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Foreign Woes

A young mother shares how she is coping with raising her children in a foreign land.

I am a mom of two, I am an  accountant at work, a “masee” at home, a  pick and drop service, the shopper for our family, a reliable friend, and a volunteer at my children’s  school. This might sketch you a picture of a life that I have lived in America for the past seven years. When I got married, initially I thought running a house on my own was really hard, I missed those carefree days when all the matters concerning the house were taken care of by my mother, while all I had to do was worry about what to wear, going out with your friends etc. After getting married and settling into my own house, just trying to figure out what to cook everyday was hard enough for me. This was just the beginning; the real responsibility came when I became a mom, which turned into a real challenge after my second child was born.

Some days I just sit and think how my mom put up with five monstrous kids like us. I truly appreciate her a lot, but can’t help and wonder that she might have had a better support system around her. Walking towards my house with my daughter in one hand, the grocery bags in the other and at the same time trying to find the key to the main door I sometimes wish I had a third hand! I wonder if I had a third arm, would that make me more efficient. Will things get done faster? Don’t you think that it will be kind of nice if I could use my third arm to feed my daughter her bottle, while I am folding the laundry? Or maybe a third eye would do. I could work on my laptop while keeping the third eye on my ten month old trying to eat the very tiny spec of crumb I might have missed from last nights sweep.

You must be thinking, what is all the fuss about, everybody does it and survives. Well, here is what all the fuss is about, I do not want to quit my job and still have a functional life at home. People tell me that we can’t have it all, that something has got to go. I am determined to prove that you can work, be a good mom, a great homemaker, an available friend and still be able to steal some “me time” every now and then. Is this really impossible to do? Sometimes I think maybe the answer is to smuggle a maid. Ahhhhhhh!!!!! The sweet luxury of “maseez”, I sure miss it a lot. A friend of mine, guess what she got from Pakistan as an anniversary gift, a “masee”. Yes, a real breathing, walking, talking “masee” from Pakistan who just jumped at the opportunity of being exported out here. Sure you might be tempted to think that maybe I am just lazy and unorganized. Maybe that might be the case, as at times the tough warrior in me gets exhausted and is ready to give up. But then the pleasure of an achieved day boosts the enthusiast in me and the warrior is ready for another days fight.  It is a constant fight against the other very tired, exhausted woman inside telling me to slow down. Only if I was made that way life would be much easier. Moms are the restless soles that thrive on the chaos of life and I am no different.

Needless to say that the struggle of trying to be a good mom is not just limited to the physical challenges, it stretches far beyond that. To add on to the list of challenges are the religious aspects of our lives. My daughter is turning seven this year, sometimes she catches me off guard with her thought provoking questions. Like the other day I bought her a “piggy bank”, my busy mind failed to catch the fact that it was made in the shape of a pig. Well did it skip her mind, what do you think? No it didn’t, she came up to me and said, “Mom it’s made in the shape of a pig, so I don’t want to use it”. Now I was in a dilemma, as I couldn’t take it back to the shop and at the same time I didn’t want to discourage her consciousness either. It makes me wonder if I ever had the consciousness at six to overrule a piggy bank just because it was in the shape of an animal forbidden to eat. Or was I never faced with such a predicament or maybe our children are over dosed with religious consciousness in order to safeguard them in today’s society. Even if they are over dosed, her awareness makes me proud. I guess where ever you are living, whether it’s America, Japan or Pakistan, that’s all a mom can ask for “to see her efforts paying off!!!!”


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