Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
If a woman is married while she was studying in a professional college and by the blessings of Allah she becomes a mother, what is she supposed to do regarding her education? Her family is pressuring her to go back to college. However, her husband wants her to be a housemaker and just relax at home and take care of the household, baby and him. She feels bad when people ask her about her degree; she has to tell them that because of marriage and the new baby she had to discontinue school. She doesn’t even have a bachelors degree yet. How does she deal with uncertainties about the future and the importance of a Muslim woman supporting herself in case of divorce, death, or husband’s unemployment.
In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
I pray that you and your family are doing well.
A nice reminder to your family is in order here. It’s fine for them to offer advice; however, it’s another thing entirely for them to pressure you. You have a baby to care of, a husband to look after, and a home to run. This, in itself, is a full-time job and then some. Your family needs to learn to accept the fact that you are a wife and mother. You have entered a different phase of your life. Consequently, they need to be informed, in a nice way, that pressuring you to go back to school is simply not what you need right now. What you do need is for them to be supportive of where you are, right now.
Second, you need to put a stop to these corrosive thoughts which are damaging your self-esteem.. The worth of a human being is not in her college degree. I realize that finishing school would give you a sense of achievement. However, you need to focus on what you have already accomplished. Alhamdulillah, you are a mother, which is one of the highest stations a woman can achieve in this world and the next. You are a wife. Your husband sounds like a dependable, responsible man. These are all things to be grateful for. So please spend more time focusing on what you have, not what you lack.
Third, going back to school has many benefits. If you would like to pursue your goal of school in the future, then by all means, start planning for it. If you think you’d like to go back to school now, that’s fine as well. However, you need to include your husband in your decision. He is entitled to ask you to stay home while the baby is still a baby. However, it is also prudent to complete your education so that you have the skills to take care of your family. I am firm believer that a woman should be equipped to provide for herself and her children. I would suggest drawing up a plan to see how you can meet these goals. For example, you and your husband might decide that you will go back to school once your baby is weaned. Or you might decide to wait until your child is ready for preschool. Again, this decision has to be made by both you and your husband, taking into account the baby’s best interests. It is possible to finish school, even while your children are young, provided that you have a good support system.
Don’t forget to pray Salat al-Istikhara, no matter what you decide.
May Allah Ta’ala guide you to what is best.