Growing up in a traditional gender-relation household, I had never turned a critical eye to a figure, which has been central in my life, my sister and my dad’s life- our life as a whole essentially- my mother.
We may have taken her for granted: that is she is our mom and his wife that she was obliged to do all the roles and the assumed responsibilities assigned (by the society, by the cultural values) to her. We never questioned why she had to cook for us on a daily basis, while simultaneously help dad earn the monthly income. We did not ask why she needed to get our dress ready, or manage the daily housechores just to keep our days rolling…
Whilst she has been actually playing a central role in our life, she has actually never been recognized as an individual who essentially has her own emotion, and her life. We take her for granted that her life is ours so we tend to forget what she actually wants and enjoys the most, because for us, she is a mother who will ultimately enjoy whatever her children may enjoy.
We forget that our mom, before she turned to be our life savior, is a woman. Her identity as a woman who needs to takes her own time, enjoys her own pleasures is unconciously absorbed by her children, her husband, and her family’s needs. Her joys eventually turned to be what the children’s joys or the family’s. We take her for granted that she will forever be by our sides so we often forget to ask how she is doing or send a little a prayer, while she constantly does that for us. For her children. For the family.
We easily forget her maiden name, as we got used to her other identities, which often excludes her own name. She is called by “Ny. Pram” or “Ibu Desi” or “Mama Zakia”, the new identity which indespensibly emphasizes the husband or the first child’s name and gradually removes herself from her own identity. We never ask whether or not she is happy with that. We take her for granted, because she is our mom.
With this little note, I just wanted to remind myself that my mom, just like any other woman, is first of all, a woman- a human being who needs her own time to be up, down, sad, happy, and most importantly to be herself.
She has sacrified so much to the point she could sell her own soul to raise her children, so it may be time for us, to at least give her some moment to make her realize that she is also A WOMAN, the most beautiful one. She can get married and has children, but we should never allow her to lose herself.
*in my deepest reflection of Ibu, the most important figure in life.
Summer 2016, PNW