Blessing or Burden

lens shift May 24, 2022

During my healing workshop, something really powerful came up for the participants a couple of weeks ago.


In recalling their childhoods, many of them realized that as children, they often felt alone in their worries. We all wondered together why its true that so many kids don't tell their parents that they're struggling with something or that something bad has happened or even something simple like worrying and hoping that we are not the cause of financial burden to our parents.


We came up with different answers but the one that spoke to me the most was that many kids felt/feel that they are a burden to their parents. This is because of many different reasons but one that came to my mind was how whenever I'm out with my kids, people will stop and look at me and my four young kids and entirely ignoring the actual children, speak to me and say something like, "Wow they're all yours? What a handful!"


Or when my husband is out, he gets stopped even more often and hears things like, "Wow you've got your hands full!" "Busy dad!" "God help you!" And many will just give a sympathetic smile.


Now, not to blame any of these people. They mean well. But it did make me wonder from the kids' perspective how often they get to hear this sort of indirect narrative that their parents are some kind of victims. They have no clue what the other grown-ups really mean.. they just hear "tsk tsk" and probably make a simple conclusion: we are a burden for our parents. Imagine if you got married and every time you're out with your spouse, people visibly give your spouse symapthetic looks... or ignore you and say to her/him, "Poor you! Are you ok?" How would that make you feel about yourself?


My eldest son is just the most sensitive soul and he once said to me, "Mama, I'm sorry its so hard for you to raise us all." That day I realized what it must feel like to him and I also examined my own attitude- was I complaining too much in front of him? Do I make sure to say how joyful parenthood is? How fortunate I feel to have my kids? What does he hear most often?


I try not to dwell on the past so much but since then I vowed to myself that I would say aloud all the time how blessed I am to have my children alhamdulilah. That I would tell them and others that I love motherhood and its a joy and honor to be their mother. And its not like its not true... I'm sure all of you feel this way and sometimes that message gets lost in our daily lives and I hope you'll take every opportunity you can to get down on bended knee, look your beautiful children in their eyes and say, "I'm so blessed you are my son/daughter. It's truly an honor to be raising you."


Do you have any other ideas for sharing with your kids how fortunate you feel to be their parent?


P.S. Some people especially refrain from saying anything nice about their kids due to nazr (evil eye), the solution for that is to recite protection duas... not necessarily to never speak kindly about our children:) And if you're still opposed to it then maybe we can just be conscious to not complain or say negative things about them and accept any compliment about them graciously:)