Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I am a mom to a 3-year-old with another baby on the way, alhamdulillah. I want to be a merciful, kind, loving, and compassionate mom and wife. But sometimes I’m tired beyond belief, and I want to laugh and play with my child since she is looking for my response, but I cannot do that.
My husband always helps out, but I request your guidance and tips on how to be more loving, what speech and expressions to use, how to give my child love even when tired, how often to correct them, and when to overlook their faults. I want to have lots of kids in sha Allah, but I can’t be this tired and unavailable. Doctors have told me that I am healthy otherwise, alhamdulillah.
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your sacrifice and for wanting to improve yourself for everyone’s benefit.
My first advice to you is not to be so hard on yourself. You are her mother, you love her, and this comes through to her whether you know it or not. Your personality does not need to be one of laughing and dancing all day but rather cheerful. Consider these words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace):
“Do not consider any act of kindness insignificant, even meeting your brother with a cheerful face.” [Muslim]
“I have not seen anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).” [Tirmidhi]
Narrated Jarir: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) never screened me since I accepted Islam, nor did he look at me except that he smiled.” [Tirmidhi]
In addition to smiling at your daughter, I recommend you mention Allah’s name often. Be positive by saying Masha Allah, teach her to say Bismillah before everything she does and say Alhamdulillah after everything she does. This is more useful than constantly praising her. Play with her to the best of your ability; that is enough. For example, if she wants to play a game with you, there is no harm in lying down next to her during the game.
As for discipline, seek the way of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). He showed mercy to children, which is a big part of our religion and fitra (innate disposition) that should not be veered from. Correct them occasionally, and don’t be harsh. See the links below for more tips.
Please take steps to take care of yourself during this time. Don’t underestimate the power of eating well, exercising, and taking supplements. Naturally, you will be tired, but have faith that this phase will pass, and you will get your energy back as long as you take care of yourself. At the same time, look after your soul by fulfilling your obligations and leaning on Allah with dua to get through the difficulties. Additionally, seek help from family members or Muslim friends for some respite.
Please see these links for more tips:
Parenting in Islam: How to Raise Righteous Children
How to Provide for Our Children without Spoiling Them?
How to Correct Our Children’s Mistakes?
Positive Begets Positive: Breaking a Negative Cycle
How Can I Stay Positive and Trust in Allah in Difficult Times? (Video)
Parenting – A Reader
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.