Easy Dinner · Expat Moms and Kids · Homemade · Homeschooling · Homeschooling whilst Unschooling · Islamic parenting · Kitchen tips · Muscat Mom and Kids · Muscat, Oman · Mushrooms · Muslim Mama · Parenting · Pasta · Quick Cooking · Quick pasta · Unschooling · vegetarian

Mushroom and Spinach wholemeal linguine

After a long day of wrestling with letter sounds and refereeing fights, I almost always hurt my neck trying to look out for Papa Bear to finally get home to tag him, hand over the kids and run off to cook dinner. When that gets delayed, all hope is not lost although I cannot promise the same for my temper.

One such evening, IzGirl and NBoy were still bouncing off the walls and number 3, NBaby, surprises us with an early nap but my migraine decided to make an appearance, I decided to let them help and leave the delayed individual to attack the mess. Surprisingly, my children are very much unlike me in the kitchen. They cleaned up after themselves and actually made my job much easier.

Moreover, what better way to teach them life skills than in our own kitchen, with extra loads of love?

The following recipe is very special to us because it is the first dish we cooked together(without me nagging or micro managing them!). We hope you enjoy cooking it and sharing it with your family too!

Mushroom and Spinach wholemeal linguine

  • Servings: 2 tiny tummies
  • Difficulty: Need the help of a responsible adult
  • Print

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Look what we cooked! We ate it with roasted (okay, burnt!) cashewnuts. And how pretty are our Eid decorations?!

Ingredients

  • 6 or 7 fresh mushrooms, washed
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Portion of wholemeal linguine (regular spaghetti would do)
  • 2 Tablespoons of garlic butter(regular butter is fine as well)
  • 1/4 cup of cooking cream (you can add or reduce as you wish)
  • Salt and Pepper

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Directions

  1. Chop the mushrooms into whatever size you like.
  2. Pick the good spinach leaves, wash and drain.
  3. Ask an adult to boil the pasta and drain it.
  4. Heat a pan and add butter.
  5. Add the mushrooms and sauté them with a pinch of salt.
  6. Add the cream and stir well. Once it starts boiling, add the pasta and mix it in, and check salt and pepper.
  7. Leave to cook for a minute or two and then add the spinach and switch off the flame. Stir well.
  8. Enjoy with some yummy toasted bread and help wash up after dinner.

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Parenting · Muslim Mama · Islamic parenting · Expat Moms and Kids · Homeschooling · Islamic Homeschooling · Unschooling · Homeschooling whilst Unschooling · Numbers · Teaching Numbers · Kindergarten · Preschool · Mathematics for kids

Learning Numbers: Erase the correct one

This was an improvised game when NBoy wanted a turn at cleaning the whiteboard but was not in the mood to draw. Tired of having to scribble whilst trying to listen to the big sister read words, I wrote numbers from 1-10 on the board and gave him the small eraser and proceeded to call out a number randomly for him to erase.

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Learning Numbers can be fun!

He loved the game and was careful about making sure none of the other numbers got erased too!

This game could work even if the child is not completely familiar with numbers.

Hope you have fun getting your whiteboard cleaned!

Parenting · Freedom · Muslim Mama · Islamic parenting · Islamic values · Islamic society · Expat Moms and Kids · Muscat Mom and Kids · Muscat, Oman · Way of LIfe · Homeschooling · Islamic Homeschooling · Unschooling · Homeschooling whilst Unschooling

To School or Not to School

“What school does she go to?” asks a well-meaning person about my almost 5 year old.

“She doesn’t yet. We are homeschooling at the moment” I reply in weary apprehension, expecting another tirade of shocked expressions and 5 minutes of a lecture on how they know what would be better for my child. You know, because, they have seen her couple of times and have children of their own, they automatically become self-proclaimed experts on my child too…(mini rant over)

To be honest, the above scenario does not happen as often as I claim it to but the after effects of such a confrontation and the willpower it takes for me to not respond in kind, has me agitated for a while, and thus, prone to a lot of dramatics.

Most people are genuinely curious about what homeschooling is all about and their questions are always welcome because they are merely asking without assuming the worst or telling me how “wrong” I am.

