Sometimes, as much as we try to be the best parent we possibly can to our children, trying hard at peaceful parenting without shouting at or hitting kids, we all still have our days where we get irritated easily and yell. When times like these come, we beat ourselves up thinking ‘What type of a mother am I?’, feeling frustrated, guilty or even ashamed to admit what we are— Imperfect. All because we’ve been conditioned to do so, by an unspoken rule of parenting perfection and society’s expectation that child rearing is an imprinted part of every woman’s DNA.
Let’s face it, motherhood is not all rosy. From post-natal baby blues and day to day energy drain, to the exhaustive iron reserve depletion of pregnancy and nursing and sometimes even drop in marital satisfaction. Burning out is not so far from us.
So, how do you start nipping parenting burnout in the bud and truly parent peacefully and successfully while enjoying it? How can you be your children’s best friend, enjoy their company more, and stop yelling, hitting, transferring aggression or wishing weekdays are back so you can send them off to school to the teachers so you can have some peace, after all, that’s what they are paid for, uh? I guess not.
- Have A Parenting Intention, And Remember It Always.
- Accept You Can’t Be Perfect.
- Understanding Kids’ Nature and Playful Parenting.
- Being Proactive, Anger Control and Dealing with it.
- Taking it slowly and keeping them productively occupied.
But first things first. In this post, let’s look at how having a parenting intention can help us prevent burnout and enjoy motherhood.
Have A Parenting Intention, And Remember It Always
Why You Should Have a Parenting Intention.
The hadith that “Actions are but by intention”, shows how important intentions are before an act. And just like we plan any important thing in our life, careers and what not, a journey as important as parenting should not be treated any less. You want to raise good kids, but how do you get to your destination if you don’t know where exactly you’re going and how to get there? That’s exactly what we’ll do, set parenting goals like any other goal of ours.
Having the right parenting intention and clear goals with regular reflection and refinement will make navigation through the journey easier since you know where you are going, how to reach your goals and what you’d do or rather not do to get there. Not having a clearly stated parenting intention may contribute to or aggravate a burnout, make it frequent or difficult to parent peacefully.
It allows us to parent exactly the way we figure it and keeps us on track. As each day spent in parenting is an investment in the future of our kids, future of Islam and the society at large.
So, how do we craft and live our parenting goals.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What is your parenting intention? Why do you do it? What are your goals?
It is, however, valuable to remember that as Muslims, children are a trust and should be treated as such. This means we will be held accountable by Allaah on the Day of Reckoning, to how we brought them up and what we made of them. What we define as successful parenting should be reflective of what the pious predecessors achieved with their children. Children who were influenced by Islam, and later changed the world as leaders and torch bearers of the True religion. Children who upheld Tawheed in thoughts and actions, whose manners propelled them to the highest ranks in life and showed people the light of Islam. The likes of Anas ibn Maalik comes to mind.
Remembering Allaah’s rewards for a great purpose like this, makes us better when we experience burnout. So, what if you start seeing your parenting and motherly duties as another means of earning rewards and attaining Allaah’s pleasure; and parenting as a relationship, not a job?
Pull out a pen and paper,
Or open a word processing tool on your mobile or computer, whatever you’re comfortable writing with. Now, follow these steps from Parenting and Life Coach, Rob Stringer, but note that you need to be critically honest with yourself and admit your shortcomings in order to rectify them.
I. Take a few minutes right now to think about your children and your relationship with them. Are they everything you want them to be? Identify and list positive areas, areas that you’ve fallen short and needs improvement.
II. Now, what are your ideal picture of them, of your relationship together? In six months, a year, five years, ten years, fifteen… all in vivid detail. See them. Hear them. Feel them. Don’t limit the possibilities. Dream BIG! In the end, what do you hope to have achieved with your children? Don’t limit yourself, give thyself the permission to dream big.
III. Review what you’ve written down and develop a series of specific and inspired action statements to assist you towards your vision. Statements such as, I’ll listen more to and show more empathy. Act. Actions are fuelled by passion, so get inspired. Move and relate with those who are aligned with the same goals as you.
IV. Reflect and review what you’ve accomplished. Not going according to plan? Acknowledge mistakes, recommit to trying again.
Seek Allaah’s Help
Consistently make lots of du’a to successfully execute your goals and ease for you the journey. Make use of the special times supplications are more likely to be accepted, for example when travelling, at the end of each salah, between the adhaan and iqaamah… We plan, but Allaah is the Best of Planners.
We plan, but Allaah is the Best of Planners.