Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.
Friday was a day of speaking my mind clearly, without "volume," and with perfect frankness. Who to? My daughters. This is something I haven't read about in the mothering books, blogs, and magazines but I think it is worth sharing.
My 7 year old is now praying all the prayers with her 10 year old sister and I, mashaa'Allah. This is a beautiful and blessed thing, wa al hamdu l'Illah. However, as soon as we finish praying she starts to talk to me, ask questions, or just chat about anything that comes to her mind. I, on the other hand, wish to say all my dua', adhkaar, and suwar after my prayer. Several times I have asked, or told, her not to talk to me or distract me until I'm finished, but she seems to forget that on a daily basis. So, last Friday when she proceeded to repeatedly ask me some relatively unimportant question, I stayed silent until I had finished my after prayer routine and then I spoke to her (and the other girls, as they were in the room as well). Here's what Mean and Monstrous Mama Mai said:
"Do you expect me to leave my communication with Allah to answer your non-urgent question or to chat with you? I have told you many times about this, but now I must make things clear. My Rabb and getting to Jennah are the most important things in my life. If this is my last prayer and adhkaar, then I need it to count for me, not against me. This time I spend with my Rabb may be the thing that tips my scales to the right hand side. I will not answer you or give you priority over Allah or my chances for Jennah. You are not more important than those things. If, for example, Allah should command me not to speak to you again, I would obey that command because obedience to Allah, subhaana wa taala, is first."
Now, that is not verbatim because I don't have that photographic memory, but it is most certainly what I said. Some of you may be thinking by now, "Mai is a really harsh and mean mother!" However, I have realized that everything we do is an example and a lesson for our children. If my children don't see me put Allah first, they will not think it important. If they don't understand that NOTHING is more important than worshiping Allah and pleasing Him, then they will be lost. So, I'm not only taking care of my needs, but I'm walking the walk and talking the talk so they can see priorities in action.
I imagine that many of you nicer and sweeter mothers get the message across in a much more loving and indirect way, but that's what I did and no-one seems the worse for it, wa al hamdu l'Illah! Truly every ounce of good is from Allah, and every good intention is rewarded.