You have 17 voicemail messages…


Picture it if you will… it is the 26th of December; you are on your way to meet your bestie for your annual Boxing Day sales and you decide to check your voicemail (VM) messages as you’ve realised you hadn’t checked since the 19th (of December).

You check your VM:

1>     Your mum asking you to call her back

2>     Your mum

3>     Your mum again…

Of my 17 voicemail all but ONE of them was from my mother.

Each VM from her went for more than 90seconds and went through a myriad of emotions.

When I get a missed call from my mum I DO call her back usually within the hour… in 99.99999% of the time there has not been emergency which would require her to leave the message: “call me back – its very important”

When I DID call her back from one such message (“call me back AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – its very important”) I discovered it was relating to a letter she got about free Foxtel (“what is this foxtel? Why they send me this?” was also asked) and the cut-off date was that day and should she get it for the house? So as you can imagine the term “important” is loosely termed.

*in fact since writing this I decided to check my VM again.

So Since 27 December to date (today being the 30th) I have 6 messages.

5 from my mum ALL stating the same thing ( a letter I told her I would write for her, and give to her on TUESDAY the 31st of December… I told her in more than one language, on more than 5 calls during the weekend that I would write this letter for her on Monday and give it to her on Tuesday.) I TOLD her that I would DO IT and give it to her BY TUESDAY – at the END of each call I asked her if she understood and she said she did.

Since then AND through that week each call related to this letter.

EACH call! And for me to call her “as soon as possible” because “is very important”


“Have a baby… it’ll be fun!” they said

I noticed that no one bothers to tell you that EXHAUSTED doesn’t even begin to describe how tired you will be… and now with lil missy being sick – I am BEYOND tired that I actually can’t sleep! How crazy is that?

I was at work on Monday (the day my mum has missy) and had literally only been there a couple hours when my mum calls saying that Amira had vomited nd seemed ok now but that she’d keep me posted; 20 minutes later I got another call with mum telling me to come home as she’d been vomiting again and was not herself at all! Thank goodness for where I work – I was outta there in 15minutes and on the road to my baby…

She looked so sad; so clammy and forlorn – I scooped her up and took her straight to the doctors (thank goodness I always have more than a few of my own doctors so I had more than one medical centre to chose from!). We sat in the waiting room and she just sat there on my lap, snuggling in close to me, sucking her dummy and resting her head against my chest. That is SO not like her during the day – usually she’s all ‘go, go, GO’ so the fact that she was resting and all affectionate the WHOLE time made me know that she was NOT well!

She’s at about 65% now I think; she had a virus and apparently that’s explained why the weekend just gone was a little “trying” with me being up more than a couple times during the night. Today there were moments where she was at her smiling, cheery self but she’d get so tired so quickly  but wouldn’t stay asleep for very long because she was coughing… poor little thing. It literally breaks my heart seeing her not herself…

It’s almost crazy when I think about it; that I can be up and down SO many times during the night, have to CONSTANTLY be tidying up after her (she is like a tornado these days!), feel so exhausted and yet I wouldn’t change it for the world! I am certain that seeing your baby sleeping, or seeing them reach out to you with those hands and the look on her face hits a reset button within your heart. It’s in those moments that I look at her and feel recharged… its crazy…

It makes me think… maybe we should have another one!


Crazy huh?


Not quite feeling myself this week…

I haven’t written in awhile – it’s not really that there’s not much been much happening but rather that the stuff that has been happening I think you would all find boring; its all wedding party stuff really:

Trying to source a wedding cake: My hot tip is to not do too many bookings on the one day – eating cake samples every 2nd hour does not clense the palate and DOES interfere with the weight that one is desperately trying to lose!

Dress fittings: I had my calico one today and am amazed at how cold it was standing in a room in all but a calico dress. I think I handled the whole pinning situation rather well and must give props to the designers assistant who did not prick me once!

Bridesmaid issues – actually there certainly IS a story there… forget being a bridezilla – I have a covert bridesmaid-zilla… and I personally do NOT think she is very covert about her ‘diva-ness’!

