Muslim Mama · Parenting · Uncategorized · Women

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

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  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.

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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!

 

 

 

Equality · Freedom · Women

To the women…

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To the women who fought for the rights,
And to the women who are still denied them.

To the women who achieved their dreams,
And to the women whose dreams were quietly squashed.

To the women who received a heartfelt wish today,
And to the women who received none.

To the women who hold their heads up high,
And to the women whose heads remain bowed in fear.

To the women who stand up for themselves,
And to the women who need to be sheltered.

To the women enlightening in freedom,
And to the women living in thirst of education.

To the women enjoying a life of equality,
And to the women forced to obey.

To the women who rejoice at their gender,
And to the women cursing the same.

To the women blessed with the joys of motherhood,
And to the women clinging on to hope for the same.

To the women able to leave a life of abuse,
And to the women helplessly tied in one.

To the women shrugging off judgments,
And to the women cowering against them.

To the women with a house to enter,
And to the women fleeing theirs in fear.

To the women who are aware of such a day,
And to the women who would wonder at its existence,
Happy international women’s day!