Are you feeling confused lately? Exasperated and angry? Do you feel powerless as a parent or as a mom because of the current political turbulence? Maybe you’re asking what can I do as a mom?
If you’re flooded with questions and emotions during these uncertain times, then know that you’re not alone. We all are in the similar boat, treading murky water with incompetent, inane helmsmen. As frustrating as things can be, there are quite a few things we can do maintain calm. Our goal as moms is to steer our family while staying on course as calmly as possible. We cannot afford to lose focus or give in to someone else’s tantrum.
Here are 11 things you can do during this uncertain time-
Remember Who’s in charge-
It’s easy to forget who’s in charge during chaos and unrest. So, remind yourself consistently that Allah is in charge- always. Period. Powerful people have tried to terrorize us before and they will be relentless at their evil pursuit of injustice, tyranny and more power. It had happened with Abraha and his fleet of elephants, Pharaoh and his gang of magicians and in recent times political leaders with their superpowers. The tactic remains the same- to scare you out of your wits so you think they are powerful enough to destroy you. Guess what, they have failed before and they will fail again insha Allah.
No one and Nobody has power to do anything to you without the permission of the One who created us all. And as believers we are always protected by Ar Raheem. They can threaten us with all sorts of things but we will always come out as winners insha Allah. The sea parted for Musa (as), the fire cooled for Ibrahim (as) and our dear RasulAllah (sa) migrated to Madina unscathed.
Allah(swt) was in charge then and He(swt) is charge now alhamdulillah.
Remind yourself this duaa-
I believe that nothing will afflict me beyond what Allah(swt) has decreed for me and Allah(swt) is most merciful.
Stop information overload-
Do you find yourself glued to breaking news all the time? You keep an eye out for updated news and then check out multiple news channels “just to be sure”? And then may be talk to your friends about how terrible it is? Do you post/like/share sensational bad news on your social media? If you do any of these then do notice how these actions make you feel afterwards. Engaging in these activities delude you think that you “did” something but in reality, all you did is exhaust yourself with negativity. An exhausted parent is likely to be less productive, more stressed out and on verge of getting an anxiety/panic attack followed by depression.
Get off this roller coaster of information overload. Choose your source of information wisely and limit your exposure to news- visuals and sound. How you perceive your news/information matters, so watch out for too much time spent on them. If possible, read print media or text only without the pictures or sound so you’re not pelted with the images and voices for days. Don’t engage in social media debate, don’t try to persuade someone on FB, don’t post GIF to “make your point”- these passive actions don’t take you anywhere. You just get riled up and lose focus.
Information overload is applicable to all unuseful information- from who’s declaring what to who’s marrying whom, from politics to princes. Ask yourself, how is this information useful for me? Where in my life can I apply this? Is it helping me to get closer to my goals?
A calm mind, devoid of information overload is what we need now. Reduce and eliminate internet dependency- sound and visions.
Take control of your priorities-
Now would be the perfect time to prioritize your life if you haven’t done so already. It’s imperative that you remain in control of your priorities. Decide what’s important for you and your family and take strategic, consistent actions to achieve them. You and your family is your center of focus- make sure your priorities are in order. Imagine what amazing things can happen if every single family were united and in control of their faith, health, wealth and actions.
Your priorities are superpowers, choose them mindfully. Start small- 1 priority at a time or multiple priorities if that works for you but do start now and keep at it until you achieve your goal for each priority.
“United we stand, divided we fall”- worked time and time again. Now would be a good time to bury the hatchets and extend an olive branch to disconnected family members, friends and neighbors. We need all the unity we can get now so we are not standing alone in times of our needs. We must remember what’s at stake if we are only pursuing what’s good for “me” and not the community. There is amazing power in unity, in numbers, and we can achieve our goals better when we remember that we are more alike than different. Look for common grounds and if nothing strikes you then this one will always hold true- we are all Allah’s creations. Unite for humanity.
Reach out to others- it’s good for dawah, it’s good for earning Allah’s pleasure and it’s good for your soul. Reach out to your spouse, kids, parents, siblings and other family members. Re connect with friends and acquaintances. Be polite to strangers and make friends. Don’t have time? Schedule making connection on your calendar. Take time to make new friends from all walks of life. Practice random acts of kindness.
“Work is love made visible”. Show up for others like you’d want them to show for you and your cause. We all need active support. Volunteer for multiple organizations, show up in rallies, go to meetings, go to a soup kitchen. Ask yourself how you can help people to make a difference in their lives. And then make efforts to show up. They need to know that we are and will be there for them.
Practice active patience-
We all know the virtue of being patient. But what exactly does it entail to be patient? Is it staying passive until someone else rescue us or is it makings efforts to stay calm while making the best of the circumstances? “Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” It means that you’re impervious to the discomfort of the uncertain times and living your life with contentment. It means that you’re taking consistent, strategic actions to live your faith and your actions are congruent with your values despite the disconcerting events.
” Be patient, Allah(swt) doesn’t deny the rewards of the righteous”
Choose to be diligent in your obedience to Allah(swt). Consistent obedience requires perseverance which can be a challenge during chaos. Please remember-
A believer is like a tender plant. The wind bends it in whichever direction the wind is blowing. Barely does it get (a chance to be) straight before the afflictions bend it again. A wicked person is like a pine tree: solid and straight until Allah uproots it if He so wills. (Bukhari)
If you feel frustrated or anxious, practice focusing on 1 small, tangible thing where you can make a difference- make your bed, clean out your closet, read 1 short sura, make salawat 3 times, to name a few.
Learn and Grow-
If you dedicate 1 hour to learn practically anything, you will become a master at it after a certain period. Pick anything- from learning a new language to or how to do paint watercolor landscapes. You can use this knowledge to enrich your mind or earn extra income. You can also learn about the lives of our dear prophets (as) who have endured many hardships and stayed strong.
Make time to read books, even 10 minutes is all you can afford.
Develop good habits-
Invest your time in developing good habits. Your good habits will minimize stress, increase happiness, bring calm and peace and will take you a long way in your life. As a homeschooling mom, I can vouch for how life transforming good habits can be for you.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
I practice 21 day habits regularly. Although some habits take multiple shots of “21 days” but they are so worth it. My recent habit was to brush my teeth with my non-dominant hand to boost my brain health. It was amazing to see (again) how enslaved we can become by comfort and familiarity. It was so uncomfortable- especially at the end of the day when you just want to be done and go to bed! But the result was pretty impressive. After many days and much effort, I can say I’m ambidextrous when it comes to brushing my teeth ;).
Know that you’re strong-
You’re stronger than you think. And how do I know that? Here is how-
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286).
Have you ever asked your kids to do something because you know that she has the ability to do it? Like riding a bike may be? All your kid had to do is to trust you and take the initiative. Allah(swt) is asking us to develop reliance on Him by taking the steps that will lead us to victory.
The events in our lives occur that’s because as believers we are fully equipped to handle it with grace. Surely, we’ll have to put efforts, endure pain, pick up many times but we can do this insha Allah.
After all, Allah(swt) is closer to us than anyone, alhamdulillah.