Thursday, September 16, 2010

Slow Living

Our baby boy was born three weeks ago on the 15th of Ramadan Alhamdulillah. I prayed up until the last minutes of Ramadan that Allah swt would make the upcoming months easy, as I struggled to manage a house full of little ones, homeschooling, and all of the other duties of a mother, wife, and housekeeper. I cried several times the day my mother left, as though a safety net was taken away and feeling that I was totally on my own with four kids.

Five days later, I feel very peaceful and content, thanks to Allah. Yes, it is crazy and I have to remind myself to breathe in between the long sequences of mechanical activities: feeding, washing, nursing, changing two diapered bottoms, cleaning up messes, laying babies down to sleep, and satisfying endless pleas for attention. At one point, I laughed at the scene we created: me in my rocking chair nursing the baby, the toddler in my other arm singing (yelling) very loudly in the baby's ear as I restrained her from putting all of her weight on the baby, my eldest giving a long narration about the different characters in her drawing, and my three-year-old whining for more yogurt at my feet.

But my mantra has been, "Smile, Breathe, and Go Slowly." No outings, no cooking (thanks to a freezer-full of food), no to-do lists, and no obligations. My expectations for myself are zero--if I can get through the day without yelling or losing my sense of compassion, and incorporating a little bit of Quran for me and the children, then I had a good day. Ironically, those days are also when I surprise myself with how much I actually end up doing to educate and nurture my children, physically, mentally, and emotionally. We've made playdough, collected tree bark rubbings, decorated sugar cookies, learned some yoga, read tons of storybooks, and spent lots of time on the couch with a blanket, pillows, and a nursing baby, talking and learning. Being confined to the house has calmed the pace of our day and my older ones are forced to tap into their own creativity to entertain themselves.

This week has been an experiment in slow family living and I'm very inspired by this new rhythm of home life!


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  2. Assalamu aleikum

    Burika laki fil-mauhub, wa shakartil-Waahib, wa balagha rushdah, wa ruziqti birrah. Mashaa Allah, a little Ramadan baby :)

    Mashaa Allah, you've done loads, keep taking it easy and slow, lol.

    Fee amaanillah

  3. alhamdulillah on the birth of your baby, i know exactly what your talking about, i was in tears when my mum left five weeks after i had my baby last november, but looks like you have evreything under control mashallah
    may allah make it easy for you

  4. mmm slow living sounds delicious. Somehow Maha, you have the ability to make the seemingly impossible sound desirable :D

  5. MashaAllah sister, congratulations on the baby, ameen to the duaa's before my own post. Allah make it easy on you and your family..

  6. What a deep satisfaction their is from doing what is right in front of us, and keeping our children close. Thanks for eeking out the time to write this, it's wonderfully inspiring and soothing to read. I pray that Allah fills your house with peace, light and angels.

  7. Congrats on the new baby and may hold your whole family inshallah..I'm curious about your sugar cookie decorating.. Could you share your recipe for making sugar cookies and also for what to use to decorate them? This is something I'd love to start doing with my three years old girl who is fascinated by arts and crafts and baking .. Thanks