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Just wanted to announce that today, Insha’Allah, I am officially launching “Mobilized Momma-holics”!  I have a link for it on the right…

Basically, I have wanted to do something for some time where  moms get together to have impact.  I always fantasize about us coming together and becoming a force to be reckoned with.  I want us to grow and start taking ownership of our own happiness.  I want us to grow and take ownership of how Islam is represented in this country…We’re a pool that’s totally not tapped into…

So every so often I figured we can come together for some purpose.  It can be great.  It can be small.  But hopefully, together, it will have impact.  That’s what I’m hoping for.  Let’s see what can happen.

On the right under “projects” I’ve listed our first project…I’ll also copy it below…Whether you’re a mom, or not, whether you’re married or not..or even if you’re a guy!…I hope Insh’Allah you will join me in this endeavor… 🙂

…………………………………………………………..

PROJECT ONE:


I’m proud to have you as my friend,
A wonderful friend for me;
You’re also a great mother, too;
I watch you admiringly.

Observing you, I often think
How blessed the world is now
To have you in it, friend and mom,
Thumbs up and take a bow!

Model Mama Appreciation

(Getting sick of my alliteration yet?)  I want our ‘kick off’ project to be something that directly helps all the moms out there.  I want to start by doing something for them, for us.  So I thought about what moms need that they’re not getting.  Well, that was easy – Appreciation.

Almost every mom I know feels guilty.  The working moms feel guilty.  The stay at home moms feel guilty.  Almost every mom I know feels guilty that they’re not doing enough for their kids, or that they could be doing something better.  I hardly ever hear a mom saying, “You know, I think I’m doing a pretty good job!”  But can you imagine how much better we’d all be if we could do just that?

This week, I’d like you to think about one mom who you admire.  Who inspires you.  Some one you think of as your ‘model mom’.  And I want you to tell her that.  It’s that easy.

Sometimes we spend hours chatting with our girlfriends, venting about our kids, asking each other for advice.  But how many of us actually say, “Hey, you know, you’re a really good mom”.

So think about that special mama, and then go let her know.  Oh, and when you’re done, check back in here and leave a comment letting us know you did your part in helping moms all around the world feel more appreciated!  🙂

Life with two two-year olds is not always horrible.  No, not always.  There are moments of pure joy in between mountains of head aches.

Unfortunately, I can’t really remember those “moments” right now so let’s get to the head ache at hand:  hitting.

My kids hit when they’re mad.  And sometimes just for kicks.  It’s frequent, as in every second the kids are awake.

Usually, we follow the following procedure:  hit, followed by ‘saying sorry’.  Sorry entails patting or rubbing the injured area “gently, geeently, GENTLY!” (or it’s another opportunity to give another smack), giving a kissie, and then saying “I’m sorry”.

Recently (after repeatedly having to deal with the ‘victim’s’ excessive anger and refusal to forgive), we’ve added another element:  forgiveness (original, isn’t it?).  When the offending party verbally says “sorry” the victim says “I forgive you” and then we do a great big round of huggies and ‘I love you’s’.  This has really helped them move on, and go back to being loving.  The only time forgiveness is not granted is usually when the hit or bite actually caused severe pain, in which case the ‘victim’ usually shouts “No, no ‘I forgive you!'”, and that’s ok too.

Even though we repeat this process at least a billion and a half time a day, I thought we were getting a pretty good handle on the whole hitting thing.  They usually jumped to say sorry as soon as I gave them ‘the look’.  I also caught them, a few times, saying sorry on their own.

So today I decided to do a little experiment with my number one offender – “Mac”.  I could tell, out of the corner of my eye, that he was getting agitated by having to share a toy and a meltdown was about to take place.  I could feel him looking at me out of the corner of my eye.  Even if I closed my eyes I could still make out his hand raised, looking directly at me now to see if I would react… and then – BAM.  Silence.  More looking at me.  And then – BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM… Just as many as he could get away with.  Needless to say, he didn’t pass my test of being able to control his anger and saying sorry on his own. 😦

Oh well.. there’s always room to grow.  I guess I should just be happy that our new hitting “protocol” is working right now, and that it effectively calms both of them down…

** BTW, our “book club” is up and running!  Check it out on the right —->

This is the time to remember
Cause it will not last forever.
These are the days to hold onto
Cause we won’t although we’ll want to.

Once again the kids are with grandma, and I am sitting in my living room waiting for three different security companies to come by for their appointments.  The house is quiet.  And I can think, unlike most of the time when I write.