What exactly is homeschooling?

It is basically the education of a child at home, primarily by the parents.

Then what in the world is unschooling?

It is a more radical form of homeschooling where conventional school systems and curriculums have no place; the learning is experience based on each child’s preference.

Is it legal?

Yes, depending on the country you live in. Most governments require parents to educate their children but they do not govern what kind of education that would be.

Do you follow a syllabus?

Not at the moment, I pick up on my child’s changing interests and we focus on whatever that maybe.

So, you are unschooling?

No.

Then you are simply being a teacher at home but for one child?

No.

What exactly are you doing?

I am helping my children learn in any way that they want to, without allowing the constraints of a label restrict our learning.

That is what we are doing.

Going against socially expected norms and the “done-thing” is much harder than I thought it would be. The inner turmoil I face at wondering if I am doing right by my children keeps me up most nights. Then I Google. And I panic even more.

It is always scary doing something different, especially when it comes to your children; there is absolutely no way of knowing if you are doing the right thing till it is too late. There have been many days when I have wanted to throw in the towel and do what we are “supposed” to be doing but I always backed out after a frustrated husband finally looked about ready to agree with me.

After many prayers and contemplation, things started coming into better perspective.

Homeschooling was introduced to me accidentally through a video from a lovely site called Rahmah Muslim Homeschool . Intrigued, I started researching on this since providing a wholesome Islamic education was absolutely important for us. After sifting through a whole plethora of information on the net, I was muddled as to what I should be doing. I decided to pick a site, and start off from there. Although I am unable to remember the site, it did have quite an extensive list of homeschooling activities that included teaching sight words. Jumped  right on the sight word train and spent a night cutting and pasting words intended for my then  2+year old little girl to memorise and start reading because a certain list I picked up on another site claimed she should be reading by the time she was 3 years of age.

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This method may work and she was quick to memorise the words. It took even longer time helping her forget them to help her focus on sounds.

Needless to stay, sticking to a rigid schedule whilst trying to tick off everything in my “list” took its toll on us and I felt it was just too tough because I was not a qualified teacher. After audibly questioning my decision to move into finance instead of education after leaving school, I started looking for online education degrees. Long story short, I came to my senses before paying for a full degree programme that I never would have completed.

Then I began to look into local homeschooling families and to my surprise, there was a whole community in Muscat! I began this journey in trepidation with absolutely no support system but meeting this wonderful group helped by reassuring me that we were doing just fine. One mother in particular fascinated me with her attitude towards learning and living, and she helped me finally figure out how to let go of social expectations and focus on what would be best for my family. You can follow her journey on Raggamuslims.

I have been meaning to chronicle our journey but kept putting it off till I read a well thought out piece in Happiness Is Here and realised how our journey could help another family make their decision to create their own path.

Homeschooling for us is now merely a loose label that we use for sake of ease when having to answer a question about school for our children.

Our learning journey at the moment is about listening to their (now 4+ and 2+ year olds!) interests and learning about them with them. However, I am a firm believer in the power of reading and the vast knowledge accessible to one with the ability to read, which meant that I could not adapt the relaxed method of “letting them learn”. Instead I looked into Jolly Phonics method and took their online course in order to teach reading.  We do not focus on traditional mathematical lessons because it simply does not interest them; they learn that through play. I cannot draw to save my life and so, skipped over teaching them how to draw. Instead, I made sure they have easy access to crayons, colour pencils and paper, and now, I am amazed by their creativity. My 4 year old wants to try out school at one point and we would let her if she is sure that is what she wants but for now, we are enjoying the journey  with a lovely unicorn learning her letter sounds and a curly-hair ball of sunshine with an interest in shapes and a love for gluing things.

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The unicorn is doing a Sound Sheet for letter “f” and her brother is doing a gluing activity with shapes, hastily drawn by yours truly

I have stopped worrying about what education should be and I am focusing on letting them decide their learning experience. Shedding all the preconceived notions of education that I was taught all my life is still a work-in-progress but I am slowly but surely coming out of that state of mind.

