I don’t remember how many months back I called him “useless". I know that on that particular day I was upset with him. I was tired, irritated and the children were helping with house work, he half heartedly did something and went back to his video game or tv or book . The girls complained that mama how come he gets off so easily when he did his share of work so sloppily. They weren’t exaggerating, and in the heat of the moment I glared at him and said, “ You are useless."
Fast forward yesterday, I heard him saying that aloud..to his grand mother, " I am not THAT USELESS…"
Immediately I went up to him, hugged him, apologized and said, "I am sorry I said that. You are not useless. That was a mean thing mama said to you.” He is 14. He is changing in body and opinions every day.
Sounds like a normal adolescent honestly. Such a fragile age.
This teen age.. exploring their identity, strengths and learing life lessons.
Going back to the story,
He was surprised and then he said, " You called me useless? I don't recall that."
But I know deep down he did. He remembered that disgust on my face when I said that. He remembered how it made him feel and somewhere he became scared of being called or thought about as useless.
Boys and girls aren't alike. They have different skills,different interests, different way of thinking and different forms of showing affection and care.
The sooner we learn and understand that, the better. Not all the boys or girls in the world behave same either.
I remember I was labelled lazy. Looking back I see how much damage that caused to my self esteem and made me co dependent, always trying to please people around me. The fear of being called lazy pushed me to allow people overstep my boundaries. I just hated that adjective for myself. I was not lazy. Not liking a certain chore, and struggling to do it is not laziness, it's lacking in skills to perform the job well.
I was not lazy in fulfilling a comment, I was never lazy in taking the leap, of thinking outside the box, being the first to hold someone's hand when they asked for help, supporting loved ones and strangers both wholeheartedly because I believed in the gift of giving.
They labeled me wrong…
Stop labeling yourself, we aren't boxes.. we are movement .. energies flowing ..
We are evolving in our gifts and so are our children.
Our part is taking care of their terbiyah and we should do that without shaming or labeling them.
So the next time your child does not clean the dishes or room or laundry the way they should or how you taught them .. help them by reminding them. They will not like it, making them like everything is not our job.
Gently reminding them, having a calm conversation with purpose, modeling and avoiding labeling them is our job.
Hope we get rid of our own mental labels.
That mom who is tired, fatigued, lonely, angry, confused is not evil, or carless or selfish ...
she is learning at a slower pace and that’s her journey.
We make dua and keep moving and doing things we need to do ..
We should not be described by actions of the moment.
We are better than that..
I pray we become better than that…
I am a humble servant of Al Malik.. only He has the right to label me..
and He already has:
The Momin/Momina, the Mukhlis men and women , the Muslih men and women, the Abid/Abidah, the Sabir man and women, the Shakir men and women , the Mutaqee man and women …
The next time I will address him by starting the conversation with, "my beloved son" and make sure to eliminate the word useless forever. In Shaa Allah.