But to You, I Am a Monster


“Would you be quiet? I am talking to my friend!”,

I snap at my 8-year old son,
I have just arrived home – I feel exhaustedly spent,
He immediately stops his chatter whilst looking fairly stunned.

My friend on the other line receives my full attention,
I laugh at her jokes and sympathise at her problems,
I am her good friend – I am near perfection,
Always ready to lend a hand – I can’t be more awesome.

Saying goodbyes, I quickly look across the hall,
My body feels tired suddenly as I survey such misery,
Cushions strewn, toys on the carpet, dirty cups lying about..

It looks like a scene after a brawl,
How two small people manage to pull off such feat..
it is indeed a mystery.

I roar at the top of my lungs calling the boys,

“Get down here right now, clean up all of the toys!”

They run down the stairs laughing – making me more annoyed,
How can they be happy when I am clearly not?

The boys start to excitedly share with me their days at the school,
As I supervise their little fingers lifting toys off the floor,
I am stern in making them adhere to this house rule,
No matter how much they complain they must have a share of the chores.

Boys, I smile weakly at you as you chat…
While my head absently nod as and when required,
I don’t know heads nor tails from your stories but I act like I do..

I feel like an impostor,
Looking at both of you I can’t help but to think that,
To my friends I am an angel – but to you, I am a monster.

As I prepare the dinner table, the children run around the chairs,
Then, my 5-year old makes a sudden lunge towards me while I hold the dinner bowls,
I shriek as the gravy spills onto the carpet but it is too late…

I can only stare,
Looking at the mess, my temperature boils I can’t hardly control.

“Look at what you have done! Why have you been so careless?!”

The laughter filling the house before has now been reduced to a whisper,
The tension is unmistakable as my flaming eyes meet his sorry eyes,
Cusping his hands and hanging his head low – he cuts a remorseful figure.

I rush to the kitchen grabbing towels in two handfuls,
Wiping and dabbing furiously at the carpet stains,
The elder brother carefully hands me an old washcloth…
Trying to be helpful,

But I am so blistered that I don’t bother saying thank you..
Isn’t he partly to be blamed?

“Eat from whatever is served, this is not a restaurant!”

I admonish my younger son at dinner when he shakes his head stubbornly,
What a picky eater – what a nightmare for parents,
I refuse to make him something else and so he goes to bed hungry.

Tomorrow at the office, the team and I work hard throughout the day,
So lunch hour is indeed a welcomed break,
I offer to buy lunch for colleagues who stay,
Pity them – their stomachs must surely have ached.

I walk a great distance to get my colleagues some pies,
Swiftly after choosing the food I go to the cash register,
I wince–as flashbacks of you going to bed hungry appear before my eyes,
To my colleagues I am a helpful team member but to you, I am a monster.

Heading back, I walk behind a man busily typing on his handphone..
Oblivious to the passing stores,
I could not see it coming that he abruptly stops and makes a sudden turn,
The collision sends my drink flying and it lands on the polished, marbled floor,

He profusely says sorry, to which I smile broadly and reply
‘It is okay, accidents happen’..
To allay his concerns.

As I pick up the empty container and wipe dry the scattered water,
Images of you come flooding to my mind as I pull myself together,
I am forgiving to this stranger but I am not to my little mister,
To a complete outsider I am a forgiver, but to you, I am a monster.

It’s been a long day at the office, I am relieved to go back as I head towards the LRT,
So imagine my gratefulness when I am shown a seat – given up by a kind brother,
While thanking him copiously for his generosity, I feel a gnawing feeling within me,
That to this man I am a grateful person, but to you, I am a monster.

As I enter the house, familiar sight of disorder greets my eyes,
“Is this what I am to you, a maid to clean after you?”,
I silently mutter..

As I organise the household, the boys get occasionally chastised,
They become still and quiet as I continue to declutter.

Suddenly, the younger one calls up to me,
“Mummy, do you think that you are Allah?”

His strange question throws me off balance –
“Of course, I am not. Why did you ask me that?”

He replied,
“Then, why are you angrier than Allah?”

I was so shocked at his rebuke that it feels as if I have been slapped.

That night, I tuck the boys to bed and wait until they are fast asleep,
As I kiss their foreheads, taking in the familiar smell, my tears start to pour,

I remember praying to Allah to have both of you in our lives..
Your arrivals erased all grieves,

I recall lovingly nursing, cuddling you when you were smaller..
You are everything that I had hoped for.

But now, what a big difference a few years makes..
Those happy memories are now distant,

Suddenly you grow bigger and in my eyes you are responsible for every disorder,
What an irony as I realise that whilst I pray for Allah to make you righteous children,
I have forgotten to ask Allah to make your parent, a righteous mother.

O Allah, forgive me as I have transgressed against myself,
And against my own children whom I have hopes to carry for me my legacy of rewards,
I pray to You, O Allah to make me soft, kind and amiable to my children and to myself,
For You are The Most Merciful, The Most Forgiving..
You are our one and only Lord.


In a world that becomes increasingly smaller, no one can remain a stranger,
In my universe, I am a spouse, a daughter and a co-worker,
I am also a sister, a cousin and a neighbour,

But *only* to both of you, my dear sons, I am a mother.

~ By Azleen Suraya via Muslim Parents – Education Advice ~

© aisyafra.wordpress.com

[ image source: Pinterest ]


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