>> Thursday, May 5, 2011
Dear Little Aunties,
I have a small little issue that I need your help in. My husband is from a different city than me. When we got married, he moved to my city and brought his mother here. So, I have been living with my mother in law for the past few months and it is really getting me down. I feel like all I do is clean, clean, clean and nothing is appreciated. And she is really grumpy and always angry around me. I am just really tired. I know there really isn't a question in this letter but I need some help and no one to talk to.
tired of it all
Dear Tired of it All,
Awww, let me offer you a big hug. It sounds like you are really tired. I know that being a home maker is hard work!! It seriously is.. let alone with a mother in law, it must be harder.
The truth is, Islamically, you actually have the right to have your own house. You can’t be forced to live with your mother in law.
But wait, hold on! I'm not telling you to kick your mother in law out, though. I’m just saying that is obvious proof that it is difficult to live with in-laws. After all, our Islamic rights are given to us by Allah for a reason. IF Allah said that you can have your own separate house (without your in-laws), He must have had a wise reason to do so. He knows what is difficult for us and what is not....
With that said, though, here’s the thing. I could give you a lot of “ideal advice”- tell you your Islamic rights and that kinda thing. But would that really change the situation for the better? Or would that just ‘pump you up’ (you know what I mean?). Would that change anything? At the end of the day, no matter what your rights are, she is your husband's mother....and your fellow Muslim sister. She is your children (or future children, inshaAllah)'s grandmother.
The only thing that you can honestly ‘change/control’ is YOUR perspective….
That’s why instead, I’m going to tell you some tips/ other ways of looking at the situation, inshaAllah.
Number 1: Make your intention for Allah's sake. Things just get a lot easier when we decide that we want Allah's appreciation- that He's our goal and ultimate end. Realize also that the Shaitan's number 1 priority is breaking up marriages. I mean he seriously makes it his MISSION…to break up a couple. There’s a hadith on that. Did you know that? I just can't seem to find it, right now, lol.
But seriously, think about this.
"The most beloved deed to Allaah is making a Muslim happy." ...When you are making your husband happy, you are making Allah happy =)
Number 2: Recognize that your MIL is a little old. She’s …what? 50? Or in her fifties? She’s used to things being her way. Now, she’s living in a city, other than her ‘own’…She probably doesn’t have any friends. I’m going to guess that she doesn’t really drive, either. She’s stuck in the house the whole day. Add to that, the fact that she probably has some sense of knowing that she’s not really welcome in your house. .
How does that sound to you? Does it make sense that she would be a bit grumpy?
And do you think that maybe this is about HER needing her son?
Who does she have now, right? What does she have to do?
So what’s my point?
Well, you’re stuck in he house and she’s there. You can either make the best of it or suffer it through (the both of you).
- Have you tried maybe reading Qur’an with her?
- Asking her to teach you some of your husband’s favorite dishes?
- Is there any show that you can watch with her? (preferably a religious show, :P).
- Why don’t you suggest that you go out of the house- like on a picnic? To a park?
- Maybe invite your own mother and some other older ladies over? That way you're not always alone with her….you could even start like a book club / Qur’an halaqah or something, and each week, you have these ladies come over. She might make some friends and best of all, it won’t just be ‘you and her’ in the house, you get me?
- What about going together to the masjid on Fridays? Introducing her to some people there?
Number 3: House work is hard! Divide it up :) You don't need to do everything all at once.
There's this website that is highly recommended called FlyLady.Net.
Are YOU living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) like Franny in the pink sweats? Do you feel overwhelmed, overextended, and overdrawn? Hopeless and you don't know where to start? Don't worry friend, we've been there, too.
Step through the door and follow FlyLady as she weaves her way through housecleaning and organizing tips with homespun humor, daily musings about life and love, the Sidetracked Home Executives (SHE) system, and anything else that is on her mind.
You can also talk to your husband about the work that you do.You might also want to write your schedule and show him all the work you do in one day. Ask him if would be possible to at least get a maid to come in once a week? Explain to your husband in gentle terms: " I'm finding it very difficult to get everything done, and I just need a little help.
If he still says no, my advice for you is what the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhaee wa salam offered Fatima and Ali when they asked him for a maid-
(This is the whole story:)
One day Fatima said to Ali: "I have ground until my hands are blistered."
"I have drawn water until I have pains in my chest," said Ali and went on to suggest to Fatimah: "God has given your father some captives of war, so go and ask him to give you a servant."
Reluctantly, she went to the Prophet who said: "What has brought you here, my little daughter?" "I came to give you greetings of peace," she said, for in awe of him she could not bring herself to ask what she had intended.
"What did you do?" asked Ali when she returned alone.
"I was ashamed to ask him," she said. So the two of them went together but the Prophet felt they were less in need than others.
"I will not give to you," he said, "and let the Ahl as-Suffah (poor Muslims who stayed in the mosque) be tormented with hunger. I have not enough for their keep..."
Ali and Fatimah returned home feeling somewhat dejected but that night, after they had gone to bed, they heard the voice of the Prophet asking permission to enter. Welcoming him, they both rose to their feet, but he told them:
"Stay where you are," and sat down beside them. "Shall I not tell you of something better than that which you asked of me?" he asked and when they said yes he said: "Words which Jibril taught me, that you should say "Subhaan Allah- Glory be to God" ten times after every Prayer, and ten times "AI hamdu lillah - Praise be to God," and ten times "Allahu Akbar - God is Great." And that when you go to bed you should say them thirty-three times each."
Ali used to say in later years: "I have never once failed to say them since the Messenger of God taught them to us."
Number 4: It also sounds like you're also a little lonely. Try talking to him about going on dates’…having some ‘alone time’…. You didn’t marry his mother lol, and it’s important you focus on your relationship, too. Just tell him “I miss you”. Allow yourself to be vulnerable- express your loneliness, your desire to be with him, hang out…..have a romantic evening/ boat ride/ whatever.
Also try and build up on the spiritual side with the hubster.
Number 5: Try and volunteer at some place or take up a hobby. Join a Muslimah forum. You need some 'me' time. Take a bath. Do something for yourself, every day.
Well sis, these are just some small suggestions. We hope things get better for you!! May Allah make your house a house of warmth and bliss and love :D :D
P.S. you should discuss with your husband exactly what his plans are regarding his mother. Is this going to be an indefinite thing? Forever? Or.....? And did you know beforehand? Did he tell you about this before you got married?