I feel like I’m constantly starting new research projects to improve my life and the lives of my family members.
I want to become better and more effective and efficient as a wife and a mother, to up my game as the manager of our household, the director of our homeschool and the children’s education and tarbiya, and the overall overseer of our domestic sphere.
There’s so much I don’t know and so much I’d like to learn to be better at my jobs as wife and mother.
For example, I just recently got into the rabbit hole of nutrition. I generally cook what I thought was overall healthy food for my family, with no soft drinks or junk food or highly processed insta-meals.
But it just hit me how little I really know about various foods and their nutritional value, and what our bodies require of vitamins, trace minerals, acids, and antioxidants and phytonutrients. I don’t really know what kinds of foods have which vitamins or minerals, or what amounts are needed to meet the daily dose. I just learned about the importance of organ meats, fatty fish, seafood, and cruciferous vegetables and the crucial role they play in our health.
Another thing I would love to dive deeper into is herbs and herbal remedies. Natural methods of regulating our bodies, keeping the growing bodies of young children healthy and stable, and fortifying also our adult bodies so that we can engage in acts of worship with energy.
This leads me to the next topic I’d love to learn about: the basics of gardening and growing (some of) your own food for your family. You can grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs and teach your children about their care and their value. Gardening is something I’m terrible at and don’t know much about. But I’d like to learn insha’Allah.
One of the subject matters I’ve been looking into for the past decade is psychology and childhood development. Related topics are education and tarbiya of children.
Yet there is still much to learn.
As I thought about all these huge fields I’d like to deepen my knowledge in, it struck me that the modern world has totally got the mother’s role wrong. Dead wrong.
In the modern secular frame, a wife and mother who stays at home seems dumb, lazy, irresponsible or just incompetent. A parasite who does nothing all day and simply leeches off her working husband selfishly.
It follows, therefore, that many women (including Muslim women), innately look down on the role of the stay-at-home mom and are desperate to work outside the home at some paid job not due to necessity.
There is no honor in being a stay-at-home mom. No respect. No intelligence or creativity or strategy.
The role is seen as a blank space, a placeholder: a non-role.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
A woman who stays home MAKES the home.
The role of the stay-at-home wife and mother is massive and hugely influential; her responsibilities are heavy and important.
The decisions she makes directly and profoundly impact her husband, her children, and her entire family. Her choices of which foods to buy, which meals to cook, which cookware to cook *in*, which cleaning products to use at home, whether to breastfeed her babies, what to teach her children, how to teach her children, how to instill deen into her children, how to play with them, how to speak to them, how to discipline them, how to reward, incentivize, and motivate them: these choices and decisions have both immediate and long-term consequences for all members of the family.
But many modern people just don’t understand this.
They assume she’s chilling at home on the couch with her feet up, watching soap operas all day and gossiping about the neighbors. They see the stay-at-home wife and mother as a selfish, lazy woman who isn’t contributing to society and isn’t being productive.
As though birthing, feeding, and raising good, upright, strong human beings with sound physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual health and well-being isn’t productive or contributing to society!
But as Muslims, we know the reality. We recognize the critical role the wife and mother play, as we learn in the Quran and the sunna. Because Allah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم have honored motherhood, we honor motherhood, no matter how much modern western society has dismissed and denigrated it.
Alhamdulillah for the clarity of Islam.