Monday, 13 October 2014

Baby at 40 Days: Prayer and Hard Work

Alhamdulillah, I think this has been one of the busiest times of my life. Fasionista’s baby, Kooky’s wedding, my little one being born making me a mum of five, with two Eid’s and Ramadan in between and Little Lady starting high school and then changing high school within half a term. It’s also our turn to host the local weekly ladies Islamic circle for a few weeks and now mum-in-law is preparing to go back to Pakistan. So of course I thought this was a good time to throw an Eid party.

I spent the first few days after having Baby feeling very overwhelmed and wondering how an earth I’m going to manage. I asked hubby for more help and mum-in-law pitched in and slowly I am starting to get a routine going. There are still days when I wonder what an earth I have been doing all day and where I make the best of intentions do something productive, but instead barely get through the day with everyone fed and the chores done.

Last week baby turned 40 days, which in South Asian culture is a milestone. Traditionally women rest for the first 40 days and take care to stay warm, eat special, nutritious foods and rest properly. In Pakistan this often means bed rest and daily massages by the local midwife for those that can afford them. Not getting the rest and nutrition is attributed by a lot of women to health problems later in life. I think I managed about three days of rest before I got super busy, with my mum telling me to rest or that I’ll face the consequences when I’m older (I have no idea if this attribution is accurate or not, but after worrying about it for a couple of days, decided there’s nothing I can do now).

Anyway, the 40 day milestone meant that I could end my bed rest (yeah right) and that I could start praying again (there is a really useful section in the book Heavenly Ornaments by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (RA) from page 69 which details when to start praying after having a baby). This has presented the challenge of trying to pray in between meals, guests, chores and constantly feeding a new born, particularly when the baby is crying and it’s prayer time. On the other hand the routine of prayer has helped to establish a routine once again for our family life – waking times, meal times, the times at which we go out and the babys nursing times. For instance one night I waited until the baby would go sleep so that I could pray esha (the night prayer). She sleeps with me and every time I got up she would cry, so it was 1am before I could pray and she still woke up and howled. So now I pray esha at the starting time when everyone is still up and someone can look after her while I pray, this means dinner is slightly later, but at least I am not going crazy.

Being able to pray again, has also given me a big boost and helped me to stay positive when it all feels too much. These conversations with Allah (SWT) are such a comfort and provide so much peace.

On the day I ended up praying at 1am, I got a little angry and upset, I was so exhausted I cried and asked Allah (SWT) to help me to be a good mother and wife. I found myself getting angry at my husband and feeling guilty at not behaving in a more grateful way. The conversation with Allah (SWT) helped to calm me and make me see my situation not just as hard work but as a massive opportunity. I reminded myself that each of my children are a chance to send people into the world that could change the world and serve and benefit everyone around them – each of them is born with a purpose to serve Allah (SWT) and do the work he commands and it fills me with awe to wonder what path Allah (SWT) has laid out for my children and what strengths and qualities he has sent them forth with to discover and grow.

When I take that attitude, parenting is still hard work, but instead of a chore or challenge it becomes an adventure and a privilege. Then the long days, late nights, early mornings and the hours spent caring for everyone become an investment in our future and akhirah (next life). Taking this attitude is making the days easier for me and helping bring the pleasure back into life. It’s also helping me to accept that I won’t be doing most of the other things I wanted to for now and that that is okay.

4 comments:

  1. Assalamu’alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu
    It is nice to see all of you sisters here so focused on correct tarbiyah of children realizing that they are the biggest amanah Allah bestowed upon us. I just stumbled upon this site today.
    I am also home schooling my tenth grader but when I started home schooling I wanted an organized curriculum and class schedule so I do not have to be behind his back. I soon realized that the home school programs were very expensive. My husband and I have always encouraged parents to home school seeing the environment even of Islamic schools but we soon realized not many can afford the outrageous tuition. By the grace of Allah it was not hard for us to get the best virtual home school available for my son but soon started thinking about other children of the ummah.
    We just started an online virtual school with very affordable tuition. In addition there are other discounts based on income. It is a not for profit organization. The teachers are paid but the rest of the staff is working on a volunteer basis. The school’s website is arqam.org. Please visit it and see for yourself how this school offers both formal Islamic education as well as top level academics for our children. The goal in Islamic Studies is to cover all subjects but with special emphasis on study of hadith and understanding the quran in Arabic. All our teachers for the non-Islamic curriculum are certified and have a Masters degree. This is the school’s first year and we are in the process of getting it accredited InShaAllah this year. This is the first ISlamic Virtual school of its kind and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. The unique thing is that all classes are live on the computer so the children have a school day from 8am-3pm just like any regular school and that way automatically are kept busy throughout the school day. The only responsibility of the parent is to put a good parental control on the computer and the school helps parents with that as well.
    We need help spreading this word so we can see the continuation of this school and helping it grow to benefit our ummah. Please let us know if you have any marketing ideas.
    And may Allah help every brother and sister striving in His path and help uplift our ummah. Ameen.

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  2. You are an awesome mother..May Allah bless you and your family membersπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

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  3. You are an awesome mother..May Allah bless you and your family membersπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

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    1. Salam dear sis and jazakh'Allah-khair for your kind comment and dua xxx

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