Many years ago when I was in college, I was pregnant. It was in a child psychology class that I came to the realization of how big the task ahead of me really was. I was having a baby… A BABY! Was I really ready? As if reading my mind my professor asked us, “Why do we have children?” The question caught me off guard. He went on, “Why do we, as humans, have babies?” No one could say anything at first. Someone responded, “to reproduce, out of instinct,” another said “to have a family.” Some do so for selfish reasons, he was pointing out. They reproduce without really thinking, bringing a child into this world they are not prepared for.
His question bothered me for a long time. If it is true and we are selfish in having children then how can we be good parents? Can parents ever really be ready? I think I have found the answers to those questions.
I believe that you do not decide to have children; you are chosen to have them. You are chosen to have these precious little humans to care for, for a while. They are not yours, so to speak; they are granted to us for the time being and we are blessed indeed to have been chosen as their caretakers. That said, it is also my opinion that you are never ready. You cannot be ready for something you have never experienced before, it is impossible. It is like saying that you can be ready to go into space. Unless you have been there before you do not really know what to expect and so you cannot be “fully ready.” It was decided that your point to begin this journey begins at this point in your life. Whatever you have experienced until now will help you. You can also educate yourself in order to have a good idea of what to expect.
You are a good parent when you face this fact, that you are a temporary caretaker. You become the best parents when you are able to tune into your child and see what you can do with them, for them, to bring out the best in them. In essence they are born with much, you basically work with it. This means that yes, you will be in charge, and you will plan, teach, admonish or allow; but you should not change the little unique nuances in their personality. They are born with their own predestined destinies too. If he is shy then let him be, and if she is outspoken show her how to be so in the right way.
Since you are chosen it should be easy right? No, not necessarily, because Allah tests us through what He grants us with. Will we forget His favor upon us and become ungrateful? Or will we be patient and constantly seek his guidance and pleasure? If we aim to please Allah, then we will most definitely try our best to raise our children to take the right path that will ultimately lead them back to Him in good standing. On this journey of leading them back to Him, He will test us and test them, and test us through them. We too are not done growing. Allah knows that as we raise children we will learn many lessons and we will become wiser through that process. Being unwise we need to ask Him for help, guidance and strength. It is when we pray more that our families become blessed.
You feel proud when you believe you are chosen. To me personally it is very humbling and I feel so lucky and so afraid all at once. I have been granted with so much but it is not mine and it is all so delicate and fleeting really. That in all the glory of parenthood you are like the dandelion; you are what holds those little, delicate seeds for a while. The ones that we as kids would pick up and blow on to make all the seeds fly off to be the little yellow “flowers” we thought they would become. I envision that dandelion and I see me and my life and my children. We are all holding on now, hanging on in a perfect little sphere called a family, until it is time for everything to let go and everyone goes their separate ways.
Sarah Mostafa has three beautifully rambunctious children, and wishes to not only be their mom, but their inspiration. In her spare time she loves to read, write, and bake scrumptious desserts.