Daughters of Mine

You poor dears.Bored of meetings in spare office spaces instead of play dates. You sit on my knees while I type emails and I bribe you with Sunmaid raisin boxes and cheerios for a few more minutes to finish up this or that. You become resigned to my requests for "five more minutes," and so often I realize I take advantage of a toddler's patience.As a MAS Youth worker, I get fellow activists without children sometimes coming up to me and expressing admiration at how we moms manage to stay … [Read more...]

The Car Ride

The Quran is filled with many stories that teach us valuable morals. It’s nice when parents can be creative and diligent in connecting the lessons and beauty of the Quran to children. In our family, we look for “teachable” moments to share and explore Quranic lessons. A few weeks ago, I had an interesting car ride…I was driving my 5 year old son to school and he said to me, “Mom, I’m nervous about my presentation today.” I paused for a moment and wondered why he was nervous. He was excited ab … [Read more...]

Mothering My Nature

What makes parenting so scary? It seems like a question with an obvious answer considering all the responsibility linked to the tiny title of ‘parent’; however I ask this because I think this fear is a new phenomenon. When I look at my own parents or my parent’s parents and speak to them about the roles of a mother or father, they are so calm about it. They take the role seriously yet have also demonstrated ease in relation to the topic and in performing the job.So why this new generation of … [Read more...]

Waiting to be Five

We adults are well aware that we’re getting older and that we’re changing-in more ways than most of us would like to admit-but most of us don’t really think about the number of our age.  At least, we don’t talk about it. On the rare occasion that someone might ask about my age, I often have to consciously bring up the information. I remember once a friend asked me how old I was. I couldn’t remember! Am I 26 or 27? I was 27.Even though we all were children once, we adults forget-like so much e … [Read more...]

Disciplinary Technique: 1, 2, 3 Magic!

Every parent has their own techniques for discipline, but here is a humorous tale about the “magic” of counting to three that you may find useful.Black, black and more black!  Black seemed to be the only colour choice for Fatima’s three and a half year old daughter, Jameela. Day after day, the little girl vigorously scribbled until her colouring book was covered with a thick, waxy build up of black crayon.  Fatima sat with her little girl, and offered other colours.  She even tried to colour … [Read more...]

The Balancing Act

We were a single child family for five plus years before the birth of our daughter, alhamdulillah. Therefore the constant advice given to us was to ensure that we made time for our son after the baby arrived, after all, he had been the center of our attention for so long and he would be the one with more understanding.Prior to her birth, we began this process, by explaining to him that not only was there going to be someone new for all of us to love, but more importantly he would be getting … [Read more...]

Resigning from the Etiquette Police

I give up. I’m surrendering.  I won’t do it any more—it’s an impossible mission.  It is no longer my responsibility if kids get hurt, property is damaged, our image gets tarnished, food gets wasted, or it’s noisy during Taraweeh prayer. Are you listening? I am officially resigning from my twenty-five year stint as a self-appointed member of the Etiquette Police.... I’m worn out. Exasperated.  Defeated.I have only myself to blame.  I took on the job thirty years ago when I reverted to Islam. N … [Read more...]

Tips for Teaching Quran to Young Children

The responsibility of teaching young children the Quran is a heavy weight on my shoulders. I imagine most Muslim parents feel this way.Part of my discomfort is that we are a non-Arabic speaking family. For years both my husband and I have struggled to memorize the Quran. I remind my self daily, despite the circumstances, that every Muslim is obliged to make attempts to learn and understand the book of Allah (swt) in the best way possible. I tell my five-year-old son and three-year-old … [Read more...]

Sunshine

Looking back now it’s funny to think that by my mid-twenties I had thought that all my exciting firsts were behind me.  However in the past 2.5 years I’ve experienced a lot of firsts that have pushed all my other firsts to second place.  Getting married, my first home, my first child and inevitably, my first emotional moment as a mother.I was singing to my little girl while changing her, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.  You make me happy when skies are grey.  You’ll never know dear, … [Read more...]