With my son having recently finished his high-school studies and entering military service, I’ve come to realise how hard it is to let go.
I’ve always been very involved in my children’s lives. At times, they feel that I’m overprotective, overcareful and just “over-everything”.
Having been married since the age of 19, I sometimes think how have I become immersed in motherhood, rather than my own life? The answer is simple. Being the mother that I am makes me happy. I can never complain when it comes to my kids and their well-being.
I always choose their happiness over mine. They’re always my first priority. Sometimes, friends and family tell me that I should take some time off for myself. It’s just not easy to let go of something you’ve been so good at for so long.
I finished my college studies after having kids, and got a job right after – though I did reach a point where I found it too much to handle. I found most happiness when I was around my kids in my own little kingdom.
I always have this fear of missing out on the most important moments in their lives. I do admit that I am overprotective and, at times, that scares me. I’m sure a lot of mothers out there can relate to this feeling. While some mothers can balance out their lives to take care of both themselves and their families, for me that’s difficult.
My children, especially my boys, always ask why I don’t have many friends and why I seldom go out to have fun. They can’t understand that being around them is my joy in life. I love to share their daily experiences. I love to hear stories about their daily encounters, whether at school or among their friends.
You can’t imagine my joy when my kids come home and say “Mum, my friend said to say ‘hi’ to you”. That makes my day. The fruits of my labour, as I would put it, are these happy moments I share with my kids.
Seeing them go on their own paths is difficult. My heartstrings are being pulled so hard. I try my best to enjoy every aspect of the precious time where I’m blessed by their presence.
From my children’s point of view, they sometimes find it hard to understand my attachment issues. I’m sure one day, when they have families of their own, they will come to realise how it feels.
I’m sure they won’t be as clingy, but at least they’ll maybe start thinking to themselves: “That must be how Mum used to feel.”
We learn from our experiences. Just like my relationship with my parents – I used to hate their interference and rules. Suddenly, when I became a mother, I started to realise what a hard, full-time job it is – but, at the same time, the pleasure we get out of it.
Abeer Al Nowais is an applied media studies graduate from Higher Colleges of Technology.
If you're an Emirati woman with an interesting story to tell or an important issue to debate, contact Shireena Al Nowais on firstname.lastname@example.org.