“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.” ― Mitch Albom
Everything in life, there’s a lesson to be learnt. From the day we are born till the day we finally exhale our last breathe, we never stop learning.
For me, it is especially true when it comes to ‘motherhood’. After having your first baby, you would think you know most about being a mother but after having 5 kids, I still find that I have lots to learn.
Each child is different and each experience has its own drama. One key ingredient in all episodes is ‘Patience’. Being a mother requires tremendous patience and sacrifices. From the moment of conception, we have signed on the dotted line to sacrifice our hour-glass figure. In the months to come, our body will be stretched and pulled in many different directions. Don’t forget the stretch marks and cellulite that has been thrown in with the package.
For most, they will experienced during the ‘introductory’ process or ‘orientation’ period, the ‘morning sickness’. This process differs with each individuals. Some get the never ending vomitting, some get the nausea without the vomit, some get headache, some get uncontrollable appetite and some get bloated stomach with uncontrollable gas that’s emitted through body parts that I do not wish to mention!
There are of course, the lucky few who completely escaped the orientation period. For me, I was lucky for the first three pregnancies but received the full package for the 4th and 5th.
As our body gradually changes, we also have the roller-coaster hormonal ride and the unstable emotional state. I remember bursting in tears for no apparent reason, just watching Disney cartoons. This is the time when we gets ultra sensitive and everything is perceived in an extreme light.
When I was carrying my first child, my husband told me to cut down on the sugary food to prevent me from gaining too much weight. Instead of taking his advice, I threw a tantrum and accused him of calling me ‘fat’. So, from then, my husband learnt his lesson to tread VERY carefully when dealing with high-strung pregnant wife!
After all that, it doesn’t end there. After the arrival of our bundle of joy, while trying to recuperate from the traumatic experience of birth (for some), we are expected to give up our sleep to tend to our precious tot. We will be peed and pooped on continuously and at times, you might feel like a milk churning machine or worse, a milking cow. Don’t expect any ‘thank you’ or word of gratitude from the screaming tot cos you won’t get any, at least, not until after a good number of years.
The question is, all that sacrifice that is demanded from us and also, bear in mind that we might never get back the ‘hour-glass’ figure ever again, why do we and all other women in the world still willingly do it? Why do we become ‘mothers’?
Well, for one, despite it all, it is one of the most wonderful and joyous experience. It is actually a blessing that is bestowed by God Almighty to selected women. Unfortunately, not all women are given the privilege so if you are one of the selected few, cherish the moment and be thankful for the baraqah.
In Islam, the carry a child is akin to to performing jihad.
The Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) also said in the above detailed hadith:
“The woman who dies during pregnancy gets the status of a martyr. ” Hadith
In fact, mothers are given special status in Islam.
The Prophet Muhammad said, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him:
Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother (Ahmad)
A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim)
In short, being a mother involves sacrifices that is worth making……
About the writer: Norhafsah Hamid is the author of the book ‘Trying to Be Muslim” and also the co-founder of Nadi Anissa – a Muslimah clubhouse in Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya. She has recently produced her second book “Back to Basics”. You may also read her blog at http://tryingtobemuslim.blogspot.com/.