The thoughts of an American Muslim and mother of four raising her children in small town USA with her Egyptian husband.
Monday, November 17, 2008
All I wanted was the simple things...
What is the simple life? There is a song that I love by no doubt that says "All I ever wanted was the simple things, a simple kind of life. And now those simple things are simply too complicated for my life." I feel like I am living that song.
I know there is a stage where everyone wants to be a rock-star or an astronaut... You very rarely hear a young woman saying she wants to be a wife and a mother, but once you are past that I think many of us come to a place where that is all we want.
I had visions of my life when I was getting married that involved an Odyssey and 6 kids in a nice home in Denver, CO. Maybe even someplace bigger and warmer like California. I never saw us as rich, but I did think we would be comfortable with a house and a nice life. My DH was getting a PHD in Engineering after all. I saw this whole mom's night out, friends over for dinner social life I would have. I figured I would have a sewing room and I would make things for my kids. I saw myself having beautiful home-births and a husband who supported my interest in home-birthing. I thought I would home-school and have my children play sports and be involved in the local Muslim community. I thought I might even be a public speaker of some sort for Muslim women. I saw myself filling a freezer with fabulous home cooked meals so we would have wonderful family dinners even when I was busy. I thought we would take family vacations and camping trips. I envisioned a garden and canning things from it. I'm going to be honest, so don't think I'm mean or heartless here because I wouldn't trade my family for anything... If I had known what my life would be like now, I would've hitched up my jilbab and run full speed in the opposite direction.
So I am starting to wonder if I am in mourning for the loss of something that was just never mine to begin with? Am I punishing the people around me for failing to become my dream family? Is my sense of detachment coming from the feeling that this is not my life?
And the real question.... Considering that my dream life will NEVER happen now, what are my goals?
There is a sense of getting shortchanged that is hanging over my head like a black cloud. Even as I write this I am getting choked up. I'm not saying that no one would be happy with my life. Actually I'm sure there is a woman out there somewhere living my ideal life that hates it and would take mine and excel. She would not only enjoy my situation, she would thrive in it. And isn't that ironic and strange???
I'm all for the bloom where you are planted thing. But it is proving to be harder for me than it sounds. On some level, and maybe I am spoiled to some extent, I have decided that these things I want are deeper than that. They are in fact things I need. And maybe there is some truth to that. Can meeting the conditions for survival end up in fulfillment?
Imagine that I put you in a place you hate, lets say you are a summer person and I throw you in Alaska. Then I give you food and shelter, but it is also the exact opposite of what you would choose for yourself. You are a vegetarian and I give you a meat based diet. You like a small warm house I give you a spacious drafty one. You like to sew, and I give you a garage with a wood-shop. Do you think you could live your life and not just survive but be happy in it? Because I guess that is the situation I feel like I am in.
Seriously, I can take my lemons and make lemonade... But what if I don't like lemonade?
I am a mother to four wonderful kids and the wife to one wonderful Egyptian! We live in a small town in the Midwest and work in our small businesses. I am also a Waldorf preschool teacher and childcare provider, a backyard chicken lady, a part time homeschooler, and a generally crunchy mama (think hijabi in birks).