Mama Mia! Time to get dirty...and clean...

>> Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I know its important to be good daughter in islam but its hard! Im lazy- i dont mean to be! my mother works hard every day and i keep promising myself that i will help my mother . She goes thru so many pressure bc she works all day long!!! Now she has high blood pressure. she cooks, cleans, washes the clothes. she does everything! I feel guilty and beg forvgiveness from Allah. I admit i dont help my mother with chores bt i have homework to do. And then everyone wants a break rite? so i just go online for a while. but my life is like realy busy! how can i make my mother happy? My mother hates me now. I dont blame her. im almost 16 & idk how to cook, sew, clean. D: my life iz a mess! where do i start ?!??!? helpp!

BTWS i am soo happy that i came across ur blog! its like the best thing thats happened to mee!
-worst daughter in history

Dear Sister,

First of all! I don’t think you’re a horrible person or that your mother completely hates you, sweetie. She maybe just feels underappreciated and resents the fact that she has to do everything for everyone all the time. Let’s face it. That is a lot of work. She wants to feel like she has a little support from you guys, that’s all.

And I know that you said that you want to help her but your day already feels done by the time you come home from school and finish your homework….. and all you want is some time for yourself. I know how that feels. I do!

But, let’s stop for a moment and let’s think about our Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam. Can you imagine how busy he was? I mean, he was literally responsible for spreading the deen of Allah to everyone…..and yet, he found the time to help out a bit in the house and let his wives know that he understood how much work they did. If he could do that, and he literally had the weight of the whole Ummah on his shoulders, then you can do it, too! You just need a little time management and planning and you can turn this all around =) Because remember, as tired as you are- you said it yourself….Your mom is equally tired. And let’s be honest…she needs a little help, especially, if she is like my mother and she’s getting a little older. It’s time for her to start getting royal treatment and to feel like she has raised some strong, capable women.

So, I want you to just think about the different chores that need to be done around the house. There are those chores that need to be done each day (washing the dishes, doing the laundry, taking out the trash, cooking lunch and dinner, etc) and then, those that are done once or twice a week (cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, etc- depending on your family’s views on cleanliness, hehe). And then there are the chores that need to be done every couple of weeks (cleaning the windows- washing the fridge- washing the carpet and curtains, etc). Now can you appreciate how much work your mother has been doing? Not to mention keeping everyone well fed, too, right? Ma’shaAllah.

So, then, what can you do, then?

Well, here are a few aunty suggestions.

  • Start with the Simple Things:

  • Make a little checklist for yourself with simple things you can do daily, such as:

    -Do your own bed each day-
    -Wash your own dinner plates
    -Put your own dirty clothes in the hamper
    -Take responsibility for folding and arranging your laundry
    -Iron your own clothes

  • If you and your siblings leave things all around the house, try and get a little more organized. Put things back where they belong instead of waiting until everything is one gigantic mess. That will definitely help both you and your mom. If you need to get like some ‘little drawers’ to organize everything, do it!

  • Since you don’t have that much time on your hands, you want every moment to really count. Ask your mom what are her least favorite things to do around the house are and agree to help her get those done. (Of course, it would even be more fantastic if you decided you’d do them, yourself.)

  • Try to get up an hour earlier during the WEEKEND and dedicate that to making sure the house is nice and neat.

  • See if you can get everyone else involved in your family (too) to start helping out more. If you have younger sisters/ brothers, you can even make it fun…who doesn’t like water and bubbles, after all?

  • One thing I want to caution you about is getting all hyped up and cleaning the entire house in one day and then just totally losing any interest. That’s not really going to help your mom. Instead, your mom needs your commitment – so instead of going all clean maniac on her, try to focus on making sure you help out a LITTLE each day. Remember the list in point 1.

    InshaAllah, all of this is going to put a big smile on your mom’s face. Remind yourself that the more you do it, the faster you’ll get at it, and the less time it will take.

    And remind yourself that this can all count as worship. Yup. Just don’t forget to make your intention sincerely to Allah that you want to help your mother. When you do that, inshaAllah, you’ll be getting lots of ajr, inshaAllah.

    Oh and sister, don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m not a great cook (in fact, my brother describes my food as either really weird/ just disgusting) and I don’t know how to sew…But you know what? It’s never too late!

    A great way to learn how to cook is to hang out a bit with your mom in the kitchen. Just watch what your mom does and don’t be afraid to ask her questions. In fact, this is a great opportunity for you guys to have some daughter-mom time and I’m sure your mom will feel flattered. And then, don’t just stop there- ask your grandma/ aunt/ neighbor/ friend…anytime somebody makes something just delicious, ask away.

    Of course, you can always get some cooking books/ sign up for a cooking newsletter. Or how about watching some cooking TV shows?

    The same goes for sewing…if your mom knows how, ask her to help you get started. And check online for youtube tutorials…

    You can do this, sister. I believe in you.

    Looking forward to hearing from our readers about any cooking/ cleaning tips they may know that can help out.

    P.S. How about letting ‘online’ come to you while you clean? Nah, I haven’t gone bonkers—I mean, do you like to listen to lectures and stuff? You could listen to them while you clean. The 2 in 1 method :)

    8 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

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    Umm Khaleel April 6, 2011 at 11:58 PM  

    Salam alaik Sisters :)

    I was trained since young to help out around the house so it has become second nature for me to be doing housework (I thought it was child abuse then lol!).. but like what Little Aunty said, it's never too late to start now! :)

    Maybe you can start by helping your mum cut up the ingredients needed for that dish so that everything is prepared before your mom cooks. Once you get the hang of it, you can move on to cooking.. Try frying an egg first then make pancakes, stir fry meat, bake cookies. I know of a sister who hated cooking but when she lived with me, I made her cook simple dishes (didn't force lol) and she loves it now! You can be creative when cooking your food and at the same time have fun! I only dread when I have to wash the dishes!

