A Bettie Asks: Will I ever belong to the International Women’s Day?
Zeina Kanawati, a mom of two from Syria, living in Prague, talks. She has an insightful question on this special day, March 8th.
Waking up so early also today. Preparing the kids for school.
Breakfast, school bags, snacks, hugs, kisses, and good wishes.
They leave me in a daily little storm of emotions, wondering if I was a good enough mother. Again today, I find myself torn between my needs as a young lady.
I still want to fall in love, to dance the night out, to get drunk, I still want to go on endless adventures to find myself, to fulfill my risky soul, and to break my daily taboos.
But, I must be the good mom I am always chasing. I want to make my children’s little home a place for memories, for creating the smile they will need later, I want to build a pile of dreams that can carry them away and far from their reality when troubles appear.. I simply want to be with them even after I disappear.
Among everything, I find myself running everyday to get the basics: food, clothes, dishes, work and more work. I barely find the time anymore to look at the mirror.
I have to have a full time job, and I have to be a full time house maid, a full time mom, and a full time calm and happy me!
On the other hand, I struggle to get accepted in the modern society I live in.
As a single mom of two, I get so many of: Why did you get two? You didn’t know you will end up alone?
I honestly didn’t know I would literally end up alone, and I would sometimes beg for support without any response.
I got isolated from the group of friends who don’t have kids, I am always with kids.. That doesn’t work for most of the people.
I got kicked out of the group of women who are afraid of single ladies! They think I will try to steal one of their husbands!
I was treated as a victim, and I remember my neighbor telling me: you should stay with him, nothing is worse than being alone.
So if I am to celebrate the International Women’s Day this year, I should be celebrating the social systems which offered me job opportunities with babysitting included.
The maternity leave which allowed me to support my little family without having to go back to work too early.
I should be celebrating the acceptance of me as a young single mom in all means.
But unfortunately, This isn’t the case.
If I am to celebrate this International Women’s Day, I should be focusing now, on my career plans, on my next date, on my work journeys, and on my vacation plans. Just like all the single dads do!
But it isn’t the case
My 9-year-old son once asked: why there are many kingdoms for kings, but no queendoms for queens?
I think I don’t have the answer for that yet, but I know I am building my little palace of loved ones and caring friends, where me and my two little ones are welcomed and appreciated.
Happy Women’s Day to all of you today and everyday.
By Zeina Kanawati
Zeina is a Syrian journalist in Prague, author of three books for children, a film critique, and an activist.
Website of her documentary film: https://zeinakana.wixsite.com/taste-of-homeland
Article in Czech: https://www.divadelni-noviny.cz/pulmesic-na-prazskem-nebi