Every professional needs to be trained, be it a teacher, doctor, pilot or an engineer. There’s no job difficult or easy that does not require some basic training. Centres are built and workshops are conducted. However, the personnel with the most important job, the bearers of the ‘next generation’, are often left without adequate guidance and preparation.
Motherhood – The Best Career!
The problem in our society is that being a mother holds little to no significance! Some women prefer careers over children. Most well-off mothers hire maids for every kid they have. Today, the Ummah is in dire need of true leadership; yet, the hands that are to mould the leaders are too busy.
The first step in training ourselves as mothers is to learn the significance of our job. Most women look down upon motherhood, thinking it’s all about changing smelly diapers. In fact, it’s about shaping the minds of our future generations. Any mother would tell you that no matter what she goes through, it’s all worth it, when she sees her child laugh, play and grow up. Allah (swt) has elevated our status by the responsibility of motherhood; therefore, this should be our first and foremost priority.
Yes, motherhood needs life-long training, which includes the following:
- Rearing Iman (Faith)
The most important aspect of our training should be in the field of faith. Mothers must equip themselves with strong Iman. Every vessel will spill what it contains. Thus, to empower our children with Iman, we ourselves need some nourishment of faith. We must connect ourselves and our children with the tenets of faith and the true sources of knowledge and guidance: the Quran and Sunnah.
Start building a powerful connection with Allah (swt) by pondering over His names and attributes. You’ll then be able to connect your child to Allah (swt), telling him how Al-Wadood loves him, how Ar-Razzaq provides for him and how Al-Bari has fashioned him in such a beautiful manner. These small instances will create deep love for Allah (swt). Ponder over the Quranic verses that mention Allah’s (swt) attributes and relate them to your children according to their level.
Mothers should have a constant relationship with the Quran, memorizing and reflecting upon it as much as they can, as this is the foundation of guidance. It is the book that transformed the simple nomads of the desert into the leaders of this Ummah. You may then recite to them while you nurse and play, explaining short verses. When they are older, study alongside them, so that you grow together; this shall be the strongest source of bonding between your children and yourself as well as your children and their Rabb (swt).
Additionally, no matter how busy they are, mothers must take out some time to acquire knowledge about their Deen. Whether it is by means of reading books or listening to beneficial lectures, gaining time-to-time doses of Islamic knowledge ensures that we are constantly reminded of our purpose and position in this world. Familiarize yourself with the Islamic history and culture to withstand the rising tide of western civilization.
Mothers and expectant mothers should also make a habit of reciting daily Duas aloud for their children. A recommended read on this Iman-rearing aspect is “Nurturing Eeman in Children” by Dr. Aisha Hamdan.
A very important quality of a good mother is patience. Lack of sleep, busy days, tension and fatigue may make you irritable and vexed. Once you sign on to be a mother, 24/7 is the only shift they offer. However, you don’t need to boil out your anger on your children; they’re not your waste bin! If you do feel like venting out, reach out to your Lord (swt); furthermore, writing a daily diary may extinguish your flame.
Another way of developing Sabr is long Qiyam. Mothers should have a habit of praying Tahajjud at least before their child is born. Staying up for your child comes automatically – why not do it for Allah (swt)?
- Learn to Manage Time
With kids at hand, time just melts away like ice. To keep up with the clock, mothers must learn time management skills. Firstly, learn to organize your household and teach the same to your children; this will save you a lot of ‘where is my shoe?’ and ‘where are my socks?’ moments of the day. Secondly, learn to delegate tasks. Bigger children can look after a few of their chores themselves and also help their younger siblings. Thirdly, prioritize; know what should be done right away and what can wait for later.
- Active Lifestyle
Coddled and cosseted young girls, who usually have faced nothing but books, freak out when they enter the real world of housekeeping and motherhood. The days of sleeping and lazing off to your heart’s desire are over now! Young girls must habituate themselves to a physically active and healthy lifestyle; learn to live without your mobile and the internet. Otherwise, when responsibilities start piling up, there’s a strong chance you end up being a short-tempered mother, which may leave negative effects on the personality of your child.
- Gaining Guidance about Parenting
Parenting entails responsibility and accountability. For learning about effective parenting, you may listen to Duroos, attend lectures and read books on the subject. Alhumdulillah, such materials are readily available and they’ll aid you in your journey. Nonetheless, take advice from your elders, your mothers and your grandmothers; it’ll be the essence of their experiences. If you are expecting your first child, start seeking knowledge now and if you already have children, it’s never too late.
- Removing the Negatives
Try to eliminate all the negative influences inside your home and your undesirable habits that you don’t wish to transfer to your child. For example, if you think television is having a bad influence on your children, refrain from sitting in front of the TV. If you don’t want your kids to adopt the practice of backbiting, don’t backbite. Refrain from using the words you don’t want them to utter. Children are sponges that will pick up whatever they catch from their environment – be careful! If you want kids like Hassan (rtam) and Hussain (rtam), get ready to follow the characters of Fatimah (rtaf) and Ali (rtam).
To put it succinctly, motherhood is not a walk in the park. It demands time, energy and efforts. Yet it is the instinct of every woman, the most adorable duty there is! Fathers shouldn’t assume they are exempted; they are equally responsible and must actively participate in their children’s upbringing. With the dew drops of Duas and hard work of parents, Insha’Allah, we will succeed in presenting this Ummah with productive Muslims.