger Lorraine said...

It is important to have an identity apart from being a wife and mum, although it is quite a feat, especially at this stage of the game. You need something just for you so that you have what you need to give everyone else. (The old, "can't pour water out of an empty pitcher" thing). But all that said, 15 minutes alone with an orange is a really lovely thing. Sometimes that's all you need. Plus, of course, a plan for dinner!

At 4:07 AM, Anonymous jammie said...

:) why shouldnt your thoughts consist only of your existance as it is today especailly when you try to put so much energy into doing a good job? the world can wait for now. and maybe one day when all that you are busy with is busy with other stuff, you can go back to finding out what movie is playing or what book you wanted to read or just enjoying your orange yet again. :) for now though, your life is mashallah great and it is enough. heh.

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous noreen said...

hahahahaha hina .... i remember what life was like when i had stopped having my own thoughts .... I was much more zombie like than you though (my kid is quite a few months older than Iman ) I also remember being much more teary eyed about not having my pedicures and not finnishing a big thick juicy book every month. I later realised It is important to remember yourself in the equation though because what my child will emulate is how creative, happy, dedicated and relaxed I am/was. There are days when i still have to remind myslef of this .... like a mantra ... but I'm happier being working/socialising/napping/snacking mummy rather than perfect super mummy.

At 4:43 AM, Anonymous umarah said...

i feel exactly the same.really i spare time,if i ever get any i would always prefer to do something which i cant do in my boys presense,rather than to think.always planning abt coming times n activities,but nothing abt does sadden me a bit as i feel that old vivacious self of mine has disappeared in thin if she never existed.but as someone mentionaed above,it does make sense to keep some thing for urself too.i wish i can do that.

At 2:06 AM, Blogger Shezalldat said...

lovely post hina... sums up my life completely. Between being a mom, wife, student, businesswoman, activist and daughterinlaw to four MIL's... i really dont think i have an identity that resembles me before eesa. i love how you mention that we're planning ahead whilst doing something now... I was just telling hubby how thats precisely what I use my toilet time for.. creating and cleaning my mental checklists of chores and tasks. you know what i miss the most? toilet time! i was famous for taking 20 minutes everytime i went... that was my reading time etc. now, that lil space at home is shared with eesa as well!

At 4:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


four MIL's LOL how can it be possible.


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