• Sabila Rafeek

Mommying and Being Yourself

Humming the tune of Barney’s theme song softly while braiding my four year old daughter's hair, she asked me a few questions. Simple, innocent questions that got me thinking.

“Did you sing this when you were small?”her face looked at me gleefully at the sound of the familiar tone.

“Yes of course,”I laughed at her fascination.

“When you were small you also went to school?”

“Mmm-hmm,” I murmured in response, a hair tie between my lips as I struggled to keep her head straight and tie her braids.

“You had a lot of friends.”


“And then you became a mother.” It was more of a statement than a question. “Now you don’t have friends and you have to cook for us all day!”

She turned, threw herself at me and hugged me tightly.

“You’re the best,you make yummy potatoes!”

“I’ll always make yummy potatoes for you.”

I gave her a loud, smacking kiss on her cheeks and waved her off to school.

I stood leaning against the door, thinking of a small child's notions on what being a mother is. How readily she suggested now that I am a mother, I have no friends and have to cook all day. Those remarks were said not out of spite, but the pure perception of what she sees in me. That’s probably all I am to the children. To myself I know I was much more; much more than staying home and raising the kids.

The dreams, hopes and inspirations I had, what I wanted to be, had taken a backseat. They were put on pause because life happened. The mistake I made was putting everyone else before me, giving myself the least importance. Without realising how mentally and emotionally draining it would get.

Being a mother shouldn’t mean sacrificing yourself, it is about finding the perfect balance between mommying and being who you are, as an individual. Now I realize I shouldn’t have let one phase of my life take charge of my entire existence.


Sabila is a mum to three kids and a full time home-maker. "This is how I find my peace when I’m not busy attending to one of their needs. Writing little snippets, reading and listening to some music."