On motherhood and writing

So….it’s been a while. Much has happened. In short, motherhood is decimating, on so many levels, especially with a spirited toddler.  Please don’t tell me, “Wait til she becomes a teenager!” I will strangle you with my mind.

My pre-motherhood writing practice: Daily, disciplined, at my desk, mug of tea, nature sounds playing in the background.

Current writing practice: WHAT PRACTICE!? WHAT DESK?

Haha. I kid you. I do have a desk. I’m just not there as much as I’d like to be. Right now, I take what I get. Much like a starving person and scraps of food. Motherhood has shown me how much of an introvert I really am, and how much writing helps me surface for much-needed air.

I loved these articles:

  1. Freelancing with a Family: How to Balance Your Work and Your Kids
  2. Yes, It Is Possible to Write a Novel With Small Children Hanging On You
  3. Making Time to Write When You Have Young Children: Mission Impossible?

This post really resonates with me: After Page One: Claiming Space. So beautiful and so real. There is no perfect writing room for me, either – but I make do what with I have.

My daughter spurs my creativity, as much as I need to work around her. I write this as my toddler woke up from sleep. My husband brought her down to have breakfast. She’s in a good mood this morning, so that buys me approximately 10-20 minutes, before she starts calling for me once my husband leaves for work. Go, Raidah, go!

If you’re a writing parent, especially a writing mum, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you find time and energy to write? What helps? What doesn’t help? How do you balance forgiving yourself for not writing as much as you’d like, alongside celebrating your small victories?

Some blog ideas I’m playing with, as I resurrect my blog from the abyss of mothering a toddler:

  • Book review on N.K. Jemisin’s incredible Broken Earth trilogy.
  • Book review on Zen Cho’s Sorcerer To the Crown.
  • Reflections on reading my poetry at my sister’s chapbook launch.
  • I finally submitted my poetry manuscript to the wonderful Ethos Books!

I’m open to suggestions. Leave a comment and share your thoughts 🙂

@SalaamReads offers diversity, peace and hope

Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, welcomes manuscripts about Muslim children and young adults. Folks, start writing!

Check out their upcoming publications: Amina’s Voice and Yo Soy Muslim!

@SalaamReads, thank you for giving a voice to the many, many Muslim stories out there, just waiting to be heard ❤

I’m so excited about the diversity, peace and hope that these books offer. I grew up with Enid Blyton and other books that had characters who looked nothing like me. Now that I have a daughter, I see the importance of her reading books with more relatable characters and themes.

Speaking of which, my daughter loves “My Father’s Farm” and “My Mother’s Kitchen” – gorgeous Malaysian picturebooks filled with native joy, written by Emila Yusof. It’s so cool to see beautifully illustrated Malaysian flora and fauna.

When I point to Dina, the main character in the storybooks, and ask my daughter who that is, she grins, points to herself and says, “Taskeen!” ❤

February 2017

….already? RIS is around the corner! My todder is almost 20 months. SubhanAllah. Time flies.

I love these reads:

  1. Surviving as an Introverted Mother
  2. 5 Strategies to Help Introvert Parents Maintain Their Sanit

One really amazing piece of advice by Anse Tamara Gray: recharge during the hour before Fajr, and the hour after. Now that is a goal worth aspiring to! That’s only really possible if I sleep early.

Pre-baby: Ah, how I love the long, uninterrupted hours of night! I can write lyrical prose and poetry and [insert whatever else that used to happen]

Post-baby: Must. Sleep. Zzzzz

Note: I work for the SeekersHub Question and Answer service. If you have a question for me, please direct it through this form, and not through my personal email or Facebook. All questions are kept strictly confidential, and are left anonymous when we post it up. Thank you!

#Fightwithlight Campaign

Before December 31st, check out SeekersHub Global’s #FightWithLight campaign.

SeekersHub is doing an incredible job providing free access and support to seekers of knowledge worldwide. I work for their Answers service, an incredibly  relevant and critical interface between real life problems and authentic scholarship.

Your donations help to keep this service, and many others, going. Make this your small, consistent good deed. Donate today!

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ، عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ عُقْبَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ سَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا، وَاعْلَمُوا أَنْ لَنْ يُدْخِلَ أَحَدَكُمْ عَمَلُهُ الْجَنَّةَ، وَأَنَّ أَحَبَّ الأَعْمَالِ أَدْوَمُهَا إِلَى اللَّهِ، وَإِنْ قَلَّ ‏

Narrated `Aisha: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.”[Bukhari]

 

SeekersHub Ramadan Podcast and lesson sets!

How is your Ramadan going? Alhamduliah for these first ten days of Allah’s Mercy. Drinking soaked chia seeds after iftar and during suhoor has really helped me. Try it out and see 🙂

Check out these fantastic downloadable lesson sets at SeekersHub. Please share widely!

Planning For Success: Steps To Raising Righteous Muslim Children with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Zakat: Everything You Need To Know On The 3rd Pillar of Islam

Getting Married, with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Higher Aims of Fasting with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Stories of the Prophets of Allah with Shaykh Ahmad Saad

Understanding the Hadith: “Religion is Sincere Concern” with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Divine Opening: Surah al-Fatiha Explained with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

You can play these while at home, in the car, or wherever else suits you. May Allah reward the SeekersHub team for putting these together.

SeekersHub’s daily Ramadan Podcast has also been so inspiring and beneficial. For a sample, click on Allah’s Mercy Over His Wrath: What Does It Mean For Us? by Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes.

 

 

Ramadan!

SubhanAllah, time really flies. Ramadan is literally just around the corner! May Allah grant us all the ability to honour this blessed guest, and help us restore ourselves through the winds of mercy.

Last Ramadan, I gave birth, alhamdulilah. This time around, I’m nursing an active 11 month old baby. The minimum requirement for me is to give an honest attempt at fasting. I’d love tips from experienced mothers 🙂

Here are some useful links from the SeekersHub Global answer service in regards to nursing/pregnancy and Ramadan:

Fasting Ramadan: Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & You

My Friend’s Baby Breastfeeds Throughout the Day. Is She Exempt From Fasting?

Pregnant Women & Fasting

Pregnancy & Making Up Fasts: Does She Really Have To?

May Allah bless the team behind SeekersHub global, who all work so hard!

*On that note, if you have any Shafi’i fiqh/general counsel questions you’d like me to answer, please post it directly on the SeekersHub answer service, and not through my Facebook account, blog or twitter. These are my personal accounts, and what I blog/tweet is not endorsed by SeekersHub Global. Thank you and may Allah reward you!