Our journey is not about schooling nor is it about not-schooling; it is about learning naturally and developing a lifelong love for learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Islamic parenting · Islamic society · Islamic values · Living by the Quran · Muscat, Oman · Muslim Mama · Paranoia · Quran · Quran and remedies · Quranic Verse · Reaching for Jannah · Sunnah · Way of LIfe

How to not catch cooties, Islamic style

Little children are sometimes the unkindest creatures to walk the planet. Their blatant lack of regard for propriety means brutal honesty. As quickly as they melt hearts with their smiles, they are capable of completely ostracizing or excluding another child for being different. A common problem in their tiny minds is figuring out how not to catch “cooties” off another tiny human, most often, someone of the opposite gender. They would talk to said individual and even maybe play a game but will screech at the thought of contact because of the “cooties”.

These children grow in body but almost always, never as a person, and roam the grounds as adults, silently afraid of catching “cooties”.

But only now, the dreaded imaginary germ is very real.

Hesitant to visit the sick for too long

Afraid of looking into the eyes of the poor and starving

Ill at ease in the company of those experiencing tragedy and heartbreak

For the cooties now mean more than physical discomfort; ill fortunes of others are feared to be contagious.

As with most, the cure for the worry exists.

When I told my Umamma(maternal grandmother)of a certain situation that I wished I never had to be in, she shared with me a one-liner that she assured me would shield me of all that I feared would be passed on to me: a cough, hair fall or even the fear of being married young. And it has always worked like a charm to quell the bubbles of fear as they begin to form in the pit.

[“Peace!”- a word (of salutation)from a Lord Most Merciful]  

Surah Yasin, verse 58

Mentally reciting this, sometimes with fervor to protect myself of whatever it was that I did not want to catch or experience has worked every single time. I have always experienced a sense of calmness as though the chanting of that line conjured up a safety bubble around me, not unlike the ones they cast over Hogwarts to thwart Lord Voldemort and his creepy followers. My enemy was scarier than any insecure cloaked man with a childish need of power and so, I remained secure in the ease I received at remembering the verse and ensured to recite it for myself and all my loved ones in mind.

I recited it out of fear when I visited an aunt diagnosed with cancer, with horror when I watched a widow cling to her young children in grief, and vehemently, when I heard of a girl having to marry young and “unaccomplished”.

I remained secure in my belief that I was able to ward off all that I least desired with a whisper of this verse. Till this morning.

It was very difficult for me to concentrate on my Fajr prayer today because I kept unconsciously pondering upon this verse and how fortunate I was to have been taught this.

And then I remembered I got married at 19, barely having accomplished anything since high school.

I answered a late night call twice in the space of a week when I was pregnant with my eldest, to be told that a beloved aunt and then a cousin had both been widowed with little children under their care.

The vicious claws of cancer grabbed two more beloved aunts.

This realization hit me with a force so intense that I had to pause before finding the courage to get the English translation out. I knew it was about peace, but did not know the depth of the verse.

The verses preceding this talk about the elation of the deserving after entering Heaven/Jannah and reaping the fruits of their lives, and getting all what was promised to them. Then they would be blessed with the greeting of “Peace” from the Almighty, because that is what they would have for eternity after facing the trials and tribulations of this world.

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How was this verse, as amazing as it is, supposed to help me from catching anything I feared and why had I not realized that my protective measure had not worked in most cases?

The answer lay hidden in the simple word of peace.

Albeit unknowingly, the assurance of peace after the trials and pain had kept me going and given me the strength to see reason and accept every situation I had prayed against.

This brought to mind something I had read about in Reclaim your Heart, by Yasmin Mogahed. She talked about the verse “Verily with hardship comes ease.” (Qur’an, 94:5) and about how the ease comes with hardships and not after or before. I would not do this topic justice if I was to squeeze it in here but the gist was to understand that nothing in this life is perfectly good or revoltingly bad; the aspect of perfection was reserved for Jannah/Heaven and Jahannam/Hell.

For all the times I uttered what my wise Umamma taught me, I was unsuspectingly warding off the fear and unease I had about handling the situation, should it fall upon me because that is what had happened. She had given me a lifeline when my paranoia threatened to suffocate me at the thought of any ill fortune or pain on my loved ones.

