Grow Mama Blast From The Past: 10 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors

I had a neighbor a couple of houses down that I only rarely saw going to and from her car. She must have been retired and didn’t go out much, because I could count on my fingers the number of times I saw her though I’d lived next to her for almost two years. In addition, I was a stay-at-home mom, so I either was home, outside on the front yard or just looking out my windows quite a bit. She was never in her yard, although it was well-manicured by a lawn care company that left a sign posted … [Read more...]

My Fashion Folly

A couple of years back skinny jeans emerged as the latest must have. Boot cut, flared and wide legged pants were now a thing of the past. All of a sudden I was out of style. Yikes! What just happened? The one article of clothing that was always my saving grace, my bootcut jeans, were no longer fashionable! As if it wasn't already hard enough being a Hijabi in the US. I told myself, "Skinny jeans are completely inappropriate Islamic attire right? They are like wearing spandex, the entire … [Read more...]

Making a Splash in Community Development

As a child, I spent many summers visiting my grandparents in the Caribbean. I have fond memories of swimming in  a vast, indigo blue sea, under the piercing, bright sun. I loved the power of  waves, the feeling of buoyancy, the soft sand between my toes and the liberating sea breeze. In this sea, I fostered a deep love for all things water. As a university student, I noticed an unfortunate trend in our community amongst those with children. These families stayed close to home, and many were … [Read more...]

Reclaiming Our Authority

  This year my family was blessed to experience another Ramadan. It was the first time in eleven years that I have actually made it to Taraweeh prayer. I never thought that time would come, but now my youngest (who just turned four) can actually behave while we pray. So I say to my sisters out there who have not seen the inside of a masjid for years, hang in there, your time will come. Happy as I was to be be there, I was shocked at the behavior of some kids at the masjid. I witnessed kids … [Read more...]

How Can We Live?

The news of the unrest and violence in Egypt is inescapable. Much of the it has unfolded in full view of video cameras. I have seen bodies piled in the mosques, I have seen a woman in niqab shot to death by a sniper, I have seen grown men weeping over the bodies of their fallen sons. It is a tragedy on every level and it seems to be something that will not be resolved soon. A friend of mine asked today how one can cope with life in the face of such tragedy. Let's not forget, Egypt is only the … [Read more...]

The Everyday Struggle

Motherhood has been bogging me down lately. Now that I've said it, I can hopefully move on. How can I work on elevating my role as a mother when I am dealing with a 4 year old who now qualifies everything as boring? What a boring home! You’re the boring-est mom. Playing with you is so boring! A big THANK YOU to whoever taught her that word. In the low points, I wonder where I went wrong in her upbringing. Maybe she’s (gasp)…spoiled. Maybe it’s just a phase. I hope it’s just a phase. … [Read more...]

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...]

The Ultimate Gift

Growing up, I was a part of a big North Jersey Muslim community. There were Quran classes, sunday school, iftar parties, Ramadan and Eid prayers, and gatherings of all sorts at the masjid. On occasion, I would attended funeral prayers at our mosque. Sometimes it was for an older auntie or uncle I knew, but not too well. Sometimes it was for a stranger. In my carefree, unaffected, and apathetic youth, these funeral prayers were just another gathering. That all changed as I started to grow … [Read more...]

Grow Mama Blast from the Past: A Gallon of Milk Means Love

Last night was movie night in our house.  We were camped out on the bed, hubby on one side, me on the other, baby in between, with my oldest son teetering on the far edge while his brothers and sister came and went.  They were more interested in fighting space battles with plastic light sabers than watching a shoot-em-up bang-bang movie on TV. The movie was pure action adventure, with an unlikely hero pitted against a stereotypically evil bad guy.  At one point, Bad Guy tells Hero that … [Read more...]

My Ramadan Guilt

I’ve never been to the masjid during Ramadan. It might sound unbelievable, but it’s true. Mother’s with small children might know what I am going through-  with the fasts being so long these past few years I find it almost impossible to get out of the house to go pray taraweeh. My daughter is six-years-old and while it may be arguable that she’s ready to be attending the masjid, I just don’t see how it’s possible. And that is what gives me “Ramadan Guilt” almost every … [Read more...]