Dear Muslim mother, you are not alone

A letter to a sleep-deprived Muslim mum

Dear Muslim mother, you are not alone

Dear Muslim mother,

The last few weeks have been the hardest weeks that I’ve had for a while. Why? You may ask. Yes, there were the usual issues, the toddler tantrums, the teething troubles, the terribly overtired children, the sibling squabbles. But those issues I can – at least some of the time – deal with. Yet there was one thing that I really could not deal with, and that was the sleep deprivation. The prolonged sleep deprivation.

In those few weeks, I had a permanent cloud hovering over my head. I couldn’t think straight. I suffered from bad headaches and sometimes even felt like I had a personality disorder due to my intense mood swings. On the rare occasion that I felt rested, my level of patience and happiness increased tenfold and motherhood suddenly became enjoyable again. Yet by the end of the 3-hourly-long-wake-up-at-2am-and-cry sessions, I became a different person. Angry. Anxious. Depressed. At times, I really felt like I was losing my sanity.

Yet I’m not writing to you to gain sympathy or to complain. Allah knows how much complaining I’ve done over the past few weeks (may He forgive me).

Rather, I’m writing to you to tell you that as a sleep-deprived, struggling Muslim mother, you are not alone.

When you feel guilty about missing fajr prayer because you finally fell asleep at 5am and woke up when the sun was rising.

When you feel relief at having completed ‘ishaa prayer just so that you can sit down and rest your aching body for a few minutes (or even an hour, if you’re lucky).

When you feel angry at your husband for just asking if there is anything he can have for dinner.

When you feel like a terrible mother for losing it with your children, over and over again.

When you feel like just running away from it all (just so that you can sleep).

When you feel like your imaan has all but disappeared.

You are not alone.

And in fact, your imaan hasn’t disappeared. Neither have you forgotten the importance of your prayer or the rights of your husband and children. You are simply struggling. You are simply sleep deprived, exhausted and at the end of your tether, just like tens of thousands (and probably hundreds of thousands) of other Muslim mothers across the world. And you are far from alone.

So if you have a baby who doesn’t sleep, this letter is for you. If you have a child who doesn’t sleep, this letter is for you. And if you are a mum who suffers from insomnia, this letter is for you too.

But let me tell you one thing, just while the cloud has been lifted. There will be ease. There will be ease. There will be ease. For Allah’s promise is true: “Indeed, with hardship will be ease.”

So keep going. Keep struggling. Keep striving. Because regardless of what you think of yourself, the reality is that you are an amazing Muslim mother.

With love and support,

From a fellow Muslim mother who understands.   

© RS Khan 2017

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Comments (12)

  • Rabia Homeschooler

    Assalam o alaikum
    Thank you sister, your words made my day (night!) 🙂
    May Allah bless you with health and happiness always Aameen

    March 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm
    • RS Khan

      Wa ‘alaykum assalaam. Aameen wa iyyaaki. Alhamdulillah I’m so happy the post was of benefit to you! It’s really encouraging to get feedback alhamdulillah, so jazaakillaahu khayra for commenting 🙂

      March 9, 2017 at 9:13 pm
  • Mrs Z

    Salam
    Its like this letter was written for me. This is what im currently going through and i thought it was only me feeling this lack of sleep having an effect on my imaan. Great to know that im not alone. JzkAllah for sharing this
    May Allah make our imaan stronger and make it easy for us

    March 10, 2017 at 6:54 am
    • RS Khan

      Wa ‘alaykum assalaam. Aameen, wa iyyaaki. I’m so happy you can relate to the letter, and I hope that it brought you some comfort. It really is a test subhan’Allah, but as with all tests, it’s also a great source of reward. May Allah grant us patience aameen.

      March 10, 2017 at 9:29 pm
  • praythefajr@gmail.com

    As-Salaam Alaykum ,
    Sometimes our sins are wiped away through our kids!
    it is so nice of you to share your experience for benefit . Keep the spirit up and you are amazing cos even with all you go through as a mother you still make some time to educate us so Jazaakillahu khairan. Katheeran.
    xx

    March 11, 2017 at 3:11 am
    • RS Khan

      Wa alaykum assalaam ukhtee jazaakillaahu khayra for your kind words ? you know i have read this letter to myself so many times when I’m struggling alhamdulillah, and i wanted others to take comfort from it too. And you’re right, these tests are beneficial for us but it’s sooo hard to remember that when were in the midst of it all…

      March 11, 2017 at 6:54 am
      • praythefajr@gmail.com

        True no one is perfect…. the more you struggle and the more you regret and learn from your mistakes the stronger you become which will benefit in so many ways in becoming a better person during the difficult times in shaa’ Allah and Allah doesnt over burden us with that which we can not handle ❤

        March 14, 2017 at 2:13 am
  • Hauwa

    Jazakillahu khairan, I got the letter beacuse this has been me lately. I cried myself to sleep and woke up to this. Thanks alot.

    March 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm
    • RS Khan

      Wa iyyaaki ? I’m so happy that the letter brought you some comfort. It really really isn’t easy. May Allah reward you for your patience during this hardship and make it easy for you. Are there any other struggles you are facing that you would like me to write about?

      March 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm
  • AYEINA

    Beautifully written. At times motherhood can feel so overwhelming and at the same time can bring you so much joy. It’s the only relationship with such diverse experiences subhaanAllah. May Allah help us all through ?

    March 11, 2017 at 6:50 pm
    • RS Khan

      Yes subhan’Allah so very true, I often think that. And it is an amazing way to improve yourself, because it teaches you so many things about your ultimate strengths and weaknesses. May Allah help us to become stronger believers through it, aameen.

      March 12, 2017 at 4:49 pm
  • Shaynah_ali@hotmail.co.uk

    Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh, subhanAllaah this nearly brought a tear to my eye. It’s exactly how I feel subhanAllaah. While we as mothers feel as if we are trying our best, those awful days can really get you down depressed even. I was happy to read this post knowing I’m not alone. I’m in my late stages of pregnancy with my very active nearly 2 year old so I’m extremely exhausted. Jazakallahu khayran for sharing this post may Allaah reward you all and may we all be righteous mothers and wives ameen

    April 27, 2017 at 2:56 pm

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