There are different phases of our lives, and it is important to always take full advantages of each phase. The kind of time we had when we were single is not the same time we have in our early years of marriage. And it is not the same we will have when the kids reach their teenage years. So, our lives are just a bundle of phases.
Now, while we agree and admit that when we were single, we had so much time, especially for those who are blessed to have been conscious before marriage. For many of us, it was probably the best period of our lives. And then comes the reality of being married, where things take a sharp turn; you are forced to juggle so many things at the same time, within these same hours that you’ve always had. And because you know how important all of these parts are and don’t want it one-sided, you try to meet up. So, we are faced with trying to meet up on all fronts with the different roles we fill.
- The Right Intention.
The good thing about being Muslims is that everything goes back to pleasing Him, everything goes back to seeking His Face. We can make it a bit easier when we try to redirect everything towards seeking His Face. It’s a bit tasking, yes. But it’s doable.
- Don’t beat yourself up.
You should not beat yourself up so much trying to attain what you had when you had so much time on our hands. That is when we feel let down, and self-bashing thoughts like “ah, I would never, I would not” come to mind. It is counter-productive to keep dwelling on or going back “Oh, when I was single, by this time I would have done this I would have…” No.
- Instead, make use of every time there is.
What to do instead is to deal with the new real situation and try to build a different standard for the new situation. Married sisters should take advantage of e-v-e-r-y slot of time available. We cannot lock ourselves up to a particular time or a particular thing or a particular mode. So, we need to take advantage of every free time that comes, every loophole, we take advantage of it, we use it and we move. We need to work with our new normal and try to take full advantage as much as we can, with the present situation we are dealing with.
Think of what to slot into every opportunity you have at the present time. And that, my sisters, is the best way to try and build a new record. Because don’t forget like I said different phases.
- Eliminate Distractions.
As much as possible, we need to connect whatever it is that is causing distractions, try to reduce them to a large extent. For many today is the social media. Many have gotten rid of time-wasters like movies and games, but social media is still silently eating away their time. Know where your time is going into, and reclaim it.
- Have a To-do List.
I suggest you have a vision board so to speak, a to-do list, a priority list. Something to reflect, how you want your typical day to look like, what you hope to achieve today. Pen it down and put it somewhere you can see it. On your notepad, mobile device, or on your closet door, or any; somewhere you can easily go back, refer to it and stick to it.
Start with a week first. Draw a to-do list daily, write out your schedule for a week and stick to it.
- Multitask and Be Flexible.
For each particular time you find, deal with it and work with it. That’s where having to learn to multitask comes in. We are women and it is easier for us to multitask compared to men. And be flexible. Don’t lock yourself up that “it has to be, it has to be…” No. take advantage, be flexible, open it up, deal with your present schedule. Whatever your realities are, and then draw up things to meet up with it. Of course, we know we have the compulsory acts, like the salaah. But for all other things apart from that, flexibility makes life easier.
If for example, before now, you had the opportunity to sit on a spot to do dhikr continuously for an hour without any interruptions nor distractions, that may not be possible again as we speak, because your life has changed. You can take advantage of every point in between, maybe whilst you are doing other stuff like cooking or doing laundry, you may slot in dhikr. Let it be a conscious thing such that by the time you start, it gets to a point where your system will even remind better.
For instance, when I’m trying to get ready in the morning to go to work, I sometimes play some selected chapters of the Quran in the background, I tune it with it and follow it, so whilst I’m getting ready dressing up, it is not blank, it’s there and we are “working together”. So, days when I forget to play some of these chapters, I find that my mind is going into auto-play at that particular time of the day, it brings it back to me and I remember and I pick up my device to play or I just switch it on. So, take advantage whilst cooking or attending to the children, you’ll find out that by the time you start these things, the children will even tag along.
Siddeeqah Tunde-Lawal is a legal practitioner during the day and a gentle guide/counsellor at other times.
She is passionate about mentoring young persons especially girls and personal spiritual development for sisters. She runs a book club (Lag Muslimah Reads) in Lagos, Nigeria for Muslim women. And can be reached here on Facebook.
Do keep up with us for the concluding part next Friday, in shaa Allaah.
In the meantime, how have you been coping with marriage and motherhood? Share with us tips on how you balance your multiple roles as a woman.