Saturday, 14 August 2010

Mom's Ramdan - The Race is on

Assaalam Alaykum Moms, Ramadan Kareem

Mom’s Ramadan diary – The Race is on!

Umm Sabr was busy checking over her Ramadan schedule, making sure she has left nothing undone.
“Alhamdulillah” she sighs. “We are well on our way to making this the BEST RAMADAN ever!” All the kids joined in shouting “Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah!” They were so excited about Ramadan they started coming up with their own goals. Jasmine said, “I will memorise Surah Baqarah”. Farruk with a big grin plastered across his face, “I am only eight, I will ensure I fast all of Ramadan and complete my Little Explorers reward chart and be nice to mommy!” Mashaa Allah! Then he turns to Mom, “I hope you have a stock of stickers, because I will be collecting them very quickly?!”, Mom replied “yes”.
Sakinah pulls out her Ramadan Booster and starts filling it out, she says to the others “ You will not be leaving me behind! I have greater goals than you guys, lets see who will win. Right guys the race is on!” she says with a smirk. This reminds us of the Sahabah racing to do good deeds; this is a lovely habit to cultivate in our kids.

This is just an amazing scene. If you have not done so already, start focusing on your kids and drum up some healthy competition amongst them with regards Ramadan - they will love it InshAllah.

What things can you start telling your children to excite them about Ramadan? Most especially if this is their first one?

Let’s get productive and move to action – I am planning to:
• Teach my youngest daughter the Durood
• Help my eldest daughter complete her vision board on her goals for Ramadan
• Encourage my youngest one to fast a bit longer inshAllah
• Learn a very short Quarnic verse and Hadith

This is what works for me, what works for you? If you prefer to have your “things to do” stored in your head, have it as a vision board. Create a list or have pictures of your schedule for Ramadan – find something that works for you. The point is wherever you are now it’s not too late to nurture the spirit of Ramadan in your child. Why leave till tomorrow what you can do today? This is a joyful experience that will be remembered years to come inshAllah.

Let me know how you get on.

Have a Ramandantatsic week!

Monday, 21 June 2010

It's time for my Pyjamas! Mom what's your routine?

“Its time for my pyjamas” Zubaydah said and “here is Abdul Rahaman's. It was just coming up to 8pm at night. Little Zubaydah gets dressed for bed and asks for her toothbrush. I was thoroughly impressed.
Zubaydah and her brother were visiting for the evening - she is only two years old! Mash Allah. I am saying this to moms that have said to me it’s not possible for a two year old to be independent. I am afraid I beg to differ – Zubaydah got dressed without her mom’s help. You might be wondering how she knew the time to get dressed.

Ha! She had a routine – and her internal compass was navigating her next move subconsciously.

When children are coming up to the age of two they are very clingy and want mom, that does not mean we can’t get them to be independent.
What I see from this, is we can tame our two year olds to have basic routines, be independent and have basic chores that they will love doing.

I watched Zubaydah feed herself, take her plate to the kitchen and her mom just sat with me as we chatted away – she is so independent, mash Allah! TabarakAllah!

How does my friend do it?

1. She Got Zubaydah to start helping with the clothes – she started with small clothes like tea towels, underwear. Alright it was not as good as moms folding! Remember practice makes permanence.

2. Gets her four year old, Abdul Rahaman to load and unload the washing machine . Hanging the clothes on the drier (airier) within his reach since he turned two years old. – He sees this now as part of the day to day running of the home and enjoys it with a passion - because mom has given him responsibility!

3. He folds his shirts and trousers and has started helping with his sisters clothes, and vacuum cleaning in all – yes he is only four!

4. They both enjoy gardening with mom and baking too! Yes they do make a mess.

5. Most importantly they have boundaries and understand them – I will share one with you, Abdul Rahaman said – Auntie we are not allowed to climb tables or chairs at home. I ask “why”, he replies “ we might hurt ourselves” Mommy has provided, us with a big stool in the kitchen which we stand on when washing our hands. If it all sounds good to be true – what do you think of this, he dashes off to the toilet reciting the dua’a for entering the toilet! - Mash Allah, these children I am sure you will agree with me are every mom’s dream.