    As for cleaning the house, you can write in your timetable what needs to be done weekly. Vacuum the carpet, floor.. then the following week you can clean the toilet. Set aside the weekends to wash the clothes. You can try to get your siblings involved too! Everyone in my family has a role to play. My siblings and I would help with preparing the food and washing the dishes, my mom did the cooking and my dad helped out with household chores. Sometimes if either of us are busy, my siblings or either of my parents would take turns to help out.

    When you learn how to cook and be neat, you'll find that it's an asset in the future. I know of friends who grew up with house helpers and everything was done for them. Now that they are living on their own, they find it difficult to cope with housework. Some can't cook so they are dependent on instant food (which is very unhealthy) or from restaurants (which is expensive!)

    Hopefully you'll start helping your mom soon! :) You'll realise that cooking and cleaning isn't thattt bad after all :)

    Shireen Baig April 7, 2011 at 2:37 AM  

    I was a spoilt brat too when I was 15,16,17 oh well.. im pretty much like that even now.

    we had a helper around the house so it was not too stressful for my mom. But when she went on a leave my mum would go crazy and tired... And because I was not in the practise of cleaning or doing dishes I thought it was absolute torture for her to even request me for it.
    But after looking at my mom for a couple of days and how tired she gets when the helper is not around, i started doing the dishes which gave my mum a significant release.

    I remember my mom was SOO happy when I volunteered to do a gigantic amount of dishes for her. It was the next morning after the Ramadan Eid and mashallah we have a huge extended family and that DAY i knew if not anything i could be a dishwasher :P lol jus kiddin' ... what im trying to tell you is that.. When you volunteer to help sometimes and you see that happiness on your mom's face you would feel that your efforts are well paid off.

    So yes we can get busy, we can be veryy veryy busy but hey! our mom's need some rest too and im so happy you realize that SO young. it took me a lot of scolding from my mom to realize that.

    Even today, because im the youngest one my mom has pampered me SOOO much. That when i was living alone I was only living on take aways (and yes they do make tiny hole in pockets) or instant food! I remember stuffing fries, burgers and the likes in my fridge! I did try to cook twice and you know when you see the food you've prepared its satisfying..

    Shireen Baig April 7, 2011 at 2:39 AM  

    um khaleel :

    im jealous of you! :P my mum hardly trained me to help around the house but yes she did train my elder sister :D

    which is why my dad's pretty sure i'd be kicked out from my in-laws place very soon after i get married :P

    Anonymous,  April 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM  

    Sis Shiru: Don't be lol :P Like I said, I thought it was child abuse then lol.. I hated it whenever my weekends had to be spent cleaning the house :P But I guess it does come in handy now that I live on my own. :)

    LOL @ getting kicked out.. aww come on, I don't think it's that bad hey? :) Somehow we all always end up rising to our responsibilities and I'm sure it'll be the same for you ;)

    Unknown April 8, 2011 at 7:22 AM  

    @Shiru: LOL! That's my life story too! Being the baby of the family, I was never required to lift a finger around the house and spoiled brat was what I was. When I was in my teens and my friends would talk about having to do household chores, I used to be all fascinated with this alien thing they did! :P

    We've always had help and I have to very shamefully admit that my mother pampers me, even now! And by pampering, I mean it in a major huge way!! I was almost 20 by the time I finally tried doing my own laundry. I'm completely hopeless when it comes to cooking and household chores *dies of shame*

    The only thing I can cook is noodles and I used to exist on that and takeaways and junk food when I lived alone. But then of course mother had to come rushing to my rescue with the maid and all! :P

    She scolds me, saying I'm gonna be kicked out of my in-laws house the day after I get married and my husband's gonna be all food-poisoned! But the poor dear forgets she's the reason for my appalling lack of skills! :P

    @The Sis in the Letter: I'm sorry, I really don't have any tips coz I've never been in your situation, well, except for the not knowing part.

    Al-hamdulillahi we've always had help around the house and my mom more or less supervises the cooking and cleaning, so it hasn't been stressful for her. She only actively cooks when we have guests or on special occasions. Lol, on those days she gets all cranky and ropes me into helping her by chopping things and doing the dishes, but otherwise she always shoos me out of the kitchen.

    What sis Umm Khaleel has said is very true you know? When you learn how to cook and be neat, it will indeed be an asset in the future. It becomes habit and you won't feel like you're tackling a mountain when you see all the chores pile up. So try to get as early a start as possible :)

    @Umm Khaleel: Again I agree with Shiru and I'm positively envious of you!!! Masha Allah, You can COOK!!!! All sorts of mouth-watering stuff! And here I am, still no further than noodles! *sob*

    Anonymous,  April 8, 2011 at 8:36 AM  

    @ Sis Xahu: Hehehe, come over here and live with me :P I'll make you cook like what I did to the sister who stayed with me :P Free cooking lessons from me! (yea right, who am I kidding lol!)

    sahar,  April 9, 2011 at 7:49 AM  

    mashallah this sounds like me i never cleaned or did anything for that matter when i lived with my parents, i had to sisters that did that and my dad always told me that i never could take care of my husband let along a family. lol you should see me now im married andi have a son and my house is spot less. my dad still makes remarks (even infront of my mother in law) like wooow your cleaning, or when i do the dishes over there house he says shes paying us back for all the days she didnt do the dishes here. but i do regret not helping my mom i wish i can go back a redo those days.

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    Asalamu aialkum!
    Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
    P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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