Having sabr (patience) with yourself is crucial when you’re a single parent. Parenting is hard. The sense of guilt you can end up feeling for what your child is going through can be overwhelming. It is important to have sabr, but also it is important to have sabr with yourself.
How can you learn to have more sabr with yourself?
A lack of sabr stems from a lack of eemaan (faith). Ali – ‘alayhis salam – said, “Indeed sabr is from eemaan (faith). It’s position is like that of the head with respect to the rest of the body.” Then he raised his voice and said, “Verily, there is no eemaan (faith) for the one who has no sabr.” Related by al-Laalikaa’ee in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (no. 1659).
To increase sabr in our lives we need to increase our eeman. One way that works for me is by just appreciating Allah swt and everything He has given us. Gratitude and mindfulness increase spirituality and keep low moods away.
You may, like me, have noticed in your life that there were points when you wanted to give up. You couldn’t face the world around you and its criticisms. Yet, some driving force made you get up and face the world. That was Allah’s Mercy on you and a miracle in itself. Allah swt was doing what no other person could by putting the fight back in to you and that’s why you got up.
If you count them all you will see these favours add up to a lot and this is Allah’s way of showing you that you have Him; subhanallah! How can we then say we are alone?
Gratitude and mindfulness increase spirituality and keep low moods away
It’s never too late to ask for forgiveness
Not having sabr with yourself means that you beat yourself up when you do something wrong. You think that what you have done is so bad that you will never be forgiven. It’s good to feel bad and guilt over wrong actions so you repent, but not to let this transgress limits and become obsessed with your sin. Thinking it will never be forgiven is the whispering of shaytaan.
Almighty Allah said: “ ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and put your hope in Me, I will forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky, and you were to ask me for forgiveness, I will forgive you and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins nearly the size of the earth, and you were to meet Me not associating anything with Me, then I would bring you forgiveness nearly the size of (the earth).’” ( Hadeeth reported by al-Tirmidhi; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4338)
When someone goes through a time of hardship their eemaan drops – it happens to everyone. No-one’s eemaan can stay high all the time. That is when shaytaan pounces on you and whispers in your ear. He takes advantage of this time to put negative thoughts in your head. Some single mums are quite susceptible to this whispering. They go through a lot of stress doing everything alone. If they have no support from anyone especially society this can end up magnifying things.
So please remember sisters: being a single mum is a challenge, and there are going to be times when you think you cannot do it, but remember you are not alone as you ALWAYS have Allah; and remember to have sabr with yourself which insha’Allah in turn will lead to having sabr with your situation.