Archive for the ‘motherhood & direction’ Category

Homelife Mosaic

June 19, 2007

Homelife Mosaic, originally uploaded by asiya2.

ah, the fun of learning how to make mosaics!

 

Temple of Self(or the egocentric nature of blogging)

June 19, 2007

fingerprints2, originally uploaded by asiya2.

My personal observation is that creative people tend to be very egocentric. I don’t mean selfish. Often creativity goes hand in hand with a rich sensitivity that lends towards a kind and gentle nature. The flipside is that it also leads towards introspection and neurotic self-exploration. I have been wondering about the notion of the creative self within the framework of Islam. We are supposed to focus on subduing our egos, not cultivating them. Is there room then for creativity as an expression of self or should it always point to something Bigger?

 

 

Priorities

May 3, 2007

The keyword when talking about life is always balance. To feel at peace we need to find an equilibrium between the different facets of our selves and our numerous roles and aspirations. This is something that I have always struggled with, never being an all-rounder. I have excelled in some areas and neglected others. Being a perfectionist, I have often only attempted things that I know I can do well. I don’t just have a fear of failure, I have a fear of being average and yet I can only be what I am, fairly competent and (hopefully!) kind and imaginative, but certainly not a genius!

Motherhood, when approached by such a personality is particularly challenging. I want everything to be fantastic and nurturing. I know that it is primarily myself who will guide these little beings and help them blossom to their full potential and sometimes I am daunted by the responsibility.  How do I manage everything, the basic drudgery of household life (yes, I do feel that way sometimes!) but at the same time creating a vibrant and inspirational space for my children to learn and grow? How do I maintain a sense of self in the process?

In Islamic spirituality known as tasawwuf, the ego (nafs, base self) is supposed to be subdued in order to foster a closeness with God, but there is also a saying that “H/she who knows him/herself knows God“. In other words, we must understand our self before we can conquer it. Sometimes, as mothers, we completely lose our selves in the process of looking after everyone else. I have recently passed through a phase of wanting to read and write a lot about “issues”, stimulate myself intellectually because this was an aspect of my life that had been sorely neglected. I wanted to rediscover who I am in that sense. And whilst I feel a little revived, I can honestly say that I don’t necessarily feel uplifted by it…energized perhaps but not motivated spiritually.

Nurturing my family, however, does motivate me spiritually. Responding to my children, thinking about how to encourage them to love learning, imagining creating a dense jungle for them in the backyard (yes, it’s still just in the imaginary stage!), all of this stirs something deep in my being. And so this is the deciding factor for me whilst I try to re-orient and keep hold of myself in the process of motherhood. Because, I’ve found that within the process itself, there is so much room for personal growth and it feeds my soul in a way that academic pursuits don’t. And so I know for myself that at times, although I may question my choice and wonder what I might have/could have been, I am fundamentally happy with what I am and I know that staying at home is the right choice for me (and hopefully, inshaAllah, my family also!).

comment for last post about schools

April 30, 2007

for some reason, my last post won’t allow any more comments, so here’s one from Brooke!

Asalamu Walaikum,

Inshallah you and alllllll yours are well in health and iman. I’ve been trying to leave a comment on asiya2 about schools, but it won’t stick…I dunno…so here’s what it is……..

Inshallah, I think the next generation of Muslims will start doing things like this…in the meantime…I want to list some of my favorite resources. Yes, they have a homeschool bend, but they are all more early child information that I think you would really enjoy/benefit from, inshallah.

I think these three are really the best:

                  

You Are your Child’d First Teacher (from birth to five years) By Rahima Baldwin Dancy

I’ve never known anyone affiliated with Waldorf that hasn’t read it and by the by, she is Muslim. She had a Muslim/Waldorf web group but it’s really quiet…Here is her website:

 

http://www.waldorfinthehome.org/

 Lots of good Tending the Hearth and the Heart stuff on there!

 

Children at Play Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development by Heidi Britz-Crecelius …you can find this one at:

http://www.waldorfbooks.com/edu/early_childhood.htm

I drool a little when I visit this site! Soooo many good books!

 

Oak Meadow IS a homeschool Waldorf-style curriculum. But I think anyone would benefit from reading their Heart Of Learning and Home Teacher’s Process Manual. I have only read the one for kindergarten-third, but they do have a seperate set for preschool that I would like to read someday, inshallah…

 

https://www.oakmeadow.com/store/orderitem.cfm?rec_no=14

 

Some others that I think mostly reiterate what you can get from the above…but are also good reads are:

 

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge : Nurturing our children from birth to seven by Barbara J. Patterson

 Kindergarten with your Three to Six Year Old by Donna Simmons

http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/bookstore.htm

Okay-dokey. Gonna go tend my hearth now

Love and Salams~Brooke

Am I dreaming?

April 26, 2007

*sigh* why don’t we have Muslim schools along the same lines as this school?

We have such a fabulously, rich intellectual heritage. Islam encourages development of the whole self, the spiritual and academic. It teaches respect for the body and concern for our environment. Instead of meditation we have dhikr. We could have an equally healthy halal menu(if only we could find organic, halal meat), or even stick with vegetarian.

But sadly, I don’t think our community here in Australia is ready for it yet. Ignoring our intellectual heritage (or  misrepresenting it) seems to be the norm these days. But then, what better way to revive it than fostering a knowledge and respect for it in our children?

*sigh*

Mummy empowerment

April 8, 2007

Lately,I’ve been thinking about motherhood and control (lack of). I’m not referring to whether my children sit still at the table when I ask, but rather how my principles effect our lives on a daily basis? Am I living the life that my heart wants to live? In my pre-children days, I had dreams about the “kind” of parent that I would be. The reality of parenting however, is of course something different. It is easy to become swallowed by the basic need to survive. Our dreams sometimes become buried under ten tons of laundry.

For me, this creates a sense of floundering and dissatisfaction. It’s not a productive place to be. The task of raising little human beings is full of promise and joy, but it’s also heavy with responsibility. We all want to see our children thrive.

Survival mode has greyed my mode of parenting. As a creative person, this has caused me great frustration, it has also pushed me into action and I’m reassessing my priorities. I want to reinvigorate myself as a parent and remember what it is that I desire for my children. I am not content living the major consumer, outer suburban dream, this was never my dream. How is it that I find myself going to KFC(halal of course!) once a week? I have always hated multinational companies and the way they eat up small business, not to mention their impact on the environment. Why has becoming a parent caused me to give up some of my ideals?

Ease, I suppose and convenience. Organic juice and sandwich bars do not have drive-throughs! With three small infants to get out of the car and navigate through shops, I have watched my principles float out the rolled-down car window. Quite simply, to live the life that I feel I should be living, the one that makes me feel comfortable inwardly, I have to try a lot harder. It involves more work.

As a sleep-deprived Mum, finding it hard to get the basic necessities done, it sometimes feels simpler to take the easy option. But the reality is that the “easy” option breeds greyness. The life that I want for my children is full of colour. I want them to feel connected to the landscape around them, to appreciate aesthetics. I do not want fast-food children spending their days glued to the television. I may have lost the “sugar wars” temporarily, but Supermum is emerging from the swamp, ready to direct this household once more!