November 8, 2011

To work or not to work...

Really, there's no question. :-) A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. UofA has found herself in a weird position: having to work again! Gasp! OK before any of you "get off your lazy butt" kinda people chime in you should know being a homemaker is a FULL TIME JOB. There was many a day I would have (almost) switched places and gone to work. There you do your time, clock out, khalas.

A mama never rests. Cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry, ok yeah fair enough. Oh wait schedule and ferry to doctor appointments, Islamic school/religious education, trips to the park or for a walk. Don't forget you need to get more supplies (shopping again!) and referee in the all-too-frequent spats which occur with alarming frequency.

This is just an easy day, ya'll. :-) And my day lasted from fajr to well past isha. Yes, get off my lazy behind indeed!!! lol

Now however, I must seek employment to provide for myself and little Feisty One. :-) Most places are not very muhajabat-friendly and I cannot say I blame them. Given the choice between me (nice person, competent, intelligent) and someone who fits in with society in general... well businesses are there to make money right? :-) So I tried my Islamic school where I used to work as a preschool teacher but alhamdulillah 2 months into the year they of course have their positions filled. :-)

I realllly wanted my old job back as admin at my masjid. Yes it was a paying positiong but my opportunity to do good for my community was immense. I loved it! Alhamdulillah the previous admin had just left which boded well for me.

Except... a member of our Shura board felt our community didn't really need an admin. Oh woe is me! So of course insha'Allah it might change but I am not banking on something to happen that might not. So I have found a position babysitting.

My problem with it however is that the pay is ultra-low: $4 an hour. :-( I want to help out the sister and her family but as I only work about 3-4 hours a day, well you can do the math. Plus it's in the middle of the day so it's almost impossible to do anything else. My whole day taken up for $12. :-)

Now I have one other issue which is making me have doubts. They are masha'allah very neat and their home sparsely furnished. In the room we mostly stay in Aaminah plays with 2 blue bean bag chairs. Of course I bring some toys for her. Anyway when we arrived yesterday the sister tells Aaminah very nicely, "Your job today is to be very neat and not make a mess".

I'm thinking, WTHeck, we take all of our toys home and other than that, there is only 2 bean bag chairs and 2 little stuffed bears. The sister goes on to tell me her husband is VERY particular about their home and doesn't like it messed up.

I was offended, sisters. I am very careful when in someone else's home. I always insist Aaminah behave and clean up after herself and I assist her. I knew we never left a mess here! Then I noticed the bean bag chairs are always in the EXACT same position, pushed down in the middle, pushed down a bit on the top, so the rest is fluffed out fully. The little bears are on opposite sides of the masjid clock and always at the same angle.

Oooooh now I see. Subhanallah. So I always put things back in their place but I never did those things. And sisters, do not judge me harshly, I will not. I will not put a chair back, and push it down, and plump the sides and tilt a stuffed bear at an exact angle. I am doing them a service and I do not want to feel like my daughter is viewed as a messy girl simply because they have very exacting standards.

I really don't know what to do now. It isn't fair to Aaminah, yesterday I was so worried about her bothering these things. I don't want them to feel we are messing up their things but I don't want my daughter to feel stressed nor myself.

Subhanallah. Also there is the issue of transportation. My van is still in MA and I was borrowing my son's car. So I am currently without transportation. :-( The sister said she would pick me up and bring me as it's only 5 minutes to her house, jazaki Allahu khair.

Then yesterday she calls and says her husband needs to get me. I said, "Sister, I am not comfortable". She seemed surprised and a bit offended so, realizing if I were to every take a taxi, I would be in a car with a man, I agreed but unhappily and she said she would be the one to do it afterwards. She did bring me home yesterday.

Now she just called and said the baby wasn't being happy and her husband will come again!!! Subhanallah. I am very unhappy. I made my position known yesterday. I felt they thought I was being a bit ridiculous and now, because I agreed yesterday, I didn't know how to say no today. I am very unhappy right now and Allah forgive me if I am speaking out of turn. I think I will have to make some changes but, as small as my payment, I need that money and I don't really know what to do otherwise.

Please make du'a for me and ask Allah swt to make my way clear and help me to trust in His provisions, amin.


Stacey said...

Salam UmmA
I think if you continue to babysit you could risk leaving the friendship and on pretty bad and uncomfortable terms. If you were a preschool teacher in the Islamic school before why don't you apply to be a substitute teacher the Islamic school or any school and then apply for a full time teaching job for the following year. The Islamic school here needs moer Muslim teachers, but lol I'm thinking you wouldn't want to come to Canada away from family :P.

Bonnie said...

Salam alikum Sis

I remember from your video you have an absolutely amazing wardrobe. Have you considered selling those Abayas etc that you no longer wear?

lots of love and duas for you.


Rene´s Bare Essentials said...

Salaam Alaikum,

I can understand your frustrations about keeping the house tidy and clean and the unwanted stress of making sure A doesnt make a mess. Its a bit unrealistic for the family to expect A to never make a mess seeing as she is a child and not an adult. Do you think there is something deeper going on then just the cushions being out of place?
As for the sister who is paying you $4/hr, is she struggling financially herself? I only ask because that is way below the minimum wage, especially for a babysitter. Have you looked into being a nanny? They are paid quite well! I was a nanny for a few years and at first I thought I would never get hired because I wear hijab/abayah, but alhamdulillah I found a great family (catholic) who accepted me for the way I am. No offense to your friend or the muslims in your area, but I have found that muslims pay the least when it comes to watching their kids.
InshaAllah you will find a job in a halal environment that allows you to live comfortably.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that 4.00 is worth it.
You do realize that a lot of moms who have to work also do all the work you mentionned doing as a stay at home mom.
I have raised my 2 kids and still managed to work.

