How to Survive Your First Year of Motherhood in a Foreign Country

All right, I’ve been here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for about three and-a-half months now and I’ve probably cried the equivalent of at least one of those months so far. No, don’t say "Aww, she’s miserable."  For the record, I’m not miserable or suicidal; I am a first time mother of a beautiful five-month-old baby boy who moved halfway across the world with my husband seven weeks after giving birth.  Do I love my little boy in a completely indescribable way that only other moms would be able to un … [Read more...]

GrowMama Roundup: The Season of Motherhood

A constant question that arises in our minds as mothers is how we can maintain individual fulfillment while making sure that our children are being nurtured and cared for. One of our GrowMama mothers posited the question this way: Why is the mother’s role frequently limited to raising leaders instead of being leaders, or being the seekers of change? Am I raising two girls so that they will raise more girls who will raise more girls? Sometimes I wonder when WE get to be our own people in … [Read more...]

Resentment or Reward?

I have a vision of how I want to earn the pleasure of Allah (swt). This vision is filled with intensive learning, spiritual halaqas, and being in the company of those who fill me with His remembrance. I yearn for a deeper understanding of the Qur'an, learning the etymology of the rich Arabic words that are pregnant with meaning. I dream of going abroad, praying fajr in different masaajid, sitting at the feet of learned scholars, going from one spiritual high to the next. I find myself … [Read more...]

Pause

If I interrupt this silent reverenceWith a hurry up, come, what do you see?I divert her quiet moment with nature,And point it instead at me.At screens, voices, more stimulation,Questions, answers and explanationsBut what really matters, what makes it real,Is that here she learn to listen and feel.Touching the textures and rhythms of creationThis reverence may one day lead to worshipOne day she may hear the pulsing glorificationFrom rocks under foot and leaves over … [Read more...]

Six Year Old

Last night, as I was tucking my daughters into bed, I watched my six-year old cozy up to her two teddy bears, one on either side of her, and lay her head on the pillow, almost inviting slumber and dreams to envelop her for the next 10 hours. She’s a great actor, that little drama queen of mine! The last to fall asleep and the first to get up, she’s often the only member of our family who sees my husband leave for work. She and I both knew she had at least another hour ahead of her before she tru … [Read more...]

One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back

A few weeks ago I went with my family to the WALK NOW FOR AUTISM walk, in Washington, D.C.Groan. Talk about walking three miles with two two-year-olds who don't want to walk at the pace of the other hundreds of people. Or with your group. Or with Mama or Baba. Or according to anyone else's wishes.Nope.Two-year-olds walk the way THEY want to.So we started at 10 a.m.By 10:05 we were way behind our group. By 10:10, I couldn't see our group anymore. By 10:30, I couldn't even … [Read more...]