Motherhood

My heart is so heavy seeing the recent round of photos of innocent Palestinian children being butchered for no reason other than the face that they are of the wrong race and religion. I could not watch the videos. As a mother, I cannot imagine the anguish the parents are going through. All those months of carrying a baby and years raising that child for that child to be murdered with no remorse and no recourse. The mother that might have prayed for years for a child and finally had her prayers answered. The mother that had a colicky baby that kept her up at night. The mother who kissed her baby’s dimpled hand while rocking her baby in the middle of the night. The mother that made an extra stop to the store on her way home to buy a special treat to see her child’s face light up.  The mother who prayed all night for her teenager to stay safe. These children are all of our children, where has our humanity gone? Do we not all bleed the same color? Breathe the same air? I can only pray that no mother needs to watch a video of her baby being butchered. Being a mom means we are in this together, let us teach our children to love humanity. We can always start the movement within our own homes.

Gratitude

We are so very lucky to have been born in this country and to live lives that are blessed with peace and prosperity.  As we can see from all the various refugee crises, not everyone can say the same thing. That’s why it is crucial that every night, we sit with our children and let them count some of their blessings. This can be done verbally or they can even start their own gratitude journals. Numerous studies have shown that people that practice mindfulness and gratitude enjoy numerous health and mental benefits. Some of these benefits include better relationships with others, improved physical health, increased happiness and reduced depression, more empathy and less aggression, better sleep, improved self esteem, and increased mental resilience (Forbes Nov 2014). With so many benefits, it is imperative that we cultivate gratitude with our children so they can reap the many benefits. By doing so, we will be raising children that are less likely to whine about what they don’t have and enjoy what they do have.

Fashion starts with good and comfortable undergarments

Can we discuss the sad state of most mom bras? Sad, misshapen and ill fitting and way past their expiration date is what most moms have in their underwear drawer. Some of us have even hung on to nursing bras well into our childrens toddler years. My tailor recently reminded me to wear a good bra fitting for a blouse fitting, “You know most women are always wearing loose, comfortable bras or no bras at all!” she said. Of course I was already on my way there wearing an old and loose sports bra.

Good fashion starts with good support. Many of us are wearing the wrong size. I know I continued wearing my pre-baby size after the kids were born. One day while visiting a good friend, she insisted that I get sized and fitted. I definitely was not the same size after nursing two babies more than a year each! Many department stores offer free bra fittings. I would recommend getting sized at each store that you shop at as different bra brands do not follow the same sizing guide. It is also important to get resized if there has been recent weight loss or gain. Getting fitted can make all the difference and not having your boobs slip out during salat or bra straps digging into your back are definite bonuses! Some of the signs of a good fit are that the bra cups are smooth with no wrinkles, the back of the bra is not hiking up and rests comfortably. There are many articles and guides on how to shop for a bra and how to wash them to extend their wear but generally a couple of years is the longest you should be hanging on to them. If you have been neglecting this aspect of your wardrobe, go and treat the girls to a good lift.

Will it matter in 10 years?

Marriage is an interesting choice that we humans make. Whether we commit to our spouses due to religious reasons or societal expectations or for love, the end result is that two people have decided to meld their different personalities together to fuse into one household. Throw in finances and remnants of different upbringings and families, marriage is not 100% smooth all the time. Things can change on a day to day basis depending on whether we had a bad day at the office or if we are not feeling well. Sometimes we need a little mantra or advice to help keep things running smoothly.

One of the best advice that I received in the early days of my marriage was to ask myself this question whenever I got worked up about an issue, “Will this matter to me in ten years?” If it won’t, then you can drop the issue. If it will, then it is worth explaining and negotiating your viewpoint on it.

What piece of marital advice did you receive as a newlywed that has helped you out?

Lead by example

One of the hardest things about parenting is not knowing if the techniques that we are using now will result in a hard working and competent adult.  It will take many decades before we see the final result of all our hard work. One of the things we can do in the present is to set an example in our daily lives so they can model our behavior. If you don’t want them to bully anyone, don’t bully or yell at them. If you don’t want them to gossip or backbite, don’t let them hear you on the phone doing the same. If you want them to practice kindness, make sure you are kind to them and your spouse and not just kind to the outside world. It doesn’t matter what face you show to the public, your children are paying attention to the one you show at home.

Long cardigans

Eid mubarak! Hope everyone got to enjoy their Eid with family and friends. Today’s fashion post is about long cardigans. Whenever I wear one, I get tons of compliments from hijabis and non hijabis alike.

