Humaira Sultana(Translated by Sadia Rahman):
I am a working mother. Every now and then I face remarks like, “why do you need to work? You actually work to meet up your hobby or too look good.” “Your husband gets an honorable salary. Then why you need to work? You should give time to your kids.”
Or hear advices like, “Give time to your kids. Get a job in nearby schools if you crave for a job so very much.”
First of all, is it so easy to work in a school? It is because of these mentalities our schools in every lane rarely have any quality.
Secondly, my husband has a good job. So, I do not need to work. What logic can possibly lay behind this statement? I studied in a public university facing all odds that not because I desired for a good husband! I am pursuing a second Masters degree. This is too not to strengthen or renew my marriage. I have some obligations to myself. I am an individual person and that is the impression that comes at the very first of all. Then I am someone’s wife.
Then why have I become a mother?
From when my motherhood is at your concern? I Remember when I was not a mother yet. You people faced trouble sleeping much more than I faced with all your questions, worries and side effects from prescriptions. From my tension, you faced difficulty with keeping hair in your head. You people who were really sympathetic when I was being late conceiving will adopt distance policy tomorrow if I have to come out and struggle with life alone with my daughters. So just oil your own machine.
Those who didn’t take a job as a part of fashion and their children have all grown up, they speak in a different tone. They say “Do not give up the job. Carry on in spite of hardship. Kids will grow up. Then you will not find an identity of your own. Do not make a mistake like me. You cannot start it later.” I heard these sighs too.
(I am not saying that some people cannot do that at all)
I feel bad when I leave them then in the morning. I feel a pain when they have fever or weather is not happy. One of my friend once pinched me, “do your maid cook in your place? My domestic life is my world. I feel my life successful when I cook their favorite food.” That indicated I am not a good mother because I have a service holder. Because I do not cook three times a day for them. Cause I go to my job when they are sick. Because I don’t sit by in front of their school. It is because I do not run here and there with their admission form. Earning money is more important to me than my children! Because I concentrate on my professional identity more than my motherhood. I cannot give time to gossip and cannot join girly talks.
My morning and night have a distance if 4-4:30 hours. I don’t have an afternoon sleep wrapping my children in my arms. I do not enjoy daily soap in the evening while teaching them.
Once I had to attend some meetings with an urge to do something arranged my both seniors and junior of University. I attended all of them. I return home as soon as the meeting is over. I think of going to my kids as soon as possible. I complete my works in time. I dint go after last one meeting. One of the senior brothers said, “it is a bad practice to leave before the meeting is over. You always do that”.
I maintain my office, I attend meetings, I complete my assignments keeping my kids at home. I dint miss the meeting like other married/unmarried girls showing excuse of marriage or office. I could not accept the fact that I have to listen those allegations because I leave just after the meeting.
Let’s get back to the point again. Why do you assume this lifestyle/society has spared me from the duty of a chef, doctor, super, laundryman, home tutor and home maid just because I am not a housewife or exclusively just a mother? I can maintain everything you cannot. Or you can maintain everything I cannot. From that How a comparison may arise on motherhoods excellence? If you have time you can poop in shape of screw. Alas you got that quality but a working mother like me or us do not have time for that. From what we have we cannot afford to be more creative apart from the job or domestic life. Sorry my boss!
You work on with a fever, you have no holiday. We do too. Because we preserve those holidays thinking about emergency related to our children. We work outside. Don’t live under the illusion that we have freedom so we can do whatever we want. We run like a wheel.
Motherhood is mother hood .There is no competition on that. It is the same whether you have had operation or had normal delivery.This does not make any difference on the depth of love. It doesn’t matter if you are a home maker or a working mother- it doesn’t make difference in motherhood. You or me don’t live in such a society where working outside provides you with gender equality, same rights or spares you from household duties. House hold or office one is no less than the other. A working mother has to manage household and workplace responsibilities at the same time. Hearing this you will say then why do I need to do this right? This is needed because everyone needs an identity as an individual. It is needed because it is preferable to create own shadow wheremy dear ones can live happily rather than living under someone else’s shadow.
Before being a mother be a human being. Not a woman but a human being. If you be that you will have “sense” and “value”. If you have these two then you will get difference between personal and public life. Then you will speak out understanding the situation in spite of creating meaningless debate. If you have those two all the living beings will be living happily ever after. Be happy always.
Humaira Sultana is a development worker, an independent photographer and animal lover. Believes in freedom of soul. Her article was initially published in Bengali in the main site of Women Chapter.
Link to original article:
Sadia Rahman is a final year student of English literature, Rajshahi University. Her passions include writing, debating and anchoring. She has participated in TV programs on numerous occasions. Sadia is a prolific writer and loves to share her views on issues concerning women.