I was fully prepared to write about an episode that happened yesterday with my kids, when something else caught my eye.. (and made me think about my old friend Billy :))

http://imjustwalkin.com/

There’s a man who quit his job and has started walking across the country.  Nuts right?  I thought so, and wasn’t even going to spend too much time thinking about it.. But the more I read, the more something about what he was doing really appealed to me.

For those who don’t know me, a couple of years ago my husband and I worked as expats (Expatriots – Americans living abroad) in Pakistan.  Whenever anyone asked me what I miss most about living overseas, I usually give the same answer:  life is just slower there.  I miss that.  A LOT.  When you go outside the US it’s like life slows down and everyone has time to ‘smell the roses’.  Sometimes, in our high-speed internet filled, drive thru world, where gratification is instant, we don’t really have time to process.  We’re just rushing to the next, forgetting about the present.

THAT’s what stuck out to me about this guy.  It’s almost like he found the ONLY way to ‘check out’ in America.  The only way to slow down.  The only way to smell the roses.  He decided to just start walking.  And it was the walking that appealed to me.  It’s slow.  You can look around and notice things.  You can talk to people.  (…is this all just because I feel guilty about not keeping up with my walking?)

When I look at his picture and see the cart he pushed, it’s like a reminder to me of just how little we really need in this world.  The Prophet (peace be upon him) told Abdullah ibn Umar, “Live in this world as though you are a stranger or a wayfarer.

Anyways, this is just something to think about on this Friday as we recite surah Kahf, a surah that always reminds me of the past, and of the future, and somehow helps me put the present into focus.

“Whoever recites Surah al Kahf will have a light emanating from himself to the House of Allah (Subhanahu wata’ala).” This means that you will be receiving Divine Guidance and will see what others cannot because Allah will show it to you [Taken from notes from Shaikh AbdulBary Yahya’s class, Echoes of a Cave].

I think I’m going to spend more time figuring out how to ‘slow life down’ and enjoy my kids more.  Enjoy life more.

Recently I decided that I wanted to take the Islamic Studies “stuff” I’m teaching my kids and ‘kick it up a notch’.  This is what we’ve been working on the last couple weeks…

We started a few weeks ago with the question “Allah kahan hain?” (Where is Allah).  To which the kids now reply, “Upar!” (Up), and point up.

This lesson took all of about… 15 seconds to teach.  So now what?  I realized that my kids are really able to pick up a lot of “stuff” but I find myself trying to think of more “stuff” to teach them.

It’s different when it comes to teaching them surahs or different du’aa.  Teaching that is pretty straightforward.  I’m thinking more about the aqeedah “stuff”.  What to believe.  How to think about things.

Unfortunately, since I didn’t have my handy dandy Islamic Studies Curriculum_18-36_months handy 😉 I had to improvise.  It didn’t occur to me to talk to them about all the things Allah made, so instead I started going through my own random tangents.  Here’s how it went ..

Mama: What’s this? (*points to a Masjid*)

Mac and Cheese:  Masjid.

Mama:  What do you do in a Masjid?

Mac and Cheese:  Akbar (aka Salah)

Mama:  Who goes to the Masjid?

Mac and Cheese:  Mssmlss (aka Muslims)

………………………………..

I’m beginning to wonder, what else can we talk about?

My twins are almost 26 months.  I constantly debate whether or not I should start potty training them but I have to admit, I’m kind of dragging my feet on this one.  I tried to start training my daughter around 17 months, but after numerous accidents I decided I just ‘didn’t feel like it’ just yet.

My kids show a lot of signs of readiness… I think.  But I just don’t really feel like doing it, to be honest.  I know everyone says life is easier after you potty train your kids, but with two, I dunno if I’m convinced.  I kind of like leaving the house knowing that I probably won’t need to change a diaper or deal with anything until I get home.  The thought of having to find a restroom when I’m out, let alone get one child to do their business there… and what am I doing with that other kid btw?  The whole thing just kind of stresses me out… *sigh*….

So in an attempt to either make me feel better, or make me feel guilty, I ask:

  1. When did you potty train your son/daughter?
  2. How long did it take?
  3. ….and if you have a little time on your hands…. HOW did you train them?

Jazakhallahu khairan in advanced!

*Sigh*..

Another day, another dollar… Wait.  I don’t get paid.  Hmmm… Ok, so just another day…

This is one of those days I’m just tired.  It’s hot outside, the kids are kind of crabby, and I’m just excessively tired today.

