Your spiritual self is something that is unseen but which when cultivated well, will equip you well for the rest of your motherhood journey. – Umm Muhaimin
As a mother of two very young children, I’d safely say that you can’t know the real deal of parenting until you are a parent yourself. But the greatest gift for a mother is to help her find ease of mind and to find the calm amidst the storm in the journey of parenthood, which can get quite exhilarating.
Many a times I have friends who have just discovered (most times in trepidation) that they have gotten pregnant and seeking advice. Being a mother opens up a huge Pandora’s Box and it is very easy to get drowned and subsumed by the plethora of (horror) stories that come with everything related to motherhood. From choosing the right gynecologist, to deciding whether to breastfeed or otherwise, or to as mundane as which brand of pumps you should buy, becoming a mother can be the scariest and most overwhelming thing in the world.
The worries are never-ending and it can be extremely frightening, yet at the same time you can’t help but be excited. But motherhood, especially during these times where options are aplenty, need not be difficult. Scary, yes, as it is with so many things in life that are mysterious. The future lies with Allah and if we are confident that He has the best plans for us, give your 100% but know that your personal spiritual state is the best place to start to preparing to be a mother.
Why do I say this?
Because once you have a grip on your mind and emotions, and always remembering to align them with your role as Allah’s servant (which is to worship and obey Him), this gift will guide you in many of your future decisions as a mother, and of course in all the other hats and roles you play, inshaaAllah.
Your spiritual self is something that is unseen but which when cultivated well, will equip you well for the rest of your motherhood journey. I’ve been reading some really wonderful reflections of mothers present and past, and I must say that the mothers who have amazing children by the will of Allah always have this spiritual awareness and are motivated by Allah’s promise on the rewards for patience and perseverance.
Take for example the mother of the great Imam Shafiee. Many would not know that she was actually a single parent but yet her wisdom in ensuring her child goes far in the lands to seek knowledge was something that took great belief in the Almighty and a deep belief in her child’s right to knowledge. And for anyone to be able to have this deep belief and foresight would most probably be someone who had a very healthy spiritual self, hugely connected with the Almighty. In this is indeed a lesson for us. When we take the time to cultivate our inner selves and are conscious of our feelings and thoughts, we find it becomes simpler to deal with the many unexpected turns in motherhood.
As a mother, our child’s future is in our hands. And as a believer, you are already gifted with the tools to help your child become a believer as well. Make that a strong and responsible one. We all want good children and the right thing to do now is to make du’a and model the good example of a pious believer. Even if your child is not here yet, know that you child is WITHIN you and therefore able to feel what you are feeling. Role-modeling good behaviour begins even before the baby is born.
I personally find the amazing hadith extremely thought-provoking and helps me realign my thoughts and feelings when I feel helpless in difficult mothering moments:
“Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him” (Saheeh Muslim #2999)
This hadith tells us that everything will be alright, regardless the season, regardless the situation, if we CHOOSE to believe that Allah has our back. Have your head and heart focused on pleasing the Almighty, take advantage of the weapon of du’a and prayer, and ask Allah to keep you always guided in the face of motherhood (including pregnancy) and constantly ASK Him to make you always remember Him and to keep Him close to you.
Whether you’re a mother-to-be, a seasoned mother, a tired mother – keep going and have faith in Allah’s plans. Indeed, many a times your situation may look really bleak but remember that every moment is an opportunity to gain His approval and that is all that matters.
I find myself sometimes, especially in the throes of difficult parenting and mothering situations, to begin wanting to be elsewhere. A great reminder is that you’re here wherever you are now, and that is the opportunity for you to make good, to act in a manner that pleases Allah. A mother is given many opportunities to gain His blessings so take that opportunity!
May He help us to always find calm within the storm, and to always find ourselves in close proximity to Him in remembrance, in the face of challenging moments. Allahu musta’an! Ameen!
Umm Muhaimin is a Singaporean mother of two, who’s still learning to be a good Muslim mother, and currently resides overseas. She writes about parenting and muses about motherhood in the hope to become spiritually aware as a mother and a believer.