16 Lessons From 6 Month Old Parents

1) You don't need a ridiculous amount of money saved in order to have a child. Allah has opened so many doors for us right after our daughter was born and this has been observed by many other parents as well. 2) It is not socially acceptable to describe the size or consistency of your baby's dirty diaper in public.3) Parenting while plugged in is an oxymoron. We've been trying to be mindful of how often we are with our child physically, but not mentally. Children will know that they will … [Read more...]

Kitchen Pot Holders

I’ve been married for 11 years. Like a treasured friend, are my kitchen pot holders. The pair are stained with curry and tomato paste, faded, tethered and almost burnt through in spots. There are several new pairs in the drawer but, for some reason I just can’t let these ones go.My pot holders were there during those first newlywed meals and traveled with me from our studio apartment to the one bedroom, then the two bedroom, later cross country. Each floral square teamed nobly by my side while … [Read more...]

Shhhh….

                           “Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.” - Paul TournierI have found that the most wonderful experiences in life can also be the most isolating.  Marriage for example, is a wonderful companionship; however you can feel very alone when things aren’t as Disney promised they would always and forever be.  You look around for someone going through a similar situation yet all you find are perfect marriages.Parenting is too a wonderful companionship that delivers o … [Read more...]

A Desert at Home

"Maryam, what do you want to take with you to Tata’s house today: your laptop or baby?" I asked my 1.5 year old. Yes, she already has a toy laptop and even though I consider her my baby, she already has a baby doll of her own. Today she chose the baby. SubhanAllah, she already has motherly qualities about her. She cares for its hat, gives it a blanket to sleep with, and pushes it in a stroller appropriate for both of their sizes.Like many parents we want to provide our daughter with all the e … [Read more...]

Manners

There are many differences between children raised in America and children raised in other parts in the world. But there’s one aspect in raising children that most people believe comes from the home and not the country the child lives in. Manners. However, in a recent visit to Palestine, I couldn’t help but notice that well-raised children have better manners than well-raised children in America. When I say well-raised I refer to children that come from a nurturing and caring home environment wit … [Read more...]

Graduating from the Kiddie Table

My husband and I traveled to my parents' house for Thanksgiving weekend. We were prepared with diapers, our laundry, and the ingredients for the cornbread stuffing. We were also ready to sit with our siblings. Thanksgiving day would bring both sets of in-laws, mine as well as my older brother's, and it promised to be an eventful day. For the "kids" (ages range from 16-27), it would include stuffing our faces with all the delicious food that we wished would magically appear in our own kitchens as … [Read more...]

Spilling Over

The Prophet (saw) narrated the story of the Pharoah's hairdresser who was combing the hair of Pharoah's daughter and dropped her comb on the ground."Bismillah, in the name of God," she blurted as she bent down to pick it up.She and her four children were burnt to death because of this slip of tongue and then her refusal to deny her belief in Allah. Her baby was one of the few who spoke in infancy, reassuring her in remaining steadfast, before she was killed.I heard a beautiful … [Read more...]

The Pacifier

The Pacifier. Yes, I capitalized the P. Where do I begin? My son hated it the day he was born. On day two, while getting circumcised, the doctor was trying to force it to stay in his mouth. I guess other baby boys don’t scream during the procedure. I thought the doctor was going to tape it over his mouth. My son must’ve gotten the point, because he suddenly took it. And kept it. Nineteen months later, I’m trying to take it away now.Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it’s always in his mouth. S … [Read more...]

Babysitting

I attended a qiyam at the local masjid a while back and left my daughter at home so that I could focus and get the most out of a spiritual event that – although it should - does not happen very often.  As I went around, passing my salaams to friends and strangers alike I was asked over and over again, “Where’s your daughter?” to which I replied, “At home.”What followed was so funny and so telling; over and over again I was looked at and asked … [Read more...]

Picking Apart a Pomegranate

Many things remind me of fall. Stomping on crunchy leaves as a kid, volleyball practice as a high-schooler, and yams baking in the oven, always. These memories are cozy ones and are reignited as the humidity of summer is replaced with early morning dew. And maybe this one particular memory is so embedded in my mind because baba and I have made it tradition…Baba walks into my room. "I think you should put on a shirt that you don't really like. Or, one you don't mind staining."I rummage t … [Read more...]