I feel like I have a parenting fail everyday. I’m not even trying to be exaggeratedly funny/needy wherein I start monologuing about the downfalls of motherhood and my lack of parenting skills so that I can get comments which will boost my ego and make me feel better about myself. The thing is 1) I don’t get any comments and 2) I don’t feel bad about myself. I don’t feel like I’m a particularly bad parent. I don’t feel like I’m a particularly good parent either to be quite honest. I just feel like I’m trying my very best and I am still struggling hard to make even one day end where I don’t feel like it beat me.
The Prophet Muhammad said, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him: Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother (Ahmad, Nasai).
This is a great saying of the prophet (saw), a good reminder that we should be good to our mothers, but I’ll tell you personally, it’s not a great reminder to mothers who are deep in the trenches of motherhood, of the honour that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon mothers… or at least not for me. I hear it pretty often from people who are not mothers though, like my husband, for one thing, who thinks that it should be easy for me once I remember that I am getting, like, a tonne of blessings. Hmm.
Truthfully, I don’t feel better. And most of the times I don’t remember even that there is an exceptional amount of reward for mothering children. Truthfully, it’s hard. It’s hard to be a mother, and it’s exhausting, and very often there is no more capacity in my mind to even ponder that there will be an end to this seemingly-never-ending-poop-changing-tantrum-pacifying-milk-serving-marathon that is life.
Let me leave you with some wisdom though, and share with you one thing that is not a reflection of my lack-luster mood. In an inspired moment of parenting genius, I thought, I asked my 14 year old son to share with me something from his point of view so I can try to understand his world. He said “do you see that book on the desk behind you? Well, I can see it very clearly, but you… you have to turn around completely in order to see it.” I know what he meant… But look, it struck me, we can never see things clearly from anyone else’s perspective, we do have to make the effort to understand the other person’s point of view.