My beloved Umamma returned to her creator 5 years ago and all the “calamities” I described above happened in the space of 7 years but its proof of Allah’s infinite mercy that this realization hit me years after the pain and confusion. For had I realized then, I fear to think that my Iman/Faith would have been compromised at the thought of my “go-to-remedy” having “failed” me.

I had unconsciously been teaching myself to look at the bigger picture and reach for the reward of having the almighty bestow the salutation of “peace” and this I truly believe is what got me through my fears and change of plans that I assumed in my naivety, would do me no good .

I planned and I planned but Allah planned the best.

 

 

Eid · Equality · Humanity · Islamic parenting · Islamic society · Islamic values · Muslim Mama · Parenting · Ramadan · Rights of the young · Role of Masjids · Sunnah

How our Ummah is being failed by the beautiful Masjids

Picture this scenario.

You are 4 years old and day after day and night after night, you listen to stories of the bounties of Jannah. You yearn for Jannah and learn of all that could take you there. You learn that prayer is on top of the list and make sure to watch people in prayer at every possible opportunity. You practise praying in your very own prayer mat. You can’t even reach the handle of the door but you squeal in delight at the thought of praying in the Masjid only to be told the beautiful Masjid does not want you there. You pray outside by your mother on a worn and dusty carpet, and wonder if you had been “naughty” and that’s why they didn’t let you in.

Or picture this.

You are 5 years old. It’s Eid! You wake up at the crack of dawn and rub your sleepy eyes with your tiny hands. Bathed and dressed in matching Abayas, you go to the Masjid as a family for prayers. But alas, you can’t enter the prayer room at all. So you sit on a straw mat outside the carpeted prayer hall, squashed by similar peers and wonder why they wouldn’t just let you pray inside. 

Now picture this.

So now you are 10 and suddenly you are not shooed away like scum. You reluctantly wrap your shawl on and apprehensively enter the prayer room. It’s the soft carpet you always wanted to touch and feel. You are now bathed in the glow of the twinkling lights you once sneaked a peek at before being told to move away. You pray dutifully but your heart is heavy. Your mind is filled with the rejection of the yesteryears and you feel watched. Your heart throbs in fear and shame at the thought  being told to leave again. Finish your prayer and return home and slowly start giving excuses to not go there again. You worry about your prayer there because you just could not focus with all your thoughts. You stop going to the Masjid altogether because you are tired of feeling like you did something wrong.

At school your friends talk about their Sunday at church and you listen in surprise to how they pray together. You are surprised to learn that children attend their prayers and hear their stories of fond memories through the years. What a nice God they had, you think to yourself, ashamed to say it out aloud.

The rest, I leave to your imagination. 

Your mind and tongue can wag a million reasons on why children should be banned in Masjids but all I ask you to remember is that no problem exists but with a solution already devised for it by Allah swt. 

Noise? Have a separate room for moms and kids instead of pointing them towards mats thrown outside in haste.

You want to maintain the carpets because that trumps inculcating love of prayer in children in priorities? FINE. Hang a sign that forbids any food and drinks in the prayer hall and have the person who is stationed to shoo away the children to monitor the prayer hall and remind people violating that rule. Have a spot to change diapers in the washrooms and strictly forbid it in the prayer hall; the children shooer can monitor that too.

For almost all of the “reasons” children are heartlessly banned from prayer halls, there are solutions. The simplest one is to remember that children are people and feel all the emotions too.

There are a handful of Masjids that still welcome children and we have been blessed to have them around. This rule that blatantly ignores the example of our beloved Prophet (PBUH)’S love for children is generally found in the new and beautiful structures.

What most people fail to realise is that banning children is essentially, banning the mothers too. 

Why would a mother, who can pray in peace in the comfort of her own home knowing her children are by her side, want to hand over her children to a complete stranger along with many other children to pray with a heavy heart and fear(for the children’s safety) in a Masjid?

Naturally, the mother stops going to the Masjid too. Disheartened by the rejection from a place she thought would help her raise her children, she would look elsewhere for the support and open her family to being misguided.

