This blog post is adapted from a LIVE I did on instagram with Tayyaba Syed, author of The Blessed Bananas. Tayyaba is a mom of 3, an author, and a student. She lives in Chicago with her family. You can find her on instagram here.
Does having kids stop you from reaching your goals?
Tayyaba and I spoke about the topic of setting small goals specifically for women, homemakers, and mothers. Not surprisingly, we had both noticed a pattern in our community of feeling like we are not doing enough:
- I am not good enough to accomplish my goals
- Motherhood has me stuck in a rut that I just can’t get out
- I don’t get enough accomplished in a day, etc.
We all have this mindset that we have not reached our end goal. We often feel like we are not accomplishing anything at all on a daily basis.
The truth about achieving your goals after kids…
So, does having kids stop you from achieving the goals you set for yourself?
Not according to Tayyaba.
Most of her accomplishments came after motherhood and it was never the children keeping her from her goals and achievements. She always made an effort to make her kids part of the process, and she encouraged us to do the same, too.
Why does it feel like I’m not getting anything done?
We all come from years and years of being educated. Constant assignments and projects and test and getting graded. Positive reinforcement (or negative, in some cases).
There’s chemicals released every time you achieve a goal. It becomes addictive. We want to keep achieving goals to get that dopamine dose. This is what you have been doing your whole life. You’re accustomed to it.
Then you get married and have kids and all of that comes to a halt. Nobody appreciates us anymore. No A+ or gold star. We don’t feel like we are getting anywhere. We hit a wall.
After motherhood, if you are not continuously setting small goals outside of motherhood and achieving them, you are missing out on that feeling of doing enough or being assessed and rewarded.
That’s why it’s so important to figure out how to have some sort of goals after motherhood. We often set very lofty goals because of social media, family pressures, or to keep up with the Joneses.
But, by setting small goals you are more likely to achieve them and get the dopamine dose you need!
Setting your small goals this week
Anse Tamara Gray often talks about setting small and consistent goals. This is how we can reach ihsan (excellence): by completing what we start.
Grab a pen and paper and set some small goals right now.
If you need help, here’s how Tayyaba suggested you do it:
- Allocate 2 hours in the week for your goals: 1 hour for learning and 1 hour for serving. (The serving must be done outside of your family.)
- Example of learning: take a course or read online articles about a topic you’ve always wanted to learn more about. It could be anything from learning the english translation of your favorite surah, or learning SEO.
- Example of serving: if you know you are going to volunteer, you have to make sure your family’s needs are met before you go and you have to plan for that. Also, once your family sees it is important to you, they will start supporting you.
I know what you’re thinking: 2 hours is a lot! Not really.
If you truly want to feel the effects of reaching small goals, you need to be able to wake up early or sleep late or sacrifice that Netflix episode to give some importance to these goals. And as soon as you start learning and serving others you will see doors open and so much barakah flowing in. You’ll start to see that you will be able to serve even more hours to the community then and spend even more hours learning. May Allah open the doors for you!
Having a supportive tribe
Tayyaba mentioned a quote that struck a chord with me. She said “Don’t forget to ask for me when you get to Jannah if you learn something from me”. It really put into perspective that these “small goals” aren’t really small at all. They have the ability to make a huge impact. Surround yourself with positive souls who hold you accountable to your goals and are there for you without jealousy or greed.
Don’t have access to a supportive tribe? Join ours at the Muslim Entrepreneur Association here.
I hope this blog post has you thinking about your small goals for this week! I’d like to end off with this quote from Tayyaba to remind us what we are capable of:
“I’ll push you into Jannah, but make sure you pull me in.”
Tag @salamsudduf (on instagram) on your small goal-making and I’ll re-share to help inspire our tribe!