This is also due to be published in our family magazine. I wrote it when I was expecting our second little bundle of joy.
Job Description: Motherhood
- Full Time
- On Call 24/7
- May Sleep on night shift, no longer than two hours at one time
- Must be able to Multi-task
And we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. (Qur’aan 31:14)
This article is dedicated to all those mothers out there - the ones who have embarked on this journey for the first time, and for those who have been mothers for a while. You are all doing a wonderful job, a job that none other can do as well as you and you need to give yourself a pat on your back for being the best mother in the whole wide world, and the role model your child will always look up to and want to be like. No matter what, you will always be their first love.
The role of a mother is aptly defined in the following quote by Washington Irving:
"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."
Motherhood gives you the opportunity to experience loving someone more than you love yourself. "Love" now has greater depth and meaning to it. You start to experience joy and pain through someone else's life and every little accomplishment brings happiness and pride to your heart and touches you in ways no one else can. It sure does have its fair share of heartaches and tears but it teaches you hope and patience. The innocent laughter fills your heart with delight. Those hugs, with their tiny hands wrapped around you, the wet kiss on your cheek and the cuddling up and sleeping next to you in the wee hours of the morning - fill your heart with warmth and make you feel like the luckiest person alive. No ones dreams and aspirations mean as much to you as those of your child and every good time you've shared become precious treasures that you yearn to relive - again and again. No wealth can live up to those moments and it is all such an over-whelming experience. Your child is nothing but a part of you and no matter what happened in the past or what the future holds, you will always be accepting, forgiving, and appreciative and show unconditional love. Being a mother means you are gifted with one of life's greatest gifts - your child!
Being a mother makes you think and do things in ways you would have never dreamt of and everyday is a learning curve for both you and your child. There are no boring bits, and every achievement - big or small brings immense happiness and contentment to your hearts and redefines your relationship and further strengthens it. As mothers we have to watch everything we do and think twice before our every action, because we have two keen eyes full of innocence looking up to us and watching our every move. In due time we come to realise, that what we are is what our child will grow up to be and how we deal with life's challenges and tackle the problems that come our way will be imitated by our child when she is older. How we do this is left up to us, but the mere realisation of this huge responsibility that has been laid on our shoulders makes us re-evaluate our lives and in due course makes us better individuals.
The daily experiences of wonderment with my child, with her constant "What's that?" and her breathless excitement at the sound of birds or the wind in the trees or the plane overhead are downright precious. In spending time introducing her to sunshine and ants and to ideas like generosity, compassion and patience, I hope and pray that I teach her to be a good person and I know how lucky I am to be the one doing it.
It's only now that I fully appreciate what my mother did for my sister and me - her extraordinary energy and endless patience, teaching us to be confident, honest, happy people with a sense of responsibility and her constant prayers that have always followed us and clung to us all our life. I don't think I could have acknowledged and appreciated all that she did for me and all the sacrifices she made and the hardship she endured for our sake, if it wasn't for me being in her shoes right now! I thank Allah over and over for blessing me with a mother and giving me the opportunity to experience the immense love and comfort I feel in her arms.
We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, "O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam."(Qur’aan 46:15)
With the changing world and with the advancements made in various aspects, sadly there has been a change in thinking amongst people with regards to motherhood and being a 'full-time mom'. Now having a baby is considered a means of taking "time off" from life, when in reality it is life! I still find it hard to understand what "life" they refer to because to me being a mother is the most rewarding career anyone could have and I don't see why people would want to make it such a taboo when a woman gives up her "career" to become a full-time mother. Rest assured, I doubt society will continue to be as 'advanced' and 'civilised' as it is now, if all mothers handed their babies away and pursued their careers.
Alhamdulilah for the high status assigned to mothers in Islam. I thank Allah immensely for guiding us and blessing us with this wonderful deen - this way of life where everything is laid down for us. If it wasn't for the reward that awaits those that are patient, and obey their Lord, I am sure we would all have gone astray and fallen victim to so called "ideals" and "rules" that are laid down by the ever changing society we live in.
I pray to Allah to give us the ability to be the best role models for our children and to help us in rearing them to be true followers of His deen and may our endeavours be a means of us entering Jannah and may He bless our children with the best in this life and the next, Ameen.
"O our Lord! Cover (us) with Thy Forgiveness - me, my parents, and (all) Believers, on the Day that the Reckoning will be established! (Qur’aan 14:41)