Recovering Lost Connections

I recently returned from a wedding where, for the first time, I made some observations from the lens of a mother. The groom was busy enjoying time with his bride, as usual, while his mom gracefully stood aside. After some time, he left to go to the men's party when his mother noticed he had forgotten to eat his meal. So she picked up his plate and ran after him, heals, ball gown, and all. It hit me. All too often, we overlook the fact that even though we may let our connection and consideration … [Read more...]

GrowBaba Blast from the Past: My Mom Promised Me A Skyline

Growbaba spotlights provide a space for Muslim fathers to share their voice, reflections, and insights with our community.Let’s admit it folks, there is nothing more quenching to the embattled soul than long awaited sweet revenge. Don’t worry, no blood or terror here –though there are definitely battle scars.You see, back when this 44 year-old father of three was in 6th grade, they used to ask me, “how can you just stand there?” and “why don’t you fight back?.”Day after dreary Midwest … [Read more...]

A Valentine for Everyone

I walk into the department store looking for gloves. Suddenly I’m surrounded by a sea of pink, red, and all shades in between. Everywhere I look there are heart shaped chocolates. I prefer my chocolates to be square, they just feel more sophisticated. But to each his or her own. Some hundreds of years ago, so goes the legend, there was a saint by the name of Valentine, who was imprisoned and fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. He became a martyr and this day was created to celebrate h … [Read more...]

Belated GrowMama Picks for January 2014

We are always on the lookout for good Arabic resources for kids. Take a look at these and make sure to print out some Islamic-themed coloring pages for your kids while you're at it! Check out these 12 handy tips for eating habits that prevent bloating. Many of them (like eating only when truly hungry, or eating fruits before meals) are found in the sunnah, too. What are some essential books a 4-yr old should read? Check out this awesome book list, which allows you to customize your book list … [Read more...]

The Cardboard Box

It becomes easy to leave things behind when you move around as much as we do. In fact, we weren't always like this. There was a time when we laid our heads to rest and thought our pillows would never change. But then one day we woke up and were on a plane flying across oceans to live in Europe, and a year and half later, the Middle East. So as you can imagine, we try to travel light, especially with our small children. I believe I have become a minimalist over the past couple of years. I like … [Read more...]

Archery: Mental Focus & Grace

Images of Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games rekindle fond childhood memories. I find beauty in watching an archer mount their bow and release with balanced form, precision and calm. Growing up in Canada, I enjoyed many sporting activities. Of all sports, archery influenced me the most. It enhanced mental focus, taught me patience, physical awareness, and emotional control. In many ways, archery prepared me for life. I believe archery teaches competition within oneself. Joining a team offers … [Read more...]

GrowMama Roundup: Road trip tips for families with young children

We asked veteran road trippers what are their go-to methods for keeping children occupied during long car rides. Here's what they said:F. A. says: "A few years ago we went on a three week road trip across the US with our 4.5 year old and our 3 year old (who was just perfecting her potty-training skills).  I stayed up the night before our trip putting together a large ziploc bag with little random items for my girls and my husband,  went out and bought a DVD player, 'just in case we got d … [Read more...]

GrowMama Blast from the Past: Drawing a Hadith

I recently moved a bookshelf into my kitchen, so that the children could have easy access to drawing paper, colored pencils, pastels, markers, glue, scissors, as well as all of their school books (you know, in case they feel like doing a math lesson on their own). Drawing at the table has become the go-to activity when mama is busy cooking, cleaning, or just plain cranky. While this has resulted in quite a few unwanted scribbles and way too many cap-less markers, it has also released an exciting … [Read more...]

Sweet and Sour

I roll out the prayer mat and place my feet, shoulder width apart, onto the rug. I pause and take a few deep breaths to focus on the act I am about to begin. I whisper Allah’s name over and over again until I feel the tension within break apart, feel my chest expand and my muscles loosen. I make my intention and raise my hands to my ears. Allahu Akbar. I move slowly through the first rakah, praying with the mindfulness that Allah is watching me. I move into sajdah, forehead and nose touching t … [Read more...]

The Cup

I usually don’t read parenting books. Not because I have anything against them per se, but when I’m not parenting, I’d rather not read about it. Plus, there are so many approaches out there, it often feels like I’m shouldering the burden of cynicism as I approach a specific methodology. Attach, but don’t attach too much for the sake of your sanity. Discipline, but fill their memory banks with a treasure trove of warm fuzzies. Stick to schedules; train your kids to be flexible. Be present, lean in … [Read more...]