I hated who I was when I became a mother for the first time. I was angry, low, stressed and I did not take care of myself mentally, spiritually or physically. I remember it being tough time for me and my marriage. I had become a negative person and pushed away a lot of family members. I fought with my husband daily.
My daughter was born 2 months premature and I think I read too many books that made me paranoid. I hated listening to advice from family members and just wanted to “break free” from cultural expectations that were placed upon me.
Fast forward to today and I am the happiest I’ve ever been in a long time. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I feel much more confident as a mother now. But also I like the fact that at almost seven years old, Kay is an actual person and we have fun together. We talk and hang out, do activities, and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
Now that I have an older child, I see myself acting like a big kid myself. Ramadan and Eid have become so much fun now because Kay understands why we fast and why we celebrate. My house is decorated each holiday and I find myself wanting to do more during that time to be a good example for her. As a family, we are taking trips and exploring the world around us a bit more. I told a fellow mother that as a child gets older, you can add an hour to the time you spend away from home. No more bottles, no diapers, no worrying about naps- it’s quite liberating.
Kay has always been close to me, as I was home with her. Any mother knows that a child will become super attached to you and won’t let you breathe for 5 minutes; that was the case for me too. However, the past year and a half we’ve grown closer in a different manner. She loves having special dates with me that usually involve a cupcake.
Quality time has become much more precious now that I am working full time. We love going out together or just staying home and curling up in bed to watch a Disney movie. It’s the little things that have brought us closer together. Now that Kay is older we can do more things together without feeling tied down.
But I honestly love how she is developing as a person; she has a beautiful personality. I’ve seen how she genuinely loves learning about Islam. Her questions amaze me and I know she will grow into a beautiful Muslim, inshaAllah. She loves to make people happy by making cards and giving the best compliments. I was blessed with a child who has a big heart who goes out of her way to make birthdays and special occasions just that- special.
Because she is my only child, life is going at a great pace. Her dad and I are really taking off in our careers and we honestly love giving her all our attention. People constantly ask us if we’re going to have more children, and I can’t say “yes”. Whatever Allah wills of course, but to go back to the time when we had a baby? I don’t see how we, errr, I, can do it all over again. I’m at a good place in my life and I know my limitations. So for now, I don’t mind buying cupcakes just for two.
Miriam currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, and is a full time mother, wife and paralegal.