My Mother’s Tough Decision
in Health & Environment / Edit
by Hanane Yantour
My mother’s decision about her career and raising me could be my
When I was born, my mother was very happy, but she worried about her
career. Who was going to take care of her baby girl when she returns
to her job teaching Arabic at a primary school in Taza, my hometown in
She and my father thought a lot about whether to hire a babysitter. My
older sister was a year old, and so my parents needed a babysitter
for their two daughters. They found a babysitter, but she didn’t want
to care for two babies.
My family decided to send me to Meknes to live with my grandparents,
uncles and aunt. For the first five years of my life, I lived in
Meknes while my parents and two older sisters lived in Taza.
As a baby, I integrated easily in my new life, but I often felt that I
needed something more. I did not tell anyone about my feelings. I
felt isolated from my biological family. I considered my grandmother
my mother and I thought my mother was a guest who just loved me a lot.
She visited me on weekends. I always looked forward to her weekend
When I was 5-years-old, I returned to Taza to live with my family. It
was hard to integrate in my family. I didn’t like the food and
environment. I didn’t have friends and had a hard time with the
neighborhood. I cried every day. “I want my grandmother and my
My mother suffered a lot, and I am sure she felt guilty for sending me
away. When I could not sleep at night, she would comfort me until I
After a while, I became comfortable with my new family. I bonded with
my sisters. I longed for my grandmother and aunt, but I knew that this
was the family I was born into and I had to live with them.
I graduated from high school in Taza two years ago. I had to leave
home again to attend university in Rabat. Leaving home as a young
woman was a much easier transition because I had experienced leaving
home as a child. But it was hard for my mother.
She had gotten used to having me around and all of a sudden I was all
grown up and heading to university.
As a child, I questioned my mother’s decision for sending me away, but
as a young woman I understand why she made the tough decision. I hope
to have a career and family someday and I am sure I will have to make
some tough choices regarding raising my children and fulfilling my