Monday, 15 December 2014

My Lord, the Most Merciful

A few months ago, I updated this status to my Facebook account:
"Getting pretty sick of the rah-rah parade doing the rounds in the blogosphere:
"(to mothers/women in general): You ARE good enough. You ARE amazing."
Really, I'm not. Seriously. Enough already! I'm all for optimism, but...oh, wait. I'm not. I'm for realism.
Conclusion: I need chocolate. Lots of it. Therein lies the solution!"
I still stand by my words. I'm not saying we should wallow in the deep end of the pool of self pity; but this exaggeration of one's goodness also nauseates me.
I often feel this way. As I'm sure a lot of Mums do. That I'm not good enough; I'm not doing enough as a mother. If I'm finding it SO hard, surely I must be doing something wrong! I must try harder. I'm not trying hard enough. I'm not praying hard enough. I'm not attentive enough. I'm not loving enough. I'm not positive enough.
I am just not 'enough'. The feeling of being inadequate as a person - but intensified a hundredfold into the failings of a mother. Being inadequate as a person is somehow less awful than being inadequate as a mother. If you fail as a person, you have failed yourself. But if you fail as a mother, you have failed an entire generation.
These feelings come to a head when I get sick, like the past couple of days. I've been feeling down and low and completely unworthy of the beautiful present from my Lord that is my baby; and then last night was the worst. My whole body ached and my eyes watered and I was sure I would come down with a fever that would be the death of me. And the voices in my head said, "You're a horrible mother, thinking about dying and such when you should be thinking of Baby Girl. And what business do you have getting sick, anyway? How will you ever take care of Baby Girl in this condition?'
Feeling thus, I asked hubby if it would be ok for me to take a nap in the spare bedroom for a while before coming to bed for the night. My brilliant idea being proposed at midnight, he asked what did I need a nap for? I said that I really, really needed some rest (which I was not going to get with a 16 month old in bed with us, doing her best to take over the entire bed while her parents hung on to the edges for dear life.) He tore his eyes away from his PS3, took one look at me, and said, 'You know what, why don't you sleep on your own tonight. Get a good night's rest, and I'll take care of Baby Girl. Just keep the baby monitor with you, in case I do need to call you."
And suddenly there was a voice in my head, whispering "Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?"
Photo Credit: http://othmanabdullah.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/which-favors-will-you-deny/islam_then-which-of-the-favors-of-the-lord-you-deny_1024x768_v1r1/
Photo Credit: http://othmanabdullah.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/which-favors-will-you-deny/islam_then-which-of-the-favors-of-the-lord-you-deny_1024x768_v1r1/
I don't remember the last time I had had such a good sleep as last night. To be sure, I still heard my baby's cries when she awoke in the middle of the night; I heard her cry out for me and I heard hubby comfort her back to sleep. But despite the disturbances, I had a good night's rest, alhumdulillah.
At Fajr time my bayboo woke up and cried for me again; this time she was inconsolable. I began getting up even before hubby's urgent whisper came through the baby monitor, asking me to come quickly.
As soon as I held my precious daughter in my arms, it was as if the negativity of the past few days had never existed. As she showered me with the sweetest hugs and kisses, I realized just how keenly she had missed me; and again there was the voice in my head, whispering, "Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?"
Such love as my baby expressed to me during the following day! All I could do was smile and think, so much love...for me? But I am so unworthy...so undeserving of it.
And then, finally, at long last, I understood: I may never be good enough. I may never attain perfection, but if I keep trying, my Lord will keep helping. When I take one step towards Him, He takes ten towards me. He, the Lord of the Universe, the Creator of all that is in the Heavens and the Earth, He who is Self-Sufficient and in need of no-one; He, my Merciful, Glorious Lord, will continue to help me as long as I keep trying.
With these thoughts in my head, I take a deep breath, cast away the doubts and continue on my journey of motherhood.

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(Originally published on Muslims Moms USA)


You may also be interested in:
To My Little One
Motherhood Lessons: Year 1
Remarkable Things