I kind of freak out when I’m greeted by the fact that I will be 40 very soon God Willing. This very thought catapults me into action, but what action? Lately I’ve had to sit down and have discussions with my kids about their own goals and dreams. And as I prepare my son for another year I feel obliged to give him as much knowledge as I can to empower him for the years to come.
This means I have to have an even harder conversation with myself about my investment of time, which I totally recognise is golden. As time evolves I begin to evaluate what have I achieved and what is possibly left for me as my children’s needs begin to unravel requiring more than just a simple wash and a feed.
I’m a firm believer at goal setting, so I listen to my children and observe them, and then make my own assessments as to what is good for them, and what may cause them harm. And it can be a delicate topic, cause if we give too much we spoil them, and if we give too little we neglect them. And me being the perfectionist that I’m determined to be, feel the pressure of failure waiting to pounce on me, if I get it wrong.
They say life begins at 40 so here I am, getting ready to reset my ambition taking full account of what is necessary to raise three children. And how I wish the formula could just be applied to all. In many cases yes, the education you expose them to helps build the foundations of self. But nothing prepares you for the many flares of personality that emerge from your children.
I am met by the demands of my children who have my conviction 10 times anything I’d previously applied. It’s stronger, and whilst I shiver with disgust at the weight of requests thrown at me, I admire the enthusiasm and fresh set of dreams been dictated to me. Cause while I moan about the constant work load been thrown at me, I strive at fufilling not only my own ambition, but building my children’s. And unfortunately, you can’t cut no corners on that.
Raising children reminds me how clear our needs and wants are at an early age. But then there are many factors that come along to change that, and all of a sudden that statement “I know what I want in life?”, becomes, “I’m not sure what I want anymore”.
In the midst of many messages we are delivered from parents, media and other sources imposing their beliefs about what life should be about, our own beliefs can begin to get lost.
Some of us hold on to who we are when our innate ambition is preserved and we go for gold. Whilst others slowly disappear into the crowd of people that felt dreaming would be enough.
Approaching near the age of 40 years old (God Willing) I’ve arrived at a point in my life where my own goals seems more apparent then ever, and with the feeling of the clock been against me, I’ve an urgency to achieve those goals.
My daughter is a constant reminder of how fierce our determination can be when we set our hearts on something. And whilst a part of me struggles to tolerate her manners sometimes, I try my best to correct her so as to protect her esteem. I often see parents shouting at their children ordering them around. I know everyone is different, and whilst I’m guilty of doing this AT TIMES, I do try my best to teach my kids that its not what they what, its how they go about getting it.
So while I focus on preparing my children for success, I am constantly reminded that the greatest way I can give my children this idea, is if I practice exactly what it takes to achieve my goals. So what they are surrounded with are goals and action plans, so we hold on to the true question in life we must alway revisit, so we do not end up chasing someone else dream or idea of what it is to be happy!
I’ve had many sisters following my journey of moving and working abroad and the most common question I’ve had is about childcare. It seems to be considered as one of the greatest obstacles, and while I don’t ignore the weight of it, I refuse to let it stand in my way.
It appears there are one of two choices, nurseries or nannies, and while I explore these options I learn about the common problems and benefits of both. At the moment I’ve heard some horror stories about bitter nannies which have severely neglected or abused children in there care. From putting a child in the fridge, to making a child drink bleach. Stories like these forces me to take the only option left available which is to employ a nanny through the agency. It is expensive, but at present appears to be the only way of securing references and police checks, that ensure the safety of your child.
The other option of nurseries so far has not been to my satisfaction. Now this maybe due to my own OCD issues and preferences, and unfortunately upon visiting a handful of nurseries I wait patiently to embark on one that gives me peace of mind. The plus however most definitely is the assurance that your child is constantly under the supervision of more than one person.
Lastly my most reliable source of finding childcare at present is word of mouth, whereby nannies have been referred. Its tempting to go with the cheaper option which some nannies are very grateful for, but I struggle to feel comfortable with some of the amounts I’ve been told. Kuwait is a very rich country, but the divide here is far and wide, and I continue to question my own morals when a majority explain to me that the salaries we offer are more than sufficient?
In the meantime my quest to find the best childcare remains in the hands of God. My son will be 12 weeks old by the time I start work God Willing. Initially I was quick to think I could go back to work, but I’m only human, and while the time quickly approaches, I raise my hands and Ask Allah to give send me a nanny that will not be a harm to my son in anyway In sha Allah.
