In this counseling answer:
•By developing some easy routines, you can save time and energy for other things. Do not look at the whole house, trying to keep it “shiny.” Focus on one room a day for a deep cleaning and do light cleaning in the rest of the house. Put your daughter in a high chair, stroller, or playpen with some toys near where you are working.
• Have your son help you with whatever you are doing. Give him simple one-step tasks to do. For example, “Please throw this in the garbage,” “Please put all of these toys in this basket,” “Please put all of the lemons in the refrigerator.” Be sure to thank him and compliment him on doing the job well.”
As-salamu `alaykum, dear sister Sara.
In your question, you brought up different areas of concern.
The main points I see are your relationship with Allah, with your children, with your husband, with your parents, with others in your community, and with yourself. Your concerns are very important but they are not impossible to change for the better. There is always hope and there is always Allah’s forgiveness when we make sincere tawbah (repentance).
Do not focus on all of the things that you want to change at one time. Choose one thing in each area that you want to work on. Then make sincere tawbah to Allah and ask for His forgiveness and guidance.
Make the intention for the change and focus on that for a whole month. If you go back to the old habit, then you must start over again by making tawbah, asking Allah’s forgiveness and try again. Even if you have trouble doing this, in sha’ Allah, Allah will reward you for every effort that you make.
When you have completed one month of this new way then you can move on to another habit. Start with whatever habits you know are the worst or areharam (forbidden by Allah).
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With two small children in can be very difficult to keep the house clean, cook, and still have time to spend with them and on yourself. Do not underestimate the importance of these seemingly simple chores—as mothers and wives, we spend a good part of our lives doing them.
By developing some easy routines, you can save time and energy for other things. Do not look at the whole house, trying to keep it “shiny.” Focus on one room a day for a deep cleaning and do light cleaning in the rest of the house. Put your daughter in a high chair, stroller, or playpen with some toys near where you are working.
Have your son help you with whatever you are doing. Give him simple one-step tasks to do. For example, “Please throw this in the garbage,” “Please put all of these toys in this basket,” “Please put all of the lemons in the refrigerator.” Be sure to thank him and compliment him on doing the job well.
While you work, talk with your children about all of the blessings that you all have in your lives. “We are so blessed to have a wonderful home,” “We are so blessed to be Muslims and have the Qur’an to guide us.” Let your son respond to what you are saying and listen to his ideas and opinions.
Pick up clutter and children’s toys and do a quick “company is coming” check of the area your husband first sees when he walks into the house. If you can, burn some pleasant smelling incense and have yourself and the children cleaned up and dressed in pleasing clothes.
When he has rested for a bit, ask him to play with the children while you get dinner served. Remember that he is out in the world dealing with many difficult people, situations, and temptations. Your home should be a retreat for him and you to focus on each other and your children.
It is your responsibility to try to create harmony in the home. This does not mean that you cannot ask for help. One wonderful way to develop mercy between you is to read Qur’an together, even if it is only for 10 minutes a day. Have your husband put your son on his lap while you hold your daughter. Then have your husband read aloud to all of you. Make this a daily habit.
You are not alone. Many mothers of young children experience similar problems in their lives. Trust in Allah, He has sent you precious blessings in your children. They are in trust to you. They will also be a test to you. Ask Allah for guidance and He will send it.
You can trust in Allah. You can be secure in the fact that Allah has sent us all that we need to succeed in this life. Look around you everywhere for His signs and blessings. The past cannot be changed but we have many opportunities to change ourselves one step at a time.
I look forward to hearing about your efforts, struggles and successes.
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