This is the second part of our Productive Mothers series. Click here to read the first part: New Mothers and Productivity
Our journey began with lots of courage, nerves and joy. Our precious bundle has now bloomed into a happy child. As we wipe our tears and return home from the first day at school, we are met with silence. No voices. The good news is that this is only for a little time. Very soon, the noises will return home.
This silence is a blessing from Allah (glorified and exalted be He), as He wants us to use it productively. As that happy child grows up into an adult, we are left with more time in our hands, because we are not needed as much anymore.
So what can we do now to fill those minutes and hours in our day to continue on our path of becoming a truly productive mother?
Here are 13 ideas a seasoned mother can use her time productively when the kids are older and grown:
Get back to the books, I say! If you haven’t enrolled for a course yet, then do it now. You are never too old to study! Shaytan only likes to trick us into believing that we’re too old to learn.
So where can you start? Well, there are many online courses, diplomas and degrees in Islamic studies which you can explore. A friend recently undertook a course in Islamic finance, while raising three young boys, managing her house, and spreading awareness on what she learns successfully.
2. Spread the deen
Start with your family – that’s the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (glorified and exalted be He). Share the precious gems you learn with your husband and children. Have discussions; relate the seerah incidents during story time at night.
Encourage each other to learn more duas and follow the sunnah more by tracking your progress and rewarding yourself as a family. Share them with your parents and in laws and relatives. Email them or mention it during conversations.
3. Do something creative
Figure out what you are good at. If you are good at writing, you can write and share what you learn in your classes. If you are good at presenting, you could meet friends over a cup of tea and present what you studied. If you are good at design, you could design pictures of duas and hadiths, and share them on Facebook.
You could even start a chain email that is short, informative and authentic and send it to many people at the same time. If you are good on social media, why not try starting Islamic pages on Facebook?
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said to Ali (may Allāh be pleased with him), “By Allah, if a single person is guided by Allah through you, it will be better for you than a whole lot of red camels.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
4. Start study circles
Start study circles with children to give them insight into the Qur’an and Sunnah. Some of my friends have started teaching the tafsir of the Qur’an and seerah to their own children and friends. There are various resources available for you to start with. It would be a sadaqa-e-jaria for you.
5. Share information
Photocopy dua books or pamphlets (providing information about Ramadan, Dhul, Hijjah etc). You can distribute them amongst your friends and family, pass it around at the masjid, or just leave them at Islamic centres. Don’t be surprised to see them disappear fast! Take them with you to weekend parties and give it to your friends as a gift of appreciation for the hostess of a Productive Party.
6. Transcribe and translate
Transcribe lectures and share them. A sister recently turned Al-usool-uth-Thalaatha, a renowned book on the three questions of the grave, into a very child friendly book without losing its essence. It is currently being used for teaching children aged 6-15, both in Islamic Schools and at home.
7. Work in the way of Allah (glorified and exalted be He)
We all want to and should work for Allah (glorified and exalted be He) to the best of our ability and circumstances. No deed is small. Figure out your aptitude and start small. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The deed liked most by Allah is one to which the doer adheres constantly even if it is small.” [Sahih Muslim]
Teach in the Islamic Weekend Schools. If you can’t teach, then volunteer for administrative work. A friend drove 30 minutes to volunteer. Another ran errands for the school, getting craft materials and snacks for lunch as she did her weekly grocery shopping.
9. Help maintain the masjid
Cleaning, changing bulbs, replacing tissue boxes. Vacuum the floor if dirty. I often saw a sister, vacuuming the carpet or watering the bushes around the masjid with her daughter.
10. Organise halaqas
Take the responsibility of organising halaqas. There are plenty of things you can do, from organising the community invitee list to choosing the topic to scheduling the date and speaker and posting pamphlets.
11. Help the needy
Gather and deliver food or supplies to the local orphanage (even if it’s not a Muslim one) or the needy people of the community.
12. Volunteer to sit with a disabled or chronically ill sister
Whether in the hospital or home, it will be a blessing for both of you to give her company. You could even take her kids out for a fun trip with your family
13. Help out a new mother
See that new mother? She needs your help, especially if her family isn’t around to help her. Volunteer to babysit her child if she or her baby is sick. Share tips that worked for you. She will bless you with all her heart.
14. Help out your husband
Some of us have qualifications that we can use to help out our husbands or other family members. A sister, who had a nursing degree, started assisting her husband in his clinic. If your husband runs a business, you can help keep an eye on his accounts.
There are many ways in which we can use this time productively. What we need is simply the will to do so. And once we have that, In sha Allah everything else will fall in place.
Normally, as productive mothers, we are full of energy and excitement. However, life often throws surprises at us and we get off track. Getting back into routine can seem tough. However, it is a MUST to go back to being a productive mother.
In sha Allah in our next post, we will see how we can minimise these chances of getting thrown off course, and how to quickly jump back on the track of being a Productive Mother!
Do you have any motivational tips you’d like to share with other mothers to help them become a productive mother? Leave them in the comments below.