The Irritated Homeschool Mom

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies

I can’t believe its almost the end of October! We’ve been at our usual school routine for almost six weeks now and time has flown!

And although I thoroughly enjoy our homeschool journey there are times it can get tough.  Which brings me to the subject of this post.

You see, no matter how much we do enjoy our journeys, we are still human and are prone to days that don’t go as planned.  And despite having meal planned for the week, waking up to a clean house and lessons laid out on the dining table (go Super Mum!), it can take something mundane and you and you get irritated-fast!

So how do we come with days we become irritable?  Especially when these sorts of days keep on cropping up and start to affect the overall atmosphere of our home.  

I know the term ‘self care’ is often thrown out their at us Mothers when we seem to be having a bad day, but I’d like to delve a little further.

So instead of the term self-care, I propose ‘listen to yourself’.

Why do I say that?  Because for me ‘ self-care’ isn’t enough.  That one night ‘off’ to read a book whilst putting on a face-mask although can help temporarily, doesn’t always get to the root cause.  It allows you to pause and reflect when alone but not so much when you need it the most – when your with your children.

See difficult days are not related so much to the trigger i.e your toddler interrupting read aloud time again and again but more so when you haven’t paused to listen to what YOU need.  Like I mentioned on a recent Instagram post, as homeschool Moms we get so caught up in making learning a ‘freeing’ experience for our children, we somehow shackle ourselves.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.

So take some time out and listen to yourself.  

Did you eat breakfast or did you only plate up for the kids?
Did you get a good nights sleep or were you last to sleep and first to rise?

Did you enjoy the lesson you taught today or did the over-planning tire you and reduce it to a checklist box to get done?
Do you have enough gaps in your day to prolong positive learning opportunities or are extracurricular activities making life rigid?

Most importantly…

Are you rushing your salaah to get started on dinner, thus losing the beautiful essence of khushoo?
Are you yourself connecting with the Qu’ran, beyond revising with your children?
Is your intention to teach your children revisited often or has it gone rusty therefore you’ve lost your way?

Ask yourself what is bothering you. Listen intently and carefully.

It could be something as simple as you’re hungry to something much deeper like feeling a dip in your emaan.  Once you’ve pinpointed the root cause of your irritability, you can work on solutions and thus avoid being an irritated Mama.

As I say, it’s not the morning basket that makes the morning pretty; it’s you.


Make the Week(end) work for you

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu my dear Mamas

I hope you are all having an enjoyable weekend.  I’ve intended to write this post for some time and asked on Instagram if you would be interested in reading it, to which several of you replied “Yes!”.  And like one sister pointed out, the struggle of finding time to enjoy our time is an issue Mamas in general face so much needed!

Before I start, let me explain the reasons as to why I personally made some changes and why the weekend wasn’t working for me.  See, I’d trained myself to see as the weekend as a break up of two things.  The first day was the ‘I’m not lifting a finger at all’ and the second was ‘Oh my gosh, its time to get my house back in order’ day.  Which meant I’d be deep cleaning all day, spending little time with my family: stressing myself out before the new week had even started.  And then homeschool planning after all the cleaning and cooking wasn’t exactly what I looked forward to either, especially if I just realised that I didn’t have the supplies I need!

So, I made some changes.  which have helped me regain that balance I was craving, Alhamdulillah, and I hope they help you too.

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Enjoy your Homeschool Season

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu Sisters,

Imagine this. You take a couple of minutes to check your Instagram post and see you a fellow homeschooling family outside, school finished and now headed to the lake…

Thats all well and good Alhamdulillah, until you realise the time difference, they  are several hours behind you but still managed to get things done before you.  Panic kicks in, you post a question on Instagram asking for tips which come flooding in…..and before you know it, you begin to question everything about your homeschool.

What you don’t realise is that post you saw, that tiny glimpse of someone else’s life, was just that.  A glimpse.  Rather than look at what was different between your families and someone else’s and give yourself grace, you chose to only look at the word homeschool and instead gave yourself tonnes of grief.

