A MUST READ FOR HUSBANDS, FOR MOTHER IN LAWS AND MOTHERS WITH SONS WHO ARE YET TO MARRY Insha'Allah
On Raising Sons
Today I witnessed the breaking down of a family. We emptied out the entire contents of her bedroom which she shared with her "beloved" husband and her little child's room too. We cleared it, from toothbrush holders to art features, from a toddler bed right down to an extendable television cable. The couples bedroom and the child's bedroom were stripped bare, almost as if they had never lived there. We piled in all their belongings into 3 cars and took this once blushing bride and her child back to the home she left in the highest of hopes- her mothers. This time, there was no wedding ribbon to beautify a car or a family excited and happy to see her off. This time, it was cars filled to the brink, with a now divorced mother with child.
It was a sad and depressing realisation that today, a family has been shattered to pieces. A mother left to raise her child and for what? Because of a poorly brought up son.
A son, who didn't give his wife the love, respect, fidelity and trust she deserved. Why blame the parents and more specifically the mother, you may ask? It's simple really; because mothers fail to bring up their sons the way they would want their very own daughters husbands to be. This is an undeniable truth for many upon many households. The focus is on raising sons; sons that will better themselves for the mothers and fathers, sons that will go on to achieve great academic success, so that they can have a better life than their parents and also in the hope that their income will help them out one day. Then there is the focus on raising them to be great Muslims, in the hope one day they will be able to benefit from their good deeds too. Sons that do right and good by their family and friends, because well, that's what good men do. It always goes back to what the mother thinks is best for her and her son.
Do these mothers really and truly stop for a second, at some point in raising these sons, to think what impact they will go on to have on someone else's child's life? Do they ever stop to think that simultaneously, out there somewhere, there is a mother hard at work, raising a daughter who will one day become his wife? Do they ever really take a step back, take a deep breath and think "I got to do this for the love of the other mother out there", there's someone out there who will one day give her daughter to my son. I got to help make my son the best he can be, the greatest he can be, so that he can go on to help be part of a team that will make this woman the greatest she can be? I need to teach my son about team work, about unconditional love beyond just the love you feel for your blood relatives. I got to make sure my son understands that if his woman isn't happy, the chances are somewhere along the line, his children will suffer. Those children being my grandchildren! I need to make him realise that there is a world beyond just this little family as they know it, that there is a little girl out there who is treasured, loved and adored who will one day be the pinnacle of his family, just like I am the pinnacle of his family today.
Do these mothers of sons truly love their future grandchildren as they whole heartedly claim they will? Do they truly cherish the day they will welcome them into their bosoms with the warmest of embraces? I wonder if they do for If they did, they would work hard to ensure that their sons knew everything that was expected of them as a husband. This starts from a young age and not placing all hopes and expectations on someone else's delicate daughter.
Why do you wish and hope for the best for your daughters, whilst sitting back and not working on the sons who will take someone else's daughters as their wife? While we see mothers beaming from ear to ear when her very own daughter is happy, do you ever stop to wonder if your sons mother In law has the pleasure of experiencing such contentment? If you have a happy daughter in a happy home, credit and kudos to the mother out there who did her job. "It's not always the parents fault" they'll cry, but oh it is! It is, when in this asian-centric, culturally led community, the focus is ensuring you have daughter In laws who meet your expectations and daughters who go on to do your proud in their new families. Where was the tiresome effort on their part, for raising worthy sons of those daughter In laws you so desperately want? Where are the qualities in your son that make him worthy of a great wife?
By nature, women are strong, resilient and are fighters. They will keep feelings locked inside them to protect others from the real raw state of their broken hearts and emotions. They are built to carry on living, despite knock backs and backstabs and the pressures of raising a family. They are built to last! But stop right there, oh mother of that young innocent son your currently sat with at the dining table with, running through his home work with him. Don't you dare take someone else's daughter and their natures for granted and assume that so long as "my son has a good wife" that everything will be just fine. For there comes a time, that sometimes soldiers fall and they just can't continue anymore. Their hearts just cant handle the pain or the torment of a miserable marriage. They can't handle their children seeing their mother in this state. Like a mother has a sixth sense about their child, a child too also knows when their mother is hurting and suffering. They just can't verbalise it but they know and they understand. Women cant keep up the charade in front of the world forever. Even if the cracks are visible, they'll keep going for as long as they can physically, emotionally and mentally bear but remember, polyfiller eventually runs out too. Their hearts simply don't go on, even if they are beating. Nothing is forever.
What is forever is the thousands of days and hundreds of months you put in to raising a decent son. The lasting affects of this will be seen in generations to come. You won't be around to see it, but rest assured while you are dealing with your Maker, there is a whole new generation you left behind that is thriving. It is thriving because of the tiresome effort on your part to ensure you've raised a brilliant boy who in turn, will be aware of his responsibilities and role as a husband and father, who then has a happy wife and finally, beautifully content children. And the cycle continues.
That's not to say women are not the cause of marital strife and don't accelerate in the fast lane to divorce, for sure there are many out there. But I'm not concerned with the "many" but I sure am concerned for those who try and try and try to hold their broken pieces together for as long as they physically can.
So while you are sat there, beaming with pride because your son got excellent marks in his recent report or has just landed a job with a reputable company, just remember, there is another mother out there too. A mother who is working her fingers to the bone, raising a daughter for your son. Do not be the cause of another mothers pain because you were too busy ensuring your sons success in everything else but the treatment of his wife. So what, your son goes to Islamic school and appears outwardly pious? Do not rely on religion and your sons interest and devotion to his religion to do the job for you. Religion only takes you so far in knowing your role and responsibility as a human being, husband and father, the real work starts behind those closed doors.
There's another woman out there. She's up all night nursing her baby girl. She's breaking her back all day to make sure her baby sees the next. Don't be part of the reason for her heartbreak 30 years down the line when she sees her daughter come home, broken.
Here's to the mothers who have raised the best sons to make the best partners and fathers. You might say there's more to life than this, but really, there isn't.