Posts Tagged ‘mother’

‘Don’t worry, third time around you’ll have a boy’

To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth.
He creates what He wills.
He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills,
and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills.

The Holy Qur’an, Surah Ash Shura, ayat 49


Man is surely a selfish creature. Never satisfied with what he has, he is always on the search for more and more.

We are told to always think of those who have less than us. Thinking of this will teach us to be thankful.

I recently had my second daughter a few months ago and while I am blessed to have given birth to a healthy and happy child, there was a time when she was still in utero that I had a desire for a boy. I tried to push this thought aside because all every parent wants is a healthy and sound baby. But we are human, after all. And the human part of me wanted a little boy because I already had a girl.

When I had my ultrasound and found out it was a girl, I had to ask, “Are you sure?” The technician said, “Yes, pretty much.” A part of me was a bit disappointed but that feeling quickly subsided as I began thinking of names and started getting giddy at the thought of buying dresses and cute accessories again. Girls always are more fun to dress up.

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12 2011

Ramblings of a Working Mom

My daughter goes to a home day care two times a week while I work, and my mom watches her the remaining three days. Yesterday, when I picked Noora up from her home day care, she pointed to a wall where a thumbtack pinned 4 small pieces of construction paper together. Each paper had cotton balls torn apart and glued on the paper like clouds, and the paper also had the name of the child who created that particular cloud. Noora, my 18 month old artist, was clearly proud of her work. It was a bittersweet moment for me, with part of me thrilled that she has so much fun during her day care, and the other part of me sad that I did not spend the day with her making clouds from cotton balls.

It is the life of the working mom. I went back to work when Noora was almost 10 months old, and I had not spent more than a couple of hours away from her before that point. Before I went to work, I would look at her and think, You have no idea what is about to hit you… how can I possibly make this easy for you? We went through a long adjustment phase, and, while Noora is mostly settled into her new routine now, I still have days where I feel sad that I can not be the mom that I had envisioned myself to be.

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06 2011

American Birthing: Part II

Approximately one in three women in the United States who give birth this year will end up with a major abdominal surgery.  The caesarian section (c-section) will leave many women with outcomes that are often not disclosed to them before, during, or after their pregnancy.  Some of these outcomes include (but are not limited to not limited to) hemorrhage, infection, decreased fertility, difficulty with breastfeeding, complications with future pregnancies, reduced early contact with baby, longer hospital stay, increased pain, and long recovery (1).

In a previous article, I discussed the model of birthing in The Netherlands where midwives possess most of the power and influence in obstetrics and one-third of women give birth in their homes.  The basic premise of birthing as a natural process seems to be a foreign concept to many Americans.  Our hospitals are deliberately modeled to promote unnecessary and often risky interventions to the birthing woman and her baby.  Fetal monitors limit movement and are often inaccurate, IV fluids provide women with little control over their own body’s cues, epidurals numb the body and increase the risk of other harmful interventions, and artificial oxytocin (i.e., pitocin) leave women with contractions that are extremely painful and difficult to bear.  Women are often pressured to have the baby within a certain time frame, otherwise, they are threatened with interventions due to “failure to progress.”  Then, because women are connected to machines, their mobility is restricted, and they are forced to lie down on their backs to give birth.  This position is not only the most painful position in which to give birth, but it is also the most ineffective and restrictive to oxygen and blood flow (2). Read the rest of this entry →



12 2010

On Raising Children in the West: Reflections of a Muslim Mother

My mom often tells me that she thinks raising children is getting harder with each generation.  She is horrified by how different my generation is from hers.  As societies become more individualized and stress the importance of the nuclear family over collective styles of living, we face unique issues that previous generations dealt with in a different way.  There are problems of drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy, delinquency, and violence that plague our schools and youth today.  These modern crises seem to be affecting children at a progressively younger age.

As new Muslim parents, my husband and I often discuss the problems we will encounter when trying to raise our daughter.  All of the issues of violence and the overt sexualization of youth are on our minds, yet we also face the complexity of being a minority in America; a much hated minority in many parts of the country.  I personally embrace my identity as a Muslim in America, but I also acknowledge that it is becoming more difficult for Muslims to do so with every passing day.  Hate crimes are on the rise in American culture and there is a pervasive feeling of Muslims being the “Other” in mainstream society.

I know my daughter right now has no way of understanding that her parents are “different”.  Once she begins to realize that her Muslim identity sets her apart from her peers, what are the developmentally appropriate methods of helping her to embrace her identity from an early age?  How can I teach her to be proud of who she is while still accepting other people’s life choices?  How can I hold her to Islamic moral standards while helping her to understand that she can not be judgmental of others?
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09 2010

The Art of Loving Your Baby

“Does your baby sleep through the night?”
“Is she a good baby?”
“Does she let you put her down?”
“Will she let other people hold her?”

These questions are constantly asked to new mothers. Whenever somebody asked me if my new, innocent, vulnerable baby was “good,” I often wondered what a “bad” baby would be.

It took me awhile to understand that we live in a world where adults expect babies and children to be seen and not heard. The “good” baby was one who rarely cried, slept through the night, exhibited social behavior, laughed in the arms of strangers, and did not ask too much of their mothers. Throughout the 20th century, health and child care professionals advised mothers not to “spoil” babies by responding to their cries. We have been told that babies manipulate their mothers and that we should not “give in” to their “demands” or else they will try to control us.

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08 2010

The Original Soul Food: Breastfeed Your Baby!

While pregnant, I knew one thing for sure: I would breastfeed my child for two years if Allah (swt) allowed me.  I envisioned myself sitting in the corner of my bedroom, feeding my baby with serenity and privacy.  I would organize my days so that I would only need to feed in the solitude and seclusion in my own home.  If needed, I would pump milk into a bottle and my daughter would only take the bottle in public.

Allah (swt) blessed me with a baby girl who was a super nurser.  Soon, the images I formed in my head during pregnancy about nursing my daughter dissipated into thin air, along with all of the other preconceived notions I had about being a mother.  My daughter rejected both a pacifier and a bottle, and she refused to be put on any type of feeding schedule.  She seemed to be communicating with me that she would feed how she wanted, when she wanted, and where she wanted.  She nursed to sleep, she nursed for comfort, she nursed for nutrition, and she nursed because… well, she just felt like it!

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07 2010