Simply Breakfast and some Mothering-thoughts

wholemeal muesli with fruits and yoghurt and black tea with milk 


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!


12 thoughts on “Simply Breakfast and some Mothering-thoughts

  1. Itto, I have the same book! Thanks for reminding me. I need some new inspiration for my mothering as well. I believe in that life-force connection too. I sometimes know when one of my children is going to call my name, right before it happens. It’s almost tangible.
    I love your post again. I’m inspired by your loving, creative, healthy, and reflective side.

  2. Liebe Itto,
    ich bin immer wieder beeindruckt davon, wie offen du schreibst über deinen Alltag, über die Freuden und Leiden der Mutterschaft. Nur schon deine Offenheit und Ehrlichkeit nimmt eine Menge Druck von dir, glaube mir!
    Dein Plan, mit deiner Erschöpfung umzugehen, ist genau richtig; du machst das wirklich gut. Ich kämpfe – wenn auch aus weniger erfreulichen Gründen – ebenfalls seit Wochen gegen Müdigkeit an. Nicht immer kämpfe ich erfolgreich – aber Erholungszeiten haben ja auch ihre Berechtigung.
    Es gefällt mir, dass du mit dir selbst liebevoll umgehst!
    Herzlich, Katarina

  3. Salam alaykom dear Itto… I was afraid you were going through this. I just wanted you to know… I am going through same thing. However, I am taking medication for it…because I needed an instant relief. It’s not much but it takes away the squeezing and out of breath feeling that anxiety gives. Otherwise, it does nothing else.
    You are doing right by focusing on the good..I feel its the key and the most important one !! is SLEEP.
    I returned to work this week..and one can often find me napping at my lunch hour hehhe. Work has been my God-send.because I can focus on something else other than my situation and at the same time feel that I am appreciated and doing something for me that also benefits so many others as well ( like your school project, Masha’Allah)

    read my blog sis…and know ur always in my duaas.. even though I not always comment, I do check in to read ur blog because it helps me so much. Jazak’Allah Khair.

    Kiss those wonderful babies for me !

    btw..Jennah ‘s first two teeth came in this first week back at work..hehe…was up for three nights …she will be one on April 3rd… Masha’allah.

    hugs Itto !!

  4. Bismillah,

    Thank you so much dear sister Itto for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.
    I ask Allah he gives you all the strength you need to raise your children as good Muslims and human beings and that you enjoy every step of it.
    Keep me in your duas for I am raising three little ones as well and are far away from any family members, just my hubby and me in this enterprise.
    Have a beautiful week, and oh, my little one is teething also; she has 4 breaking through at the same time 😦 I find chewing on carrots is very soothing for her.

  5. assalamu aleykum; i cry while i write this that’s how exhausted i am, not because of work of sleep deprivtaion but of life elhamdurillah, have 4 wonderful sons, my 4 year old has an autoimmune disease which has no cure, felling good right now bt acn come back in the first year, sstill some months to go till september, since the beginning of ramadan one of my cchildren is sick, at the end i get sick, my husband works a lot, abroad sometimes, living in foreign country with no family, in lawa are no moslims, no help, not so many real friends who can see through me and how i am. i am glad elhamdurillah cause i know Allah gives diffuculty who can carry and whom He loves but i doesnt make it easy while i am in it, i am jsut so tired elhamdurillah. the last 3 weeks my 2 years old was sick 4 different diseases, one after another, husband was gone, worked a lot, i am still at home, stopped working because of sick children, i only worked 2 half days but still.last week i was sick myself too, we sat on the sofa mith my baby whole week, i guess there are many ways of being at home, even walking is a blessing, counrty i am living has many people from morocco, have been myself 6 years ago, took a triip from nador to marakesch, loved it really, make dua for all muslims in need, wassalam

  6. Itto, I do not have this book – it sounds very interesting, however!

    My children have been…hmmm, how shall I say it?….difficult lately. Whiny, clingy, easily bored. Some days, mothering is just hard. Always worth it, but yes, hard. I think it is fair and right to acknowledge this, and also fair and good for a mother to get good sleep, worship and creativity! It makes her a better mother.

    I, too, have thought that there is some sort of interconnection between me and my little ones. I did not think to put a time frame on it – but it is truth that there is most definitely a unexplainable bond while I am nursing a child. I can be several rooms away, and I will know when the baby is awake. I know before the baby cries, even when I can’t see it. I may be at a store, and my milk will let down – I know that I had better hurry home because the baby is waking up. I’ve never heard anyone else say this (except for my sister) but it is most certainly true! I’m sure the bonds go deeper and are more extensive than most of us realize.

  7. Assalamu ‘alaykum Itto:

    I marvel at your ability and insight to identify negatives and turn them into constructive positives. When we face challenges or feel down, this capability is what is really important and many of us, myself included, fail at it. But you are able to make wonderful lists that itemize what and how to get back on track. Thanks a million for doing this!

    May Allah help you through those moments when the going gets tough and reward you for all your efforts and sacrifices.

    FiAmanillah and Ma’salaama

  8. salam aleikoum Itto,
    d’abord je veux prier pour toutes les femmes qui ont ecrit des commentaires si touchant à propos de ce post… cela me fait de la peine de voir autant de souffrance morale et aussi physique..ces femmes semblent “exhausted”, il n’y a pas de mot en français qui le dise si bien.
    j’espere que pour toi cela va mieux et que tu arrives à te reposer un minimum…

    tu peux pour trouver la force et te relaxer un peu (c’est ce que je fais):
    – dire “hayat el kursi” plusieurs fois par jour (je sais que tu le fais dejà)
    – essayer de t’allonger sur un tapis et detendre au maximum tous tes muscles en ecoutant ta respiration (je me doute bien qu’avec 3 enfants, ce n’est pas facile)
    – prendre une douche (je trouve que ça detend)
    – manger du chocolat (encore et toujours)
    – sortir dehors si il fait beau, s’asseoir dans l’herbe et ecouter la nature parler.
    bon courage, je pense fort à toi et aux femmes qui ont ecris sur ce post.

  9. Asalaamu alaikum,
    Hang in there! Get sun (vitamin D). The lack of it made me crazy and tired. I think the coffee thing is a good idea. I switched to decaf when I got pregnant and it really change my nerves. I can’t handle too much caffeine these days, except in green tea–some how it’s a different energy. Keep it simple, until you get back on your feet. My neighbors saved me when I was going through post partum depression—just to have company and get away from stress for a few moments–though your house always looks so tranquil. I’d love to book a room at your home for renewal of spirit—“Itto’s Bed and Breakfast”

  10. Hey Holly! Long time no reading–from Ummadam’s blog 😉

    Thanks Itto, I really needed this reminder today!

  11. AA Itto,
    I pray to Allah(swt) to give you and all the moms the support, energy and patience you need to raise your precious little ones. It’s not easy!!!!Your personal list is similiar to one that I would write for getting rid of the blues. Reading it made my heart feel good. JAK.

  12. It’s hard to remember to take care of ourselves, isn’t it? Living in a rural place, as you do (and I do, in a much less extreme sort of way) can be isolating. You have the added challenge of single parenting often, and I know what that can do to a person. I hope you can continue to find time for yourself while still enjoying the pleasures of mothering young children.

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