GrowMama Picks for September 2012

Growmama Picks is a collection of fun, interesting, and inspiring links that we share with you at the end of every month. Enjoy!1. Do you have an older child on Facebook? These tips can guide a conversation about friends and "frenemies", cyber bullying, healthy relationships and fake ones.2. What story do people see in you? When is it time to rewrite the stories we present to others and project on ourselves?3. Braiding our child's hair, washing their face, or putting on … [Read more...]

A Mother’s Protest

I have been watching in dismay at the response of some Muslims worldwide to the ridiculous movie posted online mocking our beloved Prophet (S).  This sadness is a feeling that I have noticed is widely shared in the American Muslim community. I protest and condemn, in the strongest terms, the violence, death, aggression and injustice that have all resulted. This is probably the exact reaction that the movie maker could only dream to have garnered. So, who has now painted a worse picture of the … [Read more...]

Acts of Righteousness

As Muslim parents, we always look for ways to build positive characteristics in our children. In America, the problem of homelessness and hunger - while it is an issue - is not as obvious as in other parts of the world. For many children, the problem of hunger is hidden - something they can't see or experience. Sometimes our children ask for material items - more games, more videos, etc. - and cannot relate to the fact that some children their age are less fortunate. We may respond to them by … [Read more...]

How to Survive Your First Year of Motherhood in a Foreign Country

All right, I’ve been here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for about three and-a-half months now and I’ve probably cried the equivalent of at least one of those months so far. No, don’t say "Aww, she’s miserable."  For the record, I’m not miserable or suicidal; I am a first time mother of a beautiful five-month-old baby boy who moved halfway across the world with my husband seven weeks after giving birth.  Do I love my little boy in a completely indescribable way that only other moms would be able to un … [Read more...]

The Kids’ Cupboard

With three under five, it’s hard to keep track of the clothes they’ve outgrown, those that are still too big, and those that have graduated into hand-me-downs. So, every few weeks, a ceremony takes place where the contents of the kids’ cupboard are regurgitated, sorted and returned, after much rolling around in the clothes pile (by the two-year-old) and some rudimentary folding practice (by the four-year-old).These sessions always serve to bring home just how fast they are growing (the child … [Read more...]

Counselor’s Corner- Controlling Parental ‘Hot Spots’

Every time I vow not to act a certain way with my kids, I end up doing it again. There seems to be these certain “hot spots” that really irritate me about my children. Like when my daughter’s handwriting is not legible or when she cries after a not-so-horrible fall. I know that these things are not that bad, but for some reason when I see them, I turn into someone I cannot recognize. Deep down inside I know that the way I react is wrong, and almost always feel regretful afterwards, but it just ha … [Read more...]

GrowMama Roundup: The Season of Motherhood

A constant question that arises in our minds as mothers is how we can maintain individual fulfillment while making sure that our children are being nurtured and cared for. One of our GrowMama mothers posited the question this way: Why is the mother’s role frequently limited to raising leaders instead of being leaders, or being the seekers of change? Am I raising two girls so that they will raise more girls who will raise more girls? Sometimes I wonder when WE get to be our own people in … [Read more...]

On Motherhood and International Diplomacy

Our decision to have a baby came about three years after we were married. Initially, we planned to do a whole list of things (including buying a house) and then start trying.  But on the night of January 5, 2002 while driving home from the hospital after visiting our friends’ newborn baby, I told him, “That’s it.  I want to start trying.” Exactly one year and four days later on January 9, 2003 we were blessed with twins:  a boy and a girl.As much as we hate to admit it, we really do turn into … [Read more...]

My Prophet: A Collage

It’s important that we seek creative ways of imparting the knowledge of our deen. We must help our children by keeping things relevant and relatable. Here’s a simple project idea that we can use to cultivate and deepen our connection and love for the Prophet (peace be upon him). Let’s help our kids build a personal connection to their Prophet by creating their own artwork about him. This project is especially useful in this month of Rabi’ al-Awwal, as people remember and revere the birth and life … [Read more...]

A Team Approach to Chores

Raising children who do housework without complaint and find pleasure in serving the family is a top priority for me. The developmental and spiritual effects of doing chores and sharing in the responsibility of the household are one of the most powerful teaching tools we have as parents, for both our daughters and our sons (I cannot emphasize the sons enough).Now to the practicality of getting kids to do chores! I tried lists, excel sheets, and a white board. I sewed a chore chart, with a … [Read more...]