Umm Aaminah said...

Salaam ya'll and thank you for all your kind comments!

Stacey, I talked to the principal and i'A I will go out and put in my application for substitute. :-)

Bonnie, all of my clothes are in MA. :-( lol I just have about 3 abayaat here. But good idea!

Rene, you are right about Muslims paying the least. What's up with that??? lol

Anon, I am well aware many women do all that work. :-) I used to work full-time, have 2 children, do all the housework, AND went to college full-time. Plus was in end stage renal disease.I was exhausted and I am NOT interested in doing all of that again.

I prefer to stay at home and take care of those things now. :-) But I will do what I am able to support Aaminah and myself, insha'Allah!

Um Zakarya said...

Assalamu Aleykum dear sister,

I think Stacey, Bonnie and Rene have given you perfect advices.MashALLAH I'm always amazaed when I realise how many sweet sisters outt here are ready to help.
I think the best solution for you would be to be what they call in UK a "registered" chilcare, or simply a nanny from your own home.Parents would bring you their kids and you'd look after them in the comfort of your home sweet home.Many women do that here in France as well, so you can stay at home, Aaminah would be in her own environment and you'd get a stable income.

May ALLAH SWT make it easy for you.Ameen!

Lot of love

Anonymous said...


I pay my sitter 10/hr and I am poor. 4/hr is ridiculous. Her husband may be mean, so she trys to keep him happy - may be why we picks you up all the time too. Someone in that house is a control freak.

I also encourage you to look into being a nanny or possibly a live-in caregiver for someone disabled or elderly. There may be some flexibility there as to room and board and having Aminah. Check out the local job services and if the state helps subsidize daycare should you go to work and not be able have a job with her in tow. You need to be able to support yourself or you will put yourself in a vulnerable position of NEEDING someone to take care of you and may end up marrying someone who isnt a good fit.

I am in the process of leaving an unhealthy relationship, have gone back to work full-time (very difficult) and plan on remaining man-free for at least 2 years so I can properly heal before looking to re-marry.I will live marginally with my two kids but that is ok. I am doing it. You need to be taking care of you and your child to the best of your abilities is important. You should also move forward as though it is just you two, and you are the ONLY one who will provide her what she needs. I know you have support from you family but you know what I mean.

If work is too much with your health, look into disability - although it doesn't pay much. And lastly, look into therapy which may help you feel like you can get through this period of your life

Banana Anne said...

The substitute teaching job sounds like a great option insha'Allah. Right now, $4 an hour just can't be cutting it. I usually get paid $8 an hour per child, sometimes $10 if the parents are feeling very generous (or just desperate for someone, lol), and I don't even have a family to provide for.

I don't know if you have any in your area of Tennessee, but what about Chick-fil-a? They're my absolute favorite fast food restaurant, and I go there all the time when I'm visiting the South (there's none nearby in MA, unfortunately). They're owned by devout Christians, the employees are treated well, and they're all closed on Sundays. Since they're owned by Christians, and their meat is probably from sources in the South where people are generally more religious, I am personally okay with eating their chicken. Maybe, insha'Allah, that would be a place to look into.

I hope you find a good paying job very, very soon insha'Allah!

Kate said...

I used to work as a nanny in other peoples homes and know only too well how exacting and unrealistic other people expectations can be.

And I have to echo what everyone else has already said about the job not being worth the hassle. It's stress neither you or your little one needs
I really hope you find some sort of soloution insha'allah.

DD said...

I get $26 an hr babysitting sometimes $30, so what is up with that $4 an hr?? That sounds so wrong! Something's wrong here! That's like something you'd pay for cheap Asian labour. What the heckers?????
I hope inshaAllah you get that job as a sub teacher inshaAllah :)
If not, have you considered aupairing or family day care? They might be worth looking into. What are your qualifications even?
And on your first point, yeah, i'd rather work than be a stay-at-homer. Being a homemaker is harder than work i reckon ;)

Umm Aaminah said...

Sorry ya'll gotta head straight to DD's comment. You get WHAT an hour?? Ummmm wow, you better stick fast with that. lol Niiiiice.

Thanks for all the advice; insha'allah something will work out soon. I know I am getting paid less than half what I should. Alhamdulillah. I am grateful for it right now but really need to find something that actually pays at least minimum wage. Hey a girl can dream can't she? LOL

Anonymous said...

sister ummaaminah,
please edit certain words if your helping sister may feel offended and may think wrong about you.
if you think, that would really happens,better not to post my comment.i dont want your friend think wrong about you and you will be in hot water.
again, my dua's sister.

Anonymous said...

salaamu alaikum

wow $4 is tooo low!

Actually my son goes to a preschool that a lady set up inside her home, she is accredited by the state, its her and her sister that run it, there are like 10 kids, 1 half of her house is set up as a daycare./school...have you considered that??? It might be a good idea!

May Allah swt help you sister, ameen!

Karima said...

You really deserve better than $4 per hour, I hope things turn out well for you, Karima.