Bismillahi ir-rahman ir-rahim – In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful
Something happened the other day. Something that changed my whole frame of mind. It wasn’t anything exceptional, in fact some may think it rather insignificant. Nonetheless, it was something that had a profound affect on me. Maybe it is because he is my firstborn, or maybe it is because of my own feelings of inadequacy, either way this was a timely reminder and a blessing from Allah swt.
So what is it, you may be wondering that had such a profound affect on me? My son got selected to represent his class for the prep islamic week quiz! Ok I know, it sounds like I’m giving this one event more weight than its worth. Afterall, it is just a prep class activity. However, for me it meant so much more than that. His teacher had made it clear that the selection was based on his knowledge, and for me this meant so much. Not that it means he is the best in his class, or that I have succeeded as a parent. I know it is a long road and we have a lot of work ahead of us. However, what it did indicate is that we are, insha’allah, on the right track, and that means the world to me.
Motherhood in many ways is the most difficult job in the world. Not only are there many physical demands, the 24 hour availability, the ability to jump out of bed at a cry whilst in the midst of your deepest sleep – thats the easy part. The hard part is the mental demands. Having your patience constantly tested to the point that by the end of some days you want nothing more than to roll up and cry, but more often than not opt for a nice chocolate fix instead. Suddenly being a target of criticism from well-meaning and malicious people alike, all giving contradictory advice, but all agreeing on the one thing – you’re doing it all wrong. Too loving, not loving enough, you hold him too much, you don’t hold him enough, you feed him too much, you don’t feed him enough, you teach him too much, you don’t teach him enough, you’re too soft, too harsh, he’s not toilet trained, he’s not disciplined, he’s skinny, he’s not confident, he’s too rough, he’s rude, he’s shy……AAARRRGHHHH!!
So that is why this seemingly small and insignificant event meant so much to me. Not because he was selected for a small prep activity, but because it is a sign of more than that, and has provided me with a source of strength. So when my baby woke up crying 4 times while writing the above, I could take comfort in the fact that Insha’allah she will grow to be like her older brother. And when my three year old daughter started wetting herself again after being toilet trained for a month, I was able to tap into my reserves of patience by thinking that before I know it she too will be making her way in the world, and making me proud in her own ways.
Somewhere between my self-doubts, disorganisation, lack of time, lack of planning, and my failure to do so many things that I would love to do for my son, he is still thriving. He’s not a picture of perfection, but he is growing up to be a sensitive, loving, caring and intelligent boy, and I couldn’t be more proud. He’ll probably never know the strength that he gives to me, but I thank Allah for the reminder and strength that I have found through him and hope that one day I can repay the favour.