The Big Move

I've lived in my current house with my family since 1999, the year I moved to Calgary. I've taken numerous buses to and from the university campus, driven down the same street millions of times, played tennis on the same weathered courts, and (occasionally!) ran the same 5K loop around my neighbourhood for those 13 years. I've had friends come and go while visiting, family from both sides of my parents stay with us, and more recently, I've seen my future husband and his family become a part of our home. Alhamdulillah, it's an amazing feeling.

And in a few short months, both Muslim Brothah and Muslim Sistah will have to take a step and form a home of their own.

To backtrack a little for those non-Muslims reading this blog...Muslim parents don't usually support their kids leaving home at the age of 18, in terms of them having reached a milestone with becoming an adult (side note: brain research now informs us that brain development isn't complete until our mid-20s!). So in essence, Muslim children are encouraged to live at home until they are married. Now, there are cases when Muslim youth will move out, whether for the sake of school or wanting increased responsibility or independence. But generally, the home is where us Muslims live until the day of marriage comes upon us.

Ok, so back to the topic at hand! To clarify, I'm not blogging about this transition to a new home with a negative tone. Instead, I'm writing about this because I have yet to come across another Sistah who has written about this milestone and major transition. And I think it should be spoken about. What is it like to move in with someone you've just married? How can one prepare for this transition? (in my opinion, communication is key!) What are some ways in which family ties remain strong after marriage?

Depending on the role a child plays in their household, their moving out can impact the family in any number of ways. Of course, parental satisfaction with the person they are marrying does somewhat help our folks feel secure that we're in good hands. But at the same time, that child leaving does mean that things will change at home. Whether the house gets a little quieter, or that child's spot at the dinner table is vacant, or you don't see them leave and come home every day...marriage and moving out impacts every family differently.

As our own marriage is quickly approaching, I've been thinking more about this transition and how we can mentally prepare for it. And also how we can prepare our families. We're super close with our parents and siblings, so it can't just be a cold turkey move out of home. It needs to be spoken about to ensure that all parties involved are feeling secure and confident. I've lived at home my whole life, apart from living away for 3 years while in school. My parents and I knew (and prayed, HA!) that this day would come, but we perhaps didn't realize how quickly it could sneak up on us. SubhanAllah.

I've heard many other families say that the relationships with your parents and siblings don't change (i.e.  I'll always be a daughter and a sister). However, you work in different ways to make that relationship stay strong. Whether it be talking on the phone, visiting families on certain nights of the week, or random drop-ins, your family is always your family. I just know and anticipate that both the Muslim Brothah and I will work to maintain the closeness we have with our families and each other's. And we're both blessed that our families are in town and that we'll be staying in town as well. Alhamdulillah.

And on a similar note, there are adjustments I've made now in terms of pre-Nikah. For instance, I've really had to cut out a long of social time with friends and also with being part of multiple groups/ initiatives. Not only because of time with my future husband and his family, but also because I've bumped up the priority of my own family. This is the last chunk of time I'll have being at home as an unmarried daughter and sister within our family network, so I now realize how this transition will represent a whole new journey. Just as it will for my fiance.

Oh yes, and there's also the ever time consuming planning for living arrangements, furniture and household goods purchasing, last minute wedding and honeymoon tasks, on top of our full time jobs and side endeavours that we're taking part in. There just ain't enough hours in the day!

But YES, we're excited!!! It's rare when you have a chance to "start fresh" so to speak. A blank slate with being married, a new home to share and develop together, and InshaAllah happiness and strength within our marriage for the rest of time to come.

Comments

  1. You made a good point when you said the process of moving out affects each family differently, but I definitely think that getting married and moving out changes all of your existing relationships in some capacity, including your relationship with your creator.

    It was strange for me. In some ways, I felt closer to certain members in my family post-move. My mom, my brother and I talk way more than we did when I lived at home (probably because I was on the go so much)and I feel like I'm more in the loop about what's going on with them as individuals and people, instead of as "just my family".

    Moving out also ended up being a filtering process for friends. In my case, I moved cities, but regardless, the time dynamics change when your living situation changes. Some friendships just fizzled or are on pause, and others were even further strengthened.

    The change that was the hardest for me was how the relationship between my younger sister and I faded into the background, and I was too googoo gaga over my husband to even notice lol. I couldn't continue to be there for her in the way that she was used to--the only way that she knew, so that was challenging, but alhamdulillah the beauty of family is that there is a bond greater than convenience and shared circumstances that holds you together. So as I move out of the honeymoon stage and can start seeing life beyond my husband, and my sister grows up into a young woman (versus a little kid) I'm sure our relationship will grow stronger in a way that's different, but just as meaningful, as before.

    People will handle your decreased presence (at least initially) differently and it will definitely test relationships where you were always the one giving. But inshaAllah the truly important people in your life will be there for you through it all and appreciate whatever time they get to spend with you :) As a friend told me last week when I told her I wouldn't be able to talk for our usual one hour, "A little Madiha is better than no Madiha."

    May Allah SWT make this time easy for you and your families (and your friends of course!)Oh and the community too ;)

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  2. I agree with Madiha. I was so mesmerized about being married and having a husband that when I came to visit my family for the first time, I kinda sorta ignored my family a lot b/c I was so caught up in wanting to do things as a 'couple', ie staying out late without a care in the world, going out for dinner and movies, hanging out with other couples, etc. Once I was past the honeymoon phase, and especially when I became a mommy, I realized how delicate your relationship with your family is and I really treasured and valued that. After mommyhood, it's a different story!

    I remember a family friend of ours had a talk with my mom and asked her, 'don't think that YOUR life will be the same, and that the relationship with your daughter will be the same, b/c it won't. Everything will change.' my mom obviously didn't believe her, but she caught on. And that's just life.

    In my opinion, you can't really prepare for the transition. Just enjoy the honeymoon phase while it lasts, lol. No marriage course can really prepare you for married life, you just kind of learn about each other's strengths and weaknesses, what ticks you both off, how you both deal with anger, learning to take jokes (yeah just sayin, men like to joke a lot, and they are NOT always funny!) how you fold socks, all the little things....marriage it really a learning process and you can really only tackle it once you are both living together. But it's a beautiful thing, b/c you are both doing it together, and it really changes you as a person. It makes you who you really want to be in life b/c you're now more independent of your parent's opinions and ways.

    Anyways, I'm no expert but just wanted to add my two cents. Enjoy the first year, b/c after that you'll just go back and laugh about it. May Allah swt bless you two with lots of happiness and love. :) -mamaRaeesa :)

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