But all the above is sort of the least of my worries as I battle to understnad why I have been feeling rather ‘funny’ and ‘weird’ lately – I have no idea how to actually define or describe how I’m feeling but its a little “off” to how I am normally feeling – Mr A has noticed and keeps asking me “what’s wrong?” and “have I done something to upset you?” and more often “what can I do to make my princess smile?” Bless him greatly for trying – i appreciate it beyond comprehension! I’ll be ok for a little while and then I am back to this ‘funk’!

Then there’s me thinking about having to get mum’s tickets organised; oh yes did I forget to mention? Mum apparently wants to head off to Indonesia and possibly UAE for Eid this year and is hoping to head off on the 3rd of September. She very diplomatically (not) asked about how once she’d found the best price and got the dates sorted how “we” were going to pay for it – which was clearly mum’s way of saying “how and are YOU going to pay for this?”. I told her how her last years trip cost me a bit as she had wanted an open ticket that would be valid for a year and did not want to travel something like Virgin/Air Asia/Tiger (read: budget airline) that this meant the tickets were a little bit of a pretty penny (which really makes me wonder why when she paid for her own tickets JetStar was more than sufficient but since I had to pay somehow JetStar was now far too inferior!). Anyway, i said that based on last years costs i was happy to pay half that amount… Well, she’s done her research and organised her ticket to be a one year open ticket (like last time) where she still has to put in some rnadom return date (she has selected 03/03/2011) and she leaves on the afternoon of September third – oh and apparently the travel agent has emailed me the details and I am paying for her ticket – ALL of it.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t really a blog post about me lamenting that I am having to pay for the ticket. I worked out a long time ago that I am definately great at driving her places, paying bills, fixing ‘stuff’ and organising appointments. What upsets me is that i am having to “suck up” that this beyond a one way street – that i am not a complete moron to have not noticed that she is conviently away just prior my wedding party and a whole shitload of time after. I am come to realise that i have no idea about anything when it comes to my mother –  that even as i am typing this i am ranting! In some ways I more than expect it (this ‘situation’) and am happy to claim it as my duty as a Muslim daughter – i mean some people would claim that as a Muslim child my job is to “shut up and put up” and to remember that as she is the mother her word is gold – her requests should be met with nothing more than ‘yes mother’ – but i ask these people: where and when is the line drawn? I am NOT talking about retribution or being vengeful or rude, but rather at what point do i continue to take the ALL of THIS???????  Would a simple ‘thank you’ would go astray. Plus, whilst I am pre-programmed that this is how it has to be I don’t understand how my mum must think that it is more than ok to say what she wants, expect the earth and still its never enough  

Before you quip that that perhaps i should remind her that this means (her departure + return dates) she will not be here for my wedding party – believe me I know and i did remind her! I spoke to her about it the other morning; the conversation entailed her asking me if I had already paid for her ticket (*sigh*) – I told her that I was paying for it on Thursday (today). And her asking if I would come to Indonesia with her? I told that I was very sorry but that I wouldn’t be able to come with her – she then went on about how the family would LOVE to see me as they did not see me on the last trip she went on. I went on to telling her that I was not able to come as surely she must remember that i mentioned my wedding party was on the 30th of October – her answer was so eloquently put mashallah:

“I don’t care about your wedding – I want you to come with me…”

I must say that although I knew that she probably would not be at the party and that I more than realise her stance and her denial on the subject matter that is Mr A and I, that hearing this statement has hurt more than all the denial and other stuff she’s said in passing. I can’t quite put my finger on why though – perhaps its because that while she was putting her head in the sand i could rationalise to myself that she doesn’t really comrehend what i am doing – that she is just lost by this whole situation. But the fact that she is able to very clearly articulate that she DOESN’T care is such a slap in the face that as a daughter my role is to care and provide but that i should not expect the same in return. Perhaps this really hurts because its just one more hurtful thing that she’s said that i have to sit there and take. 

