Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I hope my kids will miss me...

I'm 42 years old this year. Syukur alhamdulillah.

I know some who didn't make it past 40.

And I also know some who have lived nearly twice the years I've been on this earth. My Abah is one of them. He turned 81 in March this year. Syukur Alhamdulillah. Having survived two episodes of cancer in his life, and on medication for hypertension for the last 10 years now, he looks good for a man his age. A bit frail, but still good, considering.

And my Mommy will be 71 come November this year, insya Allah. She's a diabetic, she has hypertension, she had a stroke a few years back and she also had triple angioplasty done on her. But, syukur alhamdulillah, she's doing okay.

I have passed the 40-year mark. And I don't know if I will ever pass the 70-year mark, let alone the 80-year mark.

But, I hope I can fill whatever time I have left on this earth, even if I don't meet the ripe age of 80, with things that will make my kids miss me.

It may sound selfish - wanting the kids to miss me when I'm gone. But, I mean this in a positive way.

I don't want my kids to mourn and grieve their Mommy forever. Of course not.

I just want them to remember me. I want them to remember how I look, how I smell, how I touch and hold their hands, how I hug and kiss them. How I stroke their heads, how I touch their cheeks, how I laugh with them. How I smile, how I talk, how I walk.

I want them to remember that I am always with them - physically, and if not - that they are always very much on my mind. Constantly - throughout my waking hours. And that sometimes I do dream of them when I sleep.

And for this to happen, I will need to spend as much time as possible with them as I don't know when I will breathe my last breath.

It's quite hard given the fact that I have to go to work, and they have to go to school (and also to the 1001 classes they have in between school and bedtime). And of course, they need their breathing space. I, too, need my breathing space.

It is hard, but it is not impossible.

It is impossible ONLY if you don't try. At all.

I know that I've been pretty hard to please and rather grumpy when I'm at home - having to attend to the house chores after a stressful day at work and all. And I also have to attend to so many other things/chores which are not home, or work-related, too.

Many a times, at night when the kids have all gone to sleep, I would just look at them and have this unexplainable sense of guilt and regret for yelling at them earlier in the day for what later seems to be such a simple and harmless act, and I realize that it was just the "pressure-cooker" in me doing the yelling...

I know some parents spend so much time at the office, and as if that is not enough, they would bring work home with them. And when they're at home, they are oblivious to what's happening around them - what the kids are doing, what the kids are (trying) to tell them. And some even snap at their kids for disturbing them. Some are always on the phone - talking or SMSing either with people from the office, or with their clients, or with friends. Some just come home and sleep, and go to work the next day. And the cycle goes on and on.

Of course we would expect our spouse and kids to understand just how hard we have to work for the family, and that we do need to rest and sleep when we're at home.

But, we also must not forget that our spouse and kids ALSO expect us to understand that they also want to spend time with us.

It is as easy as that.

The problem is, we tend to take our husbands or wives or kids for granted. We expect them to be there everyday waiting for us day in, day out. No matter what.

But, just because they never complain openly, that does not necessarily mean that they're fine with us not spending time with them.

I'm not saying that we should cut ourselves off from our friends, or that we should not get the rest and sleep that we badly need. But, what I'm trying to understand here is that IF we can MAKE time to attend to our bosses, to our clients, or to chat or SMS, or do whatever friends do with/between friends, why is it so hard for us to MAKE OR FIND TIME - however little, with whatever little time we have, for the family? Just THERE WITH the family. And I mean BE THERE TOTALLY, and not with our minds wandering elsewhere.

I DO TRY my best NOT to be that kind of a parent. I fail miserably sometimes, but, I do try my best to be there with the family, for the family.

Some may think that the time spent with the kids is just that - time with the kids.

But, I believe time spent bringing them to the doctors when they're sick, time spent bringing them to the shops to get the stuff for school, getting ice-creams on that hot and clammy day, sending and fetching them to and from their classes, bringing them to the barber/salon for a haircut, cleaning the hamsters' cage, listening to their favourite songs together, going shopping with them, getting to know what they like, what they don't like, performing solat with them and/or bringing them to the mosque to perform the solat, cooking for them and having a proper meal at the dinner table together, and through out all these, having meaningful conversations with them.

THOSE are the things that our children will remember us by.

NOT those fat cheques we bring home at the end of the month after slogging 18 hours a day, 7 days a week at work.

Well, the kids MAY appreciate the fact that we can afford to buy them stuffs and such. But, at the end of the day, they are just that. Things. And like all material things, these will never last.

If you can spare 18 hours a day at work, what is 12-18 hours over the weekend for your family? 6 to 9 exclusive hours per day of QUALITY time for just 2 days WITH and FOR the kids.

Just think about it. Why are you working so hard? Who are you doing it for?

Just be very careful - for one day you might end up long gone, and also long forgotten by your kids just because they don't have anything of you to remember by - those special moments you spend with them.

What they might have may just be images of you working, and working, and working...and you blowing your top with them because they are in between you, and your work.