I don’t really feel like writing but I keep telling myself there must be a lesson today.  I must improve something today.

So I guess the lesson today is just a reminder to look at the bright side of things… So, what are some bright things today?  Let’s count..

  1. While my kids were whining about wanting to go ‘outside, mama want go outside!’ I decided to tell them to wait until the ‘man’ came (who was going to deliver our couch).  When the ‘man’ finally arrived, he set up the sofa, while the kids sat watching in a corner, and when he finished “Mac” said, “Ohh wow, thank you ‘man'”!  Even in my funkadelic mood I have to admit I was so happy that he said ‘thank you’ without being prompted.  (.. we’re just going to ignore the part where he called him ‘man’.. )
  2. Today when the kids were playing, “Mac” stepped on his stuffed monkey and said, “Oh sorry, you ok? oh, no?  ok, kissy kissy.”  Ugh, rip my heart out why don’t you kid?  I’m trying to be in a bad mood here …
  3. Had a play date.  I mean, enough said right?  I don’t know who the genius is that came up with the idea of a play date but they are lifesavers.  A place where you can literally let your kids run wild and you can just sit and talk.. Come to think of it, why do we limit it to just ‘dates’?  Let’s start play marriages…anytime we’re alone we’ll just co-raise our kids together… One mom can just throw food into the pit a couple of times a day, and that’ll be good enough..

*Sigh* … So I guess today wasn’t so bad.

…. and even if it was, after the kids wake up it’ll only be about 4 more hours till they go to bed 😉 … INSHA’ALLAH!

Once  upon a time there lived a little girl in a land called Ohio.  Everyday the little girl woke up, brushed her teeth, got dressed (while listening to “We didn’t start the fire” by Billy Joel), and went downstairs for breakfast.  While waiting for her royal coach to arrive (aka the big yellow school bus), the little girl quietly ate her Captain Crunch (with NO berries) while listening to her father walking around the house, reciting Qur’an, hands crossed behind his back as he played with a tasbeeh.

As she dashed out the door (in her imitation keds, and ‘pegged’ pants) the little girl noticed other little girls also walking towards the royal coach.  Some had brown skin, some had skin as fair as snow, some had brown eyes, and some had blue eyes.  But the little girl thought about only one thing:  they are all the same and I am different from them.

The end.

When I was growing up, we didn’t really have a lot of other Pakistanis or Indians around us, let alone other Muslims.  I grew up being very uncertain about who I was.  There was only one certainty:  I was Muslim, and they weren’t.  There existed this divide – not me against them – but rather, me.. and them.  We were separate… apart.

As an adult, I don’t quite feel the same way anymore.  Of course I’m still Muslim, but it’s ok now to be ‘American’… to officially call myself an American, to feel American.  Once upon a time, saying you were American was almost like saying you weren’t Muslim.  But times have changed.  People (and by people I really mean the Muslim community) have started to accept that calling yourself American is ok.  You CAN be a Muslim American, or an american muslim, or whatever.

Now, what about our kids?

Recently I went to a small gathering with other Muslim families.  One brother gave a talk about public perceptions of Muslims.  The really interesting twist was when he started asking the kids questions about what ‘Americans’ thought of us, Muslims.  The kids (they were SO cute btw) were, very timidly, saying that they didn’t think that Americans really like Muslims.  More interesting?  When he asked whether they (the kids) liked Americans, most said “Sometimes”, or, “It depends.”

A few of us moms began talking about this issue, and what we wanted to instill in our own kids.  To me, I really want my kids to identify themselves as “American”.  For so long we have equated being ‘American’ with being ‘Non-Muslim’.  But I want them to feel American, to own it, to have rights over it, and to expect rights from it.

I think, perhaps, for many of our parents generation, if some outrageous injustice were to happen against Muslims, or even to anyone else, they wouldn’t speak out.  I think they didn’t feel like they could, like they didn’t have the right to.  I know this passivity also took place with other first generation immigrant groups.  But many of us now are born American.  And we DO feel entitled to speak up.  We own that right just like any other person on our street, whether brown skin or white, etc etc

So the question I’m posing to all of you…. What about our home-schooled, islamic schooled kids?  Is there any sense of importance placed on being ‘American’?  Is this even something you value and want to instill in them?  And if you’re like me, and you want them to have that sense of entitlement that comes from feeling American, how do you instill that in them?