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These were really light and handy during the summer months and can easily be layered and transition into fall. They are sold at a number of online hijab boutiques such as Urban Modesty, Kabayare and Louellashop. They are perfect for layering or if you just want to make sure you are covered at the mosque. Happy shopping!

Here are the links below, there are many more stores out there but these have minimal shipping fees to the U.S.

http://www.louellashop.com

http://www.kabayarefashion.com

http://www.urbanmodesty.com

Preteens and body image

A few days ago, I overheard my 10 year old daughter telling her stuffed Minnie that she was fat and that her minnie was fat too. It was heartbreaking. I have read all the articles about how moms should not criticize themselves in front of their daughters and I have never called myself fat in front of her, I honestly am not the type to sit and criticize my body parts. I try to lead by example and try to work out and eat healthy as much as possible. I also try not to bring in outside media via magazines into the house and we don’t have any cable for them to watch, so listening to her, I was just shocked. We have discussed her weight at the pediatrician’s office, they’ve always told me to be careful, she’s at the top end of healthy. We discuss nutrition and the importance of exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle. I try to emphasize self love. Society’s message of “you are not good enough” is strong though. Spend money to fix your flaws. I asked her why she said that and she didn’t think it was anything serious, just that she has a belly. I sat her down and explained that Allah gave us this body to take care of with healthy food and exercise so that we will be able to worship Allah properly. It is an amana, or a trust that we must take care of the best we can. I have a feeling that we will be visiting this topic many more times in the future. She also has her first sex ed class today but that’s a whole other topic!

Fall Fashion for the mature hijabi

sleeveless vest

sleeveless coat

DSC_0011 DSC_0013 DSC_0022 Fall is right around the corner and is easily my favorite season. The vibrant hues of the leaves whirling in the brisk wind, cups of hot apple cider, that little chill in the air is a wonderful reprieve from the hot and humid summers down in the South. For the hijabi, it’s also a time to break out our modest fashions. Here is my take on a trend this season, the sleeveless coat. It is a very versatile and easy look that you can dress up or down, perfect for those not quite warm or cold days of fall. I also love a good hat and found this one in H&M. I found the vest on Etsy. You can pair this look with a berry lip for that fall touch.   I am petite and have some meat on my bones, so this look is easily wearable by anyone!

My wonderfully talented 10 year old took these pics and wanted to make sure I gave her a shoutout! Love you my baby

avoid burnout

As a working mom, it is quite easy to work ourselves too much. Most moms in general are always overworked but as a working mom, we need to get everyone ready in the morning, fight traffic on our commute and deal with our personal work situations and commute home and start all our work chores. It can all get very overwhelming and before you know it, the carousel has stopped and life has passed us by. I am lucky enough to have a supportive spouse and cannot imagine what it is like for single moms, but it is very important to have some type of support system. This can be in the form of family, friends or paid help, but if possible, do try to take even a small break in the day. Sometimes this can be in the form of a 15 minute walk, that mile can start to add up! Or just really taking a moment to observe and using the 5 senses to let it all in, when cuddling with the kids, just inhaling their scent and noticing how their limbs feel and how strong they are becoming. Noticing the color of the clouds at sunset, the smell of the air as fall comes in or feeling the chill in the air and the warmth of  a fire/ just try to be in the moment.

Kids and electronics

Hey guys! I have decided to split my blog posts into different categories such as parenting, lifestyle and fashion/beauty tips.  This one is about a little but pretty effective rule in our house.. no electronics during weekdays. We actually found this rule from the Obamas and if it’s good enough for the First family, it’s good enough for us! No TV, computer, Ipad, etc, basically no screen time. Lately, as the kids have grown older, some of their schoolwork has been on the class websites so we have had to bend the rule a bit but basically no entertainment from the screen. The hard part is applying this rule to the parents! I feel that rule has allowed the children to bond more with each other and us and allows for them to use more imaginitive play which I hope will be a lesson that they can carry on in their future lives.

working moms

Welcome friends! This is my first blog post! I have been frustrated with the lack of advice for Muslim ladies over 35 and for working moms in general and have decided to take action instead of sitting around and complaining about it. The goals for this blog are to seek and give advice for the working mom that does not want to compromise on her faith, fashion and wants to have some fun too! Every week, I will try to bring a bit of advice on life, fashions, trends, parenting and general well being, hope you enjoy it!!! I look forward to this being a positive forum, constructive criticism is welcome, destructive is not. Lets help strengthen each other and the world… we can make a difference, even if it’s just saying a prayer or sending out a positive vibe to the universe…