The First Time

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Not having seen much about domestic violence come out of the Muslim community, I decided it was time to share my story. I chose to write this essay anonymously to protect my children from the pain of my experience and also out of a sense of shame for my perpetrator. He is the father of my daughter and even after all these years I do not want to expose or humiliate him. Whether this is my weakness or strength I will leave for Allah (swt) to … [Read more...]

Changing Hats

 I’ll be honest, it might not show but working away from my family eats away at me. Especially in the early months of motherhood, it pained me to leave my daughter behind. Now that she is more independent, the burden of my working has shifted slightly from causing me self-inflicted pain, to being verbalized by my daughter who pleads with me not to go to work every morning. For a while I thought no good would come to my family as a result of my job, and that working was an entirely selfish en … [Read more...]

Fathers and Sons

My life revolves around building blocks and sticky hands, plastic cars and before-bed giggles, snack time sweets and wind-up trains, and days and nights immersed in the mind of a just turned two year old. Since my son was born I have been exploring this role called ‘mother’, trying to seek out my way, stumbling often, frustrated often, but always aware of the huge blessing and huge responsibility that comes wrapped up in the tiny package of my little boy.I want for him all the good that I’v … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Achtung Baby

  In getting the house prepped for a baby I became mindful of dangers around the house.  I could see how outlets were the perfect size for tiny fingers and therefore covered them.  I understood that bottle caps could be unscrewed (generally by the gums) and the poisonous cleaning product contained, ingested; so I moved them to high cupboards and shelves.  However there were things I wasn’t ready for, and have come to realize that danger lies around the most benign corn … [Read more...]

Force of Nature

I am in love with this quote, which I found in a dear friend's signature:"This is the true joy in life - being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."-George Bernard ShawIn the incessant balancing act of motherhood, between validating the … [Read more...]

The Day I Wrote a Check

(This post was written a couple of years ago and is dedicated to all mothers who've ever tried to write a check...)So, it's really busy business being a mommy. Whenever someone asks me what I do, I answer, "I'm 'just' a mother.' And then I explain that being a mommy is busy business, but I rack my brains to remember why it's a busy business... Can't I do more with my time? (Answer is yes, but when I can't....)So, this is why I can't do much more with my time....Today I came to write a … [Read more...]