Ramadan Spirit Contest

Want to be featured on growmama.com?Join us in our Ramadan Spirit Contest!We would love to post pictures, reflections, photos, poems, recipes etc. of the blessed season’s activities in your home!  We would also love to hear from your children on "What Ramadan Means to Me."Teaching young children the meaning and spirit of Ramadan can be done through many different media. You may want to draw the different phases of the moon, make crescent cookies, help out at local soup kitchens, make … [Read more...]

The Guilty Mother

Since my daughter was born, I’ve been mostly a stay at home mother. I am in graduate school, but go part time so that I only have to leave my daughter with my mother-in-law twice a week for a few hours.Recently I was invited to attend an out-of-town conference. In order to go, I would either have had to take my toddler and a baby-sitter (one of my younger sisters-in-law for the weekend, or leave her for one night while I attend.She was weaned, so she didn’t depend on me for physical nou … [Read more...]

Remembrance

I had a spiritual experience sitting in a plastic chair in the kiddie play area of a fast food chain this week.  It was while rocking my baby’s car seat, trying to keep him asleep, with an eye on my two older children, all the while reflecting on a verse from the Qur’an.The morning began as usual, except I had to take my son and daughter to the dentist for a check-up, balancing the baby on one hip, pitifully trying to assuage them all at once.  The french fries and sugary drink were their gra … [Read more...]

Simple Fun for Toddlers

I’m always on the lookout for easy, wholesome ideas to entertain my two daughters, and never bore of reading how others do it with their children. Here are some ideas that take zero to little preparation on my part, and hopefully keep my toddlers and yours entertained for a fairly long time.Water PlayKids love playing with water, in any shape, structure or form. It takes a little bit of effort on my part cleaning up afterwards, but the amount of time they spend doing these activities is w … [Read more...]

The Quintessential Fairytale

Every time I walk into a store or pass by a television, I gingerly walk a minefield of tiaras, gallant princes, and Disney princesses. Their long flowing hair, beautiful voices, and sparkling eyes call out to us. My four-year-old daughter still does not know the difference between a princess and a bride, but even she stops in her tracks with a hypnotic, dreamy look when she catches a glimpse of Beauty and the Beast playing on the TVs at Costco. Ballroom dresses, long hair, and sparkles are wired … [Read more...]

Frustrated?

Did you ever get frustrated, angry and started shouting at your kids? I used to do so, sometimes, followed by a feeling of tremendous guilt. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to direct this energy. I tried many techniques to calm down, sometimes it worked and sometimes not.Then I heard a lecture by Sheikh Sudais [Imam of the Holy Mosque in Mecca], where he told mothers to watch what they say to their kids when they get angry. He mentioned a sto … [Read more...]

Masjids & Mermaids

Fact: All living things can worship Allah SWT.Does that mean Dora, Diego, Ariel and Curious George worship Allah? Well, why not? In our children's minds, all these characters are living friends, comforting adventure companions. While many  make efforts to keep certain “influences” out of our homes and hearts, the reality is that even “non-tv watching”, masjid-going, homeschooled children are still infiltrated by the lure of Disney, Noggin and Sprout adventures.The timeless debate lingers… … [Read more...]

My Ear Worm

My ear worms started about nine years ago, around the time I started memorizing the Qur’an. I would be doing something completely ordinary, and this ear worm would start going around and around in my head, until I stopped and concentrated, and listened, and then I would understand what it was.My ear worms were ayahs.I would wake up in the morning with an ear worm. Clean the house with an ear worm. Chop salad with an ear worm. Until I came to expect that whatever that thing buzzing in my mind … [Read more...]

Baby Fat

I was listening to the radio the other day and there was a guest speaking about a Fat Acceptance Movement.  She spoke about how diets don’t work, how society judges fat people (she rejects the term ‘overweight’) as lazy and disgusting, and how people are afraid of and feel terrible if they’re not sporting a rock-hard body. Although I didn’t agree with everything she said, there was one point that resonated with me: it was her mantra to stop fighting your body and start accepting it.  This rem … [Read more...]

Running Shoes

The first thing I noticed were the white running shoes, propped up on the pillow. As I lugged my own luggage onto the train, grabbed the four seater so as to secure space for my computer, binder and thinking, I quickly glanced at the scene to my right. Four seniors on a road trip it seemed, enjoying snacks, scenery and each other.Turning to the task before me, I was determined to make use of the 2 hour train ride ahead.The second time I turned to my right, I couldn’t look away. Nothing r … [Read more...]