Holding Onto Identity

It's what defines us... who we are, what we stand for, our past and our future. We hold on to values, culture, language, religion, morals, family, ethics.... we hold on to identity. We all struggle in varying degrees with our sense of identity, some more than others. We strive to keep the norms, hand down the dress, memorize the songs, pass on the recipes, learn the customs but most importantly teach our children their roots and the roots of their ancestors.We pass on to them the foundations … [Read more...]

Courage to Change

Not many of us crave change.  In fact, many of us will try to avoid it and even resist it. But change is a constant in life. We are born as tiny helpless infants and if Allah (SwT) wills, we grow into active children and youth, then ambitious adults, and finally we grow old and become frail and weak yet again. We change not only physically, but emotionally.  Allah (SwT) tells us in the Quran: “And that it is He who makes one laugh and weep” (Surah Al-Najm: 44).  One day we are happy, and the next … [Read more...]

How I Homeschool

There are so many ways to homeschool, and most homeschoolers will tell you that they don’t question whether or not to homeschool – but rather HOW.   I’m not sure exactly what to call what we do, although others have come up with “unschooling”, “learning at home”, “self-directed education” and “child-centered learning,” among others.  What we don’t do is have a school at our home.  Homeschooling, however referred to, and whatever the methodology, just means that parents are taking on the responsib … [Read more...]

Liberated Through Sewing

I would never have guessed,Had you asked me before,That sewing would be somethingI would opt for.I never took a class,Never really liked it,Watched my older sisters suffer,And hate every bit.See, they chose to take classes,In their high school years,And seeing them sew,Was what bred my fears.Oh, the nights they stayed up late,With coffee cup in hand,Fretting over backwards zippers,And stray threads and strands.Oh, the tension that grew,As the … [Read more...]

Why Do You Wear It?

For Muslim women who are wearing hijab, hoping to put it on, thinking of taking it off or already have, watching the media put their spin on hijab is surreal. Class, politics, oppression, suppression, economic status, religious superiority, intellectual inferiority, modesty, shame, pride—it’s all been said. The more layers are piled on, the more complicated hijab seems.So, why do you wear that scarf?I’ve been asked that question a hundred times, but sometimes still fumble for an a … [Read more...]

Letting Go

They were little: crawling, babbling, teething, walking, sleeping, waking. First it was preschool, then elementary, off to middle school and finally into high school. Plays, concerts, classroom parties, volunteering, cub scouts, girl scouts, softball, karate, gymnastics, practice, soccer, swimming, art projects, science projects, religion, mock trials, honors classes, MUN, AP, IB, MSA, GPA, SAT's, college applications and 18 years later ...University.It's here, the time when they go. For some … [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...]

Nurturing Habits

This week, we asked three of our GrowMamas this question: What do you recommend in terms of habits or rituals that allow you as a busy mother to relax and nurture yourself from time to time?Z writes:"Motherhood is not only the most rewarding job in the world; it is also the most demanding.   If we don’t nurture ourselves, it’s easy to feel ‘depleted’ and lose our positive energy, often feeling like we don’t have much to give to others.Every day I try to set aside 30 minutes in the mornin … [Read more...]

The “D” word

It feels like drowning in the dark, and you don't know how to swim. Sometimes it feels like the sick feeling you have when you get the news that someone very close to you has a deadly disease. I can go on and on how horrible it feels but it won't be enough. That's what depression feels like.In the beginning nothing worked, I didn't know what was "happening" to me so my kind family doctor gave me anti-depressants. I remember how good they felt, "IT" was over I thought. Yes I didn't feel … [Read more...]

To Him we belong, and to Him is our return.

Being pregnant was a surreal experience for me. I had never liked pets. You probably can’t see the connection between pets and pregnancy, but for a person who was never comfortable around little living, breathing creatures with anatomies that differed from mine, a slight stretch of the imagination is all you need to see what I mean. Plus the two were almost totally absent from my childhood. So when I felt the baby kick, and later hiccup, bend her elbows, and stretch her legs, I was in awe of A … [Read more...]