I had a dream to move abroad and work in a Muslim land. Now I’m here Alhamdulilah I have a new dream, and that is for my children only to prosper in character and faith whilst becoming people that will benefit others through their success. I was a single mom in a high rise in Bromford. Nothing comes easy, but by the Grace of God I’m here.
Everyday I waited and waited for that moment when he looked me in my eyes and smiled. I felt like it would never come, and at times when I thought the moment arrived, it turned out to be a bit of wind.
But today I finally got the smile I’d been waiting for. It helped me put to rest the year of sleepless nights, injections, backache, heartburn, tears, emotions and sore nipples. It was a smile fuelled with something I hadn’t felt in a while. Pure, untainted and unconditional love, Mashallah.
I told people very casually, “Yes, I’m going to go to England, have a baby and be back at work in no time”! And to think I actually made it as far as coming back to Kuwait, Alhamdulilah, Praise be to Allah. I quickly recognised the blessings sent my way through people and even objects! How can you learn to be patient if your patience is not tested.
This new chapter of life stretches me to witness a new way of life, focusing not only on my own goals and dreams, but nurturing my children to achieve their own. May Allah aid me to find the balance of raising righteous children for this world and the hereafter Ameen
It feels good to be back! No sooner had I landed, I was put in a wheel chair and wheeled around the airport. My very basic urgencies to be attended to were recognised very quickly, and whether it was just for the reason alone of being a Muslim Woman or my burgundy British Passport waving in the air, either way my needs were met.
I wanted a round of applause, and indeed KLM staff did so, complimenting me my newborn and daughter for being so good throughout the 6 hour flight. How I did it will have to wait for another blog, but the fact remains its good to be back.
Whilst in England I’ve managed to build up a small circle of women from Kuwait who have come to learn of my blogs and posts. I look forward to engaging with the women leading workshops that empower and give confidence to those wanting to succeed.
A great opportunity to thank those of you who have reached out to me to tell me how much you enjoy my posts. Its been a while but I’m back Habibti 🙂 In sha Allah
“Whoever fears Allah, Allah will find a way out for him (from every difficulty) and He will provide for him from sources that he could never have imagined.”
There was a time when I needed her, to feed me, change my nappy, help me get a good nights sleep. She helped me talk and walk and transition from soft food to hard food. She taught me how to wash myself, dress myself, read and write. I needed her.
Then came I time when I thought I didn’t need her, so I left her and decided to do everything alone, because she didn’t give me what I want! I thought she didn’t care, I thought she was selfish because she only wanted her happiness to equal mine. So I walked away.
But then death knocked on her door. I cried, she cried, she was humbled, I was humbled, she forgave and I forgot. We returned to each other ready to embrace each other. She celebrated with me my good times and wiped my tears through the bad. She was mommy again and I was her daughter.
I came out of hospital with my baby. The operation prevented me from doing much. I was a mother but in desperate need of my own. This time I watched helpless and unable to do much for myself. I watched in admiration as she sped past me cooking, cleaning whilst nursing and meeting my every need. She belittled my own efforts that I thought were worthy of a round of applause.
I want to be like her, leaving a warm feeling with everyone once they meet her. Leave them feeling loved and valued by little tokens of love. No one left with an empty belly or an empty hand. I love her, my mother , and now I want to be just like her. Thats my ‘mommy ambition’.
From very early on we are given a strong idea of what a family looks like, and it usually consists of mommy, daddy, brother and sister. This idea is pushed via movies, books and everyday life deceiving us in to believing that happily ever after can only exist in this scenario, but what happens when it don’t turn out that way?
The answer is evident and is taking place all over the world, in Britain alone there are 2 million single parents! Unfortunately most of these single parents are women who are forced to make tough decisions, either swim against the current or get swept away leading you to one destination which is often one with poor life chances.
Now the dynamics of single parents is vast because of course as we started to tackle these high numbers we first have to clarify how single these parents are. What I mean here is when parents are successful at establishing good co parenting despite separation we can quickly anticipate the well being of the child. But when it all goes wrong and communication can’t be established it is unfortunate that the only one that suffers is the child who is in no way deserving of this outcome.
In the absence of the father, mothers are forced to be both mommy and daddy, not only taking on the goodie and baddie role’s but also working through times of illness which can only impact their well being. This means children are being raised by mothers who are often working under extremely stressful conditions, and when they get things wrong, people fail to remember this.
Why we live in a country that seems to make it all to easy for fathers to abandon their responsibilities. Child Support doesn’t make a great father, emotional support does, and whilst mothers continue to play mommy and daddy, I question the well being of a generation raised in one parent families. I could go on but I think thats enough to think about for now!