A dream we can all achieve with effort. If you have not started a routine with your kids or toddlers, why don’t you start to day?

Start them off on small activities, like dressing themselves, brushing their teeth before they go to bed, the only downside is that they will swallow the paste which does them no harm.

As they become more independent you can sit back and have a nice cup of tea watching your toddlers preparing themselves for bed or playschool.

Let’s get productive, start a routine for your toddler today and even the older ones.
It does not matter where you are at this point in time, you can start NOW! With Ramadan around the corner, what a perfect time to get routines going to ensure we are ahead of the game!

Here are a few things you can start doing to grow your children into Productive Muslim kids;

1.Get toddler to tidy up their toys and games
2.Show them how to change into their pyjamas
3.Brush their teeth
4.Fold their clothes away
5.Dua’a before going to bed
6.Teach them very short Adakhar - like the ones we say before going to the toilet, eating, dressing up, before we go to bed and when we wake up.
7.And lay out their clothes for the next day – and give them a choice, for example- you can lay out a pink or blue outfit and ask them to choose. They really love doing this. You are also teaching basic life skills on how to make choices and decisions.

What routines are you going to put in place for your kids, don’t forget to let them pick out some of their own routines – involving them means you are more likely to get their agreement!

I would like to leave you with a beautiful gem to try with your children – A scholar was wondering how to make his two year old daughter love Allah and attach her heart to the Qu’ran. So she gets to read a portion at different times of the day. When she is a bit naughty - Mom and papa say to her “You will not get to read the Qu’ran today for being naughty”. To mine and your amazement, she will burst out in tears crying apologetically,what a superb way of getting our children to connect with the Qu’ran. Moms this is a gem we should swap for what we generally do and that’s – “right you have been naughty, go and read your Qu’ran now!” – what signals are you sending the child, it means you only read the book of Allah when you are naughty, so they will always be on their best behaviour!

The consequences; we are teaching them to DISCONNECT their hearts from the Qu’ran and loving Allah! Next time you tell your child to pick up the Qu'ran let it be for the right reasons.

Have a successful parenting week!

Remember what works for you works for YOU!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Peace At Last!

Peace at last! As Umm Sabr slumped in her sofa letting thoughts flow… hearing the sounds of the gentle thunder as it began to grumble!!! The rain beating on the silver metal roof plates.

She marvelled over her achievements and successes for the day – “yes its time to celebrate”, “I accomplished what I set out to achieve today”. Alhamdulillah, as she looks forward to another day – only Allah the Al-Alim knows what tomorrow will bring!

As a mother sometimes you feel you have lost the plot, not knowing whether you are coming or going. You feel pulled in all directions from being a cook, taxi service, and teacher and yet still carry on.

I find by converting every activity into an act of ibaadah, helps me focus. It gives me reason and purpose to continue to strive in my role as a mother, with great passion. When these thoughts flow through my mind, I begin to savour every moment of being a mother, with joy and happiness.

Knowing I have to report back to Allah SWT at the end of the day, gives me the strength to continue to strive for excellence! Not losing sight of the path to my ultimate destination – Jannah. The question you have whirling around in your head must be along the lines of “Hmm… but how do I achieve this balance, without overwhelming myself?”

Asia’s mother yells at the children, “get off your mom and give her a break!” “But I love it” she says as her children climb over her, pull her hair and tell her all about their day at school. She is enveloped by a feeling of love and appreciation, from a wet face of sloppy kisses 

It’s about understanding and building rapport with our children and our inner world. When we begin to understand the map of the world of others, as mothers we can begin to put the jigsaw pieces together. We are the bedrock of society a role most fulfilling in this world and the here after, and only Allah SWT can pay the full reward of the most important, unparallelled job in the universe!

