May 07, 2022 4 min read
A person came to Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and asked, "Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?" He (ﷺ) said, "Your mother". He again asked, ''Who next?" "Your mother", the Prophet (ﷺ) replied again. He asked, "Who next?" He (the Prophet (ﷺ)) said again, "Your mother." He again asked, "Then who?" Thereupon he (ﷺ) said," Then your father."
This Mother’s Day, we want to take a moment to recognize the incredible mothers all around the world who’s hard work and efforts go unnoticed more often than not.
These women are trailblazers who are doing big things to make a positive impact in the world — but what you don’t always see is the mom guilt that they experience on a regular basis, as they fulfill their work duties and pursue their passions.
Our team at Verona recently had the opportunity to speak with attorney and comedian Yasmin Elhady about her career journey, and how she consciously overcame mom guilt while experiencing growth.
“The minute I had a baby, it felt like I wasn’t enough,” Yasmin shared.
“Like, who thought I was responsible enough to hold this baby?”
From the very beginning, Yasmin felt that she had postpartum anxiety.
“I had a meltdown about not being able to put a carseat together.”
After giving birth, she was home for 13 weeks, feeling like it was barely enough time.
“This country talks about being pro-life and advocates talking about protecting babies in the womb. But are we thinking about what happens to that child when they enter the world? Being pro-life means that you’re being pro-women. I didn’t feel like this country was doing justice to that.”
Mom guilt is multifaceted and has many layers. Yasmin continued to share that she felt like she was not fulfilling all the responsibilities that came with being a mother.
“I felt like I was making the wrong decision. I felt like I was choosing work over my kid. What helped me get through that, even now, is focusing on my children seeing strong women in their life who intend good for the world.”
While mothers modeling behavior for their children can increase pressure and maybe even the intensity of mom guilt that a mother may already be experiencing — Yasmin says it is absolutely vital for a child’s development, growth, and in turn — combatting mom guilt in the most subtle of ways.
“Your children will do as you say, sometimes, but they will always do as you do. We all become pieces of our parents' actions. If my heart is in the right place, my kid is going to see that and be inspired by that. I need to be productive and also a loving person.”
Yasmin says that she will sometimes think about how she might never read enough books to her kids or make the best cupcakes for their birthday. She wonders if she is calling them too much, being too harsh on them, or perhaps not loving them in the way they want to be loved.
But all these questions are a reminder of what it might take us a lifetime to fully grasp, accept, and understand — your children don’t belong to you, they belong to God.
“They’re coming through you but not to you,” she says.
“Another lesson I’ve learned through all of this is questioning, is — how do I love this child in the way they want to be loved, and feel full? We are all trying to remind ourselves of our wholeness. God created us Whole. We need to remind our kids of their wholeness, because they need to feel full.”
Society puts a lot of strain on women to be the primary caregivers for their children.
“Some of us don’t have those talents, we have other talents, like myself. Even if a woman travels for work, everyone immediately starts to make comments like, ‘Oh, how does she do it?’”
Our faith teaches us that we are not expected to do it all on our own. We are encouraged to set boundaries and ask for help when needed.
“I believe that Islam sees a women’s primary role as the caregiver for her children, but this doesn’t mean that Islam expects her to do everything. Mothers are not meant to be the only ones cooking, cleaning, taking the kids to the library, and also taking them to their SAT classes.”
We are constantly inspired by mothers like Yasmin who are able to progress in their work while trying their best to fulfill the responsibilities they owe their children.
Experiencing mom guilt is complex, and talking about it takes vulnerability.
Happy Mothers Day to all the women out there who are doing all that they can to excel in their work and as mothers.
We see you, we appreciate you, and we are moved by you.
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