Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim
Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
I got a message from a friend on Facebook. “MashAllah, how do you do it? Take care of the kids, the house, everything?” Well, much as I would love to bask in the plaudits of my loving friends, I have to set the record straight. To the question of “How do you do it?”, my answer is “I don’t”.
See, what you see on Facebook or my blog or elsewhere is a snapshot of my life. A very, very brief snapshot, and only the picture I choose to share with you. I’ll post a status update about cooking, cleaning, chasing the kids, working on my cross stitch, curing cancer, bringing about world peace, and people will get the idea that I’m actually accomplishing something. But what I don’t mention is just as telling.
I don’t mention that I forgot to pay the water bill (again), that the kids need to have their nails trimmed before they gouge their eyes out scratching their noses, the baby should have had a bath yesterday and the floor under my dining room table looks like what the surface of Mars looks like if it was infested with a bunch of children who like to throw Cheerios and Ramen noodles at each other. Seriously.
I am so not Martha Stewart, or Rachel Ray (is it just me, or do you want to smack her every time she explains that EVOO is extra virgin olive oil; or calls that stuff in the pot “stoup”; or says “sammies”…. but I digress). I am not Holly Homemaker, to which my long suffering husband will attest. I didn’t clean the spilled blueberry juice from the bottom of the fridge not because I was too busy doing other stuff but because, dang it, I just didn’t want to. And anyway, white’s such a boring color for a fridge I thought the purple would liven things up a bit. Til it started to mold.
I don’t have perfect kids and I don’t pray all my prayers on time with perfect khushoo and – gasp! – sometimes I don’t brush my teeth before I go to bed. And I hide candy from my kids. In other words, I’m just like you, and there’s a very high likelihood that you have got it together better than I do. If that’s the case, can you please come over to my house and help me organize? Please?What I do try to be strong in is not staying on my pity pot for long, and not whining about stuff that happens in my life. I could tell you all the negative stuff, but that would be a major buzzkill. I sprinkle in just enough reality to so you can relate – we’ve all had kids get sick in the middle of the night or babies poop outside their diapers or husbands who leave the seat up or moms who simply don’t get us or jobs we hate…. I can mention that, but I won’t obsess over that, unless I can phrase it in such a way that it’s good for a laugh.
I guess that’s my key. I have a lot of earnestness – is that a word? – in my soul, but humor as well. I absolutely love being a Muslim and it tears me apart to see any of my Muslim brothers and sisters in a bad situation. It bothers me to see any human being in distress. So I offer some advice based on the fact that I’ve lived on this planet for over 43 years and have made a lot of the same mistakes someone else is about to make, and perhaps, just perhaps, I’ve gained some perspective and a whit of wisdom. I like to leaven my stern words with some humor, a spoonful of honey to help the medicine go down, because no one likes to be harangued. That’s just the way I am.
So, don’t ever make the mistake of thinking I’m a scholar or I’m up on some pedestal or that I go through my days sweeping and dusting and doing white glove inspections of my home. For every wall I scrub, there’s a chair with a dust bunny growing ever larger under it. When I clean the bathroom, the kids are behind me shoving crayons between the sofa cushions. I’m fighting a losing battle against the bugs of surburbia and the squirrels are mounting a flanking attack on the balcony. I don’t have a college degree, I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV. I’m just a normal, everyday, opinionated revert Muslim woman trying to make sense of it all. I’m just happy to have you folks along for the ride.