For a ‘stay at home mum’, it may seem like a gaping hole in the CV. Whenever it may be time to get back to work, or when meeting up with formal colleagues in a reunion; I often have this sinking feeling of reviewing my resumé for the past couple of years. While maternal duties fall out of the traditional sections of a Curriculum Vitae; it’s easy to miss out on appreciation for your achievements. Trying to redefine the acronym in ways to suit those homemaking heroines, here are 7 CVs that may help.
So maybe this one specifically was inspired by my pre-historic read of “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers” but really, Covey’s 1st CV holds sound advice through motherhood and beyond. Revising and reflecting upon your core values is not just a gimmick for a Pandora Essence bracelet, it’s rather an ongoing self support on your path. As a Muslim, I believe the spirit is at the core, and the priorities wisely dictated by the Creator SWT. If indeed I found myself obsessing over my resume as a measure of my self worth; I think again deeply on how to purify intentions for Allah and not for a piece of paper. Visualising each small random act in the lense of values helps pass each day as a step closer to success.
Sometimes I’ll slip into the routine or into a screen and feel I could have done more with my little one. So I decided to take part in active parenting; read a few minutes a day on how to deal with this little miracle and mend my mistakes along the way. My key vow would be love. Hugs and kisses and genuine caring attitude. Of course all mothers would inherently love their child, but it is the testing moment when you are at your low that you must show it. It’s 100% attitude. Another pivotal role would be setting an example; after all children see, children do. But since I am faaar from perfect, I try to discipline myself first (I had to timeout myself the other day because I stood on the chair being silly, Hamza’s sympathy was priceless).
Extend your timetable *if you may of course* beyond your humble abode. Try to adhere to the hadith of the Prophet PBUH: ” The most loved people by Allah are the most helpful to other people”. It could be in any way possible that you’re passionate about, whether passing knowledge, passing food or passing by; with cookies and smiles to your neighbourhood. It is fulfilling and fundamental to learn how sharing is caring, and what better way for a child to learn it than to witness it. I must say it is the most humbling happiest experience ever, yet it requires constant vigilance of my “niyaah” praying that it would be always for Allah’s sake, not fame or fortune. Though it may help to add this voluntary work in an actual CV, I try to keep my eye on the ultimate prize.
Another great way to use those ‘gap’ years is to fill in the gaps. Back to school, learn something new, with a course online or at college. The rewards are momentous as you feel your horizons broaden. It doesn’t have to be about a certificate, what matters most is your passion; just pursue it whenever and however, because it was never too late for Julia Child, as she defied the odds attending “Le Cordon Bleu”. Though she had been a housewife for most of her life before it began, she found her passion and remained tremendously interested in it.
With a fresh fruit of imagination in your hands, allow your little ones to inspire your creativity. Get together in a messy artwork, take up sewing kits, or get set bake. The joys of joining forces for fun can make for incredible edutainment. As another brilliant blogger explains, it was an opportunity to learn all about numbers from measures and scales. And of course, the bonus of a finished masterpiece that can be a memory token or a tummy pleaser. But again, don’t actually expect a showstopper cake for what it’s worth if it’s your first time, no perfection needed, just pure relief.
Commit to a Vision
It’s hard to envision myself as doing dinner for a living, when society takes it for granted. Yet think of yourself as making history. Whether working or staying, all mothers make history. But perhaps some extra time on your hands might take off some juggling stress, or so it seems as a testimonial from mothers who’ve been through both roles. So don’t lose yourself in the chores, when you could intend a good deed. Plan for your future career path as you may see fit. Breakdown your vision to a mission for today. For example, as my Hamza grows older inshaAllah bless him, I hope to join a postgraduate study. Meanwhile, research readings are my best friend. And I pray it all serves my vision of being a Muslimah Mummy Marketeer.
Cherish the Vacancy
Finally, I am grateful for this job vacancy as it may be. Being a “stay at home mum” is often overlooked and might be underestimated by mums themselves; yet at this point in time it must be for the best “Alhamdulillah”. With many mums who are struggling to finance it, who have to work, who would trade places in a blink of an eye, you ought to realise the luxury and blessing you’re having. For me, I am thankful yet sometimes doubtful of my choice. However, it’s never all rainbows and butterflies, there must be ‘rain’ for the ‘bow’. So acknowledge both sides of the equation and learn and pray to find your balance between the best of both worlds.
A special salute to all mums, working and staying, you’re doing great