Choosing to be a Stay at Home Mum was the best thing i ever did



I have the utmost respect for all women who go out to work and take care of their households, parents, in-law, kids, cooking, etc. Not long ago, I was one of those women. I used to work full time as a high school English teacher and then come home and take care of the kids, cook, clean and I had started my own business from home. When I think back to that time I can’t believe I did it. I just remember being stressed out, forever tired, constantly feeling guilty, unhealthy and overall not feeling very happy with my life. I had started so we could afford to buy a house, which I don’t regret. Yet, it’s a dilemma that hundreds if not thousands of couples’ face with house prices being so ridiculously high, in the South East of England.

Alhamdulillah, 5 years ago, things changed for me when my contract ended. At the time I was really upset because I liked working at that school, there were lots of Muslim girls there and I really felt that they saw me as a role model. Nevertheless, I now had the chance to stay at home and re-assess my priorities and what direction I wanted my life and career to go in.

Initially, I did apply for full-time teaching posts and received a job offer at an ‘Outstanding’ School but I knew that they would want me to work ‘outstandingly’ hard so I politely, declined the offer (Alhamdulillah). But in the back of my mind there was a nagging feminist voice saying, “You’re being lazy staying at home” and “You need to be out there like other women making your own money!” and “Being just a housewife isn’t enough”

However, gradually I started seeing the wisdom of staying at home. For example, my kids were so happy that they could stay at home if they didn’t feel well and I would be home when they came back from school. In the past if they had said they were ill I would literally give them Calpol and drop them to the school gates just so I could go to work (and take care of other people’s kids!). I used to rely heavily on my sister (who wasn’t working) to babysit my kids whenever they were too ill to go to school or I had a pointless school meeting. Like so many working mums I was rushing around like a headless chicken trying to squeeze everything into a tight schedule. After leaving work, it was like a burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I could breathe again and be there for them, do little things like helping them with their homework instead of marking my students’ homework.

Another major benefit I found was my health improved immensely. When I worked 9 to 5 I was too exhausted to do any exercise and staff rooms are notoriously full of doughnuts. To save time I would rely on convenience foods and takeaways, I would try to bulk cook meals on the weekend and put them in the freezer but that didn’t always work out. However, being at home now meant I could cook every day, join my local ladies’ gym and get back into gardening. I don’t want to sound too cliched, but the difference really was like night and day for me.

Now that I wasn’t stressed out by managers and deadlines I had time to focus on myself. I had always wanted to study more Quran tafseer and just gain more knowledge and work on being a better Muslim but for some reason I had allowed work to get in the way of that. Now, I have no excuse so that was another blessing of leaving work.

Lastly, I realised I had been neglecting my business, I had been working so hard at school and now I had the chance to have a good look at what direction I wanted my business to go in and see if (inshallah) I could make it a success. So now, when I’m not at the gym or writing I can focus on my business. I can do these things in the daytime before my kids come back from school and I thank Allah that I am in such a blessed situation to be able to do that and call myself a very content stay at home working Mum.

Final Thoughts

1.I used to worry about how I would manage financially if I stopped working full-time but once I fully understood that my rizq (provisions) is fixed and that Allah (swt) always provides for me I stopped worrying about money. Rizq is in the hands of Allah – One of the beautiful names of Allah(swt) is Ar Razzaaq The Provider, The Providence, The Supplier, The Bestower of Sustenance. The One who creates all means of nourishment and subsistence. The One who provides everything that is needed.

Allah (swt) says,

“Lo! Allah (swt) is that who gives livelihood, the Lord of unbreakable might.” [TMQ Surah adh-Dhariyat:58]

“We provide for you” [TMQ Surah Al-Anaam:151]

These ayaat clearly show that Allah (swt) is the Razzaq (Provider) and that Rizq is ascribed to Him alone – He provides to whom He wills, and this authority of provision is reserved for Him alone.

2.It may be possible that you can work from home for your current employer, for example if you have a job that involves working on a computer most of the time, then you can ask your employer if you could work from home one day a week. There’s no harm in asking, is there?

3.If your work is stressing you out and you can’t stop worrying about work problems when you get home, then it really is time to think about swapping occupations or just changing to a different employer. I know of numerous teachers who have left the profession because of stress and they are so much happier. Of course, it’s always good to apply for a new job before you leave your old one or like me you may decide you want to start your own business. There are lots of perks to being your own boss. I think that will be my next blog post, inshallah!

4.With hindsight, I can see that I did neglect my Islamic responsibilities as a mum. Having been bought up in a secular, irreligious society, I had allowed feminists opinions and my own selfish desires to dictate my priorities, and the net result was unhappiness. I gained true contentment when I wholeheartedly re-embraced the roles that Allah (swt) had given me.

أَلاَ كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ فَالأَمِيرُ الَّذِى عَلَى النَّاسِ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ عَلَى أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُمْ وَالْمَرْأَةُ رَاعِيَةٌ عَلَى بَيْتِ بَعْلِهَا وَوَلَدِهِ وَهِىَ مَسْئُولَةٌ عَنْهُمْ وَالْعَبْدُ رَاعٍ عَلَى مَالِ سَيِّدِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُ أَلاَ فَكُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ

Each of you is a guardian and each of you is questioned over his subjects, the Imam who is responsible over the people and he is questioned over his responsibility, and the man is responsible over the people of his household and he is questioned over them, and the woman is responsible over her husband’s house and his children and she is questioned over them, and the slave is a guardian over the wealth of his master and he is questioned over it, each of you is a guardian and each of you is questioned over their responsibility

(Muslim/ Bukhari)

As I said at the beginning, I genuinely have a mountain of respect for every single hard-working woman who juggles her responsibilities, even when she is not being appreciated and I would never criticize a fellow sister for choosing to work rather than stay at home. This is just an account of my experience.

2 Comments

  1. Exactly how I feel. Alhamdulillah have made huge improvements on my religious practices and learning but I am feeling a bit lost and over whelmed with my responsibilities as a stay at home mum and failing to see light at end of the tunnel to start a home business. Insha Allah these feelings and time will pass.

    • Salams Nilema,
      Alhamdulilah so good to hear I’m not the only one feeling like this! inshallah when the times right for you on the business front, things will fall into place, Allahh knows best. Inshallah lets keep each other in our duas

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