My dear sister – I need no explanation.

Asalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu everyone,

I hope you are all having a fruitful Ramadan. I’m off social media to take advantage of this blessed time but I popped back on to share this reflection which I think some of you may resonate with.

Yesterday, we went to our local masjid and as we walked into the sister’s section the salaah had already begun, the Imam was reciting, there was a wonderful atmosphere, filled with peace and serenity.

But just as I was about to join the jama’ah with my kiddos I was swiftly told I had to go upstairs since this area was for women without children.

I didn’t mind, and off we headed upstairs. But as soon as we reached the top of the stairs, I almost felt like I was in a different masjid. The atmosphere was totally different.

I wasn’t met with silence but with the sound of a crying baby, the smell of bottled milk and a sight of scattered baby bags.

As I made my way further into the room, I walked past a woman trying to settle her child before the next rakaah began, another scrambling to find things to keep her toddler busy and another who just looked worried; I’m guessing she was hoping her baby would sleep through the salaah.

And it dawned on me. That even though I didn’t know these women, and they didn’t know each other; we were connected.

We didn’t have to say anything but the struggle voiced itself.

I didn’t know where she was from, but I had a good idea of what was going through her mind.

And I’m pretty sure we all had a pack of baby wipes in our bag somewhere.

You see, when Ramadan comes, we as mother’s often voluntarily put ourself at the back of the queue. We facilitate everyone else’s ibadaah, be it ensuring our children read more Qur’an, to making sure our husband’s clothes are ready for taraweeh, to cooking up a gourmet iftaar.

And while that is wonderful, and a path to seek reward, sometimes we need to just put everything aside….just for a few moments, and think about nothing and no one, except for ourselves.  Because these precious moments give us the momentum to then give back to those around us.

Aside from that, I noticed something just as wonderful. Our common struggle resulted in a non judgemental atmosphere.

You see, I understood why the sister was there….and that was far dearer to me than caring if her child was in her pyjamas. 

Sisters didn’t get mad when a random toddler tugged at their khimar…they were used to it.

Noone seemed to point fingers when a child was disruptive – there were no stern looks. 

My dua for you my dear sister is that you benefitted from those few moments of peace…may Allah reward you in abundance for all your beautiful effort, Ameen.

And if you ever run out of baby wipes? I have plenty…don’t worry.


Crack the Ramadan Code: Junior Edition!

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu sisters,

I hope you are all well.  I had several sisters message me to say that they will be doing the ‘Crack the Ramadan code-challenge’ with their families, which is super Allahuma barik.  However, there were some sisters who told me that their children were a little too young to participate, so I made a toddler-friendly version!
Ramadan Code Challenge printables -Junior-page-002

The setup is exactly the same as the original challenge, even the code itself is the same.  However, for the junior edition, the questions are much easier, with clues and pictures to help the child further.  Of course, a grown-up helper can help spell out the word too. Read More


Family Challenge: Crack the Ramadan Code!

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu

I hope everyone is doing well and getting excited for Ramadan which is less than a week away!  

Today, I’d like to share another Ramadan activity that can be done by the whole family.  Like our Gratitude board, this ones not just for the kids.  Kids, parents, grandparents and guests can all join in.  But there’s a big difference….. this is a CHALLENGE!

Let me introduce our ‘CRACK THE RAMADAN CODE’ challenge.

img_20180510_151912731691678.jpg

The concept is simple.  Every day, for the next 30 days (or 29) you will be handed an envelope.  In this envelope, there will be a question related to Ramadan.  There are some simple questions, and some fairly challenging.  I kept them varied so everyone has a chance to help crack the code! Read More


The self-care myth

Asalamu Alaykum ladies
Ever find yourself…

Still wearing the same pjs/shalwar kameez/sheedh or baati you woke up with at 5pm?
Forgetting to brush your teeth?
Eating the whole family size bar of chocolate, instead of a couple of squares?

I feel you, I’ve done the same.

You see as mothers, and homeschool moms, in particular, I feel, as our responsibilities increase and the demands of daily life seem like an ever-growing mountain, we tend to put our self-care on the back burner.  

Ahh yes, the infamous old ‘Self-care’ that we’ve all heard about before.  It’s the term we google late at night when we’ve slept with our coffee-stained PJs, wondering whatever happened to the old me. 

But self-care for me is simple. 

It’s anything you do for yourself that feeds your mind, body and soul. 

And a word of warning here..it doesn’t have to be so elaborate! One mistake I feel we make when we do have those late night panic attacks, is to associate self-care with something that takes up hours of time which we don’t have, hence we swiftly click off Google and go back to binging on our chocolate bar.  

But self-care doesn’t have to mean we need to go on a mountainous hike, all alone, with a coffee every morning before the kids wake up.  Or that you must commit to a gym workout every day while the hubby keeps the kids.  While it’s fantastic if you can do this (!), it’s not realistic for everyone.   

On the other hand, don’t make the mistake of thinking that those pockets of time you do have for yourself though, are better spent on doing something else either. When we make self-care an extra thing to squeeze in ‘if we have time’, as opposed to a ‘priority’, we fall into a vicious circle of feeling like we’re living in the same day.  Lack of nourishing ourselves, and giving to others constantly without replenishing, leads to a bad case of getting burnt out. 

So make a promise to yourself today and… 

Don’t skip that shower to get an early start on breakfast.
Pray on time, the hoover can wait.
Brush your teeth first, the kids seemed to be immune to each others ‘morning breath’ anyway.
Realise when one cup of coffee becomes one too many, and replace with water instead.
While the kids are playing, read that book which inspires you.
Don’t skip making the juice because of the mess.  It doesn’t bother you when you know allowing the kids to make pizza will make them happy, so it shouldn’t bother you when you know how good it will make you feel after.
Get the workout in – come rain or shine!
Schedule a class for yourself, either in person or online.  Do what works for you.
Go for a long walk, and take the kids with you if you have to!

Have a wonderful day ladies!