Mothers’ Stories

motherhood has put me in front of a difficult choice

January 30 , 2020

By: Dua'a Al Nabulsi

I’ve got a new job offer. Congratulations!

A good position and a huge step forward, and the salary is double my last one, everything is just the way I wanted!

I’ve always been a career-oriented person, but this time the decision wasn’t so easy!

The job requires fifty-four working hours per week; which means less, I mean very less time with my child to spend. And this is where motherhood pulls us into many trad-offs!

I know for most of us it is not a big issue, quality time is always what matters, but I just want him to have as many memories as I have for me and my mom.

What I felt about this situation reminded me of a short story, that happened with me three years ago when he was only 10 months old.

My husband and I were sitting in a cafe' after a full week of sleepless nights -thanks to our little one- when the waitress came to take our order, she went to his stroller, smiled lovingly, and asked me about his age, then she turned back to him, looked at his eyes and said "You are so lucky!".

In the beginning, I thought she was talking to me, giving me the most heard lecture ever about how grateful I should be for having a baby, and by the way I am, but then she continued saying "For having your mommy beside you."

At that second, I was confused; isn't it a common thing for most babies to have their moms beside them? Of course, there are some who lost their mamas, but it is not something to bring into this situation.

So, I stammered: "How is that?", she continued saying: "My eighteen months old son lives in the Philippines with my mom, as my husband and I both work here.", "How? Why? Since when?"

I had many questions that day, so she told me her story, that she went to her home country to give birth in her last trimester, that they could not afford any daycare or hiring a nanny here so they had to leave him there with his grandparents, and that she is able to visit him every two years, but she calls him every day over Skype.

She talked and talked, and I was so focused, trying to put myself in her shoes and thinking of a better way for them to live, and how brave and patient this mama was.

Then, it turned out that her situation is very common in her country, many families have to live separately just to earn enough money for everyone, to ensure a decent living for them.

It's been three years now, and I still remember that conversation like it was yesterday.

And every time I get tired or frustrated about my maternal life, I remember her, pray for that family and other families to reunite, and count my own blessings gratefully.

And because I try to be more practical, this fact has made me realize the power of now, the present, that I still own.

So I try to make every day and every hour count. Consequently, I will be thankful later that I had spent real time with my boy.