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Friday, July 13, 2012

THE MUMMY MASK


Image from here

Debbie woke up alone. She turned and felt the other side of the bed. It was cold; he must have been gone for a while. She looked at the bedside clock and panicked for a moment. It was eight! Then she relaxed as she remembered what day it was. As had become a habit when she wasn’t running around trying to achieve some superhuman task with her meagre twenty-four hours, she let her mind go back a few years – an eternity away – to a time when she’d known just who she was and what she’d wanted, and known for sure that she would get it. She used to be a woman with big ambitions, but seven years, a husband, four children and twenty-five kilograms later, she was spent. She didn’t like this surly, depressed version of herself. She’d spent countless moments staring into mirrors, wondered where her former self had gone and willing her back. She missed her.

Her bedroom door burst open and Debbie found herself assaulted by four little people.

“Happy birthday, mummy!” they shrieked as they clambered up the bed – all except the twins, who had just turned one. Debbie reached down and lifted them, giggling, onto the bed.

They had come bearing gifts – a bracelet made with bright pink beads from Akan, her oldest; a blue, slightly askew party hat that had the words HAPPY BITEDAY MUMMY emblazoned in gold from Edi; and two sloppy kisses from John and Joan. Then, standing in line on the bed wearing the most serious expressions they could manage, they did an off key rendition of a birthday song. Debbie gave an applause when they were done and forced the kids into a group hug. They squealed with feigned horror and tried to flee. 

As she laughed and played with her children, Debbie felt like an impostor. She would give anything to be able to say with conviction, like many wives and mothers she knew, that moments like this made it all worth it. That the sound of her children’s laughter could soothe any ache. That her husband’s appreciation was all the validation she would ever need. That she would not change her life for anything.

Were they all liars, those Supermoms and wives? Had they mastered the art of pretence to the point where they believed their own lies?

Or was it her? Was there something wrong with her?

9 comments:

  1. I've been having trouble reading bogs of late but as soon as I saw your link on Twitter, I remembered that you would always have an easy read for me and I would never have to peel back any veils to enjoy good art.

    Here's to you, Annie!

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  2. I'm sure many mummies feel this way, they only need to (with God's strength) tap into those ambitions they once had. A lot of women go back to school, establish businesses, write books...ultimately fulfilling their dreams after 4 kids. We just need to understand that with God, nothing is impossible.

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  3. it can all be overwhelming sometimes. she can still live her dreams and have her family.
    very nice blog you have here

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  4. Some of us are trying to do it WITH kids. You just have to remember that children are not part of a MARRIAGE and that you are a PERSON outside of family and try to act accordingly. It's hard though. Everybody wants something.

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  5. Well said,uche!marriage doesn't fulfill one,accomplishing ur set goals as an individual does.I see pics of friends wit kids playin supamom n supawife n I knw itz jst d opposite they feel.I guess their optimistic outlook to life mk them show a happyface but some take it to another level being dellusional.God help us find our dreams,chase it n accomplish them,then we won't feel cheated by our husband n kids.

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  6. @ Nwunye and Anonymous: I'm sure this is something most wives and mothers struggle with, especially in these times. Thank God for God.

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