Sunday 20 May 2012

I Can Do Anything!

Pregnancy causes al sorts of reactions – congratulations, special treatment from friends, a few funny looks from people at work and most recently the belief that people know what is best for me.

I put up with some very rude comments from other Muslim women when my children were very small – about how I must be selfish and money hungry to be still at work when I have small children, how children need their mother with them all of the time. This caused years of guilt and anxiety on my part, in particular that my children would have all sorts of psychological issues. It was only as the kids got older and I started to see that actually they are good kids – messy and rowdy, but essentially good and very independent, that my fear and guilt started to alleviate.

The last two weeks I attended the sister’s circle I go to on Sundays I have had comments. Initially congratulations and lots of questions about how I was feeling. Then one sister asked me if I was going to stop working now – “I can’t manage being at home with three, how are you going to work with four?” I got a bit cross at her tone and answered “Same as I manage now – I can do anything”. I didn’t mean to be arrogant, but I am long past tolerating this kind of thing.

The second week, the sister that asked was a little gentler – “Are you going to stop working now?” I explained I hope to stay home for a year and then see what our situation was, but that depended on a lot of things.

I know a lot of sisters disagree with mothers working, both Muslim and non-Muslim, what I can’t understand is the attitude that they know best and their inability to respect the decisions of their sisters. I also can’t understand their inability to see that many women are not working because they love money more than their children but because they want to keep a roof over their children’s head and pay the bills (because like hell am I raising my children in state benefits if I can help it).

I know stay-at-home mothers whose kids are messed up because they are so messed up. I know stay-at-home mothers who are busier than I am with studies, Islamic studies, school activities and their social lives. I know working mothers who would love to give up work, even when their children are all at school or adults and don’t always feel they could afford to.

I have also learnt that a woman grows to meet a challenge. When I had one child it felt like hard work, when I had three and a busy job, I took it in my stride. Now that I am pregnant with a fourth, have a crazy job and three demanding children, with the in-laws due back soon, I am still going – albeit with the sense to slow down a little and with a yearning now and again to step back and take a break from it all.

Thankfully at this weeks study circle, no-one mentioned the topic – they must have got bored!


  1. Love what you said, that a woman grows to meet a challenge. It is true of women in so many different situations, but hardly anyone stops to appreciate what they do. Kudos to you!!

  2. Salaams,
    It sounds funny ; how everyone else knows what we should do. I think it is woman thing to be so nosy and pushy about these things.

    I Wish I could work as well as stay at home,like you said some of us need the money if we want to keep a roof over our kids.

    I know stay at home mums who has nannies to take care of the kids and spend all their time with their own things, and social lives. And also know some wonderful moms who juggle both work and family so well, the kids do not feel their moms away from them.

    May you find blessings in your time,inshaAllah.

  3. I think you will do a fab job and if you can look after 3 another another little one cant be that hard surely....anywho take no notice of the sisters giving out unwanted advice about how you should not work and be at home, obviously if you decide to do that there is nothing wrong with it, as it should be a choice you make not one that they guilt you in to.

    It is all to common to see how women in our community think that once they have kids its the governments job to provide for them.

  4. You can do it, dont let anyone get you down. You seem like an amazing and truly hardworking mom and wife. Dont let others get to you, because look at how far you have come. And when you have days when you feel overwhelmed, then just remember VERILY WITH DIFFICULTY COME EASE, VERILY WITH DIFFICULTY COMES EASE. INSHALLAH! MAY ALLAH S.W.T MAKE THINGS EASIER FOR YOU! :)

  5. Jazakh'Allah khairun for your dua's sisters.

    Oh Sis Noor, don't get me started on Muslims and benefits in this country or I will start sounding like one of those right-wing troolls that frequent the Daily Mail!

  6. I couldnt agree with you more! I am a stay at home mom who mostly works from home. The worse is the judgement that comes from other sisters. Its sad because you often hope to find a sisterhood when it comes to parenting but that is rarely the case.

    I think what every family needs to do is what works for them and what may work for your family may not work for others. Its just that simple!

    Anyway, high five for bringing up the big elephant in the room. I have thought about blogging this too but cant seem to do it already- thanks for the inspiration ;)

  7. It's hard for women to work in that condition. But normally they. They need to comfort themselves for long time in that condition. Manahil from Quran Teacher school.