Are these the images you want your kids to remember you by?

I hope not.

And with Ramadhan just around the corner, I hope we can all take advantage of the Holy month to start making more efforts at home to become better parents to our kids.

I hope to spend more time at home as a family and beribadah as a family, insya Allah...

I pray that Allah SWT will guide me so as not to take my loved ones for granted.

And I hope when I'm long gone, they will miss me...

27 comments:

tina_bakes said...

well said! thanks for the reminder!!

anom said...

Salam k. Shana.. a very touching entry.. thanks for the reminder... Since I just become a mom myself recently, I really want to spend as much time as possible with Zikri... I really hope he will remember and misses me as your kids will you.

Salam Ramadan kak.. Maaf Zahir dan Batin..

Anonymous said...

Kak...Happy Birthday.

p/s: sama birthday dengan my abah too. He turns 68 this year. Alhamdulillah.

Your silent reader :)

Anonymous said...

very well written Shana, as always..
i can relate to this piece, very much so..
we are very polite to strangers but can be very callous with our loved ones kan..saddd...
lets work towards making our kids and hubby remember us with fond memories when we are no longer here with them..

along~xxooo~

Kmar said...

Nice to read... I baca, I pun naik sebak.. ish.ish... I always like to ´smell´ my children... such a comforting ´auroma´.. :))

Anonymous said...

yeap..a very touching piece indeed. It's really challenging being parents nowadays..can you imagine how much more challenging for our kids when they become parents themselves..

Jah

Idah Balquis said...

Shana,

Very true.... InsyaAllah your kids will remember you & miss the things you did when you've done your best for them. Especially once they've left the 'nest'. Talking through experience here....:-)

'Ayn calls me very often every single week (sometimes twice a day)without fail telling me of the things that she does, her ups & downs, my cooking that she misses (altho' I'm not a good cook at all!!) & even asking me permission before doing certain things... I guess I must have done something right after all :-)

wanshana said...

Tina,

Thank you, and you're welcome :)

I started writing this, as I felt like we have not really had quality family time lately. We have been so busy - sampai terlepas pandang a few matters relating to the kids :(

And worse, sometimes I don't even know my hubby's schedule (coz' padat sangat to the brim - where he was, where he was heading/flying, when, etc.) and vise versa.

This piece is written to remind myself and hubby sebenarnya... and at the same time I hope it'll benefit others, too, insya Allah.

wanshana said...

Salam Anom :)

Selamat bekerja semula!!

I'm sure so liat for you to leave Baby Zikri first day start kerja balik kan? It's okay, yang penting when you're home with him and Nasir, give 100% of your time to them.

Salam Ramadhan to you, too, dear. Maaf Zahir Batin :)

P/S : Zikri makin hensem ;)

wanshana said...

Dear Anonymous @ 9:13pm,

Thank you :) My birthday sebenarnya dah lepas - turned 42 last May. Masa tu was too busy with all sorts of things and did not have all these thoughts in me. Lately ni baru rasa that I'm on borrowed time...Bila-bila dan mana-mana boleh breathe my last breath:(

Do wish Happy Birthday to your Dad, ya? Syukur alhamdulillah. Semoga dipanjangkan umur,dimurahkan rezqi dan diberikan kesihatan yang baik and may he blessed with love and happiness always, insya Allah.

Thank you again :)

wanshana said...

Along,

Thank you...and insya Allah :)

I don't know why - the last couple of weeks ni I've been feeling rather melancholic. It could be PMS, or it could be the realization that I have had 42 years and I don't think I will get another 42 years to share with my loved ones...

Yes, let's make a conscious effort to better ourselves in terms of being with, and for the family from now on.

wanshana said...

Kmar,

I yang menulis/menaipnya pun very sebak semalam. I just can't explain how heavy my heart felt while writing this piece...

Yes, I love the smell of my kids (even though sometimes punya lah masam - especially bila balik from school! Hehehe...)

wanshana said...

Jah,

Yes indeed. I just hope we can instil some values and show our kids some of the ways to maintain a happy family for them to practise when their time comes nanti... That's about the only thing we could do now kan, Jah?

There will be different challenges for them, but, insya Allah if they hold to the right values, they will sail through.

wanshana said...

Idah,

Yes, you must have done something right, dear :) Syukur alhamdulillah.

My turn will come in 3 years time, insya Allah, and I hope my kids will always trust me and confide in me on whatever issues they're having.

Kalau boleh kita nak anak-anak kita stay with us forever, kan? But, there will come a time when we have to let them go, and we pray that they will always come home to us both in good times and bad times, insya Allah.

MA said...

Happy (belated) birthday Shana.

Time flies kan, and before you know it - kids are flying the roost.

Keep well.

Eta My said...

Owh Shana...an excellent reminder..bet you dear, I kat rumah full time houswife pun..kekadang come night...when I ponder back..well..today..I think I fail miserably...sigh...dlm kepala dok pikir memacam..plan segala...come night..when kids are at home..time is just too short!!.meleleh lak air mato den!
p/S:...that is us..to those yg anak2 yatim, ibu tunggal..Semuga Allah beri kepada kita petunjuk dan kekuatan utk menjalankan segala amanahnya...Love u!

