Tag Archives: Shalina Litt

Childcare in Kuwait

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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.

Can mommy be daddy?

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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!

In control or being controlled

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How often do you sit down alone, with no interruptions, I mean phone off, tell others not to disturb you, close your eyes and be still.  Anyone who does this regularly will know immediately it isn’t easy as a flood of questions and a bombardment of words come rushing into our heads. Very quickly you can identify what is over consuming your time and energy for either addressing it or not.

I’ve learnt that until we find peace with this moment and regain clarity and control, this backlog of tasks will eventually take its toll on us one way or another.  But its not that which I wish to address today. It is the ability to recognise what or who really controls our behaviour.  It could be a habit for some, people for some, dreams, or hurt.  Either way until we resolve or establish a means of being in control, we will lead very miserable lives.

Over the years I have battled to submit and give my control to the worship of my Lord, and alongside this intention I have been tested.  I’m no angel, and in the past I had become dependant on a habit which intoxicated me to the point of freeing me from the very ambush of conversation I today can sit still and be alone with.  But it took a lot of cold turkey, tears, failure and determination to arrive at this place.

The more I strived to be at peace with myself and the more I had to challenge the negative self that I had allowed to grow out of fear of facing it.  The questions were painful, but they required certainty in forgiveness before I could move forward.  I arrived at certainty, but the wait for its delivery sometimes overwhelmed me and I would fall.

We’re living in a time where people are quick to make money off an all too common state of being people have found themselves in, distracting themselves from being alone with social media, drugs, alcohol, sexual activity, work or anything else that will convince them that doing this is better than been alone.

I’m not claiming my time alone is easy, but it has proved to be my greatest strength at winning the battle against my heart that is often all too quick to fall in love with that which is not good for me because I haven’t recognised my worth.  Work in progress, but for now I feel confident enough to say I’m back in control and no longer being controlled by that which is always self serving, and no good for me.

I was never the victim in their eyes

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I was so confident something would happen.  I’m not quite sure what exactly, but something.  Sat in a circle on our chairs everyone’s faces were dark with the weight of what they knew.  Confronted I was sure he would deny it all, so I took a great leap of faith with my counsellor by my side.  Only 15 years old, and while some may call it naive, I saw courage and strength.  My counsellor had prepared me, and thought it was very optimistic that all of the family were so interested.  And so the moment came, someone asked, ” Did you abuse her then, did you sexually abuse her”?

You could cut the air with a knife.  I don’t remember anyone sitting next to me, however I do remember the faces in the room.  Waiting for his answer was like a man standing in front of me with a gun, would he fire a blank, kill me or walk away.  “yes he said I did”.  Quite a lot of people burst into tears, including his wife, who I felt it most for, If I’d have kept quite I wouldn’t have put her through so much.  The echoes of the past that still live with me today.

So what next?  How did this family react, did they react even? The answer is a shocking NO.  NOTHING, no shouting, no beating no screaming.  For me it just seemed like business as usual, and little did I know what lay ahead of me.  All the preparing my counsellor did went down the drain. Cause what took me years to learn is that been abused was the least of my worries.  It was how my family responded that lead me further into a world of abuse, vulnerability, guilt, denial, acceptance and forgiveness to free myself from a harsh reality.  I never was a victim in their eyes.

Was it my fault?

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Was it my fault?

Apparently it was my fault he hurt me! Sitting in the hospital I pondered over the many questions that ran through my mind at 200 miles per hour. The hospital staff gave me that look as I relayed them my story, “I fell”.

Looking back I reflect on how I tried to reach out to many people about my abuse, which at the time I myself didn’t recognise. So my stories didn’t sound like, “help me I’m been abused”, rather it sounded like, “Can you believe he did that to me”!

The abuse cast a very big cloud of darkness over my soul, and behind my big smile when all was quite the wounds would feel as though they were torn open, and I’d have to face the reality of my sorrow.

Through my sorrow my conscience struggled to understand why people didn’t respond to the seriousness of the matter in the first place. A couple of days after the abuse I lost my baby, and although I was only in the first trimester I was overcome with grief and guilt questioning whether it was my fault the pregnancy hadn’t been completed. I guess I wanted to be able to blame someone for not taking responsibility of the situation.

Time is a healer they say, and sure enough as time passed I began to heal. The more I grew to love myself, the more I had to revisit whether or not I had forgiven the one that was meant to protect me while I was his wife.

Finally the time came where I looked around and realised the silence of abuse does nothing to help provide solutions to the many webs of communities that fail to protect the victims of this atrocious disease of the heart and mind. I have stopped looking for others to take responsibility and now take full charge of speaking out against this act. “Allah does not change the state of a people until they change themselves”. I turned to people to help me, but in doing so I discovered the many injustices that exist and interrupt the process to establish healthy relationships.

Was it my fault? I’ll let you answer that, but in the meant time I’m very ready to deliver talks on this topic addressing my healing process and the many initiatives I’m involved in to help women learn how to live and not just survive.

Shakti Women interviewed me!

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Shakti Women interviewed me!

It was an awkward moment when I was asked to be interviewed. I’m always so eager to interview others and highlight their great works, but when the tables are turned I FROZE.

It took me a while to accept that people wanted to understand the woman who has got way too much to say, but in what has to be one of my most revealing interviews yet, I give a small window into who I am with the amazing SHAKTI WOMEN!

Enjoy!
http://www.shaktiwomen.com/#/news/4555396480/Speaking-out-Woman-2-Watch—Interview-with-Shalina-Litt/7546656

After all that, the sister doesn’t give evidance

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After all that, the sister doesn't give evidance

So I got a call early this morning to be on a Radio Show commenting on a Muslim Woman’s decision not to give evidence. The research team said to me, “Don’t you think its a Cop Out?”

I made the following points:
If this lady didn’t wear a veil, would we continue to make this as big of an issue if she chose not to appear in court? There is no clear proof that the reason behind her now not giving evidence is due to her veil. I question whether she has made this choice for other reasons.

I’m often asked what do I think and what would I do, I respond by saying “Its not my place to judge”, I really believe the right people have to make the right choices, and that is the whole purpose of getting an education. It develops a level of competency for us to make JUST DECISIONS on cases that hold no value to our own attitudes and belief’s.

We have to take full responsibility in how we manage this discussion and be careful not to hold to account a particular group of people for how they are dressed because WE FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE. Last time I checked, that was called racism, and if this was happening in the school playground, it wouldn’t be tolerated.

If it were the case, where the woman chose not to give evidence in court because she didn’t want to lift her veil, I have to question who are those around her that advice her in this manner???

And the Saga continues…Sigh

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/muslim-woman-from-hackney-refuses-to-remove-veil-to-give-evidence-to-jury-in-court-9088293.html