One of the most common perceptions on women, particularly moms is on their status of being just a ‘stay at home individual’. Time and again women have shared their experiences on how it is so unfair to being subjected to judgment and being questioned on their decision.
A mother who is a housewife and now a poetess, wanted to share her poems with the world. ‘Not Just a Housewife’ has been penned by Cecilia Abraham and has been published through a crowd funding project.
Cecilia shares with Mums and Stories, “My earliest memories of writing a poem on the possibility of ‘nuclear war’ was when I was 8 years old. I remember a line that says, “Imagine a world where there will be no crows”. I wrote lots of poems for school sections in the local newspapers. I remember my mother typing out my poems on her dot-matrix printer at office and posting them off to various publications. In fact, she even posted a poem, the ‘Lily of Myanmar’ to my then idol, Aung San Suu Kyi.
I am a stay at home mum and my husband in the army. In a way I would say that I had to necessarily give up a career, if I wanted to move around the country with him.
Very often I am asked what I do? When I say ‘housewife’, there is a sort of looking down upon as if I have nothing serious to contribute to. Or there is some dubious praise like “Stay at home wives” work the hardest and I literally roll my eyes. We all make choices; every choice comes with a responsibility.
Each poem in the book I am deeply connected to, because they helped me gain insight into my own character and personality. The book addressed my own identity crisis at being termed ‘just a housewife’. I have to however clearly mention that not all poems are ‘housewife’ themed..”
The book is published and Cecilia is currently enjoying her status of the transition and overlapping role of being a housewife, stay at home mum and a poetess.
“ My son Kabir is 9 and daughter April who is 4 years old.find it different that their mum is a poet and is always researching. I somehow get the feeling they are really proud of the fact I am a poet. My daughter says “My Mom is a Poetrix”, since she can’t pronounce poetess.
She loves me reciting my poem ‘The better life’ for her. My kids know the lines by-heart of some of my poems. I do try to explain all the writing I do.
The journey began of thinking of this book when I met poets Nigerian Canadian Ikenna Onyegbula and Kyle Luow a South African who became mentors and friends last summer. Kyle was getting crowd-funding for a trip to Arizona, US, and I thought it was really cool. I did not want to use the home resources to self publish and I thought well here is a chance to crowd fund.
Stay at home mums, get judged easily, we got educated to have material and economic success. Society values that kind of success. So when we don’t adhere to the general definition of success we are judged harshly. But one has to take the bigger picture and be more empathetic to the ever-changing role of a woman. A stay at home Mom is a ‘CHOICE’ and it should be respected and honestly it sometimes, it is a more practical decision.
My message to stay at home moms would be “Don’t let the walls of your house and your role limit the vision you have for yourself”
My advice for an author wanting to self publish is to first find and build your audience. It is not about 10, 000 likes but about 100 authentic readers.
- Have an online presence, maybe a facebook or Instagram page, a media you are comfortable to post in.
- Engage with the online community; see what others in your genre are writing about.
- Write without getting distracted by the internet.
- Imagine how you would like your book. E-book, Paperback.. Keep in mind how much you would like to invest.
- Print and promote your book yourself. With social media you can do it. Do get professional hope for editing and designing though.
- Lastly get used to ever changing publishing technology.
Mums and Stories shares a few excerpts of her poems
To the Platypus that lay eggs
To the Giraffe who looks at its calf stand on wobbly legs.
To the Lions who teach their cubs to roar
To the Eagles that teach their eaglets to soar.
To the Monkey that teaches its infant to swing
To the Hyena that will kill to protect its offspring.
To the Seahorse that carries eggs in its manly pouch
To the Bear that hugs its baby in a crouch.
To Raksha, the She-Wolf in the Jungle Book
Mowgli was her cub-son, it didn’t matter how he looked.
To you who take a seed and grow it to a tree
Or set a caged bird free.
To you who carry a bit of your mother’s heart
Love for the sake of loving and raise life as an art.
Mother is not just a baby and a woman
Mother could also mean children and a loving man.
Not just a housewife
Just a housewife, caring and nurturing
Sounds like not too much
But try it for a day and night
And then, lets talk
I’ve given up climbing mountains,
I can’t afford solitaires
But I have chosen my mission
To be ‘a housewife’. (But you JUST don’t understand)
We at Mums and Stories wish Cecilia the very best in life and for future initiatives.