Standing on Your Own Two Feet as a Single Mum
Written by: Annie Ahmad Going through divorce means you’re no longer a part of a couple […]
Written by: Annie Ahmad
Going through divorce means you’re no longer a part of a couple and everything is disrupted: your home, your relationships, your peace of mind, your routine, and your responsibilities. It is tough for a woman and more-so demanding if you have children in the picture.
Before divorce, the couple is performing different roles; the mother’s roles often include nurturing, loving, caring, cooking, cleaning, educating, and moral & spiritual upbringing of the children. The father’s roles usually mean providing, protecting, guiding, leadership, responsibility, Islamic development and correct Islamic nurturing of the child.
Both of these roles and all of these responsibilities now have to be managed by the single parent and it is challenging. To perform the dual responsibility of mother and father requires a lot of patience & reliance on Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and lots of dua.
Upbringing & Nurturing of the children
Minimize the emotional impact of divorce on children
Divorce is one of the most stressful life-events for children. As a single parent, you have to have a strong presence in the lives of your children. To take care of their emotional needs, you have to minimize the impact of divorce on the innocent minds of your children.
You have to be there for them, make extra efforts to meet them with a smiling face, spend time together, make memories, play, listen to them, tell them stories from the Quran & Sunnah, and do stuff together with them. All this effort will give them the compassion, care, love, and affection which they need, so as to make them compassionate additions to the Muslim ummah InshaAllah.
Education & Moral Development Needs
You are the one to decide what form of education is best for your child, whether you choose homeschool or conventional schooling, whether he/she should join public school or an Islamic one, whether he/she should become a hafiz/a (one who has memorized the entire Quran), and more.
The time spent together in educational activities and learning new things will be more fulfilling and strengthen your parent-child relationship.
Children are sadaqa jaria (charity that extends beyond your life on earth) and you are their role model. They will see and emulate you in their actions. The more you become a better Muslim and have an Islamic lifestyle, the lesser are the chances of your children going astray.
Managing Your Emotional needs
Have full Tawakkul (reliance) on Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). He (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has decreed the best for you & your children. Focus on becoming spiritually strong by making dua, praying tahajud (extra night prayer), performing voluntary fasts, giving sadaqat (charity), Quran recitation, and morning & evening azkar.
Doing all of these acts of worship will help to keep you emotionally and psychologically composed. Quran recitation, for example, calms and heals. In it is a healing for the ailing heart, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says in the Quran (13:28)
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.”
Astaghfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah) is a very powerful tool; it is mercy and hope in our times of emotional distress and financial tribulations. It’s a secret to success in both the dunya and akhirat for us, Muslims. It brings us closer to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) when we seek conscious repentance of our sins, big and small.
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says in the Quran; (71:10-12)
وَيُمْدِدْكُم بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَارًا o يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًo فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا
“And say, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.”
Gratefulness is the key to happiness. Make an effort to be grateful. You could make a gratitude list and try to write your blessings and keep adding to the list as you remember them. Then, when you’re feeling down you can go through the list and remember your blessings. This will make you thankful and happy and it will deepen your trust in Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). You will remember that He has blessed you and He will bestow more of His bounties on you. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says in the Quran about being grateful to Him:
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ ٌ
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor] (14:7)
He (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has planned our lives perfectly and we are in this trial for a reason. We should make grand duas. Ask much from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) for this world and also for the akhirat. He will surely grant you your requests and make you happy and contented in His ordained divine decree. For Him (Subhanhu wa Ta’ala), nothing is difficult and only He (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) can make the impossible possible, so draw closer to your Creator, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala).
Taking care of yourself
No one can take away your pain and suffering from you except Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). Your health and your well-being are very crucial if you want to care for others, especially your children. So make efforts to look after yourself, protect yourself, and nurture yourself, so that you have the health and energy to take care of your responsibilities and live a gratifying life.
Support network: family & friends
Being alone is very devastating; You need a listening ear, someone to share the burdens with, and someone to assist in your responsibilities. Make a support network, reaching out to your family and friends, sharing with them, and seeking their help in your everyday activities.
Planning your day
Managing your home and providing for yourself and the children is hectic and cumbersome, but can be done by following a schedule and using some time-management tactics.
Early morning barakah
It is proven to be successful to start off your day early; Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) puts barakah in our time and efforts if we start with scheduling our day after Fajr, as we learn in a hadith: Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wassallam) made dua; “O Allah, bless my nation in their early mornings (i.e., what they do early in the morning).”
Productive life: Constructive busyness
Don’t be worried. Over-thinking and getting anxious brings no joy and no improvement; standing still only makes you drown. Concentrate on living a productive and fulfilling life. Keep moving forward in life! Stay busy in a constructive way, doing activities which make you happy. Gain knowledge of new skills, polish your existing talents, take up hobbies and new interests, and do everything with the intention to pleasing Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala).
Handling Financial Needs
Double the reward:
In Islam even after divorce, it is the father’s responsibility to provide for the children, but unfortunately, fathers don’t always do their part, and in most cases the mothers have to work to provide for the children after being abandoned by their husbands. So rest assured you will get your reward in the akhirat of being both a mother and a father, of being patient in the trials of this life, and of having your rights denied by your ex. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) will make ease for you in this life also, so make abundant dua.
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says in Quran (Surah At-Talaq 65:3)
وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا
“And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.”
You have to find ways to re-enter the job market if there is no one to support you financially. Be patient and persistent in your job search, have confidence in yourself, think well and banish away negative thoughts and you will find work which meets your strengths, bi’ithnillah.
Career & Education enhancement
You can think about taking some short courses or trainings to enhance your career, you can choose to complete your education by pursuing a degree course; these will help you find better job opportunities in your profession.
Work generates self satisfaction, confidence and independence, having control of your life and your decisions, it enhances social circle; overall keeping busy earning is a beneficial and constructive task and work can be a healing element.
Life is a struggle and a test. You have to keep reminding yourself that you are not alone in this struggle. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is with you. This part of your journey is a part of His Merciful plan, even if you you can’t comprehend how now, eventually you will see and recognize the wisdom behind it.
Annie Ahmad is a writer & blogger. She is an accountant by profession, a single parent and homeschooling mother of 2, based in Karachi, Pakistan. She is an avid reader in the time she gets after work and homeschooling her children.
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