My mom is my inspiration. She’s been my inspiration since the day I started understanding the situations she’s put up with. My mom wanted to protect my sisters and my childhood but there were many obstacles in our lives where the power was not on our side, but instead the extended family we lived with. Like any typical Bengali women from the golden days, my mom got married at the age 18 (right after her birthday), she was the eldest girl in her family so it was time. But my mom really wanted to become a teacher, but her parents had other plans instead…marriage.
The conventional South Asian family is seen as a joint, expanded patrilocal social unit where at least two ages or direct relations, who are associated by blood or potentially relationship live respectively. It is seen that ladies infer worth and status just as mothers of children, thus their happiness and (minimal) power within the intimate family is subject to this. With the introduction of a child, a daughter- in-law lives in anticipation of one day becoming a powerful mother-in-law, eventually superseding the power and control of her mother-in-law. From this standpoint, different conflicts and strains can arise within the mother-and daughter- in-law relationship. For instance, the mother-in-law, having experienced the hardships of being a submissive daughter in-law herself, comes to relate to the very customs that demonstrated so severe during her own childhood since she is a ‘recipient of these practices.’
Growing up in a Bangladeshi family, life was challenging to say the least. In my culture, having a son is seen as a true blessing while having a daughter is quite the opposite; a burden. Considering my father was the oldest of his six siblings, having three daughters caused us to be looked down upon. There was no male “heir-to-the-throne, ” causing his family to doubt the success of me and my sisters.
As we got older by the years and started to understand our toxic surroundings, and anytime we wanted to speak up for our mom, she’ll always shut us up with “Have Sabr.”
Today, my older sister is an RN (registered nurse), I finish college this December with a BS in Information Systems Management (with hopes of being a data analyst in the Aviation field), and my younger sister is pursing her B.S. in Biology and then going onto P.A. school. Not to toot our own horn but momma was right, “Indeed Allah is with the patient ,” (Quran 2.153).