Amy said...

Meleleh air mata Amy baca :(. I may not have the privilege of being a mother but I hope I will be remembered as a good wife and a good daughter. Mmg sampai sekarang, masih teringat all the things my parents did for me, tak terbalas rasanya.

wanshana said...

Dear MA,

Thank you :)

Yup - time really flies. I can still vividly remember my labor pains delivering the kids, and now they're so big already! If at all possible, I feel like building a huge mansion with 4 separate wings and get them to occupy one wing each, while hubby and I occupy the 4th wing so that they're close to us!

But, alas... They'll have their own lives and will need their own space :(

As long as they remember us, and come home to visit us
often, insya Allah, we must bersyukur.

You, too, MA - Keep well :)

Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan :)

wanshana said...

Dear Eta,

Glad to share my feelings and thoughts here. It does not matter if one is a housewife or a CEO of a company - everybody has 24 hours in a day, kan? And everybody has his/her responsibilies and schedule. A mom at home probably needs more than 24 hours! Whatever we may be doing, memang memenatkan physically and mentally, and we will every now and then will lose our cool. That is quite normal...

But, from now on, let us try to be more patient and put a bit more extra effort to spend more quality time with our families...

Love you, too, dear :)

Take care!

wanshana said...

Amy,

Sorry to have made you cry, dear! But, akak pun sebak jugak when I wrote this.

Insya Allah, your rezqi will come and you and Zul will become parents soon. Banyakkan doa, tenangkan minda and have faith in HIM. I'm pretty sure you'd be an awesome Mom! :)

I can see that you have a very close relationship with your parents, syukur alhamdulillah. Insya Allah, the time spent with them and the love shown and shared will be forever etched in you...

Take care, dear :)

Zed said...

Salam , I stumbled upon your blog whilst blog hopping. I have to say your post touched me to very core of my being.. possibly because I am guilty of feeling that I do not spend as much time as I would have liked with my child... and mostly because lately it would seem people around me, people that I know off have passed on at a relatively "young" age..that brought on some major reflections on my life as to what will happen to my child when my turn is up ..hope my son will remember me for the relationship that he cherishes with me rather then the things we have been able to give him. Thank you for the reminder May Allah bless you and your family :)

MrsNordin said...

I haven't been here in a while and this, I must say, is a very good posting. A reminder to us all..

I have the same message for my husband who is forever checking on his BB when he's at home. Like you rightly point out, if you can spend 12-18 hours a day entertaining your boss/client/colleagues or answering those e-mails, why can't you spend a good 2 hours/day with the children?

I lose my temper too on those trying days, especially on the little one. After that, i regret it like mad. Kesian... they don't deserve to be treated that day.

I think this is a common dilemma for mothers like us. But i'm very sure, your children will remember you for what you've done for them and for who you are. A mother will always be a mother to them...

Faisal "Sal" Rosli said...

HANNA HASYA HILMAN!! take not of this post. this is a beautiful post, reading i became very emo-ish hahaha.*huggsssss* =)

fifi said...

Ramadhan Kareem Kak Shana
Have a blessed one. Salaam to all at home!

Anonymous said...

Well said...

Azfa said...

Salam Kak Shana,
When I first read ur entry, ish..I pun rasa guilty gila as me at times also will meletup at my kids especially bila kita letih balik from the office..lepas tu bila dah malam n cool sikit, rasa menyesal tak sudah..
I believe we mothers need to control ourselves so that kalau la kita tak ada nanti, anak kita ingat kita yg baik2 n not as mak naga..he he
Thanks Kak for the reminder

psst psst : I read ur post on cerita chenta..so sweet..

Wiz said...

Salam Shana,

I am a work at home mum and believe it or not, I feel the same way if not worse. I decided to be WAHM as I am just selfish with the hours I want to have with my kids. I worked out a schedule so I could be everywhere doing everything, mixing work, bussiness and family. But Shana, it isn't easy. As much as we would like to be supermums, we do need some time to ourselves, I have none of that. The kids are with me 24/7, they follow me everywhere, even when I have to occassionally go to classes. They will be at the back of the room. It sounds like an ideal arrangement. But sometimes it does drive us crazy hahaha.

To be missed, I figured we need to be away from each other, even for a lil while. That's when the kids and the spouse would have the time to long for your presence and in turn have warm thoughts about you. Absence makes the heart grow fonder like they say.

You are doing it beautifully as I can see, Shana. At least there is the big fat cheque to bring home at the end of the month, as opposed to me.

There are the good and the not so good to the choices we make. But whatever the choice is, I think we must give it our best. I think you have, regardless. AS for me, the kids know they are stuck with me day in and day out and our theme song?

"I hate myself for loving you" which we sing in the car laughing our way whilst getting on each others nerves hahahaha

Thanks so much for sharing Shana. YOu are a beautiful mother.