Ramadan is wonderfully amazing !
- It teaches me self-control and shows me the real power of my will.
- It assures me that I am independent from coffee, sugar and other addictions.
- It submits the soul under divine protection and guidance which makes it possible, even for young children, to restrain with joy and ease from food and drink during 16 day-light-hours.
- Allah facilitates so many things we never thought being able to accomplish, subhanallah.
- All my senses get fine-tuned and my receptivity gets deeper.
- It is a gift to feel all of this, every year in a different way, because Ramadan moves every year about 10 days ahead in the calendar, which gives us the opportunity to experience the sacred month in every season over the years.
- I feel my vulnerability and humbleness in a very reassuring way.
- Allah gives us power and energy we normally do not have (with only 5 hours sleep per night), alhamdulillah.
- Doing such an act of worship in community (not for the ego, not to be seen by others, only to fulfill our duties toward our creator) gives much strength.
- In Ramadan, Allah’s blessings can be felt more than ever, everywhere: in the cold breeze He sends, in the rain He offers, in the good food He provides every evening and the water that quenches our thirst…
Allahu akbar! Thanks to God.
To be honest, I don’t feel entirely well these last weeks, mashaallah.
There were many decisions to make, many challenges to take and many visitors around at school, but also in our private life
– I feel exhausted and ready for a break. I feel ready for winter to come, ready to draw back and to hibernate, just like an animal that crawls into his cave.
I observe myself sometimes arguing with reality, wishing for things to be different, in fact just longing for some peace and quiet…
Here I’ve put down a little list of several things I try to do when I really feel at the edge to depression and need something to tear me out of the black hole:
- Drinking some freshly brewed yarrow/achillea-tea
- Making a treasure map of pictures cut from magazines to visualize positive goals
- Going outside! Alone or with the children, to breath fresh air and clean the head
- Making Istikhara and dua’ or reading Qur’an
- Reading self-help books
- Watching feel-good-movies (although it is very difficult to find hahal-ones)
- Making a gratitude-list
- Talking to a friend who can stand my tears, just listening, without trying to “save” me
- Investigating my belief system and affirming and auto-suggesting all things good
- Reminding myself that life is always for something good; that there is a reason behind everything and a learning opportunity for my highest good to be found in all.
favorite shoes from Gudrun Sjoeden
And if the well-intended weekend doesn’t turn out that well ?!
And if there is fatigue, a little spring fever and some distress?!
- Make wuduh (the ritual washing)
- Take a nap
- Read Qur’an
- Go into nature and pick some flowers
- Pray and make dua’
- Eat some chocolate
- Be gentle with yourself
- Take some vitamins, nettle, yarrow and other herbs
- Walk barefoot in the grass
- Talk to your partner or a friend, ask for help and a hug.
wishing you a lovely weekend! peace xxx
right now I am learning to accept…
… that life is a never ending learning path.
… that dunia (this life on earth) is a test, and every day a new chance to show my best.
… that good times and hard times go hand in hand.
… that nothing in this life is “perfect”.
… that everything changes.
… that there is always something to improve.
… that everything happens for a good reason, inchaallah.
… that happiness lies in the moment.
… that cobwebs, dirt and disorder are part of life (even in a new house)
… that Allah’s plans are alreday made and I simply have to count on HIM.
Ramadan is over and the second half of our summer holidays began. That means for me to be a full time, homeschooling, and stay-at-home-mom again.
It also means that I have to redefine those roles for myself because I haven’t really had them since we opened the school in 2010. So it is for me now quiet a new challenge to care 24/24h for four children (including a teething toddler) without babysitter help.
It was important for us as a family to have now some private time without other people at home; it was important for us to enjoy the new house exclusively as a family and to keep out the different energies non-family-members sometimes bring into home. So it was a conscious choice to spend the holidays without maid and babysitter and to take on again the role as a housewife. I mostly enjoy this, alhamdulillah, and most of the time it really feels good.
But I have to confess that there are moments when I really struggle with all the duties and the energy-level fulltime mothering requires. After one day of past Ramadan extra-fasting I quickly gave up the idea to make up the missed days from last year because fasting in Ramadan is a blessing but outside the holy month it asks for a lot of extra effort and strength which I fully need now to put into my mothering-role in order to stay sane and positive, inchaallah. So at the moment our days are a constant changing, up and down, inhaling and exhaling, feeling well and exhausted, a mixture of happy-relaxed-summer-moods and a yelling-crying-arguing-bored-fatigue, mashaallah: Carrying the whining baby a LOT and not having free hands; trying to respond to the many different needs and interests from children of different ages from one to eleven who are with me the whole day, preparing food for everyone everyday nearly five times from scratch, fighting the never ending piles of laundry and dishes and a house to clean…while feeling guilty not to spend enough quality time with the little ones but at the same time feeling frustrated not to work down my “have-to-do-list“ or not to be able to have me-time and to do something of my “want-to-do-list”… – mothers, I think you know what I am talking about – we have the hardest job on earth!
To stay positive I’ve put together some of the things that help me going through the hard times and to find bliss in the everyday – I thought it might help some of you as well.
Happy blissful mothering to all of you! Take care and never forget to be good to yourself!
10 ideas that help me surviving these summer-holidays-at-home:
- Aiming to complete every day ONE thing of my to-do-list:
I don’t aim for more, but also not less. My aim has to be achievable beside all the things that have to be done during a day with four little ones (all the mundane household chores). So when I succeed in doing one thing of my personal list it gives me a feeling of deep satisfaction to strike through at least one thing every evening instead of looking at five things I wanted to do but couldn’t.
