« Allah is beautiful and loves beauty » (reported by Muslim)
Happy week friends!
« Allah is beautiful and loves beauty » (reported by Muslim)
Happy week friends!
… I think it is time for another peaceful moment after all that exhaustion.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and personal suffering. It helps to see that one is not alone with her feelings, so I pray for you and for me, for all mothers out there.
You know, even if it is so very difficult sometimes, I wouldn’t like to change my life, not for the worlds, even in spite of long “down”-phases. And alhamdulillah, at the moment I feel already a bit more “up” …
My husband brought Moroccan pastries. Have you ever tried “cornes de gazelles” or all these beautiful little sweets made of almonds, rose water and orange flavour? (Here are some recipes) – Heavenly!
- And just the right thing for a quiet mommy-alone-afternoon with a cup of tea, a book and some poppy flowers from the garden when hubby and the children are off for a trip… Leaving the dishes unwashed, the laundries unfold and the steps unbrushed, forgetting about all the duties and simply enjoying the moment… such an hour of calm and peace makes really a difference. Subhanallah, it’s the little things that make me happy.
I hope you also have a happy end of that week. Love and Peace friends!
“Look towards those who rank below you, so that you may get used to being thankful, and do not look at those who rank above you, lest you should despise the favours of Allah upon you” ( Ibn Hibban)
Some days are constant ups and downs and feel like a never ending marathon … I guess parenting, yes, maybe life in general is like waves: constant ups and downs…
Aehm, these last days were a bit difficult, mashaallah, baby is so much teething and even though she’s almost all the time really happy and smiling, she does not sleep, is very demanding and wants a lot of body contact and interaction – and so are the boys – Mashaallah, sometimes it feels as if like little vampires suckle all the energy out of my body and brain. I am tired, nervous, and weak and not the mother I wished myself to be. That’s how I feel at the moment, astafirgullah.
I know that it is not only the children’s actual behaviour that makes me feel so tired and needing a break; I know that it is maybe the little PPD syndrome I am having from time to time, and also the grief from last year; I know it is also because of breastfeeding and because of the situation of living as a single mom so often due to hubby’s work, and it surely is also the self-criticism that comes into my head sometimes…
In the oh-so-rare-me-time I am having at the moment, I try to read one of the books sister Brooke gave me. It’s called “You are your child’s first teacher” from Rahima Baldwin Dancy. It is an American Waldorf classic from 1989 and it is one of those books you wished it would never end. I simply love it! I really appreciate the compassionate and non-judgmental advices.
One little part that I could read over and over again is this one: “The reason that parenting young children takes so much energy is that the life forces of the mother and the baby are interconnected throughout the first three years. Young children are surrounded by and consume […] the life energy from their parents. Mothering is deceptive, because sometimes it seems as if you’re accomplishing so little – why should you be so tired? However, caring for young children draws on your vital energy, and you need to replenish your own vital forces in order to continue to feel good in your mothering”
Subhanallah, these words just soothe me. I am really enjoying to read that book and I try to see the blessing which children are, I try to be thankful for all the good in the actual situation and I try to follow Mrs Baldwin’s advice “The first thing to do to […] is for the mother to be happy and healthy […] Three things can really help to replenish this energy: sleep, artistic activity and meditation.”
So I leave you with my personal list on how I try to fight against this awful fatigue, inchaallah:
My meditations are the five obligatory daily prayers.
In addition to that I wanna try the following to get more balanced:
- no morning coffee for a certain time, to see if it makes a difference
- eating a lot of vitamins (fruits, dates, nuts, vegetables) and less sugar
- taking mineral supplements and biochemic cell salt pills
- making constant dhikr (remembrance of God/Allah by repeating His beautiful names and attributes and by praising Him)
- photography (to praise the beauty of Allah’s creation in every thing around)
- drawing rainbow coloured pictures and calligraphy (to be creative and to meditate on the beauty of those wonderful colours and forms)
- Making constant Istighfar (asking Allah for forgiveness to get closer to Him and His mercy)
- blogging (to reflex and to focus on the good)
- getting enough sleep, going to bed earlier
- trying to better myself but also appreciating what I do and telling myself how much I love me…
I wish you a blessed weekend with time for yourself and joy with your family!
