Fasting with three small kids close in age is not for the faint for heart, so this beautiful book, Misfits In Love, arriving today (thank you Sajidah, Aisyah and Irdina!) was such a treat. I’ve been loving what I’ve read so far and the notes on the margins by the author and fellow readers like me! I’m so thrilled to get to write my own responses in the margin too!
I’ve been listening to audiobooks since my very first newborn and I forgot how gratifying it feels to hold an actual book in my hands. I’ve always wanted an ARC but have no idea how to get one, so being part of S.K. Ali’s Street Team remedied that hehe.
Also, I highly recommend deleting Twitter from your phone for a calmer Ramadan (and life, overall) experience.
I still have IG though and am AMAZED at the magic of reels, gorgeous #bookstagram…wow. Wow! What magic is this?! Such beautiful pictures of stunning books on decorative fabric along with fresh, glowing faces of bookstagrammers!
Plus – book swag! (I managed to take this photo without any of my kids sticking their hands, feet or faces in woooo)
I’m also so excited that Alhamdulilah, I won S.K Ali’s giveaway for Once Upon An Eid hurray. Yet another special gift for me this Ramadan.
If you haven’t already read any of her books – go for it! Love From A To Z is my absolute favourite of hers, being the halal love story that it is.
If you’re a fasting mama of little ones who keep waking up during suhoor/sahur because they just KNOW something is up…you’re not alone. Hang in there! Apparently they all grow up and move away some day. And until then, we’re making memories.
It’s literally days away from Ramadan! How did that happen? Wow, time does pass. I feel like this amazing owl gif captures my whole 2020-2021 mood.
Speaking of Ramadan, I promised my kids I would try extra hard not to be grumpy and be extra patient with them in Ramadan haha. It’s such a special month, and I can already imagine all three of them joining in our buka puasa/iftar/breaking of our fast after watching Upin and Ipin. I’m hoping the Ramadan bazaars will be back because they’re such a treat….but with SOPs like masks and social distancing in place. Wait and see, eh.
My three kids are already almost 6, 3.5 and 1.5! Part of me is like noooooo they’re growing so fast and the other part is calculating when all three will be in preschool/school :p My 3.5 yo made me smile today by telling me, “Narwhals are beautiful!” AW. She’s not a fan of manatees. Yes, my 6 yo is currently obsessed with Octonauts. My husband and I cannot get “Creature report!” out of our heads gahhhhh.
There’s been a lot of really awful racist book twitter happenings (click here) reflecting very real-world harm. BUT! If you’re a BIPOC author like me, please, please, please, keep writing your stories. They matter. You matter. Your stories matter. Our stories matter. Flood the gates of traditional publishing with our stories until more and more change happens.
Note: I don’t need to eat Pocky to feel more Asian. I BLEED POCKY.
Alhamdulilah, I gave birth to my baby boy, Mohamed Suhail, on Sunday, the 8th of September 🙂 Please make dua for my little boy and his two excited big sisters. I didn’t think I’d be that mother with three kids under 4.5….but there you have it. Motherhood has taught me to never say never! Back to the newborn haze, with waking up every two hours to breastfeed ❤ And the delicious newborn snuggles. And watching my little girls adoring their baby brother. And then fighting with each other, and then being friends again. Never a dull moment.
Writing-wise, I’m giving my manuscript a break while I rest and recover. This is my third newborn rodeo, and I’ve surrendered to the reality that it’ll be a pretty exhausting few weeks and months. I’d like to work on revising my manuscript and getting it agent-ready, but, honestly, imma too tired. And that’s okay. I look at all the writing mamas out there who juggle so much, get books published through the chaos, and I hope that one day, my turn will come too ❤
I love how much emphasis this course places on self-regulation. So instead of looking outwards and blaming my kids for “making me angry”- I need to look inwards first and figure out why I’m getting so rattled in the first place. I need to accept my feelings of overwhelm/anger/helpless/etc, choose to respond from a place of calm, and not react from my own triggered lizard brain. Yup, easy to say, hard to do. But the beauty of this approach is the more I practice pausing while one (or both) of my little girls are screaming/crying/wailing/etc, then the easier it’ll be. I’m telling you, kids under the age of 5 are Zen masters who can train you to be one too, but only if you don’t terrify them into compliance. Be open. There’s a lesson in there.
Special note: It’s so hard not to yell at your kids when you’re angry, or when they don’t cooperate. JUST LISTEN! OBEY ME! NOW! DON’T SHOUT AT ME! Gah. Now research shows how harmful that is.
