Motherhood. Does it seem to be a sacrificial journey? Can you find time to also follow your passion?
She got married at 15 to my dad who was 18, through an arranged marriage.¬†¬†She¬†told her¬†mother, ¬†""It is not my wish to be married, but if it is your desire, I will do so."" From what I was told, it was her desire to be a seamstress and remain single.¬† Life had other plans for her and blessed her with a husband and 6 children - a life which was not always a bed of roses but one which she handled with grace and courage.
How much control do we have over those big life decisions?¬†
Did her soul decide that she was going to be married to my dad and have those kids before she even arrived here?
Her husband and children¬†were her life.¬† Although uneducated, she¬†believed strongly in¬†education and made sure that all her children went to school and had the necessary supplies to succeed.¬† She was a business woman, a farmer, a seamstress, a homemaker, she managed the family finance and even saved money when we seem to barely have any money!¬†¬†Mom did what she needed to do to survive and¬†made sure ¬†that her family had some form of security.¬†She was the mom who woke up at 4:30a.m to prepare breakfast and lunch - we woke up to the smell of cocoa tea and bakes or dahl.¬† We came home to a hot cooked meal in the afternoon.¬† For her, it was¬†a pleasure being available for her family¬†- she never complained.¬† Even when I started to work as a teacher, I would come home in the afternoon to find my laundry all done, dinner all prepared.. and she would¬†encourage me to go for a rest after my dinner.¬† What a privilege that was!
She took care of her grandchildren lovingly.¬† I will be always grateful to her for taking care of my first son, Ohri, for the first two years of his¬†life while I completed my studies in Jamaica.¬† To do this, as a grandmother, I am sure was a huge sacrifice for her but Ohri also received a huge blessing.
Amongst the many, many lessons I have learnt from watching my mom's life, is not to take life for granted and to find time to do¬†the things I do love to do.¬† I think that her life was lived¬†almost completely in a sacrificial way for her children and maybe this is what brought her joy. However, even though I love my mom very, very dearly, my rebellious nature in pursuing my own passions in life, started because I had the perception that her life was sacrificed¬†for family and I did not want to do the same with mine. ¬†Choosing a professional path, pursuing my passion in travel and writing and community activities, gives me energy to perform¬†my role better as a mother.¬† Altogether, I feel much more fulfilled having a balance between the two.
I was about 18 years old when I¬†asked mom to go on a trip with me so that she could¬†have¬†a travelling experience.¬†Her response was, ‚ÄúChild, save your money.""
A few ¬†years later,¬† she became blind and I moved to Canada just after that.¬† One day¬†I asked her to come over ¬†to spend some time with me. Her response was, ¬†‚ÄúWhere can I go now?¬†I ¬†am blind.‚Äù
These two statements constantly flood my mind, especially when I am about to make an important ¬†decision.¬† How much weight do I attach to the money vs the experience?¬† Can I have less money and a fuller life experience?¬† I don't want to look back and regret not doing something I passionately wanted to do and then regret it later even more due to the onset of a major life illness or a sudden change in life. My mom never imagined that she would have become blind. How¬†would we¬†know?
We do the best we can.¬† We¬†do better, when we know better.
This moment is all that we have. TuneIn¬†to¬† the opportunities in front of you.¬†StepUp¬†and¬†make conscious choices which¬†will¬†make your life fuller and happier.¬† Perhaps we don't have to be in sacrificial mode all the time - lighten up and enjoy the opportunities which life is presenting to you.¬†¬†Do your best to make yours a happy journey.Love, Magdalene"