Begin with the Backyard

I have a well sustained reputation of being all thumbs in my garden and unfortunately, none of them are green!  Despite this fact, we decided to invest in a backyard garden and give ourselves and our children the invaluable experience of growing our own food. Perhaps it was because of my husband, who recently turned vegetarian or perhaps it was the beautiful spring weather in Northern California, or maybe even Michelle Obama's White House garden that everyone is talking about, but whatever the … [Read more...]

Digging Deeper Into the Prophet’s Wisdom

Over two years after my father's passing, I reflected on the famous saying of the Prophet Muhammad, in which he advises us on what we can do for our loved ones after they have returned to Allah.  In the hadith, Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger said, "When a human being dies, all of his deeds are terminated except for three: an ongoing sadaqah (charity), a knowledge (of Islam) from which others benefit, and a righteous child who makes dua for him."[Muslim and others] I thought of how … [Read more...]

Timeless Tales

A few weeks ago, as I prepared my two year old for bed, I decided to skip his usual truck book and switch it up with some quick storytelling.  As I lay him down and looked into his sleepy, glazed eyes, I opened up with a short re-telling of the story of the Elephant and Abraha.  My little one gazed at me with wide open eyes, enthralled, silent, listening intently. The next morning, on the way to school, my young son surprised me with a request, "Mama, can you tell me the story of the Elephant?" … [Read more...]

GrowMama Guide to Traveling With Tots

This summer, whether you plan on taking a trip across the state or around the globe, let these tips from a seasoned mom make your journey a little more pleasant. Your first step is to be prepared. Situations- “emergencies” in your child’s eyes- will arise. The juice will spill all over her shirt, her favorite crayon will break in two, and her doll might not be comfortable squished beside her. When you have an easy solution to pop right out of your bag, you'll save yourself a 15 minute meltdown f … [Read more...]

Grow Mama Blast From The Past: Pause

If I interrupt this silent reverenceWith a hurry up, come, what do you see?I divert her quiet moment with nature,And point it instead at me.At screens, voices, more stimulation,Questions, answers and explanationsBut what really matters, what makes it real,Is that here she learn to listen and feel.Touching the textures and rhythms of creationThis reverence may one day lead to worshipOne day she may hear the pulsing glorificationFrom rocks under foot and … [Read more...]

My (unsolicited) advice to new moms

I’ve got two kids, ages 5 and 3, so yes, I’m an expert on motherhood. Ok, I kid. But here’s what I’ve learned in the past few years. Just read my thoughts with  an open mind.1. Breastfeed your kids. Or don’t. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Or don’t. Do  what feels right to you, and eventually, you’ll see that it was right for YOU. Every mother out there figures out how to get into her groove. It takes some trial and  error, and lots of second-guessing yourself.2. Ask for help! People LOVE to hel … [Read more...]

My Secret Identity

There are some moments when I feel like I’ve got this whole ‘motherhood’ thing down. I’m whipping up fabulous meals to ravenous children. Potty training is a snap. I'm disciplining like a rock star.  I’m rocking, I’m strolling. I'm the best mom, ever! I’m so awesome, it literally hurts. And stings. Huh? And I turn over in bed to realize that there is a three-year-old ninja kicking me in the face. Where is my husband? Correctly assuming that a king sized bed is not sufficient for the two of us an … [Read more...]

Kids Belong in the Masjid

The first time I visited Masjid Al Haram, or the Grand Mosque as it is also known, in Mecca, was two years back on a Hajj trip. I was 30 years old. There was an immediate connection and sense of belonging I felt. I left there wanting my kids to experience the same feelings and connection and made du’a to be able to bring them there soon. I wanted my children to be able to go at their young and impressionable age so that they would develop a deep love, longing, and attachment to the holy cities o … [Read more...]

The Courage to say “Help Me”

I clench my fists and grind my teeth, but I can tell already that I won’t be able to hold in the onslaught of anger. I’m tired, so tired of refereeing games and wrestling matches; the he took my, she hid my, he hit me, she ate my…. constant bludgeoning of my senses. Sometimes I can’t tell whether the wailing screech I hear is one of pained anguish, or hysterical laughter. The noise level beats me to my knees, and I beseech Allah for peace…. just as bedtime rolls around. I prepare to bask in the q … [Read more...]

GrowMama Picks for April 2013

1. Dreading your spring cleaning? These tips will put some pep back in your step.2. One one the best weight loss articles we’ve have read in a long time! Why? Because it actually makes sense and is easy to follow. Read it here.3. Read here to see how one Muslim has chosen to approach parenting with an Islamic twist.4. Spring is here and is time to get those little hands dirty. Here is a great blog on gardening with the smallest of kids.5. Do you know the dangers of iPad use a … [Read more...]