Even though we live a very simple life here, we do have a little children’s play room (something which is quiet unusual for people over here).
And we do have toys, subhanallah, not a whole lot of them, but alhamdulillah enough, and sometimes I think we have even too much…
That’s why one of my priorities for this year’s spring clean was the kid’s room.
Baby grows so quick, subhanallah, and she already crawls everywhere, that’s why I had to make the room safe as well, because I don’t know if it is boys in general or if it is just our boys – but mashaallah, they really are not good in taking care of their stuff. Unfortunately we do have not only wooden or toys made of natural materials (which I would much prefer), but we do have also a lot of plastic cars and things that brake very quick… So first I had to declutter the spaces from all these little broken pieces, mashaallah, and I took out all the destroyed and worn-out things and also the things that have to be mended (like books or broken cars).
And then we were ready to rearrange.
Recently I am so very much inspired by all the Waldorf- and Montessori-ideas. They simply resonate with my heart and with my ideals and to me they seem so logical in what they say about how to keep sane the children’s imagination and about the need for healthy nourishment to develop well.
We changed now our play-spaces according to these ideas:
- more un-toys and natural-toys instead of plastic or battery-toys,
- defined areas for different kinds of play (huge free play zone to play with cars and to built huts, corner and hangers for the items of imaginative play, little table and chair to draw and write, corner for relaxing with lots of new cushions to hide and to feel comfortable),
- beautiful toys at display and the others logically arranged in different baskets and marked with little pictured-/named-hangers (to make it easy for the kids to find the right place when tidying up),
- harmonious colours and materials that keep a sense of peace and warmth,
- only a few toys at hand, the others hidden in the cave – to change them from time to time to keep the interest and not to overload the children’s spirit.
I also read about the importance of doll-play, even for boys. I liked dolls myself when I was little and I really liked all the thoughts I read about the benefits of that kind of play, so I ordered now a Waldorf-doll for each of my children, hoping that they might bring a bit more softness and peace into their art of play (… mashaallah, I am so longing for more girls-like play after all these fighting- and cars-and shooting-boyish-years).
Alhamdulillah, the room looks now much nicer and play already is more harmonious here, and we also have some other aims and ideas to realize inchaalah:
- keeping the room neat and in order every evening to be ready to welcome the next day,
- making stacking toys out of natural wood. Letting the kids cut and sand and prepare the pieces themselves,
- making felt balls in different sizes and felted fruits and vegetables for play,
- avoiding plastic toys and focusing more on things like this and that (alhamdulillah, we have no toys-shops around here, but these are the priorities for the wish lists, because, subhanallah, the kids did sense the benefits and beauty of natural and wooden things after I explained and talked about it over the last weeks).
… Sorting out, minimizing, thinking, planning and putting priorities as well as focusing on real beauty concerning toys and play spaces pays off, I believe.
It really is worth to make an effort to arrange a beautiful nourishing atmosphere for our children because: “It is an immense fallacy that little children do not notice. It would be wiser to think that nothing is missed, that everything is absorbed” (Francis Edmunds).
Life around here is frugal, basic, and simple: no shopping malls, no fashion boutiques, no cinema, no fitness studios, no luxury, no restaurants, no fast food, no newspapers, and no distraction.
There are no insurances, no assurances and no bank accounts.
Electricity, heating and fluent water are not there for granted and often it is a life “back to the roots” with candles, water from the spring and blankets against the cold.
People here would be mostly considered as being poor.
Living is harsh and rough just as the nature around. The rhythm of life goes along with weather and seasons and the days are scheduled by the five prayer times.
Clocks tick otherwise in this part of the world…
Life and its circumstances are imperfect, just as natural as human beings.