I write this with a heavy heart after I had to once again console my little ones who did not understand why yet again they had to only look inside the beautiful prayer hall from outside when we stopped for prayers after a fun day out. Telling them it is because they were little made me feel as if I was telling them that being little was wrong.

Instead, I looked at my little girl’s face and said, “Love, you need to make duaa everyday for Allah to help you build a Masjid that welcomes children too”.

Nodding her little head, she ran off to focus on something else, like children usually do but brought it up again without fail at bedtime, proving she felt deeper than she let on.

How are we going to shake out of the state where it has become normal to prioritise the maintenance of a creation over developing the faith of the Ummah?

May Allah swt guide us through these scary times!



Disclaimer: I do not intend to pinpoint at any particular place nor do I assume to be more informed than those of higher authority. I am simply a heartbroken mother, wondering how to explain to her children on why they are not allowed into a prayer space to pray to the One who loves them more than I ever could. 

Muslim Mama · Parenting · Uncategorized · Women

8 ways to ask a sancti-mommy to take a hike

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I do not own nor hold any intellectual rights over this picture and it has been used under the impression that it is a free image; if otherwise, a quick message would suffice to discontinue use.
  1. Forgive me for failing to congratulate you on getting your medical license since I was too busy keeping my child underweight and malnourished.
  2. Actually, I plan on renting the room right by the toilets at my children’s future universities to be there to change their diapers but thank you for the book on toilet-training-boot-camp.
  3. I took lessons in wrapping my baby wearing shawl to hold my 16 year old for her school-drop offs since my wearing her as an infant would have clearly spoilt her for the act of walking.
  4. Yes, the only reason I cover when nursing is because I am ashamed of my body and using it for the purpose it was created for. It is also because I am a coward and do not want people to judge me.
  5. No, I do not cover when nursing because I have no morals or respect for the discomfort it causes for other adults in the vicinity.
  6. The only reason I bottle feed is because I was not smart enough to have tried all the options you just stated, not to mention me being lazy to nurse.
  7. I know I run the risk of raising a narcissistic attention seeking monster by running to my child at every cry but I just cannot curb the urges of my selfish maternal instincts.
  8. One day, I will be filled with regret at causing strife in my child’s marriage because of his/her need to have me next door to rock and sing him/her to sleep since I did not pay heed to your instructions of letting him/her cry it out as an infant.

*This is intended as light reading and not to be tested out in actual situations; I shall not be liable for any damaged property, noses or relationships.

** I appreciate and highly value advice from all those with a genuine concern and goodwill towards my family; please do not worry yourself into thinking that your help annoyed me in anyway.

***This is based on commonly fought-over mommy-issues and do not indicate any personal experience.

Islamic parenting · Muslim Mama · Parenting in Ramadan · Quran · Ramadan · Ramadan Tips · Surviving Ramadan with kids · Women

Ramadan tips in the era of Facebook-worthy parenting

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If you have ever felt gutted while browsing through the zillions of Ramadan related crafts and activities people share,  or felt guilty at not giving your children and family the magical Ramadan that your neighbor is giving her family, step into the boat and we shall row far away from the wrath of the perfect parents.

The updates started to roll in, slowly but surely. Blogs and posts of extensive Ramadan decorations and crafts that threatened to crush my airway with their sheer difficulty were all over the social media.

Suhoor and Iftar menus were documented and recipes were exchanged. Children were presented with Ramadan baskets filled with handmade items to keep them occupied during the month as the mothers occupied themselves with preparing vast meals with intricate garnishing and memorized the Quran along with it.

Every single tidbit was photographed and plastered all over the home page to possibly motivate moron-mothers like yours truly.

I watched all the preparations with a sense of foreboding that increased as the first day of Ramadan approached. With a folder full of ideas and recipes, I was all set but for the sheer energy or time.

Mustering up the motivation to change out of my pajamas by midday is an achievement; the idea of making ocean themed pastries with finicky pastry is laughable when my belly is full let alone while fasting.