- Taking breaks:
we take them often during the whole day, to stop, to inhale and to recharge my batteries, with iced coffee, tea, homemade frozen lemonade, waffles, cake, melon or some other yummy thing.
- Accepting that piles of laundry and dishes are a reality and never will end:
I try now to see these chores as worship and as the important and blessed work of a housewife.
- Going out at least once a day:
going into nature, leaving the house, breathing fresh air helps me a lot to keep a good mood, even if it is only for ten minutes. And going on adventure every now and then, gong on a longer walk, an expedition, a trekking, swimming or fishing…
- Surrounding myself with beauty:
it fills me with infinite joy to live in a beautiful environment and to keep my home nice, alhamdulillah. To use natural, handmade, crafted everyday objects nourishes my soul and gives me positive kicks throughout the day. Serving drinks in an antique glass jar instead of a tetra pack, or using a wooden bowl instead of a plastic basket, to use the nice linen table cloth and the good old porcelain from grandma, to put on a nice dress, to decorate the table with fresh flowers and to give the kitchen a new look with fresh colours on pillows and candles, all of that is bliss!
- Setting the right priorities:
I have to remind myself to focus on the real important things of holidays and not getting distracted by unimportant mundane stuff: the kitchen doesn’t have to be swept every day and my water tabs do not have to be polished… I try to spend quality time with one of my little ones instead. The dished do not have to be washed right away when baby just felt asleep and when the bigger ones play outside – I can use that unexpected free time to read a book or to sew something for myself which makes me happy and helps me being a more patient mom afterwards…
- Staying offline and unplugged:
one thing I’ve learned over the years is that switching the computer on to go online, trying to read or respond to an email during day and while being with the kids just doesn’t work for me: Because I don’t work well nor am I a good mum then, I either get angry with the PC or with the kids… So I decided to go online only when they sleep, which is by night or in the early mornings.
- Rhythm and structure:
Holidays have to be different, the living has then to be an easy one and days feel best when we are able to flow with the moment, to relax and to live free without all the duties of normal life. So I try not to structure our days too much: We sleep after fajr until we wake up without an alarm clock, we eat when we feel hungry and we simply decide every day to do what we want to do… but to keep some rhythm and some structure helps me to benefit even more from these lazy days, to stick to some routine and some family rules makes the easy living much easier for everyone and helps me to stay sane.
I pray everyday for guidance and ease, for Allah’s help in all the responsibilities I carry and for wisdom in all things I have to do and think about.
- Being thankful and trying to see the positive in everything, especially in the gift of being allowed to have so many beautiful little souls under my care, subhanallah!
Maybe you have some other ideas to add?
new pillow – new colour scheme – carpe diem – enjoy the moment.
- feeling a bit tired and dizzy during day;
- being amazed by the strong intention and selfcontrol of my two fasting boys who did already so many days, mashaallah;
- sometimes being quickly exhausted myself by little mundane tasks and doing only the minimum of it;
- coughing and sneezing a lot because of the very dry and dusty weather;
- trying to benefit from quiet devotion time by night, which starts for me very late because rhythms totally changed and baby recently doesn’t sleep until nearly midnight…;
- eating cucumber-yogurt-sauce (without garlic) and pizza-bread for iftar;
- loving this beautiful shop the beautiful pictures and the owner herself (for the sake of Allah);
- reading the Quran here and learning this sura again;
- dreaming to sit in this or that rocking chair;
- but generally having very deep thankfulness for all the blessings in our life, alhamdulillah.
salam aleikoum and peace with you during these last blessed days and nights!
Sometimes there is no time to look for a new motive: so here you see again our kitchen, from another corner on a Sunday morning during a few minutes of semi-peace and silence…
When it is quiet on this blog, it usually means that real life is very busy.
For my taste, it is a bit too busy at the moment: with the everyday tasks as a mother of four, alhamdulillah, with a husband who often has to travel, with a whole school to manage and with some serious things to organise…
In the spare moments, when I finally find myself alone, quiet and able to breathe, (during daytime this only happens in the bathroom, and even there I sometimes have a baby with me…) I often feel too exhausted for everything. I then simply enjoy the peace of the moment and the silence around – these are the moments when I really thank God for the energy He gave me to carry so many different things, subhanallah, and these are also the moments when I realize that I have to use my energy wisely and to honour my body and mind for the work they do, alhamdulillah.
Over the years I learned that I really have to treat myself well, especially in times like these. I have to be kind with myself in order to be able to give love and to be good with others.
This wasn’t easy for me to learn and I often neglected my own needs. But I get better on with it and I try now to consciously listen to my own needs and to create some oases of peace (even small, short and tiny ones) in the midst of my hurry-blurry days full of musts and have-to’s.
This is my actual list of small little moments of bliss to treat myself:
- Smiling to myself in the mirror
- Drinking a big mug of fresh and warm milk coffee
- Looking at the happy face of our baby-boy, subhanallah
- Reading beautiful home interior magazines
- Eating a slice of Swiss chocolate
- Massaging my hands with some rich hand cream (Weleda is my favourite brand)
- Taking a little walk behind the house, to get another perspective of everything
- Watching a movie with the children in the evening
- Getting to bed early or sleeping a bit longer in the morning, to have at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep
- Rejuvenating myself 5 times a day during the minutes in prayer and prostration
- Decorating the table with lovely flowers or herbs from the garden.
What is the bliss that carries you through the day?
I keep you in my prayers, especially all the hard working moms out there, and I wish you satisfaction and joy in all what you do.