Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.
Been a bit quiet over here, hasn't it? Well, when it's quiet there is usually a whole lot going on. It's taken all this time to manage to type something half reasonable! Here are the key developments in polygyny and life.
My mother informed me that she is disgusted with our polygyny situation, that my husband has insulted and disrespected me, that my self-esteem has flown out of the window, and that to her it is nothing better than prostitution. She says she put my husband on a pedestal as he was so wonderful with us, but now she's disappointed in him. All this communication surprised me, but Qadr Allah mashaa fa'al.
I understand how hard this must be for her to comprehend. She is 74 years old, not Muslim, and follows God by doing whatever seems right to her. Her judgement is based on her own lordship, not the word of The Creator. May God guide her to His Truth - ameen. However, it did surprise me and, of course, hubby and I are considering whether there is some way we can help her better understand it.
I have been facing unexpected behavior problems with my daughters, which I was initially so surprised by that I felt I was in a boat without any oars in the middle of the ocean, without GPS. Fortunately, my GPS arrived in the form of sakinah and guidance from Allah, subhaana wa taala. Now I'm relaxing into it all and preparing myself for a whole new "experience" of parenting, lol.
As for the polygyny, our schedule has changed. With maghrib prayer getting later and later and the change over time being 6:30 p.m., it was disturbing the bedtime of our two young daughters. I mentioned it and now the change over time is 5:50 p.m., so that dinner is at 6:00 p.m. and there is plenty of time for everyone to get to bed on time.
Hubby has Arabic classes 5 days a week from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This has made him a bit more elusive, LOL. To ensure that the children see him, he has now split the afternoon visit time between each home. In effect, between around 4:30 and 5:50, he will visit both homes so that he has seen everyone before dinner and going for his class.
Zainab has a new work schedule in which she works evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This has a big impact on us all, because the normal schedule cannot be adhered to. Because she leaves around 4:30 p.m., she is not home for the step-children or for the family dinner on these nights...and not even for her visit time! This has resulted in me having the step children during the day almost every day. It has also resulted in me cooking dinner for all six of us almost every evening on alternate weeks when Saturday and Monday are my nights, and still the majority of the nights when they are not. I told hubby that I'm not feeling much like this is polygyny. I'm not getting any chance to miss him, LOL!
I didn't realize, when hubby said that Zainab worked and that polygyny would be an easy transition, exactly how true that was. Since Zainab has gone back to work, I'm not getting the time off I was enjoying and planning for in the early days. Of course, the upside of all this is that the children have dinner with daddy almost every night and there really isn't much chance for them to miss him. Such a mild start should make a gradual increase more natural if or when Zainab stops working.
As for the relationship with Zainab, it is going along well enough. We find a bit more to talk about as I have started selecting topics that will be easy to expand on. She came to the park for a multi-family cook-out and met some of our other friends. Everything is very foreign for her, so this is not an easy time in regards to adjustments, learning, and cultural differences. However, she is perfectly peaceable, polite, and pleasant so we have no problems at all. We exist in the same space easily, talk and laugh about general things here and there, and are basically happy wives in our own space, mashaa'Allah.