My dad commented on something today, that had me pondering over a question that has laid dormant in my mind since having my fourth child (cheer me on for even having the time to write this post!). He said to me as I loaded my car full of bin bags before setting off towards the recycling center: “Good, I like to see people doing real work and not just bouncing babies all the time!”
Speaks volumes doesn’t it? This picture? I’m not that good at drawing and it took me ages to do but it was worth it because this is exactly how I feel. This sums my life up perfectly! This is the reason I have no khushoo in my salaah!
Nothing has prepared me for the ongoing verbal slaughter that has been taking place recently in my home. Brother against sister against mother in an epic war to fight for control over who has the most rights in the home. It’s me of course, I trump the kids hands down; but you try telling them that 😉
My tears fell from my eyes and picked up momentum as they ran down my cheeks and disappeared into an unknown abyss below. I closed my eyes against the pain and pressed my fingers to my temples hoping to alleviate the pressure build up I felt there, but it was no good. Every time I closed my eyes all I saw were flash backs. Flash backs of what had happened days earlier; months earlier; years earlier. It was like a movie replaying over and over again stuck on a loop. A movie I no longer cared to watch or be reminded of: the movie of my life. Continue reading
It is 2004 and I am not a single mum, yet…
However, I am a new mother to a baby girl who is 9 weeks old mashallah but who I feel is a stranger to me and who I feel doesn’t like me and whose needs I cannot meet. I feel like I can identify with single mothers because I am in a new area, alone and depressed with no-one to confide in, struggling to cope. Is this really my life?
I have no friends in my area and have no experience of babies so I feel overwhelmed as to how I should behave and even talk to a baby. The midwives at the hospital taught me nothing of how to change let alone bathe a baby and I didn’t know to ask either as naive as it sounds. My family rarely visit as everyone is busy at work and I don’t confide in them because I have a reputation for being “tough” which simply translates as: I keep to myself. Continue reading
Being a single mum means you face a lot of discrimination, being a single Muslim mum means you not only face discrimination and oppression from your own community at times but also from the kuffar who think you are vulnerable and try to influence you with their haram ways. When your back is up against the wall you learn to sink or swim and swimming means fighting back; but sometimes you spend so long fighting others that you forget how to just stop and step back because your first line of defence is to attack. You don’t always have to be the one fighting, because when we don’t Allah swt does. There are so many ways to change a negative into a positive, sometimes all you need to do is smile, forgive, have sabr and make dua for others to be guided to righteousness. Continue reading
When Looking for a potential spouse there is much to consider especially if you are a single mum, but one thing I never thought I would have to think about was asking a man if he could think as a father rather than as an individual. Call me naive, but I automatically assumed that he would have thought about the sacrifices he would have to make as a father and also would have carefully thought things through. Maybe it’s just in my experience, but it seems men are somewhat clueless as to the degree of responsibility they face if they choose to marry a single mum. When they go to such intimate lengths to do their research on a car, check it out, make sure its worthy enough to own and don’t judge it on appearance alone, I dare say I had hoped they would apply the same formula for marriage; obviously not. They see someone they like and try to squash them into a Stepford Wife mould; they want their wife to wrap her and her children’s lives around them instead of doing it the other way around. Is this fair? Is this what we have to expect now as single mums? Continue reading
I feel, right now, like I’m drowning. I feel like I’m being pulled under by a huge tidal wave and I’m powerless to escape, leaving me to watch my downfall through horrified eyes. I wonder why no-one else can see it in my eyes, the panic and fear – the breakdown that feels imminent. Is it normal to feel this way so often? To always feel like at any moment the mask of sanity might slip leaving your real face exposed? What would the whispering voices say then, if I simply let it out and screamed loudly never stopping until I had no voice left with which to vocalise my pain and loneliness? I see nothing in my eyes, they look dead to me, is this too, normal? Peering into myself, trying to recognise who looks back at me, trying to regain some sense of familiarity with myself but seeing nothing but blackness and dread. I had a nightmare once about dead boys, their eyes were dead, you could see the life had been sucked out of their eyes and they looked ahead blankly – buttons shiny and black instead of eyes, that’s how I see my own eyes. Should that scare me? Continue reading
They say life makes you wise; it does, but not for the reasons you may think. You learn to recognise the signs that suggest dishonesty and lies; you see the warning cues now, but only because you have been burned so many times. You learn to be cautious but only because you are so distrustful. Naivety disappears to be replaced with hardness and a will to survive no matter what the cost. Most of us, at some point, realise we aren’t as pure as we once thought we were and that our dark passenger is lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce when the opportunity arises.
It is after slipping up so stupendously, that most of us build our resolve and morals develop as we vow never again to make the mistake we once made. Our subconsciousness can be a very dark place to be; it’s where we keep violent tendencies bottled up, our evil thoughts locked away in a secret box – how many of us really though, accept this side of ourselves?
I worry, a lot. I try not to, but nonetheless I cant seem to stop the endless tirade of thoughts that flow through my brain until my nerves are pulled taut and I think my head will explode. Life is not easy for a Muslim woman, life for a single Muslim mother can be much worse. I sometimes have no real support from my family (although sometimes they are great!), and I often feel like they don’t understand me too; they tell me they have their own lives to lead and can’t always help me so I feel like I’m a burden, although I’m sure that’s not their intention. My brother said to his wife once that if he went away he was worried in case something would happen to her as she was all alone in a flat with her sons, it hurt me because I thought that this is my reality. Continue reading