I am tired and my head seems to be in a bubble... or as if wrapped or floating. I don't know which sensation takes over when. All I know is that it definitely seems out of its usual comfort zone.
My children and husband dear decided to play a prank on me today. It was supposed to be all fun, seemingly innocent. What they or even I would not have guessed was my reaction.
I felt for a split second totally blinded, deaf and even mute.
The fear had grasped me so tight that when I was able to break through all I could do was scream. I screamed and each time I did my husband said softly, Iram your are safe, Iram it's ok.
I felt the rush of bursting into loud sobs... I covered my face pressed my fingers onto my eyes as if bolting them from shedding tears.
Deep breaths helped me calm down and register that I was safe. I gathered all my strength to say, yes I am ok.
But the most important part was when my daughter realizing how scared I was in that moment she hugged me and said, mama it's ok I know you needed to scream.
( She was the one who gave the bright idea to her dad to play the prank.)
Later she described how bad she felt for suggesting the prank but once she saw I was ok she got over it as well.
Parenting is a scary business!
Some days parenting does feel like being blind, deaf and mute all at the same time while not being able to breadth too; that's really scary.
Our generation of parents , by our I mean the millennial .. I think we have come a long way and we still are working towards betterment we are unlearning the patterns. To be fair all of the generations who are parenting are learning. Some more than others for sure but there is a shift.And I pray this positive shift gains more and more practice and momentum by the time Gen z's and Gen Alpha's become parents.
So here are the parent and children age groups in the world at the moment:
1.Baby Boomer Generation
Youngest is 56 and oldest is 74
( My Mom is in this bracket)
2. Generation X (Baby Bust)
Youngest is 41 and oldest is 55
( My Husband is in this bracket)
Youngest is 35 oldest is 45
4. Millennials/ Generation Y
Youngest 26 Oldest 40
( I stand in here tall)
5. iGen / Gen Z
Youngest 8 oldest 25
( All my children are in this one )
Ages 1 to 7
(the one reading might have children in this age group)
We have so many things to be scared about for our children's sake. But I think the most common fear is" I don't want my child to repeat my mistakes."
That's the most cliche line you and I keep hearing, in our heads.
I acknowledge parenting is scary.
Once I was in discussion with a youth group and they all were talking about how their parents don't understand them, and I said do you know how scared your parents are of you? They all laughed and said not our parents.
I said, you all are scary honestly .You seldom give a chance for conversation, before the parents even open their mouths you roll your eyes, there is a sense of mistrust on both sides and each one thinks they know better.
How on earth are we ever going to get past complaints in this kind of a firecracker mode of a relationship. They all were silent, for 3 seconds before they returned to how the parents are wrong. But those 3 seconds were a pause to the thought rut.
They are wrong, I am right mentality. Whether it's the parent or the offspring, we both need to acknowledge that we don't know all. Life is calculated risks, lots of dua manifesting and lessons to be learnt the hard way.
I want to say I will give you 5 tips to not be scared. That sounds like a good deal. But the truth is you can't do it without being scared.
Fear and hope work hand in hand, that's the magic formula.
Fear of Allah Subhanahu Wa TALA, Taqwa in other words, humbling ourselves to being humans who can and will make errors, acknowledging that my time on earth might have taught me a thing or two but not everything so maybe I should keep an open mind to learn and learn from my children as well.
And hope, hope that I will try within my best of capacities and will give the most honest effort to this job, parenting. I will love and I will nurture and I will learn. I will learn to forgive my mistakes and my children's mistakes.
I will understand that we each have our paths to dwell upon and I will guide them by modeling the best of manners morals and make dua.
Words get short and missed when we are scared.
We express in tones, loud and soft pitches. I am kind of reminded like the difference between a calm morning breeze and storm wind howling.
Like the thunder clap and soft rain drizzle. Each has a tone, a note, a sound.
Our fears can be loud outbursts, shrieks and yells. While our hope can be tight hugs, long tearful sajuds, holding hands for longer than usual, eye contacts filled with warmth and love.
See all the steps, points, easy to do list things point out in one direction, LEARN TO KNOW BETTER.
Learn to know
I am a mere messenger, my habits, my actions have a long lasting impact on my children .
I will make a lot of mistakes. Even with a Phd in quantum physics or astro physics or mathematics or whatever subject seems out of reach to you, Parenting is it's own league. The certification/ diploma/ degree etc of being good parents comes way later in life, or maybe in Jannah al Firdous.
Ask, learn, inquire, do your own research, your child is YOURS and YOU need to figure them out! but before that you need to get yourself straight. Be the teacher and student at the same time. Learn to create new possibilities, new lessons, new stories.
Fear in balance is good, doubt of any kind is bad.
Balanced fear is action based.
Unbalanced fear is a lifetime nuisance to all. It stops mental and emotional growth of both the parent and the children. What if's have never done any good unless they become Why Nots.
Figure out your "Why Not?"
You can cry, scream, feel lost, you do whatever you need to do but bounce back smarter, wiser and wittier every single time. Trust me, it helps love this parenting job and makes you look kind of cool too :)
You know yourself, stop being scared of you. You are an evolving being. You have a come a long way and you will go a long way, all you have to bring along with you is you in the present and not the past. Ditch the past and the constant baggage of shame , regret and fear. It is not worth bringing along. Easier said than done you would say. Well I can only say, when will you decide to do? becuse no one is going to decide that for you and work on it .. NO ONE BUT YOU.
Difference between fear and doubt
Eg: I fear she might get upset and throw a tantrum but I have to set positive clear boundaries in order to flourish in our relationship.
Where as doubt wold be second guessing your actions, going back and forth on your own set limitations giving confusing signals to the child.
So back to my story, I was ok for the rest of the evening, we all learned something about my fear today.
I have to work on my immediate responses specially when put in out of control situations.
Will leave you with one of my favorite Prohetic duas
اللّهُـمَّ لا سَـهْلَ إِلاّ ما جَعَلـتَهُ سَهـلاً، وَأَنْتَ تَجْـعَلُ الْحَـزَنَ إِذا شِـئْتَ سَهـْلاً
O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy. [ibn Ḥibbān in his saḥīḥ # 2427]