But it’s so hard not to get mad at kids! I know, I know. I’m not saying don’t get mad, because every day offers plenty of opportunities of button-pushing behaviour…I’m just saying don’t yell, don’t spank, don’t emotionally blackmail/abuse..that kinda stuff. Find another way to discharge that stress. Just not on your kid(s). I’ve seen what happens in the long-run. Said kid will grow up and not want to be around you anymore. BUT when you inevitably mess up and lose it, which every parent does at some point because we are HUMAN…just say sorry. Hug. That teaches your kids something too – how to apologise when you mess up, and how to make things right. Valuable life lesson.
If you’re a chronic yeller, then something isn’t balanced in your life. Yelling like that every day is exhausting for you, your spouse, and your kids. There is a better way of living. And you can learn how. And your kids will cooperate without you needing to shout! As impossible as that future feels right now (I’m in the thick of it) – one day, our kids will grow up into adults and move away. How far away depends on how connected they feel to us, right now, when they’re still little. So. Hang in there. This is hard work. It’s every day. It’s relentless. But this chaos can also be fun, joyful, and full of wonderful surprises.
Here’s the course outline:
Peaceful Parenting 101
In this session, I’ll introduce you to the 3 big ideas that will change your life as a parent and shift your family, over the next 12 weeks, to less drama and more love.
Regulating Your Own Emotions
You’ll learn tools this week to notice when you’re getting close to the edge, and powerful practices to return yourself to calm. If you’re a yeller, here’s where you take your Vow of Yellibacy.
Connecting with Your Child
Parenting is 80% connection and only 20% guidance, because until children feel connected they have no reason to follow our guidance. In this session, you’ll learn best practices for staying connected with your child, and specific tools for reconnecting after tough times.
Parenting for Emotional Intelligence
This week you’ll learn how emotions work, including some secrets about anger that most people don’t know, how to help your child empty a full emotional backpack, and how to heal even the most turbulent emotions. We’ll practice using empathy, your magic wand, to give your child’s brain the best possible environment to learn to self-regulate.
In this session, we’ll discuss why children misbehave and what the research says about the best way to guide your child and teach the important lessons. You’ll learn how children develop self-discipline and impulse control and why time-in works while time-out doesn’t. We’ll practice setting limits that stick, without power struggles or drama.
You know those problems that always seem to blow up in your face and land your family in the breakdown lane? You can avoid most of those surprises with preventive maintenance. This week we’ll explore the power of routines, empathy, special time, scheduled meltdowns and other preventive maintenance practices.
Tips for the Transition to Peaceful Parenting
If you’ve been relying on bribes, threats and punishment to get your child to cooperate, you can expect some bumps as you and your children learn new patterns of relating. This week you’ll learn some tips to make this transition easier for your family.
You can only give your kids what you have inside. This week, you’ll create a self-care plan to keep your cup full, so you can be emotionally generous with others. We’ll focus a lot on emotional self-care, or how to parent yourself!
Mastery: Developing resilience, self-discipline and grit.
This week we explore how children develop the fortitude that leads to mastery. We’ll practice encouraging rather than praising, and learn how to find the sweet spot between free range and helicoptering.
Healing Your Triggers
Those times when you say or do something you later regret? They’re always when you’re triggered, so you get hijacked by anger. This week, I’ll guide you to begin identifying and healing those triggers, so you don’t get upset so often, and can recover more quickly when you do.
This week, we’ll apply the peaceful parenting principles to raising siblings, so you can stop the fighting and raise children who will be friends for life. You’ll learn simple yet powerful ways to foster a loving, supportive bond between siblings, and teach your kids to navigate conflict constructively.
Putting it all together
This week, Dr. Laura answers questions from Course participants in a Live Call. We’ll celebrate how far you’ve come! And we’ll help you put together a plan to use what you’ve learned, every day, to stay on track in the future.
Click here to get notified when the course open next on November 19!
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.
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 🙂
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:
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!
So yes, hello again! Alhamdulilah, we’ve survived Taskeen’s 9 month sleep regression, which started at 7 months. Apparently there’s a 12 month one too. *cry* And she has teeth now! So many more to go. Oh, this first year of parenthood is something else. But one look at her toothy smile and OH THE PAIN IS GONE. All the pain. #mumnesia
Malaysia is in the midst of a heatwave. Yes, this already hot climate is even hotter. Keep hydrated, mummies and bubs. Daddies too, so you can keep helping. Survive one day at a time.
Here’s a great article on postnatal depletion by Pinky McKay. If you or someone you love is looking after a baby, please read it and share. If you’re looking for a great naturopath, I recommend Julide Turker. She’s based in Melbourne, Australia. Her ethical, compassionate and empowering diet/lifestyle tips and supplements have made a world of a difference in my journey through recovering from birth and surviving motherhood.