Laws of nature and our common sense tell us that if one constantly takes from a particular source without replenishing it, the source would eventually dry up, becoming empty and hollow. As mothers, though, we rarely apply this law to ourselves, probably because we don’t have the time or the luxury to do so.
We are overwhelmed and preoccupied with the tarbiyah of children; tending to our everyday duties and errands; managing our homes; handling the unexpected circumstances that arise; and for many mothers, working outside of the home. Furthermore, some of us are single parents, some of us are parents of twins or triplets, and some of us are parents of children with special needs. Whatever our individual circumstances, we all can agree that being a mom is tough, undoubtedly the hardest job in the world. Let’s not take for granted the famous hadith of the Prophet Mohammed (saw) which so beautifully appreciates the journey of motherhood-
Paradise lies at the feet of the mother.
Mothers are constantly withdrawing from their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical accounts-giving, serving, helping, guiding, explaining, showing, and so much more. It becomes vital that we deposit something into our accounts-fuel up our gas tanks-so that we may have contentment, perspective, and a sense of purpose. It is an investment in ourselves, which will ultimately only help us to fulfill so much in our lives, including our roles as mothers. How we invest will, of course, vary from mother to mother, depending on our unique abilities, lifestyles, circumstances, and personalities. Here are a few suggestions. Please share how you invest in yourself!
* Quran reading, memorization, and reflection-Is there anything that could more fully put perspective in our lives and lift our spirit and mood?
* Attend a halaqa or start one in your home, either with sisters or with your husband
* Attend jumuah prayer
* Pray qiyam al-lail, even if it is two rakat before the Fajr time comes in
* Read a book
* Join a book club-if it’s difficult to get out of the house, join an online one
* Relax in a bubble bath after everyone has gone to bed
* Take a night or weekend class at a community college-and not on child development! (unless that’s your passion)
* Take up a new hobby (or pick up an old one) like scrapbooking, sewing, baking, knitting, sports, writing, painting
* Have (and enjoy) a conversation with your husband (or any adult) that is not about the children (or work, finances, and anything related to the home)
* Take a walk alone or with a friend
* Make a list of all the blessings Allah has bestowed on you
It is difficult to find time for ourselves, but small amounts of investment done consistently is surely better than large amounts done inconsistently. If you’ve had an exhausting day, at least pick up the Quran before you sleep and read just a few ayat. We invest in our children so that they will have bright futures and be able and ready to deal with the world. Let’s invest in ourselves so that we can bring balance to our lives and be stronger believers, wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and neighbors.
Hagar Emira lives in Maryland with her husband and two young children. She enjoys attending Islamic halaqas, reading, learning new things, and spending time with her family.