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Motherhood: The Job That Never Pays

by Farida Haji

Once you hop on this train, there is no looking back. This isn’t a transactional job. It is not even a full-time job. It is way more than that. It is a role that pushes you forward. From strength to strength. Regardless of your situation or circumstances. Whether you have a team (partner, other support systems, et al) or you are a lone ranger. 

On one hand, where the parent, a mother is celebrated during May, we seldom realize that this title comes with immense self-sacrifices. They encompass our identity, being, and absolute change in our existence. 

Not to forget the fathers, caregivers, and grandparents who have to take over willingly or unwillingly due to unique circumstances and fill the shoes of a mother. 

Motherhood is not about a female taking care of her offspring or just procreating to increase the population. It is also all those loving grandparents, looking out selflessly for their children’s children.

A beautiful Malay Muslim family posing for the camera

In health and sickness, in happiness and sadness, in life and even in death, parenting is the least appreciated designation. 

A mother’s role according to a study is equivalent to 2.5 full-time jobs. Not to mention the array and complexities of the multiple roles involved. Cook, nurse, helper, cleaner, driver, trainer, counselor, mediator, moderator, referee, buddy, storyteller, educator, and countless more.

Why celebrate a day in a month?

Why celebrate a month in a year?

Mother’s day, father’s day, and parent’s day should be appreciated every single day. 

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَجُلٌ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَنْ أَحَقُّ بِحُسْنِ الصُّحْبَةِ قَالَ ‏ “‏ أُمُّكَ ثُمَّ أُمُّكَ ثُمَّ أُمُّكَ ثُمَّ أَبُوكَ ثُمَّ أَدْنَاكَ أَدْنَاكَ ‏“‏ ‏.‏

Abu Huraira reported that a person said:
Allah’s Messenger, who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness).

[Sahih Muslim 2548b]

A Muslim mother carrying her little baby in her arms

Brene Brown writes in her book, Dare to Lead, “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them. Today, I will choose courage over comfort.”

Mothers choose courage over comfort every living day. They choose to pass on the values in action rather than talking about them. They make a conscious choice of creating a better person than themselves through their lifelong commitment to another human being. The child they care for and love selflessly.

To all the mothers, fathers, parents, and grandparents, we celebrate with you everyday.