Being a wife and a mom is a 24/7 job, where you can’t call in sick. There’s no watering down of the tremendous responsibilities that come along with being a mom and wife. Your responsibilities include but aren’t limited to chasing kids, teaching, feeding, dressing, and disciplining them, along with household chores and serving the husband- all to be done while looking pleasant and keeping on a smile. Within this hectic work schedule, you probably wish you could find some time to study Islam, attend lectures, learn Arabic, or do something “Islamic” not related to motherhood. Feelings of guilt start to build up and suddenly, the workload seems too overwhelming and you resent your job, because in your mind you’re not “doing much” for your deen. And you want to blame the husband and kids.
But you have two choices: 1. You can allow yourself to be completely consumed in your duties and feel sorry for yourself. Or 2. You can capitalize on the enormous potential for earning rewards for doing what you normally do.
Let me explain. In marriage you have roles and responsibilities, just as the Muslim man has roles and responsibilities. These roles include raising children, taking care of the house, and any extra perks you may throw in out of your own goodness or cultural norms. Although, they are duties outlined by Allaah, they’ve become habits we do naturally and so we forget to attach an extrinsic reward to it. And that’s where the problem is. Perhaps you aren’t conscious of the rewards you are earning or could be earning for the things you do daily. If you carry out your duties with the intention of obeying and pleasing Allaah, the potential for earning rewards is enormous. Take a look at your daily duties and tweek your intentions to gain the most profit (in rewards).
You may serve your husband, do his laundry, make his favourite meals, beautify yourself, and do anything you know will make him happy naturally out of your love for him. But pleasing him is actually an act of worship to Allaah. So in turn you’re pleasing Allaah. Keep that in mind, especially on the days you’re tempted to bleach his favourite shirt or put extra salt in the food!
With kids, is where we may be losing out on the biggest return on investment. Tending to the needs of children is not like the husband’s. With the kids it’s more natural. Whether you are upset or happy with them, you still perform 100%. If the fridge is empty and they’re hungry, you better believe there will be a meal. Regardless of how awful they’ve been, you would never secretly add hot sauce to their food. You won’t give up on them when they don’t want to learn. You won’t let them wear what they want on cold days. And no matter how angry you are, you will show mercy when they get hurt. These are natural mommy instincts and so, we forget to do them seeking Allaah’s pleasure. Children are an investment for the dunya and akhira. How you raise them and what you teach them will be a sadaqatul jaariyah (incurring chairty) for you. Which means a never ending reward fund. Keep that in mind when you start feeling that all your efforts are not paying off.
You clean your house because cleanliness is half of faith. Plus cleaning gives you a good workout which gives you the physical strength to be a better Muslim. All the cooking you do gives you and your family the fuel and nourishment to worship Allaah. The morsel of flesh a man puts in his wife’s mouth is charity, so imagine the reward for feeding a meal to everyone in the house every day! And if your husband is a picky eater or shows little appreciation, you know Allaah will never put your effort to waste.
Don’t undermine your role as mom and wife. If you treat your daily duties as ibaadah, then belive me you are doing a huge service to your deen!