In this article Saj discusses the reality of being a Muslim Mum from her perspective. We are sure you will find something to take away from her tips and experience Insha'Allah.
1. How many children do you have?
I have 3 kids, 1 girl and 2 boys. My eldest is nine, I have a seven-year-old and a 3-year-old. My youngest has just started playgroup, and I’m struggling with that. I think I’m struggling this time because I'm finding it hard to let him go as I had a lot of time with the youngest.
2. Please tell me about your background – where did you grow up – hobbies?
Born in Cardiff, my parents are from Pakistan. Growing up I had a lot of Pakistani culture surrounding me. I studied English Literature. I started my own business creating personalised Muslim children books, Its’ been very exciting. My favourite hobby is shopping, eating out with friends and going for long walks.
3. When did you get married?
In 2008. We had a big wedding in city hall in Cardiff. It was a big deal back then to have a wedding at City Hall’’
4. What was it like when you had your first child?
Overwhelming, I had my first child I thought “oh my god this is not how I imagined it.’’ The baby arrived and she didn’t sleep and kept crying. During my pregnancy, I was watching ‘1 born every minute’. They all had an amazing labour stories, during the birth it was chaotic but then the baby arrived, and everyone is so happy and crying with joy, and I honestly thought mine would be just like that - but mine went down nothing like that, I was super annoyed at the show lol”.
5. As a new mum, for you what were the highs and lows?
As a new mum, One of the lows was putting pressure on yourself to be this perfect mum, not allowing yourself to be new to it and getting frustrated quickly. The highs have to be when you’re holding the baby, and how blessed you are to have a family.
6. What’s it like cooking for more than 1 child with different taste buds?“
It is difficult to manage however I try not to give in too much to them either because I’ll end up making 3 different meals 3 times a day, and I am not going to do that.
7. What’s the reality of being a mum? Was there anything which surprised you that you didn’t expect?
Reality of being a mum is that you are a superhero. The kids are your first thought of the day – get up, get them ready, its non-stop all day, you multi task like crazy to make sure everything is completed and everyone is happy.. Then that cake and Tea in the evening is totally worth it. I do love having that crazyness in my life. I would not want it any other way. It's hard, but I'm grateful for that, it’s made me a better person, and it’s all thanks to my 3 babies.
8. What are your favourite mum tips?
To enjoy the now. My eldest child is 9 years old and I’m gutted that the 9 years have gone by so fast and I wish I did so much more with her, but I was always worrying what the 2nd one was doing and the 3rd. So enjoy the time as its goes very fast.
9. What can prepare you for being a mum?
Hmm, for me I wish I knew how to do more things around the house, when I had my first baby, and I had just moved into my first home with my husband, it was the first time I was looking after myself and a house together. I did struggle, with simple things, but Alhumdulliah I had a good husband and he never complained.Lol.
10. Do you have a routine? Is it important?
Yes, we have a pretty strict and busy routine because the kids have a lot of after school clubs that they are apart of. I love having everyone on a routine, it helps me be more productive, keeps the kids busy, and not waste time.
11. Is it important to not have expectations for yourself?
Depends, healthy expectations are always going to be good for you, but you have to be careful not to put yourself in an unhappy place when your expectations may not be for you, your expectations are now more about others. Being mindful of how far you can push yourself is key.
12. Well, I’ve got here to embrace things naturally..
Yeah exactly, to just let things flow naturally and to be honest with yourself, you’ll be more content, and better around the kids.
13. Advice for getting some sleep?
Switch your phones off, it makes such a difference. Put some candles on, get the tea flowing and switch off from your worries and relax.
14. What are the first few weeks of being a mum really like?
It is overwhelming. Your body has just gone through something insane, you haven’t had time to process that, and then your handed a baby, who needs you. Everyone has a different support system, but in the first weeks, it is beautiful, you have family around you, emotions are high, good food everywhere, to make sure you as a mother get your strength back and this little blessing is making it all worth it.
15. How important is it to say “no” to your child?
Saying no and sticking to it. When I say ‘No’’ I try to explain why I said no so they fully understand. So for the next time, I can say “do you remember why I said no to you?”. Helping them understand the reasons, generally means they never ask again. Also I want to teach them how to say ‘no’ also to people or situations they are not comfortable in, and they can explain why they are saying no too.
16. At what age did you start to implement Islamic knowledge?
Straight away. When my baby was born we read something into the baby’s ear and family and friends always buy books and toys for them. There are posters around the house, CDs in thes car, so it’s always around them.
17. How important is prayer to you?
It’s a part of who we are. It is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. The Kids are at an age where they need to learn how to pray, and it’s up to me to make sure they learn it properly. That is a BIG responsibility.
18. What is it like to pray when you have Children? What were the difficulties?
To be honest, there were times when they climb on you, pull your scarf, cry or start a fight as soon as you start praying, but you just get on with it and over time they grow up getting used to it, they get used to seeing you pray. So they start of with playing with you whilst your praying, then they start imitating you. So its Win win.
19. How do you manage your prayers with getting ready in the morning etc?
I wake up first, early to have that time to myself. As for my children, I don’t wake them up for their morning prayers at the moment because they’re quite young. Instead, we’ll just talk to each other about daily dua’s, and then they go off to school.
20. What tips do you have for teaching children Prayer?
Pray together, the whole family. Make time for it, even if it’s just one prayer you all do together. It’s fun for the kids, a time to bond, a time to talk and something they will have forever with them.
21. How do you connect Islam to your everyday life?
I always try to link back to Islam with our everyday conversations. We learn together and read together before bed. They are a part of Muslim scouts, they go to kids Halaqas, and have a great community around them. I want them to learn through love and play.
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