There is no hurry, no rush; there is always time for a glass of tea or chatter in the sunlight. There is always a real relation to nature, to the self and to existential things.
There is no anonymity and being part of the community sometimes is a lifesaver.
It is a living that totally submits under Allah’s will.
It is a living that teaches modesty and contentment with the little things.
It is a living that teaches gratitude with every breath. Subhanallah!
Over the weekend there happened some different sorts of blessings:
- We had the most awful rainy weather possible, with sometimes no electricity or no internet-connection, a lot of wind and water running down the hills. The fields in front of our house became a lake, it was stormy and cold and inside our house it dropped in some rooms, so we had to put towels and basins everywhere. Mud-houses are not really built for such heavy wet weather… But subhanallah, our outside-façade protected the main walls and yesterday, when the sun finally came out again we discovered only some broken pieces on the outside we will have to redo, but nothing really fundamentally bad. Alhamdulillah for the blessing of Allah measuring rain and water and how much He lets pour over us.
- Over a year ago I met sister Brooke through my blog. We came into contact and the last weekend finally she and her lovely family made the way to visit us. Subhanallah, I am so thankful to have met her and I am so happy about their lovely enriching visit. It was a very short one and the weather really bad, but it was a very blessed time, alhamdulillah. And the gifts they brought are really treasured around here now: a selection of great Waldorf-books (soon updated in our books-list), a giant plain paper roll to draw and play on, marbles, dates, coffee, yoghurt, cereals… subhanallah and thanks God for the blessings of internet-friends!
- Through my blog as well I met another dear sister again whom I already knew from meeting twice in Marrakech: Nora. Alhamdulillah, I am so glad that she found my little space here and made me discover her great blog about life in the red city http://moroccomama.wordpress.com. I really recommend reading her blog in which she describes so fantastically well things and reasons about living in Morocco. Mashaallah, and thanks Allah for the blessings of blogging.
What blessings did you experience? What are you thankful for?
Today I am a bit annoyed; I am tired and feeling down, mashaallah. Baby is still teething and having an eye infection as well. The boys still cough and I am having a little cold as well. I didn’t have had any evening this week for myself. My back hurts from carrying baby around and my head aches from the warm-alpine-wind and the heavy cloudy weather.
But hey friends, this wouldn’t be my place without a positive view and a bit of gratitude… So let’s try to see the things in a better light…
I am really really thankful that full moon is over since last Sunday, because we feel already much more relaxed over here. And I am so very thankful to have my natural medicine reservoir here. I rely so much on homeopathy and biochemic-cell-salts.
I don’t believe in the healthy effects of antibiotics and chemical medicine – yes, in some serious cases they are great and may help a lot, alhamdulillah – but in general I would always suggest trying natural medicine first. I believe in the importance to look for the causes of an illness and to heal at the bases and not simply to try to get rid of the superficial pain. I believe in the importance to help the body to recover itself – entirely.
Oh my, do you know the comfort of a warm hot-water-bottle, the healing effects of herbal tea with a spoon of real honey, the blessing of onions on an infected ear or olive oil on the bronchial tubes?
And then those little pills that magically help the body to get back its own healing power: Magnesium, Calcium, Chamomilla, Belladonna, Silicea… so many blessings directly taken out of nature. Subhanallah, some of them help so quick that it seems really unbelievable sometimes. Allah really provided a remedy for all illnesses out there in nature.
So we are talking in Latin words and numbers here these days: “can I have a hot-seven”, “I need a number five pill”, “where are the pulsatilla-pills”… and alhamdulillah, it helps.
On the nourished-mama-blog I was reminded of another great healthy thing: pulling oil.
I did it a long time ago and already knew about its healthy benefits, but unfortunately forgot about it. So now I wanna try again to detoxify my body in the mornings by chewing a tablespoon of oil in my mouth, inchaallah.
Realizing all these blessings, I feel already much better and am looking forward to a weekend with hubby, friends and a spring-clean of my body…
What are your natural magic helpers, friends?
Happy healthy weekend!