Dear sis Jamilah,
Assalamualaikum. First of all, thank you for writing to me. I'm sorry for the delay in the reply to your email. Things had been rather hectic at home, with Ikram recovering from flu and Ihsan having growth spurt and demanding milk every 2 hours. Anyway I hope you have been reading the comments by other readers of this blog, which I pray that would help to answer your doubts about Islam.
Believe me, I understand how you feel. It's easy to say 'you should do this, your husband should do that' but only the person who undergoes the same situation will be able to emphatize. I'm sorry that things are not working as smoothly for you as you had hoped for. But hold on there, be patient for a little longer, and insyaAllah I'm sure that things will be better soon. It's always darkest before dawn, remember.
You didnt mention how old your children are nor what your job is. I guess they must be between 1 to 4 years old. I can imagine how busy you must be at home with the 3 children around.
I'm also a mother of 2 young children. Ikram is only 14 months old when Ihsan was born, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's been very hard for me these 2 months. I dont have a maid too. My mother and in-laws are busy with their own agenda and live quite far away to help.Coping with a crying baby and an active toddler alone at home is no fun. My own husband, though loving and religious, is seldom at home. Even on weekends when other husbands are at home with the family, my husband can be found at a ceramah, kursus or somewhere out of town. As a wife, I cant force him to stay at home with me during weekends, just like I'm sure you cant ask yours to do the same too.I'm not ashamed to say that sometimes I cry in frustration when both the children are being difficult and their father is miles away. But then I remember that Fatimah, the daughter of prophet Muhammad had a more difficult life. So many Muslim wives and mothers I read about in the newspapers had more difficult lives than I do, so I'm thankful my burden is not so heavy compared to theirs.
Well, when we become a Muslim, there is never a guarantee from Allah that our lives would be better and happier here on earth. Reciting the syahadah means we profess that we believe in Allah as God and prophet Muhammad as His messenger, and that we will live as Muslims by following the teachings of Muhammad. Nothing about being rich, happier, prettier, etc. In fact, the Quran even says that as Muslims, we will be tested for our faith. And that TEST is something that each and everyone of us gets, in small or big doses. It's up to Allah how much difficulty He will give us. All these, I'm sure, you've been told and that you've been coping with ever since.
If you are a follower of my blog, I'm sure you've read about my earlier life after becoming a Muslimah and before my present marriage. I had to stay in the hostel for a year because I had no home to go to during semester breaks. I discovered who my true friends are. Sadly not many are my Muslim sisters. Then I got married and I thought my problems would be over, but I was wrong. I had severe health problems which forced me to go for surgery to remove fibroids. Then I had a tough pregnancy due to high blood pressure, was warded twice and until the day I delivered my baby, I had nobody to look after me in confinement. Alhamdulillah a kind family offered to take me and my baby into their home. Then I was scolded for failing to breastfeed my baby, and I got depression for a few months. Things were bad at home but I held on and alhamdulillah it got better soon. Just when I thought I'd get some rest, I got pregnant again and once again, had a tough pregnancy. I was glad at first when husband found me a partime Indonesian maid, but she lasted for 7 days only. I had to beg my husband to send her back because I ended up having to look after her as well during my confinement- she refused to follow orders and was sick with cough and fever. Of course, these are only a small part of my hectic life I'm telling you, and only a small portion of the daily challenges I face.
In short, Jamilah, our lives here on earth will always be full of problems, big or small. It's a problem if we look at it as a problem. But if we look at it as a chance to grow spiritually and emotionally, then insyaAllah that problem will stop being a problem. Instead it'd be a chance for us to be a better person.
Like I once told a sister, Allah will always test us. Not because we are weak but because He wants to make us stronger. Like a piece of black coal, if it doesnt undergo pressures, it'd never become a sparkling diamond.
I have stopped thinking about my problems and tests from Allah. I live one day at a time, taking in each test as a challenge and be patient with it. Trust me, it gets easier when we stop thinking everything as a test from Allah. Never stop praying and be close to Allah by reading the Quran. Allah is very close to us, closer than you'd think.
I'll forward some emails that other readers of this blog have asked me to pass to you. Be free to contact me or to write to me again. We care about you and your wellbeing. Take care and May Allah swt bless you and your family, ameen.