Let Our Children Be The Coolness Of Our Eyes And Heal Our Grieving Heart
Back then, there was a saying that goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ .
Those days, the responsibility of raising a child was considered to be a joint effort for each and everyone that knew him.
This included his grand parents, teachers, extended family and society and community at large.
However, over time the concept of joint extended families slowly disappeared. The burden of rearing a child has fall solely onto the shoulders of both parents.
Raising a child in today’s millenial age is becoming very stressful. The difficulty increases manifold if a mother is parenting a child or children single handedly, in the absence of the father.
There are pressures and stigmas attached to it. The stakes are at so much higher in some community whereby single mothers are treated indifferently and often isolated from society.
Although single parenting has become increasingly common, it is still frowned upon in certain community, as it is defying the norms of society and hence a taboo.
Going through a divorce, separation or facing the demise of a spouse is a very traumatic experience for any woman. The thought of child rearing along with fulfilling financial responsibilities on top of everything else at times would break her into pieces.
Emotionally, single mothers are often left on her own to cope with all sorts of mixed emotions like: Anger. Depression. Frustration. Loneliness. Anxiety. Fear. Insecurity.
However, it is interesting to note though that we have an excellent example from the Quran where it mentioned about 2 women in particular who had raised their child singlehandedly :
Maryam AS who was Actually a single parent
Hajar AS who was metaphorically a single parent as she lived away from her husband, Ibrahim AS
Maryam Alahi Salam
She absolutely grew up without any male figure in her life. She didn’t have a father, brother or a husband, not even an uncle to care for her.
She was all alone during her pregnancy.
She had to endure labour pain and delivery all by herself in the desert. This is one momentous task that she undertook singlehandedly.
Despite knowing the amount of societal backlash she would receive when she decided to take her child to the people without any immediate family to protect her, she did not fear.
In Quran Allah SWT describes it as:
Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.” So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?”
[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive.
And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant.
Quran (19: 27-32)
When others started hurling hurtful things, she (was told) to point towards her child, (or what I understand seek comfort in her child)
Isa Alahi Salam had mentioned that “Allah Made me dutiful to my mother” and to be a source of comfort and contentment for her!
I truly believe that this is the ultimate guide line for single mothers.
Allah SWT wants single women to seek solace and strength from their own children and stop fretting over societal comments or worrying about what other people think/say/do.
We often talk about what good traits and qualities mothers had bestow upon their children. How much she has sacrificed raising her children.
Especially when she is also playing the role of the father.
Thus we have, unknowingly ignored the fact that indeed our children too, has given so much to us in return.
They have been the coolness of our eyes helping to heal and mend our grieving hearts.
They nurture us in their own sweet ways.
We must acknowledged that their arrival to this world has helped to mould and shaped us. Not in physical but in emotional and psychological.
They have helped us to grow into motherhood that comes with unexplored paradigms of love that sometimes we never imagined, had in us.
Single parenting mom who bears all the burdens of parenting on her own shoulder is often easily upset over little matters.
She is often frustrated and at times tend to pour out her frustration on her child. Unfortunately children are often the direct affectees in such situation.
Although most single mothers thought that they had suffer the worst, often times it’s the children too.
So how do we support our children to overcome the agony of losing a parent while at the same time keeping our sanity intact?
The answer is:
Keep the love that you have for your child alive
I know it is hard for single moms to survive in such circumstance especially when the grief is overwhelming. Nothing seems to make sense.
However, there are few best things one can do to heal oneself
1. Make sincere dua to Allah SWT to bring you out of that grief.
2. Accept the situation. Instead of getting stuck at “what ifs’ the best way to move on is to first accept that whatever worse has happened had happened
3. Pray that may Allah SWT make your kids the coolness of your eyes and through them you overcome all the obstacles in life
4. Find your tribe. Sometimes the best people to show empathy are the ones who are in the same boat. Because they understand so much better they would often offer unconditional support.
5 . Know that you are not alone. Findng your tribe will help you understand that there are others in a much worst situation than you are.
6. Practice gratitude. In the light of positivity insha Allah things will start to appear less stark.
7. Know that many great women in history of Islam raised their child/children alone.
If at any point, you feel that you are loosing hope do not despair
Most importantly is for you to show love to your kids through gentle, kind and loving words and actions
- Give unconditional support
- Set out a specific time daily to connect with them through play or working together like preparing a meal.
- Cuddles and bed time stories.
- Sharing your own concern with them over certain matters that is age appropriate.
- Talking to kids help them becoming a mature and thoughtful person.You would be surprised that they might actually be helpful in finding a solution for you.
- Be positive. Stay positive
- Take care of yourself
- Go back to making more dua!
The writer, Asbah Alaeana is a muslimah by birth and choice. She studied accountancy but being an artist at heart, has opted to be a housewife playing mom to two toddlers. She blogs at amuslimmama.com and doodle at IG @amuslimmamacomics
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