Friday 28 July 2017

Pulling Yourself Out of a Black Fog

I know things are getting me down when I get through a whole pack of chocolate button and didn’t manage to enjoy one of them.  Instead I feel sick and the feeling of dread and anxiety hasn’t shifted all morning.

You hear these sayings all the time, but you don’t really appreciate the grain of truth in them until you find yourself in a situation where they apply. Like “having the weight of the world on your shoulders”. Being in a situation where I am trying to deal with multiple problems and with hubby away, it actually does feel like I have something enormous weighing me down.

I am trying to secure a place for Little Lady at a local school, but have been told that I am unlikely to and will need to go through an appeal process.  For the first of her two GCSE years.  The only option available is a 30 minute bus journey to a school which is the borough’s last resort for children of parents who don’t make the application in time.

The boys have decided this is good timing to play up and bunk off madrassah, I realised something was going on because they were going without complaint, so I decided to wait outside and ask the teacher if they had missed any classes.  He confirmed they had missed some that week and then proceeded to lecture me in front of all of the other parents about supervising my children properly and how it was the mother’s role to make sure the children were being properly managed.  I told him I look after my disabled mum-in-law, have three other children, my husband is away and I work, so barely get home for 5pm when their class starts.  That prompted an even bigger moan about mothers caring for children and who was with them during the day.  He finished by pointing out that Gorgeous needed to cut his nails.  With the other mothers peering on at what the fuss might be about.  I felt very embarrassed and left with his mobile phone number so that I could message in future to check up on their attendance and progress.

Mum-in-law is pestering me to get Darling (who is four) started on her Quran classes.  My friend taught Little Lady some years ago and is an excellent teacher, she says she wants to teach Darling when she is six and not before.  So Little Lady is currently starting Darling on her alphabet and is amazed at her memory.  I am looking at finding someone for both boys and Darling either to come home or for me to pick and drop them daily myself.

I am also juggling our finances as one of our tenant’s has left this week and the other is due to go next week.  We had agreed to the second tenant after she gave the impression she would be staying for some time, but realised that she had only meant to stay for a short time.  The income from renting out rooms covered the cost of paying back for our loft conversion, so I will have to pay back the amount for this month out of pocket, as well as tenant number two’s deposit.  I am looking for new tenants, but I am always wary as to what type of person you might be allowing into your house, so am careful not to rush into anything.

With the school holidays I was hoping to have a little extra money to be able to take the children out on weekends, but with the tenant situation I will have to be creative and find things to do that don’t involve lots of money.

With hubby away with Tablighi Jamaat for six weeks and then visiting his family for two weeks sometimes I feel a little rudderless, as if I have no direction and no rock to lean on.  He is also a good person to vent to and share with and also split the to-do list of things to resolve with.  I try not to burden the rest of my family, but bits seep out with moaning to the kids or grizzling to my mother-in-law.  I also don’t want people to think badly of hubby, because I support him in what he does and believe in it and I know he must be missing us all like crazy.

Still, every now and again I get a message from my brother-in-law telling me my husband is safe and well and having a good time.  He has friends and family from all over coming to see him with gifts and spending days at a time with him.  I am grateful that he is well and safe, but a little bit of me bubbles up with annoyance at how stressed I have been.

Yesterday I went to lunch with a friend at work and apologised to her for moaning.  But it felt good to share with someone who I could trust.  Today I am consciously trying to shrug the feeling of a ten tonne weight on my shoulders and lift myself out of this feeling of helplessness.  There are two things I have learned to do when I feel stuck or depressed.  The first is to enter into conversation with Allah (SWT), I make dua, I ask for his help and I remind myself of my relationship with Him and His love for me.  But ultimately the thing that helps, is handing over my problems to him and acknowledging my trust in him:

“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)

The second thing is to get moving and take action.  Any action.  Break down the problem into small components, or just take one problem that is manageable and take any small or big action that can help you move towards resolution.  So this week, I have written to the local education department and requested a form to appeal the decision regarding Little Ladies school place. I have diarised to apply again on the first day of August for the next school year.  I have advertised the rooms to rent and started putting items on eBay and Gumtree to sell to make space and create some income.  I have asked a few people regarding a new Quran teacher for the children.  I am pestering my mum-in-law to make lots of dua for me which I know she does.

They are all fairly small things and more work is required to resolve some of these problems, but taking action helps you to feel a bit more in control.  More importantly it helps you change your mindset away from a very miserable one that leaves you feeling stuck.

I am trying to use my daily commute (a bus and three trains each way) to catch up on my reading (and maybe catch a few Pokémon for my sons).

I am trying to use the time without hubby to spend a little more time blogging, writing, planning on a family history project and in self-reflection and of course more reading.

I am trying to save weekends for fun and family time, enjoying my parents and children and trying new things insh’Allah

I am using this time alone to take sole responsibility for the children’s behaviour and habits and implement a sensible routine, with chores, no internet and daily Islamic study.  It must sound like hell for children, but after a few days of moaning, they are getting on with their chores, my evenings are easier and I feel blessed to have a little learning every day, even if it is five minutes.  The kids are being forced to find other activities like reading, board games and crafts.

I believe that there is no growth without challenge.  That exponential growth and personal development happen only when you are stretched beyond what you think you can manage and dragged out of your comfort zone.  I feel as if recent events have forced me to take stock of what is happening with my children and shed some of my naivety as a mother.  I feel as if I have had to reinforce my backbone with stronger stuff, whether when managing sneaky tenants, holding my ground with mutinous children or managing my mother-in-law’s fretting without being unkind or impatient.

So as always, I am counting the days until hubby comes home to us, but I am also working to make sure each day until then counts.

"Verily, with hardship there is relief" (Qur'an 94:6)

"...Bear with patience whatever befalls you...." (Qur'an 31:17)

"Be not sad, surely Allah is with us." (Qur'an 9:40)

"Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." (Qur'an 13:28)

Our Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Verily, if Allah loves a people, He makes them go through trials. Whoever is satisfied, for him is contentment, and whoever is angry upon him is wrath." (Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, "Whoever Allah wishes good for, He inflicts him (with hardship)." (Bukhari)

“And if you would count the favours of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 16:18)


  1. Anonymous28 July, 2017


    Will make dua ALLAH makes all easy for you and may ALLAH reward you for all your sacrifices esp as your husband is away in the path of ALLAH amd visiting family. It takes a selfless person to do that and you are bringing your husband happiness and that is such a wonderful display of love.ALLAH appreciated all of your sacrifices even the smallest ones and may ALLAH strengthen your marriage even more when your hubby sees all you did to make him happy.Ameen

    Was Salaam

  2. Anonymous28 July, 2017

    Salaam dear sister.. you are a source of inspiration.. may Allah ease your hardships and bless you and family with the best in this life and Akhirah.

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