Met my Deadline, the fanfare sounds hollow

(Current background on all my devices courtesy of Knit picks with slight modification by me)

So I finally met my deadline. Yay I got my two thousand word essay submitted on time, just barely.

When coming up to a deadline does anyone else feel the pressure building and building and building… no one? Just me? *flops down with a dramatic sigh*

In a way I think I normally thrive on that pressure. The tension builds up, and I bolster myself by looking forward to that feeling of relief and joy that I usually get as soon as the essay has been submitted. However today that feeling was nowhere to be found, I submitted my paper in turnitin and I just felt like okay. That’s good. You got it done… okay.

Things just rang a bit hollow. You know? I talked myself into doing a little happy dance, just because one of my commitments to myself is to celebrate milestones along the way.

I’m wondering if the recent chapter in my life’s story book beginning its conclusion overshadowed my joy. Im not sure because in terms of that I feel very much at peace and have a deep sense of clarity and acceptance.

Maybe I pushed myself too hard towards the end and my brain just needs a reset. That happens quite often. I mean as much effort as I put into the planning, and as much as that made theessay writing easier, I did still end up writing up about one thousand eight hundred of those words between the hours of 1pm and 3:52 pm this afternoon. That’s pretty radical when i think about it.

Hmm, okay I’ve got it now. Writing is such an illuminating process. My conclusion and introduction were both very rushed, and I have a sense that they may bring my grade down, however a late submission would mean an automatic 5% deduction of my mark. So I chose to submit on time. My takeaway? Even if you have a great planning strategy, you still need to factor in time to write, proofread, and submit your essay.

Ah it’s good to have gotten a handle on my internal thouggt process through writing this. .

All day I just noticed myself being a bit slower, slightly more thoughtful, so very aware of my need in front of my Rabb, and grateful for the small things. Whilst these are all good things not being able to put my finger on why was sloghtly agitating.

Now I can happily get bavk to be grateful for things like taking my kids to nursery and not needing to lug the buggy up and down three flights of stairs, my youngest bubba is getting to be a big boy ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญAlhamdulillah

Take care

Azeezat Adeola,

Fine words weave

P.s. another commitment to myself is to get some writing on this blog once a week. At the very least.

Week 1 โœ…

Welcome to the world

Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin, All praise and gratitude is due to Allah the Lord of all the worlds. Just over a week ago the new addition to our family was delivered safely into this world. I can not adequately express what a privilege, honour, and humongous blessing it is to become a parent once more. How awed and humbled I am that this honour was written for me again.

It is not possible to thank God sufficiently for all the blessings that He bestows on His creation, but it is possible to try and remember to be grateful always.

Alhamdulillah.

This poem has renewed significance.

My Lord is All-Aware.

Thank you for taking the time to read these musings, take care. Posts might slow down a bit as we get settled in.

Lots of love and hopes for your peace in this life and the next,

Azeezat

โค๏ธโœจโค๏ธ

Stay Listening

Peaceful Parenting ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿฆ‹

My 23 month old is crying; his face is all crumpled up, and tears are streaming down his face. He’s got quite the pair of lungs on him, so the sobs that wrack his chest are pretty loud. I don’t immediately rush to shush him, or tell him not to cry, or even tell him that there isn’t a need to cry over small things. Instead I reach for the tools and skills I’ve been developing and learning from my peaceful parenting course. The ones that empower me to parent from a peaceful place inside. To not let the tides of my own emotions overwhelm the ship of my parenting. To listen to him crying, to be there with him in that moment.

The huge swell of panic that used to immediately overwhelm me, the need to just make him stop crying, at near any cost, that, alhamdulillah has gone. Sure it has not suddenly become the highlight of my day when my toddler starts crying and screaming, but slowly slowly I’m building confidence, finding pockets of peace and breathing room, to think and make decisions as opposed to just react. I’m learning to listen to his upset, and not have it rock me and my emotions. I’m able to put my trust in my Lord that my child’s behaviour right now does not mean in future he will be whatever it is I fear. Crying over sweets doesn’t mean he will become spoilt. Pinching somebody else doesn’t mean he will become a bully. It just means his behaviour is off track. It just means he is learning.

He needs my love, connection and listening most, when he is off track. It is exhausting work, any type of parenting is.

But, I’m able to recognise his cries now, for what they are. A way of letting me know that he feels disconnected, that he needs to reconnect with me. He as young as he is, is still subject to his emotions just as we all are. He also faces the challenges and tests that come with living life, and the best way I can foster intelligence both emotional and other kinds, and encourage him to learn ways to deal with these challenges, is to offer connection during these times, to stay listening, and to maintain the limits.

Traditionally speaking, I will be, and have been told, that his behaviour is something I should control, that it is disrespectful or rude for him to be upset by things (perhaps a certain household rule, or something I have told him he is not allowed to have), that I ought to punish him so that he learns to respect me. What I’m coming to realise, is that punishing him for expressing his need for connection serves only to push us further away from each other. The truth is, it is impossible to control anyone else. In fact at times even controlling ourselves can be a struggle. Rather it is Allah that is in control of all of the affairs of the heavens and earth.

One of the gems I picked up during the course which really shook me up, and made me contemplate, was this. My child as he is, is not yet accountable to Allah for his actions, at least not until he reaches the age of maturity. I however am. If his spilling a cup of water on the floor sends me into a rage, or initiates a huge over reaction on my part, then where does this show of injustice lie on the scale of parenting as an act of ibadah. Quite far from ihsan (the best) I would say. And very far removed from the person I want to be.

