Stay-at-home mum or laid-off-work mum?
I took this photo last week when I went to my empty office to collect my belongings and throw myself a solo farewell party - since everyone’s still working from home due to the COVID19 pandemic, which, by the way, I will not be discussing in this article!
It has been so difficult for me to acknowledge my mixed emotions over leaving my job, seeing as I was working to support my family, side by side, with my dear husband. While the fear of being unable to find a good opportunity during these difficult times as well as the fear of changing the lifestyle we are so used to often consumes me, it also brings me closer to Allah and to my family.
I am writing about this because many other people lost their jobs, homes, and families in 2020. This year is not the year of COVID19, it’s the year of loss and somehow the year of appreciation.
As I felt myself sink deeper and deeper into an anxiety hole, and waking up every morning with the same thoughts on my mind (what am I going to do now? How will we be able to afford this and that? Loans, tuition fees, doctors, and as many commitments as one can think of), I looked closer into my daughters’ beautiful eyes and I knew that I couldn’t give up.
I knew I had to pull myself together for them, if not for myself. After all, I am their mother and if a mother can give a magical kiss to take away the pain of her children’s wounds, she can also lick her own wounds and move along.
Don’t get me wrong, of course I cry from time to time, of course I find myself stressed out over our grocery bills and so on, but I am also dedicated to not losing my mind and my health over stress because that will not change the fact that I am jobless. And so, I decided to “choose” what I think about in the morning when I wake up:
I choose to be behind the wheel, stopping my feelings and my thoughts from being set on autopilot; I choose to believe that I will be ok and that my family will be ok too; I choose to believe I am exactly where I am meant to be, with my daughters who need me now more than ever; I choose to believe that I am staying at home to be safe and to keep my family safe; I choose to believe I am given the greatest opportunity to spend more time with my girls and to spend more time with myself; I choose to believe that a better opportunity is on its way to me sooner rather than later, and an opportunity doesn’t necessarily mean a job; I choose to push away all my negative thoughts, as logical as they may seem, until they sneak up on me and crawl back into my head - usually in the evening when my girls are asleep - then I choose to push them away again before I sleep;
Every morning I wake up and say to myself: after more than twelve years of having a full-time job, I can finally breathe, sit back and relax (as much as a mom can!) because any day now, I will crave these morning walks and I will miss having the time to do whatever I want.
I now pray more and I keep forcing myself to look forward to a bright future, to see the light at the end of the tunnel, which, for some reason, I keep imagining as the train coming to run me over! But hey, that’s for another article!