Masha'Allah our first ever Muslim Mum article! What better way to start it off with a mum from the city we live in, Cardiff [Wales]!
1. How many children do you have?
I have 2 little ladies
2. Please tell me about your background – where did you grow up – hobbies?
I was born in Cardiff and have always lived there. My hobbies consist of reading about psychology, the history of religion and love to read about phenomenal women in Islam. I love swimming and staying active when I can.
3. What was it like when you had your first child?
I was very excited to begin and welcome my new way of life and to embrace motherhood in my own style.
4. As a new mum, for you what were the highs and lows?
As a new mum, for me, the highs were everything in between loving my new little human and experiencing all the new ‘firsts’ from the newborn stage onwards, something as small as the first hiccup can be so exciting, the first sneeze, the first giggle, their first chuckle all of that. Then it gets to the more not so fun ‘firsts’ e.g. their first sick day. I remember as a mother never feeling this much worry in my past life, as I did when my child got a fever and was not herself. The other lows for me were transitioning from my old life to motherhood and having to adjust to everything. It’s not just me anymore, it’s me plus 1. I can’t just decide not to get up on a day when I’m not feeling it, I have to get up every day without fail, there is a little human who is depending on me.
5. How important are friends and family when you first have a child?
As soon as you have a child, your priorities instantaneously change, your child becomes your immediate priority however family is very important especially when you have a baby. They are the ones who give you immediate care and advice. Family is very important to your children and it's great to have that bond for the child. However, with friends, you get to see instantly which ones stay and accept your new way of life and which ones are no longer interesting because you simply don't have the time anymore. But of course, the ones who accept that are the real friends.
6. What’s the reality of being a mum? Was there anything which surprised you that you didn’t expect?
I wasn't too surprised about motherhood at first per se, I was used to it from my younger siblings and I’d say I handled it quite well, I try to do what is right for me and mine, I was never worried about other people’s opinion on my parenting. However, I would say it’s very easy to feel the pressure of all the other people’s expectations, even from family members. A lot of people measure standards and choices to their own and it can be quite detrimental especially to a new mother who doesn't have much experience and is worried about her own choices.
7. Are there any interesting social media pages for mums out there which you find helpful?
There are countless mums online rocking motherhood according to their own way and its great to see, I think collectively it helps other mums feel unapologetic and confident in their own choices. You get the carefree no rules kinda mums, the working mums, the stay at home mums, the working/stay at home mums, the working from home mums, the office mums, the vegan mums etc. My point is, whatever style you choose you will find it. There is so much to be inspired by. Mums should feel confident and less pressured about their choices and styles.
8. What are your favourite mum tips?
Favourite ‘mum’ tips would be to not give in to the child, be firm with your words trust me the child will still love you, it will just make your life that much easier, especially when you’re out in public, think about the more important things e.g. spending time with them, those endless conversations that don’t stop, pay attention to them. They will go by very quickly and some will even grow to be embarrassed of their parents.
Don’t get too stuck into work and life distractions, focus on them too before it gets too late and they grow before you realise. You don’t have to spend spend spend to earn their love, children are very simple they care for no brands, the unlimited toys or your best holiday package. Let them be kids and enjoy childhood, let them make mess. Don't compare them to other kids and especially to their siblings. Don't let other mum’s routines/styles put you off your own. Remember we all have our own individual style. Allow the children to be themselves.
My top tip would be not to fear to discipline your child, don’t let your child discipline you!
9. What can prepare you for being a mum?
Being a mum prepares you for being a mum! Literally…don’t overthink your salary or income or your jobs or your ‘perfect’ house. You will never be fully ready for motherhood until you enter it.
10. Do you have a routine? Is it important?
I dislike routine but sometimes you have to have one for children. I don’t worry much about it. I like to go about my day without too much structure or planning, life is way too short for that for me, as long as they have enough sleep, enough food and are happy we're good! The school has too much structure for us to then have one at home too. Children need to learn to be adaptable and sometimes being told rigid doesn't teach them that.
11. What do you do to chill out when stressed.
In my spare time, I love to learn about things as downtime I would watch educational videos. I like to listen to discussion podcasts but mostly entertain myself and others around me by singing and dancing haha.
12. What are the first few weeks of being a mum really like?
Stressful yet euphoric!
13. How important is it to say “no” to your child?
It’s very important to say ‘No’ to your child, setting boundaries is just as important as ABC’s if not more.
14. At what age did you start to implement Islamic knowledge?
For me it's very important for them to have general knowledge on religion by that I mean various religions. I started implementing Islamic knowledge from the moment I carried them. E.g. reciting and listening to the Quran. However, I don’t stress too much about this, for now, I want to teach them the importance of just remembering Allah in everything they do and just being the best version of themselves they can be l love telling them prophetic stories too.
15. How important is prayer to you?
Prayer helps me stay grounded and helps remind me about my priorities.
16. What is it like to pray when you have Children? What were the difficulties?
My prayers were the first thing to be compromised as a new mum! I’m sure any new mother would say. But it’s just finding your rhythm and not to stress too much about it, we’re human, it’s part of the package, so long as you keep trying.
17. How do you manage your prayers with getting ready in the morning etc?
I try my best, if I have time then I have time but I don’t like to rush my prayers or pray when stressed. It’s more than a physical act for me.
18. What tips do you have for teaching children Prayer?
The best tip for teaching children to pray is very simple, pray and they will follow. They do as you do so get them to love prayers and join you, make it enjoyable and please never force prayers or the religion upon them.
19. How do you connect Islam to your everyday life?
Islam is a way of life it isn’t separate. E.g. acceptance in everything that is given your way, trust in Allah by being the best version of yourself and challenging yourself always.
20. Raising Islamic children in the UK and during Christmas, is it difficult to explain some festivities?
Raising children in the UK shouldn’t be any different from raising them anywhere else. Living in the UK is beautiful, it has taught me to accept there is so much variety in the world, we’re all different and we all learn from each other. I don’t struggle with non-Islamic celebrations personally, it’s not difficult for me at all to have to explain them to my children, I teach them that everybody has their own faith and there are many different kinds of celebrations. There is nothing wrong with taking part in celebrating with other faiths or unIslamic traditions sometimes and joining in, just as I would love for others to accept my faith and celebrations and join me in mine!
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