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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Dear Mum: You are not selfish for wanting more


Dear Mum,

How are you feeling? I hope you’re doing alright.

If you’ve had a challenging week, then I hope you are blessed with your moment(s) of calm.

Recently, a mum friend opened up about mourning the loss of her career, struggling to find any personal time, and lacking major rest after having a baby earlier in the year. She then followed it with expressing her genuine love for her children, but she really did not have to.

Anyone that comes across this friend knows how dedicated and loving she is towards her children. These are honest feelings to have, that are natural to feel and important to be expressed. It is also necessary to have someone validate these feelings because it does not make a mum less grateful when she is honest about what is on her mind.

It is clear that being a mum is a full-time job. It is demanding, unpredictable, messy, exhausting, and busy. Motherhood requires selflessness. To an outsider looking in, it also comes with set expectations like knowing the exact remedy for every little thing and having it together as soon as delivering a baby.

Read also: Spotlight on Mum: Surviving a pandemic as a full-time teacher, PhD student and mother of four

The traditional image of a mother shows a calm and collected individual with positive emotions and the most radiant smile. However, this is unrealistic because it also means that mums are not allowed to express emotions and go through feelings that are a natural part of life. As a result, even though they really shouldn’t, mums end up feeling guilty when they feel a certain way or miss certain aspects of their life before they became the selfless heroes that they are.

“It’s okay to want more than just one purpose in life”

Mama, missing your career or needing time to relax does not make you less grateful and it does not mean that you regret having children or wish you had a completely different life. It simply means what you have stated – that you miss having a job and need some time to relax.

Not every mum is given the opportunity to go back to work. Some mums are okay with that, but others genuinely miss the excitement of waking up early to get to work on time. Every mum is different, but every mum can agree that getting time to relax and having something to look forward to is an important part of the desire to thrive.

Read also: Dear Mum: Relax, your ‘best’ is enough this pandemic

You serve an amazing purpose as a full-time mum and guardian of your child(ren)’s heart(s). You radiate love, affection, and there is nobody that can compare to your role as mum. But if we’re being honest, it’s okay to want more than just one purpose in life. It is okay to have the desire to do something for yourself – this gives you passion and energy that you end up sharing with your loved ones.

You aren’t less content or less grateful for wanting more. You are allowed to dream, have goals, and bake that coffee cake to eat by yourself late at night. Your desire to have a purposeful life is something that inspires your children to work hard and become productive individuals.

Isn’t it beautiful how every little thing that you do has the potential to inspire those around you to also walk with purpose? Take it easy, mum. Remember that feeling this way is okay and it doesn’t make you less appreciative or kind. You are wonderful and inspiring to those that know you. It is okay to aim for the stars.

After all, you are a radiant universe of light.

Kind Regards,

Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.

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