About a week ago, hubby asked for a polygyny progress report reflecting how I felt he was doing with our polygynous situation. He has asked that it be done monthly so he can keep on top of things and that it be submitted in writing, so he has a record to refer back to. I have copied it below, however I have edited it slightly so as not to give overly specific details about members of our family. It is not edited enough to change my points though.
Polgyny Progress Report #1
Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.
All thanks and praise are for Allah, the most Perfect Provider of all our needs and our perfect Guide!
There are four aspects that I will address in this PPR: Relationship, Family, Islamic, and Practical.
Mashaa'Allah, you have done an excellent job of ensuring that I feel loved and appreciated. You have made an effort to make our time together enjoyable and of quality. The extra effort and affection has, in fact, made our relationship better than before, al hamdu l'Illah. Keep it up, please ;-D
Although this is obviously an area that is harder to please everyone in, the effort you have made to spend a little time each day with the girls is helping. Most certainly one of the most important factors is that they see you every day. The morning school routine makes it far less like you are gone much. They are affected by it all, I see it in the way they ask if you are here when they wake up, when you are coming, if you will be having dinner. However, considering that the changes are inevitable, I think it is going well enough. I have made the effort to make our nights and dinners without "Daddy" special and incorporate the bedtime story into things so that they have more things to look forward in their routine. They are certainly happy when we do more family things, especially going to the park, shopping, masjid, and they are looking forward to the return of the istaraaha and beach trips, inshaa'Allah. I think the main things they look for are nice activities out of the house and being part of a happy family.
- Friday Family thing is okay, but it is not an outing of choice.
This has been an area where having someone in the family who needs to be taught certain basics has perhaps pushed you to closer adherence and growth in various Islamic areas, mashaa'Allah. It has been difficult to explain things to the children when there are contradictions within our family (e.g. differences in prayer, dress, etc.) However, inshaa'Allah this will all come together in time and they will see how we all conform and unify in Islam as per the Quran and Sunnah.
I guess these are known perfectly well, but I'll document them anyway.
- Time for food shopping falls by the wayside and is inconsistent. The Friday Family thing interferes with the previous shopping arrangement. Need a top up for the household jar, so we can go to the supermarket over the road for necessities now and then, inshaa'Allah.
- The afternoon visit time isn't working as well at earlier on, and sometimes it doesn't seem balanced. For example, you came an hour late because last minute you dropped Zainab at her cousins. Perhaps it was made up by you being here on a night she was working, as I'm not keeping a track.
- The schedule is quite heavy and generally tiring, but I don't think there is much to be done about that with all that's going on.
- Zainab's job and your choice about her cooking makes things very unbalanced. Although I am grateful for the soft start for the girls in regards to having dinner with you and seeing you on more evenings, it isn't fair on the wives... When she is not working, there is no reason why your children couldn't go there after school and do their work on their netbooks. The structure and schedule for their homeschooling is not working well at all.
I understand that once Zainab stops working, then things will fall into place, inshaa'Allah. Inna Allaha ma'a as saabireen.
Barak Allahu feek wa fee usratanaa - ameen.
We discussed my comment about the Friday family outings. Hubby reminded me that they were established so we can get to know each other, build up a relationship, and be one big family. We have had five outings to date, the last three of which were at the park. However, the past four weeks we haven't had our Friday Family outing due to various circumstances.
It is amazing how easy it is to get comfortable not having those outings, especially as they take time for food preparation and need a great deal of mental effort to speak in Arabic. However, truly that is just shaytaan's whispers, as the more we get to know each other the better prepared we will be for living together on our land in the future inshaa'Allah.
I will post separately about the schedule because it is the biggest issue we have in all of this and looks just a big bowl of spaghetti at the moment. However, he already realized the food shopping issue and set new time slots for that...which for unforeseen circumstances these past two weeks haven't worked either, LOL. Since the progress report, hubby is now taking the children at change-over time and cooking on the evenings that he is at Zainab's. Also, he has freed up two of his nights during the week that were for Arabic classes, so Tuesday or Wednesday, regardless of whether Zainab is working, he will be able to take them there as usual.
So, inshaa'Allah this monthly exercise will be an excellent way to open up channels of communication on any problems that need to be addressed and what's going well. I'm taking notes of the beauty and the glitches in the programme, so let's see what next month's will bring, inshaa'Allah!