A Page From My Diary: My Children Are My Redemption

 I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I drove my parents crazy from around the time I turned thirteen. Like many young adults, I was immature and self absorbed. My heart aches when I think about the sleepless nights I must have caused them.Every time I pray—five times a day or more—I ask God to have mercy on them as they had mercy on me. I ask Him to forgive me for my ways.Last night at 2:30 am, my 9-month-old daughter, Zainab, woke up with stomach pains that made her wail. I … [Read more...]

Why Does Self-Care Feel Wrong? Challenges and Solutions on the Road to Self-Care by an Experienced Therapist

During a session in one of the wellness groups I run, I spoke to the group about the importance of self-care. One woman raised her hand and said that she feels guilty when doing any kind of self-care. A number of women, most of whom are mothers, echoed her sentiments. They said that they have so many obligations to others that taking care of their own needs feels unusual and sometimes wrong.I think many women out there, especially mothers, feel the same.I hear you.Let’s get to the b … [Read more...]

Toys for Boys and Toys for Girls? Grow Mama “Debate” Part II

Field hockey left-winger, pitcher and second baseman, lifeguard, snowboarder, sprinter (with the best 90-meter time!), high jumper and Super Mario Go Kart Champion—Yup that was me growing up.So, you may be surprised to find that I have an issue with the concept of gender-neutral toys. What is gender neutrality you ask? Merriam-Webster defines it as ‘not referring to either sex but only to people in general’.How does this definition translate into the toy industry? Commonly, it’s taking to … [Read more...]

Why I Never Prayed For a Son

Oh women!Allah raised your status from beneath the ground to the heavens. You were considered nothing— buried alive in Pre-Islamic Arabia— then He elevated you. You are the glad tidings to Jannah for your parents when you are born. You are a best friend to your siblings. You save your spouse from the fire of hell; you complete half his faith. It was for you the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) said, “paradise is beneath the feet of the mothers.”Jannah is guaranteed under your feet!So why, afte … [Read more...]

I’m Not Sorry We Aren’t Pretty Enough For You

After having two boys, I was thrilled to have a girl. Throughout my pregnancy, people reminded me to read Surah Yusuf lest I have an ugly child. Not to argue its merit, but I had always found this advice to be off-putting. It would be accompanied by an encouraging smile, which made me feel like my husband and I were ogres and that between the two of us only Surah Yusuf could save our poor child.I have a confession, I rarely read Surah Yusuf while pregnant. Beauty was never a huge priority … [Read more...]

How to Restore Yourself While Raising your Child: Advice from a Psychotherapist

Child rearing is difficult beyond measure. There’s nothing that could have prepared you fully for this, and no end in sight to the multitude of tasks that lie ahead. Some of you have slowly begun to forget the world outside, the work you did, the things you learned, the dreams you have. The strength, ambition and drive that you had before have been severely depleted. Your relationship with your spouse has slowly changed. You want to be the you that you once were, but you can’t gain sight of her. … [Read more...]

The Day I Became a Trump Supporter

When I found out I was joining the Grow Mama team, I tried to think of a topic or theme to write about.  With all of the heart-wrenching news I come across on a daily basis, I wanted to write about something light and relatively mindless.  After some soul-searching, I settled on one of my most embarrassing yet wildly entertaining past times - celebrity news.And then Trump won. I decided to share an incident that shook and challenged me as a first-time mother.  I was picking up my son from da … [Read more...]

To the working mother: you are not alone!

A dilemma many working mothers face: do I go back to work or do I stay home with my little one(s)? I remember having this internal dialogue for months during my maternity leave. The mere thought of leaving my child to the care of someone else for eight hours a day shook me to my core and left me feeling miserable for days on end.As my maternity leave came to an end, I couldn’t fathom not having the flexibility and spontaneity with which I was spending my days with my son. I began to stress a … [Read more...]

The Khan Chronicles: Adventures of a School Administrator and Her Two and a Half Children

My life and career as an educator has ensured that my list of “The Truly Shocking” has—for better or worse—dwindled with time. As a former elementary school principal and current high school vice principal, I’ve dealt with the full gamut of child-related issues. Just name it: crying children screaming for their mommies, fist fights breaking out in the cafeteria over ‘yo mama’ jokes, students struggling with mental health issues—I’ve seen it all.So you’ll forgive for once thinking that, as a b … [Read more...]

Ramadan is in the air!

My kids are still babies, the oldest is 6 (going on 16), but my nieces and nephews are newly minted teenagers. I have to say that, mashAllah, the good upbringing that their parents used to raise them is starting to blossom through their manners, priorities, and actions. In a group family message, they shared their resolutions for this Ramadan:Pray 8 rakat duha, daily Complete the Quran Watch the tongue and stay positive Do not touch anyone with anything that may hurt, annoy, or … [Read more...]