Sharing with a stranger

Today I took my daughter swimming. It involved a lot of planning beforehand and a lot of waiting when we got there. When I searched on the internet I saw that the beginning time was 13:00pm. Knowing that it may become busy I set out early. To my dismay it was very packed and the first session had already reached capacity. I knew that I had two choices. I could come home or wait (with a three year old.) An attendant came out to the lobby and informed us that we had clear the fire exits. A lot of the women and children went into another room and my daughter and I remained in the main lobby-ensuring we were clear of the exit. I knew I wanted to come home but kept remembering how excited Safiya was and silently prayed that we would get in.

After fifteen minutes we were allowed to purchase our tickets. However, the area had become packed again and I was becoming overwhelmed. The heat was getting to me. Alhumdulillah Safiya was calm and stayed with me. The other children were beginning to whine and I could see mothers were becoming restless. I patiently waited. I could hear conversations around me and two women were talking about going to a different pool. At this point I joined into their conversation and told them that the pool was not as warm as the one we were at. This was a big thing for me (really it was.) Over the years I have noticed that I hold back and it has effected me negatively. Although this was something small and the ladies would not know any different it made a huge difference to me.

A few minutes later once I had bought our tickets and locker tag, my daughter and I sat down. A lady came over and we began conversing. Alhumdulillah (praise be to Allah.) The conversation gradually veered towards motherhood and we discovered we had many things in common.I was surprised at her openness and honesty about her post-natal depression and found myself imparting my own experiences. As a generic statement I feel that though times have changed societies have advanced, cultures have diversified there are things that still go unnoticed and are not talked about. When I was speaking to this mum I told her how I felt guilt after my first daughter to complain as I felt it would somehow make me a bad mother. I felt selfish (and sometimes still do) if I want to do something for myself. Speaking and sharing this with someone else made it a little bit lighter. It illustrated also that every struggle is a struggle and we need to have more value for ourselves.

Earlier on in the day when I prayed salaatul-Duha (a voluntary prayer), I asked Allah “to make things easy for me and provide for me.” I was unaware that Allah would aptly answer my prayer in the form of a stranger.

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