Calm Me Down

I came across a tip in Screamfree Parenting by Hal Runkel that really clicked with my often-defunct brain (I lost a mixing bowl for 20 minutes last night—with the beaten eggs, sugar, and baking soda inside). Anyway, I'm hoping it will resound with you as it did for me.When we yell at our kids, it doesn’t matter what we say. What we are really saying is, “CALM ME DOWN!” Your child will then rush to oblige—or not!—in order to stop you from throwing a fit, not because she wants to do the right t … [Read more...]

Flip

I flipped out on my kids tonight. I know all the strategies out there about how to get your kids to try new foods and develop sophisticated palates. The common denominator as far as I can tell is that you DO NOT force your kids to swallow and finish the eggplant and capers entrée or calamari and goat cheese appetizer, all the while disregarding their protests. So long as they have tried it (my friend uses the 3 spoons rule), the experts remind us, we should respect their tastes and not push the … [Read more...]

Vegetable Gardening With Your Family

A tiny tomato seed is planted in the earth. It needs water and sun but slowly it grows from a seed to a tiny seedling and then to a beautiful tomato plant with branches bending under the weight of the heavy, ruby-like globes. SubhanAllah. Even as an adult, I feel humbled. I want to pass this feeling on to my children; I don’t want them to take all the vegetables piled high in the grocery store for granted. I want them to appreciate the perfection of Allah’s creation, evident to us as we watch a s … [Read more...]

In The Pool

Watching my boys swim in the leisure pool, I turn to my husband Yusuf and say, “There’s nothing like watching them play in the pool. They’re so innocent, sweet and carefree. They’re all smiles! It’s so refreshing just to witness their playfulness while they’re splashing in the water.”Yusuf throws me a puzzled look. I guess he doesn’t see it the same way I do.I cherish these moments when I can watch my kids whether they are swimming, playing soccer, skateboarding, biking or even reading. S … [Read more...]

Baby Blues

For two weeks after having Khadijah, I had the baby blues. It wasn’t full-on post-partum depression, but every evening, when the sun set, I would start to cry. It would last a few minutes, my husband would comfort me, and that was it. And after two weeks, it went away.Part of it was hormonal, I know. But I also had a tough time adjusting to having a baby. Much of it was what most moms go through – uncertainty if you’re doing things right, and then worry about the uncertainty, and then worry a … [Read more...]

The Wedding Speaker

She is the Wedding Speaker.  Perhaps that sounds unamazing or cliché to you, but to me and those who know her, it’s an amazing feat.I was speaking to a friend on the phone a few days before her wedding, and she asked me to give a small talk on her special day.  ‘Uhhhh, what about Um A?’ I asked.  She’s a happy speaker masha'Allah, and she always manages to make people smile.  And come to think of it, she’s the one who has been speaking at our community weddings for the past few years.  When I … [Read more...]

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...]

uranI Love my Dishes

I wish all my dishes, spoons, forks, and cups were disposable!!I wish they could invent disposable pots too. These are my wishes every time I go inside my kitchen and see the mountains and hills made by my dishes. Every day I wash the dishes then use them, then wash them again.I say Bismillah and start to wash the dishes. I remember the few times I go eat out, looking at the waiter take the dishes for someone else to wash. I also remember our dear sisters under fire who are forced to … [Read more...]

Self Esteem

A sister posted this quote from the O website on another group.“Parents who neglect to love themselves raise kids who don't show themselves self-love, either. They don't treat themselves the way you treat them. They treat themselves the way you treat you."This quote opened up a flood of emotions in me.This was my response to her post:I think that the single most important thing that we as mothers can do for our children is to give them a quiet sense of self-respect and s … [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...]