After that little comment she proceeded to make other little jibes comments that again, i sit there and listen to whick led me to sit there and pray for more patience – it is beyond words to just sit there and hear that sort of statement and never be able to say anything back – because as a daughter my role is to be patient; to listen; to not utter a bad word that would upset her (God only knows I upset her enough), to remember that she raised me and that in her way she is trying to do what’s best for me, that I am to respectfully sit there… and take the verbal slings and arrows with silent prayers and deep breaths I silently sat there listening to her say:

“No one loves you like me – I am your mother and I am the only person in this world who really loves you. everyone else is just lying – its ALL camouflage; one day you see – there is only me; everyone else is just pretending… ”

I tried to stop listening at that point – I am sure you catch my drift. We said our goodbyes and I got off the phone not long after that. I sat there next to Mr A (he was driving us to work) thanking Allah that I somehow ended up a rather well adjusted human being and that it truly is by the grace of God that, when I think about all the f#$ked up crap I had to endure with my dad and then with they way my mum behaves and says in the last ten-ish years that I did not end up a mentally screwed individual!

A few minutes after I get off the phone Mr A then turns to me and asks; “everything ok?”

My answer?  “Fine sweetie – i love you…”

He knows me so well and touches my knee, smiling he tells me he loves me too – SOOOOO much (he says).

 I mean really – what is there to say?

Mr A meets a cousin!

Last night I spoke to Zaen – he’s one of my first cousins. We generally chat rather often but I say that in the last few months or so we haven’t chatted at all. Maybe its because we’re both busy with work or maybe its because he’s got 5 kids all under the age of 12 (where 3 are under the age of 6 – yikes), or maybe it’s all the mayhem with mum, etc – whatever; essentially we’d sorta lost touch.

Anyway the other day I thought about him and I was thinking that he’d such a snob for not calling me and really was a little overdue – so I gave him a call, left a message and called him an arrogant so and so for not calling his little cous(in).

It was a really good chat – I know mum had told me that he’d been in regular contact with her whilst she was over there (he lives in Doha; Qatar) but Zaen told me that it’s been roughly ever couple 4ish days. So imagine his surprise when he asks what I’ve been up to and I’m like “oh, well; I am in the midst of planning a wedding reception – you should come over to Australia in about October as that’s when we’re hoping to have it!”
The poor guy was shocked – he was like “how come I haven’t heard ANY of this – what is going on? Did you do all this while your mum was away?”

And so it began; I sat down and told him that naturally mum knows, that I moved out to Susi’s and then… well obviously everything. How Mr A’s parents are lovely. About him fasting with me this year – about why I suggested mum go on holiday if she didn’t want to mosque ALL together for eid. He silently listened and then said that he couldn’t believe my mum has said nothing to him about ANY of this. I told him that I seriously wasn’t surprised as I actually wasn’t allowed to mention it to anyone and not even suppose to talk to her about it as apparently I am then ‘killing her’.
He didn’t know what to say – Mr A then walked up to me and was like; “oohhh – who are you on the phone to?” when I said that it was Zaen he asked if Zaen wanted to talk to him – and so they spoke!!!

Granted it wasn’t a long conversation – just the basic salam and good to finally meet you. I am sorry that she (my mum) isn’t happy about us; but inshallah soon she will understand. Standard; please come to visit us in autralia; Mr A saying that we are building so inshallah he will be here either for our (civil) wedding and reception but if not then to come visit when we have our house; the good salam and then I got the phone returned to me!

Haha – the call ended with Zaen telling me that he is going to call me again soon – as clearly he misses TOO many events when he leaves it too long!

*sigh* One small step for man…

Meddling ‘Aunties’

Remember how I said that the Saturday day I spent with my mum was actually surprisingly good?

Remember when I said that I drove to her place on the Sunday just to take her to the masjid (mosque) so she could pray Maghrib (sunset prayer)?

Remember when I said that it was an ok visit but then got sort of “pear shaped” when I got her back from the masjid and she was all upset because she wants me to come back and live with her but doesn’t want to discuss my engagement or why I left in the first place?

