Quietude


My Dear Children,

When it gets crazy and out of control, just go outside. Alhamdulilah, we are so fortunate to have a big, beautiful park/garden on our doorstep.

We took a big, empty bucket and filled it with some water at the park. Voila! You guys played peacefully, engrossed in nature and the therapy of water, while I sat with a book and listened as the birds sang me a song. Quietude. Alhamdulilah.

When you need a different perspective, let outside be your calm. SubhanaAllah, there’s something about nature that calms the nerves and allows kids to just be free.

May we always appreciate the simple things. Ameen.

With all my love,
Mommy

 

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Unconditional Love


My Dear Children,

I love you. It is a statement I say to you often. The words are sometimes supported with actions, but sometimes they are not. I love you, in my imperfect way, sometimes I love you incompletely, selfishly, with conditions, thinking that I truly love you. You teach me about love as we grow in it.

Know that your Best Friend, your Consoler and mine, Allah Swt, loves you completely and forever. He Swt loves you with your idiosyncrasies, with your flaws, with your mistakes, without limits. No love can compete with that Love as much as we try.

May you rest peacefully in this Love. Take comfort in it. And may it always be enough for you. Ameen.

With all my love,

Mommy

Issues


My Dear Children,

 

We all have issues. What are issues? you ask. They are those dormant things that lie there under the Welcome rug of the front door. They lie there asleep, until, one day, children come to wake them up.

 

There is something I’ve learnt that I would like to pass on to you verbally. We all have issues. We walk around with them, like a bag hanging on our arm. They stay close by, until you face them, look at them CLOSE UP. Because whether YOU CHOOSE to look at your issues or not, they’re still there. And they will stay there, lekker sitting on your shoulder, until you give them the acknowledgment and attention they’re begging for. Much like children.

 

So, in a nutshell, whether you make an issue of an issue or not, it will remain an issue, it will come up sneakily in surprising ways, in basic chores, in everyday interactions, in important relationships… until you give it time and attention and then nicely let it walk away satisfied.

 

If you still don’t understand what issues are, my dear children, just wait a while. Your teacher child will teach you this lesson one day. Ameen. And may it bring about growth and better self-awareness. Ameen.

 

With all my love,

Mommy

“I want both Mommy’s arms to hug me!!”


My Dear Children,

 

“I want both Mommy’s arms to hug me!!” AA sreamed this morning and cried on and on, as I tried to split myself physically and emotionally between AA and W.

 

W wanted to drink and sleep. Or maybe just cuddle. Again. AA wanted my attention. My full, undivided attention. My whole, undivided body. I couldn’t give it to him.

 

What is really fair between children? How do you know?

 

I think about how AA’s outburst started this morning, taking me completely by surprise as he almost never has outbursts like this.

 

“Yes, you can watch Daniel Tiger on the phone,” I said.

“Can I hold the phone, Mommy?”

“You can hold the phone if you are going to be responsible about it. How will you be responsible?”

“I won’t press anything.”

“And what will you do if you see the bus or car and you want to watch that?”

“I will ask Mommy.”

“And if you do press any buttons. What can I do?”

“Mommy can take the phone away.”

“Okay.”

 

Agreement made. All good. Watching Daniel Tiger. Buttons get pressed here and there by mistake:

“I didn’t mean to press, Mommy.”

“Okay.”

 

But it happened again and again later.

So, it wasn’t AA’s fault, but I decided to rather let him watch without holding it but to have it sit on a surface. AA didn’t appreciate that! He exploded into rage. He went on and on and on and screamed and cried and who the heck is this child?!! And he hit and he kicked and whatever he could do to show how angry he was, he did. And he kept repeating that he wants to watch Daniel Tiger and hold the phone. At this point, somewhere along the line, I put Daniel Tiger off. For a split second I thought, all my calming down techniques are not working with him right now, maybe I should just give him what he wants so that he can calm down. But I stuck it through. Shoo! The calm after the storm couldn’t have come soon enough! And then W was on the left side of me making her demands and making her feisty presense known.