You must have self belief, drive, and determination and resolve that you have been designed and fashioned by Allah to carry out this magnificent role against all odds. A role only rewarded by Allah SWT. Rely and depend heavily on him, and in the moments of joy give praise and thanks to HIM, when things get rocky call on Him. Take a step towards HIM and HE will surely come running to your rescue – do not despair! Let me remind you of the beautiful Hadith Qudsi that always brings a tear or two to my eyes – “If you come to Me walking, I will come to you running.” This is the compassion of Ar-Rah man - The Most Merciful, towards HIS believers, so never lose hope in Allah SWT.
I am sure your asking how she expects me to do this, with everything going on in my life. “I barely have time to organise myself, let alone remember to have a sit down with my kids and a chat with my creator!” It is possible my dear sisters…

Okay Moms lets go do it!

Make a commitment today that you will get productive, work less achieve more and work on things that bring you the highest value in this world and the hereafter. Do something you are passionate about, it does not matter where you are in your life right now, just start today.

Today is called the present because it’s a gift from Allah. And make it the first day of the beginning of the rest of your life.

First things first – Write down everything and anything on your mind on paper or electronically, as mentioned in my previous blog! This time we are going to focus on perfecting and establishing our relationship with Allah in order to become more productive in our daily lives.

Here are a few tips to get you started….

1. Safeguarding your time by using it in away that is beneficial to you and remains protected from harm.

2. Set you affairs for the day straight by calling on Allah the Al-Mujeeb, HE is close by and can hear you the Al-Qareeb – remember HE descends in the last third of the night to seek those asking of HIM –why can we not then make an effort to wake up and meet our Lord? Even if it’s just for 10minutes of the last third of night – this will set you up well for the day ahead on a high level of Eeman. Knowing whatever happens you can handle it because you have called on HIM to be by your side throughout the day.

3. When the going gets tough – take time out go into Dhkir mode and call on him to guide you.

4. The benefits of dawn, wake up you can just before Fajr and ask of Allah. I started waking up 15 minutes before Fajr and when I became accustomed to this I increased it to 30 minutes. You can adopt this strategy and keep increasing the time till you build up to the goal of Time you set your self to wake up – my goal is to wake up an hour fifteen minutes before Fajr then, I can have a short snooze like the Prophet SAW, did before the call of the adhan– reviving the Sunnah if you like. Work hard on not going back to bed (this will vary and depend on the time Fajr starts in your country – in the UK Fajr starts at 3’0clock) starting the day’s chores and activities and by mid-day you would have achieved a great deal.

5. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day – you are doing a fantastic job so keep the body fuelled, it’s like a car if it runs out of petrol it will grind to a halt!

6. Take mini breaks – 15mins or less to re-energise and recharge your fuse (heart) – during these moments of breaks you could contemplate and reflect on some verses of the Quran or Hadith.

7. Teach your children to become team players by giving them responsibilities.

8. Create a space for you in your home, no matter how small your home is, for relaxation and reflection.

9. Laugh and have fun with your kids, the language and communication of love language
is through the non-verbal cues and messages we send to our kids. Start by giving your kids a hug and kiss on the forehead – this speaks volumes in a way that words could not convey. Your child will understand from that hug that mom loves me unconditionally, I can trust her and I am safe with her! How profound.

10. De-clutter your home even if its only for 15-mintes a day

11. Focus on what you have achieved to today on things that you have done and not on
things you are yet to achieve. If Allah has not answered you today HE will answer you tomorrow , so don’t dwell over things you have not achieved today.

12. Keep a shopping list on the fridge and try to only go to the store once a week.

13. Don't be too fussy. Your home does not need to look like a perfect picture out of a glossy magazine. You want your family to be happy, will you choose to have memories of a happy family or sacrifice that for a clean perfect home, only to regret years later the fun you could have had with your kids?

14. Play your favourite Quran reciter or listen to Hadith or lectures while you are doing your housework. - That way you are getting an eeman boost and earning bags of reward from Allah whilst you work! A win-win situation if you ask me.

