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Musings of a Mum: Redemptive joy

27th Dec 2019

Aasiya I Versi

For those of you who read my column regularly know that last month I worked on my CV – to work on bridging a professional gap. I have also started applying in an attempt to get my foot in the door again – like I didn’t have enough on my plate already.

This desire to struggle or to appear to be struggling is contagious and sucks the life out of us. Walk into any gathering of mothers and you find stories of horrific labours being exchanged together with illnesses, stories of sleepless nights, painful tales of juggling work and childcare.

Don’t get me wrong, I do empathise and maybe with baby Number 3 I have the glorious ability to look back and those big mountains seem like molehills from a distance. I also know that the shared experience of suffering creates a sense of camaraderie which is a lifesaver in the lonely realm of motherhood. However, I find the lack of ‘talk of joy’ baffling. Why are we not able to enjoy and loudly celebrate what we have?

Are our collective thoughts of suffering and pain the reason for us not being able to enjoy and embrace happiness — however fleeting it maybe? If we were to embrace it and celebrate it loudly, would that experience be amplified and dare I say spread? If a feeling such as pain is contagious, would happiness not be equally infectious?

It sometimes seems that it is only through struggle that our human experience gains value. But I question after all that I do and am spent and tired at the end of the day, will I have the energy to enjoy the supposed gain in value? My application was unsuccessful. A part of me was disappointed and dare I say it, I was also relieved.

The idea of having to juggle a professional role in addition to taking care of my children and volunteer roles both of which take time and effort, I don’t know how I could have managed.

If I look within myself, the idea of cooking, cleaning, caring for my children, having an immaculate house, having enough time to dress up and vacuum in a 1950’s dress with a dash of red lipstick on while dinner is in the oven seems like a dream. But the feeling of being undervalued by the society around me kills that idealistic notion. So, is my pursuit of happiness and joy being jeopardised by the society around me?

Recognising joy is a skill and a habit we need to invoke. If we have become so good at articulating pain and struggle, we can be as good if not better at recognising and articulating joy.

For if we are not tuned into looking for joy, then God could (potentially) fill our lives with all the blessings of the heavens but it cannot recognise them, then they will just pass us by. Then perhaps God too, maybe disappointed in our inability to look at the goodness he sets to provide.

2 Responses to “Musings of a Mum: Redemptive joy”

ShabnamJanuary 23, 2020

Excellent Article Aasiya, I think lots of mums will be able to resonate with this. On the work front have you tried return to work schemes or even freelance copywriting jobs? This may be a way you can get back in.

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T.JessaFebruary 10, 2020

Honest feelings Beautifully expressed. The struggle between self acceptance and societal acceptance is vividly described in this piece. Spreading the joy one mom at a time might be worth trying. Thankyou Aasiya for starting an important conversation again. I Salute your decision to celebrate motherhood so elegantly.

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