This is the most commonly asked question I get. How do I do it all? How do I have emaan, write, cook, bake, paint, do henna and hair/make/up, all whilst battling health issues and bossing motherhood? That’s just it… I think it is more of me battling some days and bossing on the other days. Either way, either day, I don’t give up – I keep on going.
The first point to note here is, I am selective in which parts of my life I choose to share. I do not post myself crying and screaming in pain; I do not post my carers calling for an ambulance monthly; I do not post being high off my face on gas and air in an ambulance. I also don’t share videos of my daughter having tantrums and her meltdowns from feeling frustrated, because she cannot verbally communicate what it is she needs and wants at that particular moment. I too don’t share the moments I curl up in a ball and cry because as her mother I am trying my best and giving my all yet sometimes it feels like somehow I am not doing it enough or I am doing enough but not in the right way.
My social media may paint a picture of bed of roses but my reality is sometimes as such that I feel low spiritually, other days emotionally. My reality is that some days I am bed ridden, other days I hold the handle on my wheelchair and walk outside instead of sitting on it. I have lost people I never thought I’d lose and have gained relationships I never imagined I could ever have. I too face some same and some different tests that you all face too!
You see, some days my emaan feels so high I feel like I can sit in one spot and do all the ibadah my heart desires in a 24-hour day. Other days, I strive, I cling, I search in the brightest and darkest places for an atoms worth of emaan. But a fluctuating emaan is a phenomena we all experience, right? What I try to remind myself everyday is simply: I am in existence to worship Allah, thus I have to hold onto His rope at all times. Secondly, if a minor stroke and a silent heart attack left me behind, surely, my Rabb is not yet done with me, so how can I be done with Him? And finally, death. It is the most truest, the most realest of realities. As humans we all take different paths and various journeys yet death is all of our ultimate destination. If we all will eventually die, why not live each moment positivity and in the present? Why not try and leave behind as much goodness as possible?
These are my main three reminders but of course, without my Salaats, Dua, Dhikr, Adhkar and recitation I suffer the lowest emaan. So I try to hold onto those and practice those daily.
I am fortunate and forever grateful to have my two lovely and wonderful superwomen – my carers. They help me in everything, from everyday tasks to specific ventures I set out on. And that too, they cheer me on so genuinely and happily. This helps enormously, both physically and psychologically. I am also on a cocktail on painkillers and medication to manage my symptoms and pain. What I focus on is my goals and how I am to work with my body (and pain at times) to achieve those goals instead of contemplating how will I achieve such and such whilst being numb and hurting. @professionalfemale has helped me beyond words when it comes to healing and growth and subsequently my thoughts, feelings and outlook towards many things in life has adjusted and adapted.
Erina – my child, my baby, my daughter, my world, my life, my universe, my absolute everything.
She motivates me to do simple everyday tasks aiming and reaching for the stars. I want her to look back as an adult and proudly say I learnt to cook, bake, paint, sew, knit, do henna and make-up… I learnt it all from my Ammu. I want her memories filled with ‘my mother can and my mother did and so can I and so will I’. I don’t want her memories of just the bad days, the days filled with pain and hospital trips.
As for motherhood, like I said I share selective moments and battle and conceal the rest (through no shame or embarrassment but necessity). Not everything needs to be shared. But really, truly, honestly… I am just another parent, winging it, like we all are.
All guest writer articles come from our Muslim Mamas community or from our network of supporters. Some contribute one-off stories; some contribute as anonymous mamas. All experiences and opinions are those of the writers.