15. Write a to-do list. Add to it when you think of something that needs doing and check it off once you have completed a task or activity.

16. Clean your bathroom sink while you are cleaning your teeth. Grab a cloth or sponge and give the bath and sink a quick whizz or a wipe over, you’ll be done before you have even finished brushing.

17. Don’t forget your Team players (kids) - Teach your kids to put things away when they have finished with them, tidy their rooms and make their own school lunches.

18. Celebrate your success – Thank the Al-Hamid for making this such a fruitful day for you

We Moms should also practise what we preach. Kids tend to emulate what we DO rather than the instructions we give.

Let me know how you get on!

Wishing you a successful week ahead! Happy parenting!!!

Mommy Coach
Khafayah Abdulsalam

Friday, 12 February 2010

Productive MOM - Getting things done!

A big JazakAllah Khair! - to all of you that have welcomed Umuka!

This year will be full of action. Over the upcoming months I will be working with Moms on: re-connecting with your natural self; productivity and organisation; tips and techniques for home management; raising confident, happy kids; money management techniques and finding "ME" time and taking care of YOU!

All with the help and guidance of Allah SWT.

Hajar slumped in her chair, after yet another busy day; asking herself the all too familiar question - Where had the day gone? She wished had more time!

I ask, if Allah gave you a 25th hour what will you do with it?

Like a mad whirl wind, thoughts begin to swirl around in Hajar’s mind. While writing her virtual to do list in her head, and planning for tomorrow, she falls asleep from a tiring and exhausting day.

“I have to post that letter first thing tomorrow; get hubby’s appointment at the clinic at 4pm! Oh no! Jamil and Amal have got a karate class at 5pm. I will drop them off and that will give me a few minutes to pop into the supermarket to grab some bits for dinner. There is also the laundry and ironing, return a few calls…”

I am sure this sounds familiar - the never ending to-do list!

Like Hajar, we tend to produce very long ever-lasting lists of activities in our minds. We become overwhelmed and end up achieving only a few things; then everything goes back on our ever growing list! When the guilt-trip sets in – Hajar finds herself saying; “I should not have spent two hours on the phone with Aisha, I could have had the ironing done by now and cleared the book cupboard”.

The number one enemy stopping you from being a Productive mom – is trying to do too much – and thinking you are SUPER mom! – This type of thinking only sets us up for failure.

If this sounds like you, why don’t we begin to move you towards action. As a mother and a Mommy coach, I have discovered that the most profound and beneficial thing is to write everything down!

Okay let’s move to action

Start being the productive mom you want to see!

First things First! The most important thing is to keep all you write down in one place. I am sure you have heard of the famous saying “Not planning at all, is planning to fail!

I invite you to take just 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to do the following:

· First, find yourself a journal, scrapbook, notepad, an electronic package like word, or whatever writing tool appeals to you!

· Begin writing everything and anything down on paper or your laptop etc,

· Now – write down the three most important activities you wish to achieve today! – knowing that accomplishing these activities will mean success for you.

· Finally celebrate your success! I normal restrict myself to no more than 10 items a day - its more manageable

Always adapt an open attitude with your list, be flexible – know that things could happen during the day – which means you have to make adjustments!

I will share my list (I have highlighted my top three activities);

1. Memorise three verses of Surah Baqarah for 30 mins; and spending a few moments in conversation with Allah.

2. Prepare my kids’ favourite meal

3. Sort a pile of paper on my desk

4. Spend an hour writing my book

5. Write a blog

6. Spend quality time with my four kids

7. Visit my friend who recently had a baby

8. Spend an hour arranging and finalising my coaching sessions over the next two weeks

9. Preparing for my upcoming seminar

Try it out for week and share your results with other Moms on my blog!

Let’s go do it! Always remain positive - because energy flows where the focus goes.

Monday, 18 January 2010

WHAT IS HOLDING YOU BACK? Mute you Inner chatterbox!


“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

"..Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity. Know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you; and that what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship."

