I was shocked and intrigued when I came across an article from an infertile sister who was almost in agony about not having any kids.
As a person who felt like I was loaded with “back-to-back surprises” in the form of pregnancies I felt unprepared for, it never occurred to me that there are women out there who actually have been seeking to have kids for years and have not yet been successful in producing anything.
I viewed childless women as lucky; they have more time for themselves, they can just get up and go without accounting for kids every moment and there are no worries about trying to come up with the money for a babysitter in order to get a much-needed break after suffering from fatigue, extreme stress or just needing to get away.
There is no need to inquire if it’s allowed to bring children to certain events or gatherings; you just show up and have a good time.
Also, there is no rush to wake up early in the morning before the kids do in order to get a head start, put things in place and steal some time for yourself; you may decide to wake up early but it’s not accompanied with the same pressure as it is for mothers.
The way I saw it, not having kids automatically translates into a smoother life with less interruptions, more liberty, more time for yourself and more choices.
I wouldn’t say that children are a burden but for some people raising children is more demanding than for others. It just so happened that as a person who hasn’t been prepared for the role, most of my experience child-rearing has been stressful.
In particular, trying to figure out the “the right things to do” and manage multiple children, giving all of them their rights, while still maintaining my sanity has been a challenge. I think anyone with even one child will agree that being a parent is work and with the added pressures in this day and age, it doesn’t make it any easier!
But after reading the article from the infertile wife, I got a chance to appreciate the other side of the coin. Child-rearing can be very busy and even hectic but for the first time I gave thought to how life would be without any children.
While life with children is full of challenges, not having any children can be synonymous with boredom, barrenness and a feeling of missing out on something in life. For those who have been patiently hoping for a child for a long period of time, they can also experience depression, desolation and loneliness as a result of not being able to share their world with another life.
It never occurred to me that there were women in the world who actually longed to do some of the things that I wished I could get a break from. It was such an eye-opener learning about the struggle of someone without any children.
Previously, I would regard child-less women as highly advantaged. I assumed that without children, they are able to get so much more done, complete the tasks quicker and with much less toil than those saddled with the responsibility of being a permanent care giver.
I pondered on this and was forced to ask myself some compelling questions: What is the criterion for making progress and what is the measurement? Is the criterion for progress doing something in a flawless, quick way or is the real criteria the sincerity of our intentions and our ability to carry it out diligently with action?
Despite child-rearing being a long-term commitment, I understand why one would yearn to have children.
Regardless of the hard work and sacrifice required to care for them, children are great sources of blessings and can be a means of parents experiencing tremendous joy and being amazed from doors opening, which they never imagined being opened!
When I first got married, it was only a couple of months before I genuinely began to long for having a child. All praises be to Allah, not only did I get what I asked for but I got more! Several months after giving birth for the first time, I found out that I was pregnant again.
Then again.…And now again.
Currently, I am carrying my fourth child and am making preparations to fulfill this trust given to me. If it was up to me I would have stopped a long time ago but I realized that God has a plan much bigger than I can ever comprehend.
I didn’t plan having multiple children but God is the best of planners! The Creator has chosen my womb to carry a priceless being and granted me the rewards for nourishing, molding, teaching them and being their caregivers.
How many women out there who would die just to be able to walk in my shoes, just for one day? And how many women risk their lives to give birth?
During a time when so many things can go wrong, surgeries and high-risk procedures are often considered for the sake of fulfilling the goal of allowing the baby to experience life. Some mothers even make the ultimate sacrifice by giving up their life in exchange for their baby to be given the chance to live. Isn’t that something?!
At the end of the day, we all will be tested, some will be tested with what we Allah gives us and others will be tested by what He withholds from us and everything is done in wisdom. I
n the end, what will get us over is having faith and conviction that these tests are meant to strengthen us and our bond to our Creator and not meant to make us miserable, though we may endure some moments of misery and pain, just as we will experience joy.
And at the end of the day, everything is good for the believers.
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, he thanks Allah and there is good for him. If he is harmed, he shows patience and there is good for him.
(Sahih Muslim 2999)
Be content no matter whatever your situation is or whatever your circumstances may be. If you have children be grateful and if you don’t have children be grateful. Many times the grass seems greener on the other side.
We may believe if life was this way or that way that we would be happier but our Creator knows best. It could be that Allah is preventing a calamity from reaching you by not allowing something to reach you or that Allah is giving you a gift for a particular reason that He is keeping hidden from you and you may never know it until the Day of Judgement so be patient and never lose faith.
Know that we as human beings have ideas of what we will believe will be the case if such and such happens but Allah knows the true reality so put your trust in Allah, be content with His plan and don’t attach yourself to a particular goal but rather attach yourself to Him.
It may be that you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. (