COVID-19 & Parenting: 5 Words of Wisdom to Keep You Sane!
1. Do your best, and then TRUST.
One day, the Prophet, peace be upon him, he saw a Bedouin leave his camel without tying it. He asked him why he was doing this. The Bedouin replied that he was placing his trust in Allah and had no need to tie the camel. The Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him, then replied, “Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
When you worry about the safety of you and your loved ones amidst this pandemic, focus on what is in your control and once you have done what you can, trust God to be your safeguard. When that one khalto/auntie (who probably has attended at least three weddings this summer) suddenly gives your daughter an unsolicited hug (sans a mask!), take a deep breath and remind yourself that this particular instance was beyond your control. Don’t dwell. Focus on what you can do and less on what you can’t: wear that mask, sanitize regularly, social distance. But then, raise your hands up to the heavens, make duaa, and find comfort in God’s ever-present protection over you. At the same time, remember your responsibility to take the measures you need to. Doing your part and trusting God are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they go hand in hand.
2. Do what works for you!
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:“Part of your good practice of Islam is to leave whatever does not concern you” (Al-Tirmidhi)
It’s never easy for us moms. People will always judge. Being in a pandemic as school starts up again adds a whole new dimension to all the eyes on us. But remember, as a mom, you will do what is best for your kids and only you know what is best for them too! Build your confidence and know that every time and place is different and requires its own plan of action and parenting style. Whether you send your kids back to school or homeschool, whether you struggle with keeping your kids entertained at home and default to TV (movie night every night, anyone?), you are doing your best. It’s okay to adapt. It’s ok to doubt yourself. It’s ok to feel scared. Every family is different and every mom is a superhero! And for all the scrutinizers, let’s make this a little easier on moms and leave that which doesn’t concern us. Stop comparing, stop criticizing. Everyone is fighting their own battle as best as they can.
3. God will provide!
Allah says, “For indeed, with hardship, there is ease. Indeed, with hardship, there is ease.” [Qur’an 94:5-6]
Worried about your kids’ emotional state in quarantine? Anxious about what this Fall and Winter will hold? Facing financial difficulty in this time? Overwhelmed with the constant bombardment of bad news? Here’s a secret: whenever we experience hardship, God compensates us with ease. Amidst this hardship, look for the ease… there is always ease. It might come in the form of friendship, a closer bond with your spouse, or a spiritual breakthrough. Whatever it is, God will provide, God will facilitate. Hold on to this.
4. Know your Creator
“Yet it is God alone who is the best of guardians., and He is the most merciful of the merciful.” [12:64]
These are scary times. And it doesn’t help that we’re stuck at home glued to our screens watching these scary times unfold. These days, despite all the time we seemingly have, the clean laundry sits in baskets waiting to get folded a little longer and the thought of grocery shopping sounds like one big, hand sanitizing, cart-wiping mess we don’t want to deal with. But day to day, as we get through this, let’s remember who God is: “the best of guardians… the most merciful of the merciful.” When it gets too much, busy yourself with constant remembrance of God (dhikr) and take time to read about His divine names and attributes. And through remembering God and learning about God, we will come to be more trusting of God.
5. Stay positive! You’ll get through this.
Allah ensures that each of His slaves has the strength to bear whatever befalls him or her: “And We charge no soul except [what is within] its capacity, and with Us is a record which speaks with truth; and they will not be wronged.” [Qur’an 23:62]
As us moms brace ourselves for the months ahead, we may be feeling an overwhelming sense of apprehension and anxiety. Most of us are probably wondering if we can get through this? Three kids at home 24/7 and the responsibility to homeschool on top of the fear associated with the pandemic and a looming economic crisis?? It almost feels impossible. But remember God’s promise: nothing He tasks you with is impossible. If He brought you to it, He will get your through it. Sure, it’s going to be hard. Heck, 2020 itself has been a rollercoaster so far. But can you do it? Yes. Will we eventually reach the other side of this. Yes. InshaAllah, God willing, we will.