I know sharing is caring, but in a fast paced little life of mine; I’m lucky enough to find time for tea (actually I don’t drink tea, make that cocoa). I wish I can write more, on the pressing matters that can be, on the misadventures that I sometimes see, a bit serious and comedy; but for now just busy… busy making memories. ☺
It’s been a year since I first started this message of miscellanea; and it’s been blissful mashaAllah alhamdulillah. Though I’ve been in and out quite a lot; I don’t think I’ve given my writing justice. With many thoughts jumbled more so I had withheld inside, not knowing if they’re worth a read or interesting or fit with my template… but that’s just the thing; today I choose to fit no template, to be me, to be free, to pour my heart into positivity. I hope to be committed to a weekly update; engaging much more with you; my faithful few followers as I wish to be worthy of your reading time.
I hope you’ll enjoy this new look and feel to PinkPerla, to more blessed years to come inshaAllah.
وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ ۖ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَن ذِكْرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطًا
Translation: Keep yourself patiently with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And do not let your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is always neglected.
Barakah ( بركة ) is the beneficent force from Allah that flows through the physical and spiritual spheres as prosperity, protection, and happiness.
Allahuma enny asaloka eyaha
For a ‘stay at home mum’, it may seem like a gaping hole in the CV. Whenever it may be time to get back to work, or when meeting up with formal colleagues in a reunion; I often have this sinking feeling of reviewing my resumé for the past couple of years. While maternal duties fall out of the traditional sections of a Curriculum Vitae; it’s easy to miss out on appreciation for your achievements. Trying to redefine the acronym in ways to suit those homemaking heroines, here are 7 CVs that may help.
So maybe this one specifically was inspired by my pre-historic read of “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers” but really, Covey’s 1st CV holds sound advice through motherhood and beyond. Revising and reflecting upon your core values is not just a gimmick for a Pandora Essence bracelet, it’s rather an ongoing self support on your path. As a Muslim, I believe the spirit is at the core, and the priorities wisely dictated by the Creator SWT. If indeed I found myself obsessing over my resume as a measure of my self worth; I think again deeply on how to purify intentions for Allah and not for a piece of paper. Visualising each small random act in the lense of values helps pass each day as a step closer to success.
Sometimes I’ll slip into the routine or into a screen and feel I could have done more with my little one. So I decided to take part in active parenting; read a few minutes a day on how to deal with this little miracle and mend my mistakes along the way. My key vow would be love. Hugs and kisses and genuine caring attitude. Of course all mothers would inherently love their child, but it is the testing moment when you are at your low that you must show it. It’s 100% attitude. Another pivotal role would be setting an example; after all children see, children do. But since I am faaar from perfect, I try to discipline myself first (I had to timeout myself the other day because I stood on the chair being silly, Hamza’s sympathy was priceless).
Extend your timetable *if you may of course* beyond your humble abode. Try to adhere to the hadith of the Prophet PBUH: ” The most loved people by Allah are the most helpful to other people”. It could be in any way possible that you’re passionate about, whether passing knowledge, passing food or passing by; with cookies and smiles to your neighbourhood. It is fulfilling and fundamental to learn how sharing is caring, and what better way for a child to learn it than to witness it. I must say it is the most humbling happiest experience ever, yet it requires constant vigilance of my “niyaah” praying that it would be always for Allah’s sake, not fame or fortune. Though it may help to add this voluntary work in an actual CV, I try to keep my eye on the ultimate prize.
Another great way to use those ‘gap’ years is to fill in the gaps. Back to school, learn something new, with a course online or at college. The rewards are momentous as you feel your horizons broaden. It doesn’t have to be about a certificate, what matters most is your passion; just pursue it whenever and however, because it was never too late for Julia Child, as she defied the odds attending “Le Cordon Bleu”. Though she had been a housewife for most of her life before it began, she found her passion and remained tremendously interested in it.
With a fresh fruit of imagination in your hands, allow your little ones to inspire your creativity. Get together in a messy artwork, take up sewing kits, or get set bake. The joys of joining forces for fun can make for incredible edutainment. As another brilliant blogger explains, it was an opportunity to learn all about numbers from measures and scales. And of course, the bonus of a finished masterpiece that can be a memory token or a tummy pleaser. But again, don’t actually expect a showstopper cake for what it’s worth if it’s your first time, no perfection needed, just pure relief.
Commit to a Vision
It’s hard to envision myself as doing dinner for a living, when society takes it for granted. Yet think of yourself as making history. Whether working or staying, all mothers make history. But perhaps some extra time on your hands might take off some juggling stress, or so it seems as a testimonial from mothers who’ve been through both roles. So don’t lose yourself in the chores, when you could intend a good deed. Plan for your future career path as you may see fit. Breakdown your vision to a mission for today. For example, as my Hamza grows older inshaAllah bless him, I hope to join a postgraduate study. Meanwhile, research readings are my best friend. And I pray it all serves my vision of being a Muslimah Mummy Marketeer.
