Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thoughts on Marriage and Parenting


Couple of days ago, I watched a talk show by Aiman Azlan (ft. Maria Elena) sharing their experience about what they didn't know about marriage (before the wedding, of course) and wished to know sooner.  Anyway, the discussion was interactively beneficial, Aiman Azlan as always, moderated the topic articulately and Nadrah was a cute distraction :)  

Both Aiman and Maria shared their part in adapting to marriage life and not so long after, parenthood itself.  To brothers and sisters out there who are preparing to get married or wondering on what to equip yourself with, you really should watch this video.  And yes, to adik-adik who are always thinking on the beautiful, colourful cotton-candy life after marriage, you should too.

Some takeaway points shared by Aiman and Maria Elena (she's my senior in UTP, but we've never met since the gap is so long):
1. Lower down your expectations - the same person you thought you've figured out may turn to be a whole lot different. The first year is where you adapt everything, all in.
2. Sharing responsibilities
3. On parenting, the same thing that works for other children may not work for your child.
4. Chill , as the time goes by, you will learn the necessary skills needed to manage your household and life.

I recalled Aiman and Maria stating that moving on to parenthood is like being hit by a tsunami...wooosh. You just don't have time to take a seat back and relax, but both of you need to brave through the new waves, new challenges set every time.  Rest assured, the beautiful part is real, but you need to work it out, put some effort, give in and then you will find what you've been searching for.

What's In?

I really should focus on my literature review and paperwork reading on legal compliance of industrial effluent system throughout this holiday, but now I'm writing this article..huhu.  So dear friends, for the sake of contentment of my heart and my mind, I shall finish this write up today  and revert to my goal of this week. Ok, I'm being ambitious as always ..tehee

In writing this post, I'm trying my best to find the balancing point between reality and lovey-dovey fairy-tale that you've watched everyday in the television, or read in your countless novels of Cinta Si *****. In another word, please wake up from your plain imagination and get ready with real life situation.

Life is all about finding balance, right?

Bapak Cahyadi Takariawan stated in his book "Di Jalan Dakwah Aku Menikah" that the aim of marriage is to meet the interest of many parties (mempertemukan kepentingan-kepentingan).  Moving towards that direction, you are merging two families of different social, cultural and  physical background.  Simply saying, you are letting another new person into your life, creating a lifelong bond with the verses of 'akad' and embracing the nature (fitrah) of companionship.  That is how marriage functions. 

It took me quite some time to write this up as I'd personally rather talk (or write) about politics, student movement,women empowerment, feminism or saving Gotham.  Well, just bare with me for this one time, then we'll resume our discussion on the current political state of this country or what book I'm reading right now :)

The Importance of Continuously Seeking Knowledge 

I still remember Ustazah Isfadiah's advice during our meet-up couple of years ago about equipping ourselves with enough 'ilm in marriage and parenting.  It is actually very OK if you want to join parenting seminars/classes now when you're still single. When else?  Ustazah herself attended those classes in her university years.  

So dear friends, please spend some time and stipend to learn as much as you could, right now.  Find your passion in seeking knowledge, because now, the time is in your hand, you are the only person making key decisions of yourself.  I'm not specifically pointing on parenting knowledge, but all knowledge that you can grasp.  

Sayidatina 'Aisyah r.a is a woman and she is a scholar of the Ummah. Her efforts in narrating hadith of Rasulullah s.a.w made it possible for us to learn it now.  She even teached numerous sahabah after the death of Rasulullah s.a.w and spend the rest of her lifetime intellectually contributing for the Ummah.  That is our real-life heroine!

Hello to the Other Side

Frankly saying, I'm a person who prefers not to relate 'baitul muslim' as a lovey-dovey all perfect , 'arnab gemok berlarian di padang rumput indah dibuai bayu' thingy. It is undeniably beautiful and the endless invitation of walimah invitations coming to our social media account making us think about it every once in a while 😅 .

Ready to make the move?

Take a deep breath and try to perceive it maturely, as an adult.  Moving up the stairs of Maratib Amal means that you're ready to take up additional responsibilities and thriving through new obstacles in order to obtain sakinah, mawaddah and rahmah.  I can't help it but to think,

What type of family am I going to lead?

What type of parents am I going to make?

and the trail of endless questions goes on. That's the downside of choleric-melancholic, we have the tendency to overthink..haha.  Sometimes, it kinda give me the shivers in acknowledging the responsibilities that'll come with it.  The idea of trusting someone and holding onto a lifelong commitment, we just can prepare and hope that Allah leads all our decisions.  This is where 'I' turns to 'we'.

The Life-Changing Move

By saying 'I do', it means that I'm willing to give long-term commitment, to stay by his side in good times or bad times, rain or shine.  

To accept my partner and complement each other in our goal of achieving something better for the sake of Ummah.  

To tone down my ego and let him lead, because that responsibility will now belong to somebody else.  

To get myself prepared, financially, physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially moving towards that goal.

To not be deeply immersed with individualistic values, to continue serving the Ummah whichever way possible.  To give more and try our best to change the society we're living in.

To continue improving myself everyday (islah) and to have good faith with Allah, be resolute and always try to to find 'ibrah' from His creations.

The Stairs of Amal (Maratib Amal)

Most probably a couple of years from now I'm going to re-read this post and laugh.  But well, that's my thoughts on marriage right now.  The ideas are there, but a bit scattered like an incomplete jigsaw puzzle.  It seems that the parenting part needs to wait for another post..:D

So dear friends, I hope this short article doesn't intimidate you, but at least to give some drive or a new perspective on this topic.  Looking on our current situation, life after graduation seems to be very challenging and uncertain, the least we can do is to start planning and try to have a good mindset.  The road is still far ahead and we shall need enough fuel (ibadah) and vehicle (tarbiyah/'ilm) to keep moving.

As an optimist Muslim we pray for the best outcome, InsyaAllah. In the meantime, what we can do is to get ourselves prepared and give the best to all that we have  (our parents, family, friends, studies,  organization, mad'u).  This post is actually a humble reminder for myself  :)

Dear sisters, never stop praying for the best! We plan and He plans and verily, He is the Best Planner.

Jessica Pearson, Princess General Leia Organa or Katniss Everdeen?

We have Khadijah, 'Aisyah and Khawlah :)

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