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 … [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...]

A Beautiful Moment

My husband and I had a beautiful moment the other day, thanks to the kindness of a stranger. An event which at once beckoned us to remember Allah and His infinite blessings on us, amidst the madness that is often mealtime with kids. Those with children know exactly what I am talking about. We sat waiting for our breakfast at a favorite brunch spot, when suddenly our two girls became nostalgic for their beloved children’s song, one they ask for constantly and can never get enough of. As they … [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...]

The Landlord and the Tenant

Moving is not easy. It's even more difficult when you've left behind a perfectly well-formed life to start afresh. Since moving from an owned house to a rental house, I'm on a constantly watching the kids closely, trying to prevent the house from any damage. I seem to seize every opportunity to remind my kids not to touch the walls with dirty hands or run the truck too hard over the hardwood floors. I ask them to close the cupboard doors gently, walk softly, and be extra mindful and careful of … [Read more...]

Grow Baba Spotlight: The Visiting Professor

I often feel guilty when it comes to my kids. I know I don’t spend enough time with them.  And when I am with them, I still feel that guilt because despite my initial spike of excitement at seeing them, I realize I don't actually want to spend time with them. I prefer to sit on the couch and surf the web. I mean there is a lot of really important research that needs to be done. Should I get the Galaxy s3 or the iPhone?  And, of course, I need to catch up with my friends on Facebook and see … [Read more...]

Flawless Imperfection

It was a dark night, with the moon nowhere to be seen. We were driving home after having a great time at a family gathering. The best part was witnessing my three-year-old, Maryam, genuinely enjoy herself. My heart would just burst with joy every time she lit up, getting a thrill from seeing the pizza, the princess cake, the bounce house, and of course, all her friends and family. This invariably led to her falling asleep in the car on the way. So let me rephrase: it was a dark and peaceful … [Read more...]

GrowMama Round Up: Talking to kids about friends with bad influences

A young girl asked her elder female relatives about advice for dealing with friends that are engaged in un-Islamic behavior, such as talking inappropriately to boys. She wanted to know how to make her friends stop without becoming alienated. Here are some responses that we hope give you ideas for how to advise your own children. A says: First of all your responsibility is for you to be pure and happy and follow the footsteps of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) without compromising your Islamic … [Read more...]

Please Don’t Look Away

My four and half year old daughter Sarina has twinkling brown eyes, beautiful long, black curly hair, dimples like her daddy, a big toothy grin like her mama, and spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. She is not defined by her diagnosis, but it is an essential part of her life, and ours. My husband and I have been on a long journey to come to terms with the reality of our lives and have found ways to find the hidden blessings in it. We have formed a stronger bond with each other and our children. … [Read more...]

Better Hands than Mine

My Experience with Vaginal Birth after C-Section I had just arrived at my obstetrician’s office after finishing the five-month ultrasound at the hospital. I was expecting a quick visit since I was gearing up to switch doctors. It was time to make the first all-important decision of my pregnancy: who will delivery me via VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean). My current doctor doesn’t do VBACs, but isn’t against them. That did not console me much. I had spent five-months searching for … [Read more...]