Cherish the Vacancy
Finally, I am grateful for this job vacancy as it may be. Being a “stay at home mum” is often overlooked and might be underestimated by mums themselves; yet at this point in time it must be for the best “Alhamdulillah”. With many mums who are struggling to finance it, who have to work, who would trade places in a blink of an eye, you ought to realise the luxury and blessing you’re having. For me, I am thankful yet sometimes doubtful of my choice. However, it’s never all rainbows and butterflies, there must be ‘rain’ for the ‘bow’. So acknowledge both sides of the equation and learn and pray to find your balance between the best of both worlds.
A special salute to all mums, working and staying, you’re doing great
I had heard about it first from friends with “Likes” of the Facebook page. As an automatic response to social media peers, I “liked” it too, but then began my brilliantly bibliotherapeutic experience.
The name SISTERS captures the essence of the pages, as it feels most like a delightful tea party with sisters chit chat, only very interesting and intellectual. The closeness of a spiritual sisterhood is clearly what I felt, as the common grounds of Islam unite readers and writers together through the celebrated diversity of cultures and backgrounds. The words of the talented authors ring honest and true as a wide variety of topics are unraveled.
The articles are balanced between current trends and everlasting themes, all in an engaging outline for each issue. Family, Lifestyle and Voices are but a few of the subcategories that unfold into topics to appeal to almost all sisters interests. And each writer’s short bio gives a beautiful sense of acquaintance with the person behind the lines, building further introduction to this literary bond. Reading through the pages, I have come through helpful tips, life changing experiences, and dwelling debates from my sister’s lips. It even somehow boosted my confidence in writing, although I remain modest, but it is that “similar to me” effect of each written word which makes it relatable and extremely relevant.
Pointing out pressing matters are presented in the light of the faith of Islam, with authentic quotes and expert advice across politics and parenting. It brands Islam for what we truly know it to be, a holistic approach to life that is both modern and moderate. Speaking of which, it’s also nice to see that business branding is in no way overflowing the pages, with only a few ads to the target market. It cuts through the stereotype of Muslim women to an empowered stance of Muslim feminism, where food and fashion are just the tip of the iceberg. With a monthly book review, the magazine guided me to increase my library shelf space with recommendations I am proud to pass on.
There are many ways to find SISTERS, whether through online excerpts, subscribing to the e-version to your iPad or tablet, or having it sent to your doorstep. Since I remain a bit “old-school”, I’m enjoying the printed pages with their glossy feel and no battery life boundaries. You can browse through all the details on their website link below. I would highly recommend it to all my sisters, in your monthly dose of Muslimah reads.
Alhamdulillah, with God’s grace, I have braved through two years of motherhood… It’s totally another-hood. An emotional rollercoaster of happiness and gratitude, mixed a little with some self doubt and “moments”… There were those times when I couldn’t really tell which one of us was having the tantrum, and then realised for all it was worth, I’m the one who started it. I must say, before being a mum, I had always secretly thought ” toddler tantrums” were overrated… I had to learn the hard way.
The stress of caring for a young person can be overbearing, but so is the joy. In retrospect of those couple years of change, I found myself fearing that very thing; “change”! Although it is as one quote puts as being the only constant, change is the very challenge of parenting. As a mum, I had to change, and so does my son as each day goes by. His likes, dislikes, pet peeves, tantrum triggers, giggle givers are shifting through his journey to exploring. Of course I might have claimed to be flexible in a job interview, only this job had none. But really, this is exactly what I am learning to be, flexible with my time, my expectations and my priorities.
Those spiralling senses of stress elevated mostly when I felt down to begin with, and it was contagious. If I didn’t give him that loving caring unconditional smile his mood would turn into a winy one. As I listen to advice from miracle mummies who’ve been through it all, I learn to enjoy every moment for what it is, a blessing. Even when the screams kick in, I simply put myself in his little shoes and imagine his frustration, even if it was because he wanted to reach for those shiny scissors and I denied him that “toy”. I envision the baby steps to big boy pants one potty trip at a time, explaining each icky accident and how to avoid it. Instead of frantically fearing failed attempts, I hope to focus on those little mummy milestones along the way. Cutting down screen time from mobile or TV has proven a golden advice I promise to try and stick to, it takes a lot of the stress off with the elusion of multitasking once I give undivided attention as a hands-free mum. I try to loosen up, enjoy the ride while keeping my eyes on what really matters of the road. And whenever duties get dreary, there’s always time for a hug.