I Regret Leaving My Well-Paid Job to Raise My Small Children. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I regret leaving my well-paid job to stay home to raise my small children, and I am angry at my husband for encouraging my decision. I don’t like depending on him to provide for me. I don’t always agree with his decisions and as he brings the money in, he gets to decide. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you a solution to this predicament, and place contentment within your heart.

Decision-making

I strongly encourage both you and your husband to enroll in Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life

A successful Islamic marriage is a partnership based on sincere concern for each other, for the sake of Allah Most High. Leaving all decision-making to your husband is causing you grief and resentment. It’s time to reassess that approach, and replace it with a more Prophetic strategy of mutual consultation. Even though you are not bringing in money to your household, you are bringing about tremendous good by raising your children.

Support

Dear sister, you have the hardest job in the world. You get no sick leave and no end of year bonus. You are on call 24/7, seven days a week, for your small children. You also juggle your roles as a wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, friend – the list goes on.

Who do you have to call on for support? Are you able to schedule regular time away from your children, so that you get a chance to rejuvenate? Even if it’s one morning or afternoon a week, please arrange for your parents, in-laws, or husband to look after your children. Schedule a massage, read a book, have coffee with friends, go for a walk – whatever it is that brings you joy. Nourishing your soul is also important. Strive to schedule in daily spiritual refreshers such as listening to or reciting some Qur’an, making dhikr, and so on.

Contentment

On the one hand, many single mums who are forced to work would envy you. But each of us has our tests, and this is yours.

Is it possible for you to earn a small income working part-time? Would you consider working from home? It won’t be the same as your previous, highly-paid occupation, but perhaps this will provide you with some relief.

Please perform the Prayer of Need as much as you need to, and ask Allah for contentment, and a way out of your difficulty.

Istikhara

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up to seven times in regards to returning to work. If Allah makes it easy for you to return to work, then that is an answer for you. However, if Allah blocks off your return to work, then that is an answer for you. The test is in submitting to whatever Allah wills for you.

Take responsibility

Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “A strong believer is better and is more loved to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your” if” opens the (gate) for the Satan.” [Sahih Muslim]

Shifting the blame to external factors will only increase your frustration. Instead, take ownership of your decision to leave your job. Acknowledge the role that others played, especially your husband, and accept that you are now struggling with your decision. Trust that everything happens for a reason. Work on moving forward instead of ruminating on the past. Don’t give Satan the opportunity to create a rift within your marriage.

Solutions

1) Learn how to effectively communicate your concerns with your husband. If you struggle to do this on your own, then see a therapist, life coach, or counsellor to help you learn better communication skills. It is important that you feel validated, and not only when you bring in an income.
2) Practise asking yourself, “What is my contribution to this situation? How am I making this better or worse for myself?”
3) Make daily shukr for the blessings that you do have.
4) Look into part-time work from home options.
5) Reach out for support from loved ones.

Please refer to the following links:

What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.