Mom, I have the weirdest parents of all my friends.
You guys are not like anyone else’s parents.
Me: Is that bad?
Me: Help me understand.
Some parents are super strict. You can’t breathe, you can’t relax, and you never have any fun. Then, there are some parents that just don’t care.
You guys are like those custom privacy settings on Facebook. Some things are locked down, and some you don’t really care about. Then there are some things that are just in the middle.
Me: Ahhh, I see. Is that a bad thing?
No. I like it.
I had this conversation with one of our children over the summer and I recall it on a weekly basis. It brings be immense joy and comfort that our parenting style is like the custom settings. I don’t see how it could possibly be any other way, but I’m thrilled that its not a bad thing.
People often ask us how we do this balance thing. They don’t understand how and why our children are so different than the typical kids at the mosque. They ask what we do differently; how they can teach their kids to be like ours. We walk the fine line of pride and humility and neither one of us can give an elevator pitch answer. It is because in every situation, there is a different answer.
Khaled and I have talked and talked and talked some more. We bring together our cultural baggage and our family of origin’s baggage and the hadith and Islam and the patriarchal filter and the feminist filter and then we sift through it all.
He listens to me and I listen to him. We compromise. We decide what is the forest and what are the trees and then we make the plan of attack.
Then, each time the subject arises again, we check in with each other to make sure we are still on the same page.
Sometimes we are, and sometimes revisions need to be made.
Just like when you go through your friends list on Facebook and weed out those people who you don’t interact with anymore, or those people who ended up being toxic, or who ghosted on you. You edit, revise and create new boundaries that fit the parameters for your current goals.