Sometimes, I honestly feel like giving up. I’m pretty sure many people feel that way. Today is a hard day, the baby is teething and wants holding; my toddler doesn’t want to stop yelling and I’m pretty sure I’m coming down with something. This ongoing cycle doesn’t seem to end sometimes. I don’t know how people are able to drown out the cries of their babies. On top of that I need to work to pay the bills. Some days are slow and you question your ability as a mother and provider but you keep going because you have to and because you know your a fighter! I really need a cup of tea laced with something stronger like ? but I can’t be bothered to go to the shops yet.
Because today I want to introduce you to someone I have watched from afar and admired. Her journey to success has not been an easy one or a happy one. She struggled in an abusive relationship for 21 years. She came from money and left her marriage poor, and then built herself up again. And she has 5 amazing children one of whom has cerebral palsy. Today I want to introduce you to one of the most inspirational working mums I know of: Fatima Omar Khamissa.
Fatima is the owner of Spiritual Biz Moms, her passion is to empower women on their road to success. She has been accredited via awards for her role as a mentor and leader. She offers seminars on work-life balance, empowerment, positive mindset, entrepreneurship, and overcoming adversity. Read her interview below.
How did you find the courage to leave an abusive marriage after so many years?
I didn’t. I didn’t find the courage. I had a dream that my daughter had phoned me as a grown up. When the dream happened in real life she was 8 years old but in the dream she was a grown woman in an abusive relationship. She called me to let me to tell me what her husband had done to her. I had this incredible feeling of hopelessness. That was the day I realised that I had been a completely irresponsible mother by being a victim and thinking I am staying in my abusive marriage for the kids, I am staying for the kids, and what I really was doing was modelling an example of hopelessness, helplessness, and abuse.
I was teaching my daughter how to attract an abuser and I was teaching my sons how to treat women. That was the day I left. It had nothing to do with courage. It was all about responsibility and doing the right thing.
Did your sons Cerebral Palsy make it harder for you to accomplish your ambitions?
In some ways yes and in some ways no. For example, I couldn’t go get a job and so that door was closed. Since I had never worked except in my ex in laws family. It wasn’t like I had a history of working and things like that. The best job I could get was working in a coffee shop and they were going to give me $11 to $12 an hour and to take care of Tariq who has Cerebral Palsy, Spastic Quadriplegic, and Scoliosis I needed a special PSW or nurse for which I needed to pay around $25 an hour. It didn’t make sense. That forced me to create a business. Having Tarik at home I didn’t have any choice but to create something at home, look after him at the same time, care for his needs, make sure that he’s safe, and then build this business. Was it harder? I don’t know. I think it was just Allah creating a situation for me where I had no choice. I had absolutely no choice and Alhumdulillah for that.
What advice would you offer to moms without support or an education wanting to achieve their dreams?
Start writing it down. Start writing it down and start dreaming. Start visualising. Grab a pen and paper or on your phone. Everyone has a digital device. Write down your goals. Write why you want it or what you want to create for yourself and make those dreams come alive in you. Go online and get the free courses. Take some courses, upgrade your skills. Even if it’s bartering. I did that. I would say I’ll do this for you if you do this for me. You’ve got a skill.
Even if it’s babysitting their children, even if it’s cooking a pot of food, even if it’s massaging someone’s head, even if it’s colouring their hair, whatever it is offer them something and let them teach you something else. You need skills. You need to upgrade your skills and achieve your dreams. Every single day you’ve got to make those dreams come alive. You are the only one that can fight for your dreams.
To read the full interview with Fatima, click here.