x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Balance helps both mums and children

It's time to praise mothers for all their dedication and hard work

July 2013 was a turning point in my life. It was the time I entered into a new world of emotions, new habits, attitudes and, above all, patience. It was when my Afra walked into my life and I became a mother for the first time.

At first I was clueless about how to cope with this new situation in my life and unsure about whether or not I would be able to succeed considering my active social life, my job as a director in one of the government entities, being a doctoral student and my responsibilities as a wife.

I can’t help but think of my mother and her generation. How did they face motherhood? The resources they had were very limited. At least we have the luxury of hiring a helper. In addition to being mothers, they used to take care of the household, cook, look after their parents and have a social life, very similar to the busy lives we have but with fewer complications. I ask myself how they were able to raise a very successful generation that coped really well with all the changes and development in life. And I found the answer in the values that they taught us when we were young children.

My mother keeps telling me: “No matter what changes happen in the world, you should always stick to your values and your culture even with a very modern lifestyle. A mother will always be a mother no matter what senior position she achieves in her career or what education level she reaches, the responsibility towards raising her children and taking care of them should never be neglected nor compromised.”

Her words always inspired me to overcome challenges. She always repeated an old Arabic proverb: “He who doesn’t carry the cup of water by his own hands, will not be able to satisfy his thirst.” I took this to mean that being independent is the best thing to do.

Many of my friends considered giving up their careers. Some did as soon as they became mothers and this is not a wrong thing to do. However, it was a matter of time before they noticed that all they needed was more patience and motivation to overcome difficulties when they first began their journey of motherhood.

My motivation is my Afra. She keeps me going whenever I face a new challenge. She inspires me to achieve more in my life so that one day she will be able to look at my achievements and follow the same path or even a better one. Measuring my success in life is through balancing between being a mother and my accomplishments. This requires a lot of time-management and teaching your child certain habits to make your life easier.

As Mother’s Day is celebrated today, I would like to take the opportunity to praise all the mothers for all the sacrifices they made for their children. And thank my mother for all the things she taught me that made me who I am today.

* Mariam Al Mahmoud

As well as being a mother, Mariam Al Mahmoud is also director of education and training at the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation. She holds two master’s degrees in education leadership and international business. She is currently a doctorate student in business administration at UAE University.

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