After finally stepping out of the baby bubble this year, I was faced with the prospect of fasting the entire month whilst homeschooling a highly inquisitive 3 year old and a 1 year old who puts the energizer bunny to shame.

Although the month began in trepidation, this Ramadan has been one of the most productive and calmer ones in recent memory, with the help of a few small but necessary adjustments to my mindset.

Alhamdulillah!

  1. Curb the need to shine on social media. You choosing not to parade your kitchen success on your profile does not mean you feed your family sticks of butter. This constant need for approval in the form of “likes” can be indulged in all other months but let it go for now.
  2. Keep your meals simple but packed full of nutrition. Simple additions to your diet, like a glass of water with a couple of dates soaked in it for 12 hours can go a long way to keep acidity at bay. A plate full of watermelon at Suhoor keeps you away from being dehydrated. This is the month of fasting and not feasting, no matter what tradition may say. Stick to your regular dinner meals if possible.
  3. Keep your phone on you as much as possible. Use an authentic Quran app to sneak in a couple of pages of recitation whenever you are excused from pretending to be a horse or patient at the hands of your little minions.
  4. If you are homeschooling younger children, let these last few weeks be focused entirely on teaching them Quranic stories. We opted for a word-a-day activity to last the entire Ramadan (there will be more on this in the near future). Children love stories and the Quran is brimming full of enchanting ones.
  5. When you feel boredom or restlessness creeping in, listen to short but relevant lectures by orators who are gifted with the power to awaken your need to learn. A personal favourite would be Br. Nouman Ali Khan and his hilariously concise analogies.
  6. Try and get the children to stick to their regular sleep schedule as much as possible. This leaves you ample time for focus on yourself and your relationship with the Quran.
  7. It would be preferable to have finished all the Eid shopping before Ramadan but not everyone sticks to plans or remembers to take carefully jotted lists when stepping out of the house. The final ten days are around the corner- rush out and get all the clothes and gifts before they dawn upon us.
  8. Do not spend the last few days getting ready for Eid. Need decorations? Begin now or simply print out a bunting banner and you are good to go. The spirit of Eid al Fitr cannot be dulled by the lack of finicky decorations.
  9. Keep a record of things you want to achieve before the month comes to an end. The Satan is locked away and cannot hinder you from turning on a new leaf. Use these weeks to rid yourself of habits that you are not too proud of because this is the easiest time to practice doing so without the buzz of the devil.

Tendency to indulge in a spot of gossip? Make a vow to dedicate a prayer for each time you re lapse.

Easily hooked on to shows and prone to binge watching? Reward yourself for every day you go without it.

  1. Handling children: This is a tough one but a breeze once you actually stop and think about it. Our progeny hold the immense power to make us go from benevolent mothers to scaring the wicked witch of the west in a few seconds.  Short from having them on a leash (no pun intended), there is nothing we can do about it. Give them a free pass for the month. Let them have lots of unstructured playing whilst you sit in the same room (a witness is always required when you deal with more than one) and catch up on your recitation. It is entirely up to you if you feel that they need a structured time but this will require your already sparse energy too.  When they squabble, make it a point to begin a long talk and they will learn to figure it out themselves (happy dance*).

 

Our religion is a natural one and we creatures have been exhaustingly making it as tough as it possibly can get.  Mothers place undue stress upon themselves to live up to the insane standards set by individuals who are either blessed with amazing energy levels or have help at home; it is never possible to have it all AND feel a sense of satisfaction.

You will always have to forgo something.

It just does not have to be your sanity or your sense of achievement.

The mercy you show your children when you clean their snotty noses, the struggle you face in trying to coax food between their adamant teeth, the mini-asphyxiating episode you face as you wait for them to get off your head whilst in prayer, and even your funny faces to bring on a smile on their face is being recorded and rewarded a heap of times more than on any other month.

If the first part of the month was less productive than you would have liked it to be, let it go. You have the final 10 days to look forward to and make the most out of. Use the few days before those days to prepare yourself and your family to enjoy the rewards they come with.

In a highly materialistic world that places deep values in the opinion of society, it is difficult to stand up and do anything differently. Do it for Allah and remember that every family and their needs differ and you will surely be blessed with a sense of contentment, something even a zillion “likes” will never bring about.

