Saturday, July 13, 2024

To the First-Time Mums

Making a masjid through independent play

To the first-time mums…

When my eldest daughter was 5 months old, I made a big international move. Not knowing a single soul in the new country initially, I started a completely new life as a stay-at-home mum. I convinced myself that it was normal to raise a child in such isolation. I assumed that motherhood means to give your every moment to your baby. I wanted to believe that all mothers do this and that all mothers live a similar life.

As I slowly began to meet mothers of multiple children, some of them managing “more things” than I did, some “exclusively breastfeeding” their second or third, some more at peace and less stressed than I was, I felt as if I was missing something. There was also this (sometimes mentioned and sometimes unsaid) assumption that having more kids means more difficulty – as if the number of children has a straightforward linear relationship with difficulty level.

Little did I know that one day I would be a mom of two beautiful girls, who is much more at peace than she was before. I didn’t know that one day I would make another international move and find some kind of support that was absent in my life earlier. I had no idea that the life I was living earlier was completely unnatural and not the norm of motherhood. I didn’t know that there are mothers who don’t “do it all” because they have people to help them.

I also didn’t realize that being a first-time mum means not having the experience of the next phase. When you’re in it for the first time, you feel you would be stuck in the same phase forever. You don’t expect the sleepless nights to ever end, nor do you expect the dependency to eventually shift to independent play. But the second time around, you know – you have been in this chaos before. It can still be excruciatingly hard, but it is familiar. You have more on your plate with multiple children, but you also have more experience, insight, and hope.

So I want to tell all the first-time mums who feel absolutely lonely in their journey – things will change. Everything goes towards decay, including all phases of life, except the Face of our Lord. And your Lord is with you when you wonder why your child does not play independently, or enjoy a particular outing, or is clingy at social gatherings. He is with you when you cry while driving the car because every muscle of your body hurts due to the physical and mental exhaustion that motherhood brings. Trust your Lord, Al-Wali, that He will take you through it. Nurture your child and yourself in the name of Allah – Ar-Rahman. He is the One sustaining both you and your child. Don’t forget yourself in the process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *