“Ummi, nak balik..nak balik…!!”
And I’m sure, mothers must have been thought “Asik aku je yang bersusah payah, Awak tu buat apa?” Syaitan akan sentiasa membisikkan rasa tak puas hati terhadap pasangan kita termasuklah dalam bab menguruskan anak, jadi saya percaya anda mesti pernah terasa macam ni kan? It’s okay if that has happened before because we ain’t that saint. We are all human beings with anger and frustration. But we are also special if we get to take control of our anger and istighfar right away. Chill. Calm down. Let’s get to the core of the issue, then we’ll get into the solutions
I reckon, below are among the concerns in akhawat which brought them to drag their children along to programs. Hence, some rationales and possible solutions.
1. Zauj saya tak pandai jaga anak
I agree that some men are really bad in handling their kids. They are very kind indeed, but they just don’t feel the children. Diaper sampai dah 5 jam pun tak bertukar. Anak dah nangis2 pun ayahnya still tak faham yang anak tu nak susu. But I think they just need practice, so mothers ought to leave the responsibility to the dads, so they’ll get used to the rhythm occasionally. What mothers can do is, prepare everything from food, clothes, diaper to toys and let the children be with their dad while you enjoy focusing in programs.
2. Saya tak sampai hati nak bagi zauj jaga anak, kesian dia
Kenapa tak sampai hati? Sebab kesian zauj dah kerja Isnin-Jumaat jadi nak bagi zauj berehat di hujung minggu? Akhawat, let’s embrace the beauty of motherhood in Islam that places the role of handling and educating the children on the parents’ shoulders, and not just mothers. Let us enjoy that Islam celebrates mothers to have some time for themselves by spending them on Islamic activities and programs. Yes fathers are to provide for the family and fathers too, are to look after the children. Yes the mothers’ main role are at home to educate and shape the children through Islamic upbringing but mothers too, are to allow some room for fathers to do it.
3. Saya tak berani nak minta zauj jaga anak
I understand, some husbands are pretty tough to deal with. That said, you know your husband better (after Allah). Have some time to bring this issue on table and discuss it with your spouse. Things don’t have to settle in one discussion, because it may take some time to rise to a conclusion but insha Allah, you’ll come to an agreement in this. Let your husband know (especially during courtship) about your passion in dakwah and social work that you’re going to need his cooperation and support to balance both family and these activities. Let him know in details about your:
a) weekly usrah, that usually ends at 10.30-11.00pm (instead of saying “I’ll be coming home late” mention in detail what time will it be)
b) monthly dhaurah/rehlah/jaulah/muktamar that will take the whole weekend. There will be no family outing during this time.
b) Sleepovers (Mabit/Mukhayyam), so you may not be able to cook dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast.
c) Liqo’ murabbi that may take place anytime, hence you will need your husband to handle the kids at home because bringing them along to meetings doesn’t work. Sebab nanti tak boleh focus pada meeting.
On the flipped side, it is worth noting that there are awesome ikhwah out there who do the same like the akhawat. They too, prepare food at home beforehand. They too drive to usrah with their toddler who then played around the usrah circle, lepas tu restless, cried and finally puked at his dad. And the dad requested to go home early because he didn’t know what to do then and the naqib gave green light because he too, brings along his kids to programs, so he feels the poor dad.
There are also amazing ikhwah who take their children to programs and bila anak-anak dia dah restless dia try tidurkan anak dia and finally dia pun tertidur sekali. Hehehe sounds familiar? There are also superdaddy out there who are fine with taking charge of the children at home to give some room for the mother enjoying her passion in programs that contribute to the society. Sebab esok, turn dia pulak untuk pergi program sambil isteri jaga anak-anak dekat rumah.
Thank you fathers. Thank you brothers. You have my utter respect.
And in my humble opinion, it boils down to the communication between you and your spouse. Marriage is an art, it’s we who shape and colour the routine. Come on ikhwah akhawat, we can do this!