See, we are all in different seasons of our homeschool.  Some of you may just have started your homeschool journey and finding your feet, others may have been schooling for several years and now have the addition of a newborn, and a toddler who demands attention.  Others may have been schooling for several years now and are now on the verge of considering high-school options-a whole new world!  But homeschool seasons aren’t restricted to the ages and grades of your children.  What about  considering LIFE itself???

You may be moving home, have guests round, starting house renovations or going through a difficult time in life.  These are all life seasons, including the ups and the downs.  

So rather than compare, or yearn to be at a particular season to start or fully focus, embrace what you have now. 

Enjoy
-The novelty of sitting on packed suitcases while doing some morning Math.
-Starting English a little later because you want to snooze with your newborn.
-Wrapping up by lunchtime because the kids now work independently

or simply being happy with keeping your school consistent through more difficult times.

Adapting and embracing to each season allows us to create positive memories.  Sitting at the school room table wont be remembered quite the same as sitting in an empty apartment-seriously!.  If you want to keep HOME the focus of your homeschool journey, its important to school around life seasons and enjoy the moment.  Some seasons will be faster than others, some will be easier, some will be a mix of both. 

But whatever the season, enjoy the pace you’re going at.


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!

 


Parenting popped my personal bubble.

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies, what comes to your mind if I was to say…

“Parenting popped my personal bubble.

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Let me elaborate.
Do you ever miss…
Praying salah without someone tugging at your khimar, perhaps in a quiet room, with lit candles and bukhoor burning in the background?
Eating a chocolate bar, without having to share a piece?
Being able to focus on your needs, without having to pause to cook, clean or tend to kids?
Having a decent nights sleep, without that having to mean you wake up to twice the amount of chores?
Attending classes at the masjid without worrying about finding a creche?
Having time with your spouse, when you could take impromptu holidays and have alone time that didn’t need to be scheduled?
Being your pre-baby weight, since you’ve had children your body has not been the same?

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My Bad Homeschool Day Survival Guide

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies

No matter how much we plan, schedule, and prepare, it’s safe to say that sometimes those wonderfully planned school days just don’t work out. 

But don’t panic!  Heres a quick guide to help you recover your day and not let one bad homeschool day turn into one bad homeschool week!  Be it the night before, during the day, or dealing with the aftermath, we’ve got you covered.

My Bad Homeschool Day Survival Guide-page-001 Read More


Umm is a title, not an eraser.

Asalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu my dear sisters

I hope that the title of this post has encapsulated what I wanted to talk about today.

Let me begin by reminding myself and you that motherhood is beautiful, a blessing from Allah, and a trust from Him. This post is not intended to come across as a complaint but rather to offer a supportive hand to my dear sisters.

Alhamdulillah, the majority of our days are joy-filled, and I can truly say I have not experienced anything more wonderful than motherhood. But there are days that we feel so overwhelmed, we begin to feel like we don’t know who we are anymore. We were once avid readers, nature lovers, writers, students. Everything that we wanted to do that day was a decision solely based around ourselves.

Then motherhood came along it seems, erased our personalities, and we went from being Hafsa to JUST Umm Adam. And before this gets taken in the wrong context, I am not saying anything negative about having a kunya, I love and embrace my own, Alhamdulillah.

But imagine you were to graduate as a Doctor, or an Engineer, or a pharmacist. All of these professions give the individual a new found title. This person who used to be a university student, is now maybe a father, a writer, an Arabic student AND a doctor. It has enhanced the individual, not taken anything away.

As mother’s, since our profession is at home, it’s much harder to draw that balance. Our work is ongoing, our commitment is lifelong and our work hours are not scheduled.

Fast forward a few years, and those of us who make the decision to homeschool, meaning our children are with us for the most part of the day…..it’s easy to wipe away everything else we were and just become Umm Homeschool.

Umm Homeschool…..you may have heard of her, or you may even BE her. Read More