Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies, what comes to your mind if I was to say…
“Parenting is the popping of my personal bubble”.
Let me elaborate.
Do you ever miss…
Praying salah without someone tugging at your khimar, perhaps in a quiet room, with lit candles and bukhoor burning in the background?
Eating a chocolate bar, without having to share a piece?
Being able to focus on your needs, without having to pause to cook, clean or tend to kids?
Having a decent nights sleep, without that having to mean you wake up to twice the amount of chores?
Attending classes at the masjid without worrying about finding a creche?
Having time with your spouse, when you could take impromptu holidays and have alone time that didn’t need to be scheduled?
Being your pre-baby weight, since you’ve had children your body has not been the same?
These thoughts are shared by many mothers. Because our once perfectly round personal bubble has been popped. Once we get pregnant, it is popped by the size of our growing belly. And once we give birth, it doesn’t quite come back. For mothers that are homeschooling, the responsibility of educating our children takes up even more time, and there’s little time to focus on ourselves, and no one else. There’s always someone wanting to sit on your lap, take away your biscuits, and cuddle up in bed with you. In fact, one way to get the attention of your kids is to sit on the sofa doing nothing, they will swarm around you immediately!
And while it’s completely normal to have days where we remember times where we were less busy, it becomes problematic when we begin to resent our current role. We fall into the trap of waiting for life to become the way it was so we can start to do the things we once enjoyed again.
To add to that, we begin to make excuses for ourselves, adopting some poor lifestyle choices we repeat day after day…
Il pray after the house is spotless….thus losing out on the blessing of praying on time.
I don’t have time to pray my extra salah because the sink is full of dishes…thus losing out on the rewards associated with the extra prayers.
No time for classes, im already doing so much…thus postponing seeking ilm which is a blessing from Allah.
Not being cautious is food choices because it’s easier to grab and go…thus not being appreciative of the health Allah has given you.
So you now begin to fall into a cycle. Missing what you had, and then making poor choices, which ultimately leads to resentment.
But realise my dear sister, that these changes are blessings from Allah Azzawajal. Having a loving family, a roof over your head, warmth, health and wealth are not things we should take for granted, and if we took a moment to truly appreciate our blessings, we would not be able to count them.
Yes, the bukhoor and the candles may not always be convenient at Dhuhr, so save them for Isha.
Chocolate always tastes better when its shared, but don’t feel guilty if you stash away one just for you later.
Be proud and thankful that you have a family to care for, and remember just how much reward is associated with looking after your loved ones. But don’t feel guilty if for ordering pizza and swapping washing dishes for an early night.
Although learning at the Masjid feels wonderful, be thankful that knowledge is accessible anywhere, go ahead and sign up for those online classes.
Jetting to Hawaii may not be realistic, but spending time with your spouse doesn’t need to be so elaborate. Do what you can, sometimes simple moments are the most special.
It’s time to find that balance, and regain back some of your personal space by making small changes, all with a heart full of gratitude. Alhamdulillah ala Kulli Haal.