5 Min Read (866 words)

When you are a mum to toddlers, you have the ambition to have an impact on the world whether through your books or through your teaching like I want. Sometimes these two hugely important aspects of your life will jostle to get your time, to get your attention. But sometimes they fight outright, it’s a story of death or life.  

Of course, children will survive any physical negligence, but the emotional damage is almost irrecoverable if you choose your ambition over your family. But on the other hand, if the career and the ambition lose the battle, it is the mother herself who comes out destroyed, having consequences on her mental and physical health due to chronic stress. The latter is no more than a direct consequence of her; suppressing this ardent desire “to be”, to succeed, to add value, and to have an impact on the world. Abraham Maslow defined it in his famous pyramid, it is a human need, the one of self-actualization. 

The maternal instinct is strong and powerful and will never allow itself; to lose the fight. We feed, we clean, we take care of our children, we read them stories… we give endlessly … But this maternal instinct, so powerful, nourishes itself of the woman’s being, and if she, for one reason or another, has allowed her desire for self-actualization to dissipate, she will no longer have the means to nourish her instinct, therefore she will resent her children. They are taking her time, her life, and her career! The result is that each day of mothering will seem like a fighter day – a woman who no longer believes in her cause. Though, she is bitter, exhausted, and unhappy.

So I was feeling that down, my two Me were fighting, no one seems to want to win, or seems to want to let the other win. So what I did, was I stopped a little bit, to catch the scene from above as would a movie director, trying to understand how to make the main protagonists of my life get along together and be in harmonious love. I love love stories with happy endings, and my life has to have this happy ending. 

Stopping and watching my internal struggles makes me realize that my problem is deeper and it’s about my soul thirsty for divine connection and power.  Filled with divine love, my soul spread wisdom and peace on my being. I now have enough love to give my kids while pursuing my ambition. 

I asked the lord for answers. I read the following Coran verses : (93 Morning Light- Coran) In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

“1. By the morning light. 2.And the night as it settles. 3. Your Lord did not abandon you, nor did He forget. 4.The Hereafter is better for you than the First. 5.And your Lord will give you, and you will be satisfied. 6.Did He not find you orphaned, and sheltered you? 7. And found you wandering, and guided you? 8.And found you in need, and enriched you?. 9.Therefore, do not mistreat the orphan. 10.Nor rebuff the seeker. 11.But proclaim the blessings of your Lord”

The answer to my prayer comes almost instantly, a book that I bought a few days ago, has just been dropped by the postman. “Show your Work: 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered” by Austin Kleon. Though I haven’t finished the book yet, I read almost half of it during the following hour. I decided to stop everything else and just have some time for me, without any mum guilt, to read that book. 

He was talking to me, I needed to hear that,  my creative Me needed someone to give her permission to show herself to the world, without being perfect but being authentic. In the first chapters, he talked about being amateurs, about sharing your learning journey. That fits me so well, because I have so much to do, and I don’t want to neglect my family while pursuing my ambition. So I decided to be an amateur and document my journey and share it with the world. I don’t need to wait until I produce the perfect masterpiece of the expert to breathe! I can connect and add value while raising my kids and taking my time to craft my work. So here I am writing this blog, hoping it will help mums that are struggling to find a balance between their families and ambitions. 

After experiencing the “Kids-Ambition” war zone, I came to realize that the moment we succeed in rooting both our ambitions and our dedication to our children from a place of divine love and divine power rather than from a place of ego, the struggle will end immediately.  We may fail a lot, but the recipe is simple: Feed the soul, and the answer will appear, don’t wait, and just do it!

I hope you have enjoyed this conversation that I wanted to be intimate, I’ll be reviewing the book “Show Your Work” in more detail in future posts. Meanwhile don’t hesitate to share what you think about it.