Well since leaving I have been keeping in regular contact with mum; I have called her each and every day after sunset prayer and I see her on the Saturday day; spending the whole day with her (sacrificing my usual Saturday morning sleep in – oh how I miss them!) and leaving there at about 6pm-ish. For the last 2 weeks I have additionally gone over on the Sunday afternoon just to take her to pray at the masjid as although she can walk there (its close from the house) she doesn’t walk back because it gets too dark (before I hear you ask if she can drive; yes she can! But she doesn’t like to drive when it’s dark) – hence I have taken her! In addition to this I am also going over for dinner and a chit chat once a week (generally a Wednesday).

So really – I am going over (there) to see her HEAPS! In all seriousness I don’t think she has realised that although I don’t sleep there anymore she speaks more to me now that she did when we were under the same roof! While I was there I tried to stay out of her way as MUCH as possible – I came home from work, cooked dinner, had a shower, ate, watched half an hour to an hour of TV with her (whilst generally not saying anything) and then escaped to my bedroom. Now when I talk to her I actually ask her about what’s happening, I actually want to hear about her day… I want us to talk.

Last night I called her after dinner and all was going well – we had a nice conversation, she was telling me about the auntie that came over and about what she cooked. About what she did at home that day and confirmed that I was coming over some time this week; I told her I was coming on Wednesday night. she asked about work and what I had eaten for dinner and to make sure that I didn’t go to bed too late at night.

All in all a rather good call right? All in all I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe we will be ok and that she will see that this is for the best…

Then I get a missed call and message left from said Auntie who visited her asking me how I am and hoping that insha-Allah all is well with me. That she would like me to call her back soon and maybe even see her when I can because apparentl her daughter (who I know and went to school with) wants to talk to me and see me….


And Camel’s fly!

If she wanted to talk/see me why didn’t she call me? She has my number… a few months ago I got a message from her telling me that she had just had her second baby so I know full well she has my number…

So there are one of 2 rationales for said call:

1)      My mum has put said Auntie up to this or

2)      Said Auntie is doing what ‘aunties’ do best – meddle!

Now I am at loss if I should call her back or just ignore the call…


Or message my friend and say: “hey – heard you were trying to get in touch with me – hope all is well on your side insha-Allah”

*double sigh*

What’s an emergency anyway?

My mum called me today at work – she does this every once in awhile; calling on my mobile. While I lived with her I would wait until I got home and then talk to her about the fact that when I am at work I am at work and that she should only call me if it is an emergency. Since I have departed that residence I am trying to show her that though I am not physically there that our relationship will be all the better for it. So when she called me today while I was at lunch I decided to call her back – I mean, it could be something important right?

Me: Sorry I missed your call – what’s up? Is everything ok?

Mum: It was raining really heavily before….

Me: Yeah – it’s raining here too (thinking: well, we are in the same bloody state!)… Is everything ok? (trying to get to a point where I can see if this call is emergency related)

Mum: I was scared because of the big rain – I took aunty XXX home before and now I am at YY’s house… I am fasting today.

Me: So nothing major is happening right? There’s no emergency?

Mum: well, I am scared because of how heavy the rain is and I am fasting today… so come back home tonight so I’m not scared.

Me: mum, I’ve told you that unless it’s an emergency that you can’t just call me over things like this when I am at work… I’ll call you later.

And the frustration continues!

I don’t know why I bother sometimes – I mean really, I should just ignore her calls and then call her later once I have finished work because I will say that NONE of her calls made during work hours have been emergency related! But I live in fear that one of the days I totally ignore her calls there will be an emergency and I really will be the terrible daughter!

So far the rationale behind her calls made to me at work in the last few months (that I can remember) have been because of the following:

“I am bored… what are you doing?” 

“Aunty XX invited me and you to dinner – so after you come home we go to her house…” 

“You think its ok for me to cut my hair next week instead of tomorrow?” (Can I just mention at this point how maddening this question is because she wears a scarf/hijab… no one would even see if she had or had not cut her hair! This line of questioning is redundant!) 

