Monday, August 30, 2010

The Last 10 Nights of Ramadan

Lately, I have found myself struggling with how I will be able to fit in all the ibadaat I want do during the last ten nights.

Not to dishearten or target the supportive mehrams, single sisters or married friends without children in my life… but some get to spend a lot of time at the Masjid. This includes going to the Masjid for Fajr- staying up after sahoor. Joining congregation during for Zuhr , Asr and Maghrib. While they are going to go for Tarawee, they might as well go early and catch Isha. If your keeping count-that’s a whole lot of reward.

Yes, I know women are not required to pray in the masjid BUT you have to admit, if you’re a mother it’s a treat to even have a little Kushuu during your prayers.

Ever catch yourself dreaming about someone offering to watch the kids- during each prayer and even extra time for you to read Quran?! How about memorizing? Can you recall the last time you had enough brain cells to memorize- anything other than a nursery rhyme?

I am all about conditioning my kid. Really. I think that with time and consistency some parents can help their children adapt to these habits… but they are still children and squirmy by nature!

OKAY, I will say it out loud. As a first time Mom this year, I really miss Ramadan.

Ramadan before motherhood was so different. I actually had an attention span! I could accomplish so much and even make time to wrap cute eid presents. Cellophane wrap and all!

Don’t get me wrong… I love love love motherhood... but it’s different.

With Ramadan nearing to an end, I am DETERMINED to get in some serious ibadaat time. Yes you heard correct- I am walking away from cellophane this year! I much rather use my time towards doing deeds that make me closer to Allah Subhana ta Ala.

What are all my other Muslimah Mama’s planning on doing to make the last 10 nights SUPER beneficial?

Will you Qiyam it at the masjid with your kids?

Will you attempt to Tarawee it, even if your kid steals other children’s sippy cups?

Will you ask Hubby to take the night shift- while you muster up some energy and stay up at night?

How will you get your Husband involved?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

10 Tips to "Tarawee" it with your Kids!

1) Bring a sippy cup or bottle dedicated to Tarawee. This way your child will not try to drink from other cups when you are not looking.

2) Bring snacks; even if it means breaking routine. Some suggestions are: raisins, brown rice crackers or Mum Mum biscuits. Something for your little one to munch on whiles he/she observes.

3) Pack never seen before toys and books; strictly reserved for Tarawee. Make sure not to use these at any other time.

4) Take an empty water bottle. Why? Your child will want one after seeing the rest of the children with these (my guess is that there are several left over after iftaar) If you take your own, you can prevent baby/toddler from swapping spit whilst sharing these with ALL the children- on another note, I was surprised how long this keeps children entertained!

5) Make sure baby or toddler are wearing comfortable clothing; it can get pretty warm with all the people around.

6) Breastfeed or bottle-feed before you get there; chances are your child will be over stimulated once your there and later on this may result in a fussy hungry baby.

7) Bring a friend (for yourself). If the kids get out of hand, you can take turns praying. Both of you can benefit and your children will be comfortable with a familiar adult.

8) Take the car seat; you can switch between this and holding baby during salaat and if baby falls asleep you will have somewhere familiar for them to sleep.

9) Try and pray at the same Masjid. Your children will be comfortable with the environment and will most likely see the same children while they are there and Tarawee will Inshallah eventually become familiar to them. There are a couple of Kid friendly Masjids, Isna has a separate mothers room and Al Huda offers a separate section for Mothers.

10) Do not over exert your child or yourself. Be practical and pay attention to your child's needs. Stay for a few rakaat and keep in mind that you may not be able to stay for the entire time. All involved may need a rest before the next Tarawee adventure.

Monday, August 9, 2010

How do you nurse in public?

In Islam, it is the child's right to be nursed until the age of 2. As an observant muslim woman who wears the hijab, I prefer to nurse my son modestly. When he was younger, I used a nursing cape and it worked wonders. As he got older, he would get very distracted and stimulated by environment, he seemed to like playing peek-a-boo with the cape! I had to drop the cape and would just use my scarf to cover up. My son is really in love with his blankey- which also works as a great cover up.

I find that you can be completely covered and still get bad looks. I don't think its the actual amount of skin that bothers people... I think its the idea of mothering at the breast. I think sometimes, other mothers may feel guilty because they never experienced breastfeeding... they feel like breastfeeding mothers are a reminder that the formula they fed their babies was not good enough in comparison to breastmilk.

I am also a Labour and Birth Doula and I have witnessed babies self latching within the first hour after birth. It is the most amaaaaaazing thing because it is just a reminder that our body was made to birth and our breasts were made to nurse!

I would encourage all of you to nurse on and cherish the bond that comes with mothering at the breast!
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