O Mothers of the social media Ummah, you are the Queens of your households; reign as freely as you wish to!

Ramadan Mubarak!

 

 

 

hospital list for labour · Muslim Mama

The magical list to pack THE hospital bag

What’s the next best thing to finding out you are pregnant?
Getting to select adorable miniature outfits, setting up the nursery and…packing the bags!

It does not matter how many times one has had to pack those bags- it never fails to undo even the calmest of mothers.

What if I run out of clothes for the baby? Will the hospital take my baby away if I fail to pack enough clothes for him/her?
Should I pack just one more receiving blanket?  Maybe throw in another night-outfit. And get another bag or repack as the bag looks more pregnant than me!

The packing and repacking continues to irate an otherwise pleasant task.

What exactly do you pack for the hospital?
Am I a bad mother for not knowing what I need? Where do they teach you all that? Surely this is more important than learning about where an ancient pharaoh is currently rotting away!

Having had my babies in two different countries and circumstances, I have finally come to a conclusion about the magical list.

It does not exist.

Unpredictability of life extends to the hospital bag requirements. You could take the safe option of packing every single thing you purchased and earn the silent curse of the one handling the bags or use a regular hospital list and add/remove items as you go. As with most parenting hacks, this is one of the sanest options.

Mama Bear
3 or 4 outfits (ideally shirts that button down the front or nursing shirts and wide wraparound skirts)

3 or 4 night gowns that provide nursing access

10 dark coloured underwear

3 or 4 nursing bras

Maternity sanitary napkins or extra absorbent regular napkins

Breast pads

Hair brush and ties/clips or anything to keep the hair off the face

Non-toxic deodorant

Gel based cologne (liquid is fine too)

Moisturiser (it doubles as massage lotion for your tired feet!)

Tooth brush and paste

Liquid body soap and shampoo (small bottles)

Towel

Oats based snacks (for milk production)

Dates (you need the energy)

A good book

Phone charger

Comfortable slippers

Special tips for Muslim Mama’s who wish to maintain their Aura:
Pack one or two elastic caps that could cover your hair since any shawl you use is bound to come off your head at the most inappropriate time; pinning the shawl is not an option most of the time. This way your hair remains covered.

Make sure that whatever outfit you pick to pack covers as much of your aura as is medically allowed. Check your hospital policy as I was told to avoid full sleeves since it interferes with the needles.

Baby Bear

10 full body suits that button down the front
      Or
10 short sleeved onesies or baby shirts(depending on the country)

Going home outfit

1 set of mittens/socks/cap

4 swaddling blankets

1 or 2 baby shawls, depending on the weather or air-conditioning

1 hand quilt(do not let the baby be held by anyone other than the new parents,  without the barrier of a swaddle and hand quilt or suitable substitute)

New born diapers (large pack)

Baby products including a soft bristle hair brush

2 or 3 Hooded towels

Baby wipes

THE Labour/Delivery bag

This is the bag that should be packed and safely hung by the door or stowed in the car from the moment you hit the 7th month. There is no legal nor medical reasoning; plain paranoia and the need to be ready for any instance is what prompted me to do this and never regret it. Take this bag wherever you go as one can never be too prepared.

All the medical records

One comfortable outfit for Mommy Bear

First outfit for Baby Bear (full body suit, cap and mittens)

Receiving blanket and swaddle cloth

Travel pack sized bottle of Zamzam water and dates for Tahneek

Something to listen during labour  (Mishary Al Efasy’s Yasin recitation is highly recommended by yours truly)

*Use Ziploc bags to pack the baby’s things
** Wash and iron all new clothes

For Papa Bear

Clothes

Toiletries

Snacks

Patience

Ability to handle stress

Ability to not take offence at any hurtful statement blurted during labour

Something to gather his wits as he will come undone at the sight of the precious bundle

This list is merely intended as a guidance; please use your instincts to judge your requirements. When in doubt, consult your doctor/hospital and save Dr.Google for the final option.
Congratulations on the imminent arrival of your bundle of joy!