Wednesday, September 2, 2015

On the Struggles of Motherhood

Photo Credit:


I can truly say that I could never, ever have imagined the magnitude of love one feels for his or her child.

But I did have an inkling, and I knew I wanted to be a mother, even when I had no idea what career path I would follow in high school. And I thought it would look like something from above....Me, the wise mature gracious mommy, ever so patiently guiding my little ones, teaching them about life, walking through the grass, drinking smoothies, hanging out in tree houses or something.

Fast forward about 15 years: as a proud mama to two lil girls, you can imagine how much sunshine I am basking in everyday.

But then there is the struggle!!!

Man oh man, the struggle is very, very real. Especially as a stay-at-home-mom! The struggle to maintain patience with your children's short commings when they disobey, pick up new habits like screaming, destroying your property, loosing valuable anniversary jewelry, or revert to old behavior...especially when it comes to the potty.

I have to say that part of me expected all this. But just, NOT to this extent. Its the other end of the emotions spectrum, just like how you could never imagine how much love you feel for your child. The frustrations of daily life can, and have, taken me by surprise. It just takes me from bliss to crazy in like .2 seconds!

Photo Credit:

To feel your crazy coming out, to know that you look like a deranged whench to the eyes of innocent little ones, is one of the most disappointing and humbling experiences of motherhood for me. Sometimes, I can't believe I have become "that mom."

Come one, you know the one. The one talking to mean to the cutest little kid while waiting in line at Target. I swore I would TOTALLY be SO MUCH better than that mom when I was blessed with children.

But the truth of the matter, is that kids bring out your crazy. They FIND buttons you didn't know existed! They exploit your weakness.

They are constantly pushing the boundaries, trying to find what mom will accept, and won't.

On this particular evening, its Princess Buttercup who found a button. Its the button that got pushed after potty training for months and months and months, only to see a very big girl sit there and totally have an accident while watching a cartoon. And then NOT EVEN blink an eye, stop, try to run to the bathroom.

Did I mention that I have wall to wall carpeting?

I mean, I've cleaned up countless messes, but feeling like there is no improvement in bladder control, or the lack of taking responsibility for using the bathroom really, really got to me tonight! It just felt like I would be doing.this.for.ever!!!

Sometimes, it feels like that.

But then, alhamdulellah, I stopped myself from letting out a scream, or spanking, as I very badly wanted to do.

I had prayed to Allah this morning for strength and patience with my littles, and subhanallah, I really feel like He gave it to me this afternoon. While I wasn't Miss Cool, I did manage to keep it together long enough to vent to the hubby, and then to a more experienced friend. And that helped.

It helped to keep the big picture in mind.

It helped to hear that there is actually a hadith, urging parents to not speak harshly to children in these particular circumstances (who knew?)!

And it helped to remember who I want to be as a mom. Because that is the job that can change the world, and as much as I felt a ton of rage for not being able to accomplish one of the most basic tasks, I WILL give myself grace for that.

And I will give Princess Buttercup grace, too.

I pray to Allah for more strength, for everyday to come as a parent, so that I can be who I want to be, not what I have seen in the past, not the darkest me that is possible, but the BEST me.


What are your biggest struggle as a parent? Have you recently seen the light at the end of the tunnel for a particular situation? Are there any hadith or ayah in particular that have helped you keep your sanity on the journey of motherhood?

On the Daily Struggle for Hijab

I recently wrote of the what and why of hijab. But I wanted to ask those of you who do regularly practice hijab: do you ever struggle with wanting to take it off?

Its a dark thought that has flitted through my mind from time to time, but lately, it has become a more constant visitor....and that disturbs me.

On the one hand, it is to be expected. The society I'm living in values beauty and youth. Everywhere I look I am seeing the drive for both achieving a gorgeous physique, and DISPLAYING this physique. And then, commenting on it!!

But that's not really what gets to me. At least, not so much a conscious level.

On the day to day, what gets to me lately is the heat!! Its the sweaty feeling of having a few extra layers so that my long shawl can cover the low neckline of the T-shirt I have paired with a cardigan, for instance.

Or, its the fact that I can't just pop my head out the door to take out the trash or bring my child in from the back yard, where neighbors could easily look down at me from their windows.

A couple of days ago, it was really getting to me. As I prepared to take Princess Buttercup and Honeysuckle to the playground, I felt the angry rumblings in my mind as I reached for a clean outfit that met all my requirements. I started to mentally check-out, knowing that if I remained present I'd just be hearing a few Shaytany whispers of why I had better just take it off and keep some sanity!

Then a funny thing happened. As soon as I opened the door, I saw that my neighbors were having some construction work done to their front yard. There was some laborers digging out in the front yard, just a few steps away from where I'd be walking. A quick glance at them told me that they were the kind of guys who always had eyes for a woman--any woman!

Let me stop and say that I know this sounds a bit prejudiced of me presuming I know the behavior of strange men I have never met. But really, I'm just going on experience and instinct!

I confidently strode past them with my girls, knowing that, thankfully, my body was my own, and that even if they were still interested in trying to catch a glimpse of my silhouette, they'd have to have x-ray vision to objectify me.

And THAT is the beauty of hijab!

To know that my body is mine, and that someone can't really imagine me naked b/c I've taken some simply precautions.

I think THAT is the dignity Allah wants for us. And even though He didn't necessarily tell me to go and buy some rayon or polyester outfit to sweat like a pig in late August heat, it becomes worth it to endure some discomfort to maintain my dignity.


Afterwards, I ran home as fast as our playground date was up to cool-off. The moral of this story is to always wash your cool summer hijab outfits, and have them ready for the next day!!