Kids and Stuff

Dress a certain way, act a certain way, and think a certain. These ideas and practicalities and pounded into our heads while we’re growing up. There is nothing wrong with having a set of guidelines regarding life and lifestyle – it’s actually ideal. We don’t want to be like stray sheep who could have been a part of a flock.

I’m conflicted at so many levels within me that I’m astounded I’m able to write any words at all. Most writers can punch the keys or exhaust the ink when they are deeply absorbed with thoughts, but it’s not the case for me. Writing is definitely a way for me to organize my thoughts and feelings, but a lot of the times when these thoughts are rushing in, I don’t want to open the floodgates. I need them to settle down a bit so when the gates start creaking, the flow isn’t wild and all over the place. I do believe in having everything in it’s right place.

We are born, raised by our parents if we are lucky enough, and then there comes a time in life when you know exactly where you are headed. Eventually, you start questioning every thing.

Before you grow up, you trust whatever is being told to you. You trust that you’ll be in the 7th grade next April unless you abandon studying. You trust that you’ve got to eat the greens. You trust that it’s nice to have people around. You trust that you need to be around people your age if you want to be happy. Until a certain age, we do what we are told, we follow what we see, and we are diverted by shallow goals. Unless you have good, responsible parents who teach you the right things every step of the way.

I want to be one of those parents. I don’t want my children to be shallow.

The culture I come from almost prohibits young girls from expressing their thoughts about marriage, and children. “It’s outrageous and she probably doesn’t have any morals.”

Actually, I’d say it’s a young woman of morals if she is thinking about the way she’d want her child to be, or if she already has a plan about parenting and what she’d want to teach her child. I’d say you’ve got a pretty good, decent and educated human being right there. I say ‘human being’ and not ‘woman’ because even men need to think about these things.

Being a young woman is different than most people in our society realise. You have those maternal instincts that kick in when you see other women with their children, you wonder what your child will be like, and seeing every interaction between a mother or a child becomes a lesson in parenting for you. In fact, the way your parents, especially your mother, treats you becomes a lesson in parenting.

By the time we are 20, most of us have an idea about what we want to do or not do when it comes to parenting.

Being an aunt has been such a blessing for me. I’ve never been around children much, and I’ve only recently realized this. I used to think I understood children, but I was so wrong. I used to think that just because I see children I understood them. I was really wrong.

Being around my niece and nephew has been such an educational experience for me. I don’t think I’ve learned much about children yet, but I have learned a LOT about myself. I’ve learned so much about parenting.

I’ve reached the point where the thought of motherhood is actually my biggest motivator for my own education. I want children. But I want to be able to do a good, awesome, and amazing job with them. And that’s what scares me the most. Will I be able to?

Until a year ago, I was pretty selfish about why I am pursuing an education. It was all about me. Me getting a degree was about me. Learning what I love was about me. Wanting to do more was about me.

But now? I’ve learned that no matter how successful I am as a student or an educator, none of that matters if I don’t give the right education to my own children. So naturally, anything I learn now is because I want to be a good parent. If I’m learning Literature it is for my own benefit, but at the same time I thank Allah عز و جل for giving me the opportunity to educate myself because it will come in handy when I have to educate the generation that comes from me.

Give this a thought: we are almost 18-19 by the time we finish high school, add 5 years of college studying on top of that, then maybe a couple of years of working for experience, and then BOOM – tag, you’re married. (That’s how it works unless you’re a woman who wants to focus on your career and delay marriage, and in that case – good luck because the society won’t be kind to you.)

Once you’re married, it’s very little about yourself and more about your new family and children if you’re blessed with any. So if a young girl, in this day and age, talks about wanting children and has an opinion about parenting, then encourage it and don’t condemn such young women for having an opinion because they are doing nothing wrong.

There is something I don’t want my children to ever follow – the society. I don’t want my child to be a sheep in a flock led by the wrong kind of shepherd. It is extremely important to be a part of a flock, but the community I’m referring to is the one which is on the straight path, the righteous community. I want my children to be Muslims before they are considered by their social relations. I don’t want my children to live blindly, obliging to every norm or wrong that the society names. I don’t want my children to think it’s not okay to express their ideas because ‘what will people think?’ I don’t want my children to grow up being afraid. When you fear Allah عز و جل, who created you, who – the Most Merciful – gave you everything, then why would you fear society?

Personally, the biggest struggle I have is against society and the things that culture imposes on us.

If we were truly the people of taqwa, we wouldn’t depend so much on our culture. I am shocked by the things people do these days in the name of culture and religion, and what is truly astonishing is that these are the things that are now considered ‘normal’ by the society.

I honestly hope that all of us pay proper attention to what we allow ourselves to accept and believe.

I don’t mind if people consider me a ‘rebel’ for defying society, because this life will pass in the blinking of the eye so I won’t ruin my akhirah for the sake of people.

Everything for the sake of Allah عز و جل.

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