Umm is a title, not an eraser.

Asalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu my dear sisters

I hope that the title of this post has encapsulated what I wanted to talk about today.

Let me begin by reminding myself and you that motherhood is beautiful, a blessing from Allah, and a trust from Him. This post is not intended to come across as a complaint but rather to offer a supportive hand to my dear sisters.

Alhamdulillah, the majority of our days are joy-filled, and I can truly say I have not experienced anything more wonderful than motherhood. But there are days that we feel so overwhelmed, we begin to feel like we don’t know who we are anymore. We were once avid readers, nature lovers, writers, students. Everything that we wanted to do that day was a decision solely based around ourselves.

Then motherhood came along it seems, erased our personalities, and we went from being Hafsa to JUST Umm Adam. And before this gets taken in the wrong context, I am not saying anything negative about having a kunya, I love and embrace my own, Alhamdulillah.

But imagine you were to graduate as a Doctor, or an Engineer, or a pharmacist. All of these professions give the individual a new found title. This person who used to be a university student, is now maybe a father, a writer, an Arabic student AND a doctor. It has enhanced the individual, not taken anything away.

As mother’s, since our profession is at home, it’s much harder to draw that balance. Our work is ongoing, our commitment is lifelong and our work hours are not scheduled.

Fast forward a few years, and those of us who make the decision to homeschool, meaning our children are with us for the most part of the day…..it’s easy to wipe away everything else we were and just become Umm Homeschool.

Umm Homeschool…..you may have heard of her, or you may even BE her.

You were busy before, but now you’re consumed with additional lesson planning, organising, teaching, scheduling, all whilst juggling chores, making dinners and perhaps nursing a newborn. That feeling of doing things for yourself has now become a distant memory, and when you do get those pockets of time, you feel guilty if it’s not spent thinking up some more craft ideas or researching curriculum.

But realise my dearest sister, that umm is a title, not an eraser.

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When you become a mother, that doesn’t need to mean you cannot continue being a student, no longer pause to enjoy nature, or that your Quran memorisation needs to stop. If anything, being an Umm should propel you even further.

Becoming Umm homeschool is an extension of being an Umm, and becoming an Umm is an extension of you as a person. It adds another dimension to you, it shouldn’t wipe out your personality, your dreams, or take away your right to simply enjoy your tea. Don’t let go of that bucket list just yet…

One of the biggest struggles I faced when I began homeschooling my kids, was this feeling of being bound to my homeschool planner. I already struggled with “mom burnout” from time to time now I had “mom and homeschool burnout”. This constant need to be teaching my kids, even if that meant that replaced precious “me time” went from becoming a one-off to the norm.

I had turned into Umm homeschool and everything else had been wiped away.

Slowly but surely, I started to become me again. This time I ensured I was written in permanent marker, not in pencil-there was no chance I was going to be erased again.

I began to do the things I enjoyed again, no longer waiting for school to be finished so I could do other things. Gone are the days I would cram everything else into an hour before I slept. Gone are the days I skipped breakfast to save time. And gone are the days I spiritually invest in my kids and do nothing for myself.

So to all my Umms out there, in particular, my beloved Umm homeschools-take out that permanent marker and begin to map out you once again.  With Ramadan so close to us, let us begin to bring back those pockets of time to invest in ourselves, and make the intention behind raising our children, and homeschooling stronger than ever before so our days are purposeful and balanced insha’Allaah.

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Share some changes you have made to feel yourself again below, and benefit other sisters inshaAllaah. I’d love to hear from you.

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