I have been giving a lot of thought to the woman I am, and the woman I want to be. My personal standards and the esteem I hold my soul in leave me unwilling to be reactive in my parenting approach. I want to be better, and do better. It’s a journey, and not an easy one mind you, but I’m ready and willing to put in the work bi’ithni’llah.

Gentleness only beautifies a thing

I think one of the things that we as muslims, especially muslim parents have to realise is that we must not be oppressors. Especially when it comes to our children, they have so many rights over us! They have been entrusted into out care by the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

And yes it’s a constant struggle (jihad ul nafs) to remain patient, and considerate, and respectful but it’s important to remember that raising a child is an act of worship (ibadah), it’s important to reflect and renew our intentions, to aim for the best we can do (ihsan), and to be humble respectful and not feel like you cannot apologise when you slip up asking forgiveness from them and also istighfar.

Look at our examples, look at the beautiful respectful and gentle way rasulallah salallahu alayhi wa salaam treated the young people around him.
One only needs to look to the seerah and hadith to see that he was extremely merciful, and patient when it came to children.

I’ll be the first to admit that I do struggle with this, so this really is a reminder to myself first and foremost. I pray Allah makes our hearts soft, and blesses us with patience, mercy, and compassion for all of the youth. Gentleness only beautifies a thing. ๐Ÿ’•

Intentional “Mothering”

Recently, I saw this picture on Instagram. I took the time to read it, I’m glad i did, it wast an incredibly powerful and beautiful reminder. Naturally, I decided to repost it, but when I found the caption I was typing underneath just kept getting longer and longer, I decided to turn my thoughts on it into a blog post.

The picture itself, came at a really good time, I’d been struggling, feeling overwhelmed, and in need of support. I’ve really been feeling the test of parenting lately, and keep finding myself in need of some serious self care, and rest! (Rest, a mother’s dream, right? :D).
This post though, it was a jolting shock, and a much needed reminder, of the bigger picture. Reading it prompted reflection, and a chance to refocus.

One of my chief complaints in the early months of my own motherhood journey was that it seemed to be a twenty-four hour gig, with no breaks, no pit-stops, or days off. That I was on-call twenty four seven, and it was just too difficult. Subhanallah! As I continue on this journey I keep returning to the realisation that all of the hardships we face and feel, every single one of them are a ni’amah (a gift/blessing) especially when they increase you in awareness of your complete dependence on and reliance in Allah.

And then when you consider the ultimate grace, that it is all counted as ibadah (an act of worship); That in loving, nurturing, teaching, and caring for your child/ren you are earning good deed upon good deed; that in being a mother you are actively building your place in the hereafter, you cannot help but be humbled and filled with gratitude that this, the hardest task you’ve ever faced in your life is as immense in reward as it is in significance.

That mothering, is merely another manifestation of the sincere actions of a slave before her Lord, and amazingly not a single second of it goes unrecorded, unrecognised, or unaccounted for with Him.
May Allah keep us sincere, and cognisant of this.

I pray that ย Allah keep us sincere in our intentions and ever conscious that each time we are tired, or stressed, or frustrated, or feel like we’re failing, or not doing as much spiritually as we had been, that as mothers our honour lies in our almost constant in a state of ibadah. Alhamdulillah! And we will, bi’ithni’llah (with Allah’s permission) find our reward for the struggle with our Lord.
Ameen.

 

 

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๏ปฟMotherhood Musingsย 

I love bedtime. Not my bedtime, but my little one’s bed time. 

It’s the time when the toys on the floor get cleaned up, and with them the possibility of stubbing your toe one more time on a wooden block. 

It usually happens after hubby gets home. It’s the time my working day ends … Well sort of, as a mother does your working day ever really end? Your ears are always alert to the cry that lets you know that duty calls once more. (Phrasing it like that, makes mums sound like superheroes).

For me the best bits about bedtime are bath time, and night time nursing.

I love the playful giggles of bath time, and the peacefulness of bedtime nursing. 

The lights are off and the baby smells of coconut oil, warm and snuggled in closely, peacefully nursing (unlike day time feeds ๐Ÿ˜†) and then soon enough he’s drifting off to sleep, perhaps clutching my arm or t-shirt. 

These days the the slow and quiet snugly baby moments are few and far between. At just shy of 11 months old, our baby is a non-stop, always moving, emphatically babbling,  pretty tiring, tiny person. He’s got so much personality, and makes me laugh in wonder and amazement, and at other times cry in frustration or exasperation.

There is so much that is difficult about motherhood, so much that is exhausting, and so much that is emotionally wearing, at the same time there is so much that is rewarding, so much that is empowering and uplifting, and so much about being a mother that fills my heart. 

Alhamdulillah 

All praise and thanks is due to God

Night Sky

I sit in the dark

and turn my head to one side,

breathing in the night’s breeze.

The air is even cooler

in my nostrils

which are warm from

all of the events

that lead me to tears

that lead me to this balcony.

I turn my sight once more

over my shoulder

and back to my favourite ayat.

Dark sky, a Sign of creation

and just like that

the moon has appeared.

Luminescent 

in the darkness,

A clear reminder

that not one moment passes

but it too is a sign

from amongst the signs

of my Creator.

The night’s breeze 

continues to blow

and

I still sit in the dark

but

my eyes are dry now

brightened with the hope

of a return 

and meeting

Light upon Light