 

Eveeeeentually, after minutes and minutes of screaming and crying, AA finally fell asleep in my arms on the right and W on the breast and in my arms on the left. Quiet. Beautiful quietude. Alhamdulilah.

 

And as I lay in the quiet, I thought about AA and how much he needs more love and attention from me. And how, as much as I try, he still is not getting enough attention and love that is the right amount for him.

 

And then I thought about his demand to keep the phone. Power. He wanted the power. He felt like a big boy by holding the phone. And then I took the power away. Eish.

 

When AA woke up, his first words: “I’m calm now so can I hold the phone now, Mommy?” as if he never even napped!

 

May Allah Swt always grant me the ability to stay calm and to respond with calm and to teach you what calm is.  <Big breathe in and out.> Ameen.

 

With all my love,

Mommy

 

When you’re a mom inshaAllah…


My Dear Daughter,

One day you may, inshaAllah, be a mother. When that day comes, inshaAllah, you may, on a day, find the tears streaming as you doubt your capabilities as a mother, thinking you are not made of the right stuff for this job. Convince yourself that you are not alone. Convince yourself that Allah Swt is right beside you, even when it feels like you’re alone. Allah Swt is All Knowing and All Wise and He has given you this job knowing you can handle it. Say it over and over again. If that’s what you have to do to get motivated again, repeat it to yourself as much as you have to:

Allah is with me and He knows I can do this.

And remember, your job is not a small one. It is huge on the list of job rankings in the eyes of Allah. Allah knows and sees your struggles, your perseverance, your effort for self-control is noticed. Your job, my child, is equivalent to that of a man leaving his house for battle. Remember that.

With all my love,
Mommy

Significance and Belonging – The Most Important Thing I’ve Learnt About Children


My Dear Children

I know it’s crazy and untrue, but sometimes it feels like you are purposely being difficult and misbehaving.

I know in reality that is not the case.

I know that by you not listening to my requests it is just you screaming out to me – in the best way you know how – that you need something from me. I know that it is you feeling threatened by your other three siblings that you won’t get your turn for positive attention.

I’ve learnt that your most important needs are feeling significant and that you belong. And that once your needs are met, the world is rosy and lovely and the ship sails like it should. I know because I’ve seen how smoothly our day goes when it’s fuelled with positive attention.

Life is busy. But I’ve experienced that it is only busy because we are not viewing and managing time correctly. The other day I was wondering… if one of you were to come to me with the words, “Mommy, that day when I was pulling at Mommy’s dress while Mommy was on the phone, I wasn’t trying to be naughty, I was just trying to get Mommy’s attention because I wasn’t feeling important. I needed to feel like I was still important. I needed Mommy to show me that I belong.” Hmm… Would the words make a difference in the way I’d respond and in what I’d choose to do about it? Or would I be too busy? It’s simple. And I should remember this in the haste of the day’s routine.

Children need to feel significant and that they belong. When this need is not met, they misbehave and therefore force adults to meet that need of theirs, albeit in a negative way.

Aaah, the lessons kids teach us everyday! It’s difficult and frustrating sometimes but it does mould us into a better version of ourselves, disconnecting and reconnecting and constantly upgrading.

May we continuously strive to help each other in filling each other’s buckets because that is part of our purpose of existence. Ameen.

With all my love,

Mommy

The Loneliness of Motherhood


My Dear Children,

I suppose it is all part of the cycle of life that every mother must go through. The loneliness, sadness, expectations and disappointments. I suppose every mother gets her turn to experience the dark side of motherhood at different stages and at varying degrees. The struggle to be happy and the guilt when not being able to. The helplessness upon seeing the clear effects of your grumpy and sorry mood reflected on your children in their acting up and their misbehavior. They cannot help it and it all just bounces right back to the mother. It is a heavy sack to carry. Very heavy. But Allah Swt does not burden us with more than we can handle. So, my dear children, take solice, when you grow up and hold the privilege and test of parenthood… take comfort in the softness of knowing that Allah Swt is in full control, he is right there beside you in your darkness and loneliness. And He Swt is pleased with you. Ameen.

With all my love,

Mommy