“What time will you finish work today?” (Again this is a lame reason to call – I work Monday to Friday with the exact same working hours every day…)

“… Don’t forget to pay the bill…” (I wish!) 

“you know what happened today? I went for a walk and then -” (I generally will cut her off and ask ‘is this important?’ or ‘can this wait until I get see you tonight?’ in which case she gets all “huffy” and I get off the phone with her!) 

“I went to the shops just before and I bought the wrong thing… do you think I should return it?” 

“I am at the shopping centre and I locked keys in the car – what should I do?” (hmm – call the RAC – that’s why you’ve paid for road-side assistance). When I told her to call them you know what she said? “Can you call them for me because my mobile phone bill is too high and I just called you…” (cue: internal desire to scream) 

There are a few more instances but I cannot remember them at this point… once upon a time I was stupid, naïve, gullible innocent enough to give her my extension number at my previous employment (never again my friends! Consider it lesson learned!) to which I told her to use when there was an emergency and she needed to get in touch with me. Imagine my frustration when to her the emergency was whether or not she should get a fringe or not!!!!

A fringe!!!!

I turned on my most ‘calm before the storm’ tone and asked the following questions with utter seriousness:

Is the house on fire? (She said “no”)

Has the house flooded? (She said “no?”)

Has there been an electric fault? (She said “no”)

Did you leave the stove on or are broken down on the side of the freeway? (She said “no”)

Have we been robbed? (She said “no”)

Have you been arrested? (She said “no!”)

“Then Mum (*speaking firmly*); I love you but this is not an emergency… I will talk to you later!”

*hang up*

What I kept unsaid… (finally) said

Do you ever feel as though you are desperately trying to move forward and have things ‘progress’ but instead you are just walking through the thickest mud? Where you are gasping for air because you can’t breathe for the sheer despondency of it all and your words can’t seem to string a sentence that will be understood?

Do you sometimes start post after post after post knowing exactly what you want to say and yet either don’t quite know how or that after two or three paragraphs you strangely feel sooo tired by it all that you just hit delete and wonder why you can’t finish it – because you can’t be bothered. Because even thinking about it is a burden; is frustrating, is pain inducing… its headache causing and stomach turning. And I want to tell you all because I feel I should… but I am flummoxed at it all – not about how I got here but more about how I am feeling.

Oh stuff it – let’s just put it out there in the simplest way possible:

I am not living with my mum anymore.

Before any of you get up in arms let me advise you that at this point I am not living with Mr A! Poor Susi has me to deal with now in her dwelling! And before you claim that I am completely abandoning her or that I should practice greater patience I urge you to realize that I have been patient but there is only so much that I am able to suck up and pretend that everything is fine when my own mum will not let me talk to her about anything as I’m ‘killing her’. So I’m still seeing her – I went there for dinner last night before I went to the movies and it was ok – terrible but ok… its good for ½ an hour and then she goes on about I need to end things with him… amongst other things. I’m still taking time off work to take her to her doctors appointments and taking her to her eye appointment this Saturday. She’s still my mum and I do love her but I seriously think that our relationship at this point is beyond repair whilst I am still living there with her. She will always only hear and see what she wants – I cannot change that. The only thing I can hope is that without me there she’ll work out that she’s not as old as she insists on acting and that she will get some semblance of independence and realization that she needs to do things for her and realize that we are actually two people!

The most interesting (???) thing is that she’s has enlisted either some of her friends or Imams who I respect and learnt a lot from to call and talk to me. Then to my mum’s frustrations they hear the little bits and pieces that I tell them and they understand that my mum has always been too intense and that she needs to understand that I am able to make my own decisions. But she always has an excuse for what they say to her.

So that’s it – there is so much more to say; so much that I could only tell my mum through writing it down; through a letter that I am certain she will never truly understand. But sadly I really feel that this is the only way. Everything will work out insha-Allah. I have to believe that this will (eventually) happen because that’s what keeps me going.

So that’s that… in all honesty (living with mum) it hasn’t felt like ‘home’ for years.

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