I often liken the way we wade through life like an airplane that is sustained in the air and has to be in constant motion. If it drops a bit the pilot brings it back into control. This is how our lives operate. We are on continuous watch and are very scared of taking the nose dive, because we don’t know how to recuperate, and most importantly what will people think?! When our subconscious inner chatter box whispers to us “You are not a good Mom”, we leave the plane to nose dive and crash our dreams!

What holds us back from being the Mom we want to be? What we think ourselves capable of? The moment we believe we are limited in knowledge, skill, ability or ANYTHING – we have just stopped our growth potential. Brian Tracy said, “Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Have you found yourself in situations where you have done something silly? And perhaps said to yourself, “I will never do that again.” Then you find yourself in a similar situation and you repeat the exact same thing again? Or you find you say “Nobody loves me”, “I am a failure”, “I am too old to memorise the Qur’an.

These thoughts that we think will either help us achieve our dreams in life or stop us dead in our tracks.

There are numerous life traps that hold us back and in most cases are attributable to the thoughts and ideas that swim around in our heads. These very same thoughts we believe in can control us and shape our lives. Also, affect our dealings with our children.

Some values and beliefs give us great strength and empowerment, these are the ones that serve us and help us achieve our dreams. However, there are some beliefs that no longer serve us and are more an enemy of progress.

Sometimes our friends and family hold us back, out of their concerns for us. They tell us you will never be a good mom” based on their own fears, doubts, values and limiting beliefs. Regardless of their intention, if we buy into what they say, we end up giving up and sabotaging our goals and dreams altogether.

Over the years, we have been told different stories that we believed in and have enacted as a part of our life whether they were true or not. We have been told many different reasons why we can't do certain things and we have believed them without question.

I invite you to share this story with me;

Mohammad asked to his wife “Why do you always dispose of the head of the fish?” Zaynab replied “WaAllahu alam, we just don’t cook it in our family”. Mohammed took it upon himself to get to the bottom of this matter; he took a trip to his mother in-law. He asked “Umm Zaynab why do you not cook the fish head?” Umm Zaynab replied “I don’t know, my mother always did and I never bothered to question the reason why”. “How amazing” replied Mohammad? It was time to visit grandmother. When Muhammad posed the question she said “oh! That, in our days I only had a small pot, it was impossible to fit the whole fish in the pot, I decided to get rid of the head because it had more bone than fish!” This just demonstrates how a family of three generations just did what their grandmother did without question, only Allah knows how many fish heads have been wasted!

Does this ring bells with you? As mothers we have grown up with values and beliefs that have been passed down from our parents, which have shaped and dictated the way we live our life!

So! What is holding you back from being the Mom you want to be?

Can you identify 5 things that are holding you back from achieving and creating the life you want for you and your kids?

In part 2 of this article I will discuss some tips on how to recognize these beliefs and values and replace them with beliefs that serve you and your children, by creating a positive warm, loving environment for our kids!

Allah’s Given Gift!

Motherhood a gift from Allah Azza wajjal.
Muslimahs tend to contrast their life with that of western values and beliefs – rather than investigate the formal Islamic bases of her status and purpose as a mother.

Nurturing and bringing up happy confident kids is Allah’s given natural gifts to mothers!

The reward and compensation for the most important job in the world – mommyhood! Is not always evident neither apparent in this world. Its most comforting and re-assuring that Allah will pay the salary of Muslimahs moms in the hereafter.

Abu Huraya narrated that a man came to Rasullah sallalahu alayi wasalam and asked, “who is more deserving of my companionship?" Rasullah replied “Umuka (your mother)," then he said “then who” Rasullah “Umuka (your mother)," and again he said “Umuka(your mother)," then he said “your father,” on the fourth occasion of being asked the same question.

Allah has exalted and exonerated the mother; muslimahs should humbly embrace the divine role in total submission and put her trust (Tawwakul) in Allah.

The concept and basis of this profound hadith has been the fundamental foundation for the birth of Empowering mothers to the 3rd degree a level above fathers!