Nobody would thank you for your marveLlous skills as you were expected at that age to learn it, as their mothers did with their younger siblings and later on with you and other cousins. You didn’t expect the appreciation too, as it was part of being in a family and something you should learn anyway, as a future mother.
Rasha al Raisi –
MUSCAT, MARCH 24 –
Like many women of my generation, I was brought up in my grandparents’ house surrounded by many loving aunts and younger cousins (not to mention endless numbers of pets that ranged from wadi puppies to cute looking calves!).
In such an environment, many skills become a second nature to you, for example, mothering skills. Having a younger sibling helped, but I became a real expert with the arrival of my younger cousins. With working mothers, babies were always passed to you. I learned everything from bottle feeding, changing nappies to putting the babies to sleep.
Nobody would thank you for your marvellous skills as you were expected at that age to learn it, as their mothers did with their younger siblings and later on with you and other cousins. You didn’t expect the appreciation too, as it was part of being in a family and something you should learn anyway, as a future mother.
In the Baluchi culture, where I come from, being a mother was something inevitable (like being sick or becoming old). Why else would women get married? Isn’t to experience the joy of motherhood? I ask my mom about labour pains and she chides: “Nah! It will all go away once you see the baby!” I look at her cousin who comes visiting with four children, climbing over her thin frame like little monkeys while she’s having coffee and chatting with grandma. Remember the prophet’s saying: “Heaven lies under mothers’ feet.”
Alas, I never became a mother nor did many of my single friends, despite the constant reinforcement from society on the importance of getting married and having family of your own. Yet, my single friends continued practicing the mothering skills they learned at an early age. They have ageing parents to look after and nieces and nephews to babysit. Also some sponsor orphans and others visit sick children in the hospitals, which is really admirable. I belong to the few who decided to adopt pets.
I became a cat aficionada after adopting my first stray 11 years back. My house had turned into a stray cats’ sanctuary that I named: Kitzania. Cats are fed and when sick they’re treated. Most cats are born here and some were rescued. My family calls them Rasha’s children.
Lately one of my strays, Anoosh was diagnosed with severe kidney failure almost 2 months back. Anoosh lost his will to live and stopped eating. Every single day, I would syringe feed Anoosh twice a day and inject him with fluids (I am a needle phobic who begs the doctors to give the IV fluid to drink!).
In good days, I would carry him out and we would watch the other strays feed. In bad days, I would wake up early morning to clean his bleeding teeth and squirt some water in his mouth so that he doesn’t feel thirsty. Sadly, Anoosh lost his ability to swallow and had to be put down two weeks back. It was a painful experience to go through. He was only three years old and weighed two kilos only.
Motherhood goes beyond having children of your own. It’s about kindness and being able to love and care for others. It’s also about giving and not waiting for anything in return. That’s why Mother’s Day should be celebrated by all women. We are all mothers, one way or another whether we are called yummy mommies or not. Happy mother’s day to all!