Who needs a Baby Shark Plush Toy? – Doo doo doo doo doo doo

Da nent!….. Da nent!…. Danent! Danent! Danent!

Babbby Shark! Doo doo doo doo doo doo!

Arrrgghhh! Your favorite song that you have been hearing everyday on repeat now comes in a plush toy form! Yes, thats right! You can now hear the song on the go, in bed, for long car rides, in the grocery cart, while changing diapers, making dinner and outside the bathroom door as you hide trying to regain your sanity.

So much fun!

While the song may be your worse nightmare (literally), your littles will just love this new plush toy! They can choose from 3 cute nightmarish characters such as Mommy shark, Daddy shark and the most famous of alll….Baby shark!

This toy plays the song on repeat and you are just going to love it!

Okay, okay we will give you some relief, there is indeed an off switch. Just press the shark’s belly or take the batteries out and hide them forever. You’re welcome.

Check out The Official Seller WowWee on Amazon, get ready to drop some serious cash and make your sweet little one dream’s come true. Hurry, because they are selling out fast!

Its the end..doo doo doo doo doo doo.

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Love Trumps Hate: A Muslim Mother’s Thoughts on Trump’s America

We teach our children to do good and that by doing good, they can expect good things. We teach them to be kind to others, to share, and to be respectful. We teach not to be mean, hurtful or aggressive.

But then Donald Trump wins a presidential election, and we are left speechless.

“How did he become President, mama? Who voted for him?” These are some questions that parents like me have been struggling to answer this past week.

When I look at my children, I see their potential. I always knew they’d have challenges facing them as Muslim Americans.

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But I thought that maybe if they worked hard and if they did what they needed to do they would get where they needed to get.

“But mama, why didn’t Bernie win? Why didn’t everyone vote for him? He was the good guy.”

This was what my nine-year-old would ask me again and again after the primary elections.

“I don’t know, pumpkin”, was all I could say because I wanted to know the same thing.

For much of my (young) life, I had believed that if you just do the right thing and have the right intention then people will support you. But then I’d seen otherwise and I started to doubt those beliefs. I have seen people win who have the wrong intention, who do the wrong thing and yet people still support them. I’m not just talking about the President-Elect. There are Trumps in our communities, in our schools, in our masjids and in our homes. They don’t care who gets hurt as long as they get their way. They do as they please and get away with it. Why is it then that we were surprised on Wednesday morning? We can’t even defeat the Trumps that we live with. We can’t stand up to the injustice in our face but we wanted to defeat the one that was miles away?

This should not have been a surprise.

I looked at my daughter on Wednesday morning at breakfast, waiting for her to ask. I knew I had to tell her, she’d hear about it at school anyway. Then finally, I told her. Her chin dropped as soon as I said it, “What? Seriously! Please tell me you’re joking.” I reassured her that everything would be okay and she went to school with the same innocence I had as a child.

Wednesday was tough.

I thought back to all the volunteering during Bernie’s campaign, the voter registration tables we put out, the phone banking, the community events we held and attended: what was the point of it all? I was extremely disappointed. Then I prayed. I prayed for peace and I prayed for comfort. Alhumdulillah for the great leaders of our community who come through for us during these times. I read comforting Facebook statuses and tweets, texts from friends and comments from strangers.

Immediately after, I felt relief. It was kind of strange but it’s like I wasn’t nervous anymore. I knew that whatever was coming was from the will of Allah and that his plan is greater than anyone’s. I reflected on the life of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He had many obstacles in his life but what got him through was Tawakkul, his faith in Allah’s plan. This is the key to overcome such difficult times. I want to make it clear that Tawakkul is not a passive approach but in fact, it is a very proactive approach. Tie your camel, then put your trust in Allah (Tirmidhi).

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would be actively participating against injustices and hardships, but his character never changed. He was always, even in hard times, Al-Sadiq and Al-Amin, the honest and trustworthy. I knew this was the right answer, I’ve always known. But this is when I realized I had to stop doubting myself.

When my children came home I hugged them. I sat them down and reminded them the importance of being kind. I told them it was important to be kind to strangers and friends, but also to each other. Because if we can’t defeat the Trump in ourselves, the one that tells us to hate, to hurt and to build walls, then we aren’t ready to defeat the Trumps outside.

I told them first we have to be kind, then we can expect kindness from others. But I also told them that there will be people who won’t be kind and who will be dishonest.

I told them about our Prophet (peace be upon him) and how he faced people like this too, but he never became like them.

He remained a good person.

I told them the importance of speaking up, not just for ourselves but for others as well. That Allah has given us speech and intellect to fight against the Trump ideology. This isn’t the big change I had once thought we could make, but it is a change nonetheless.

The most important change however, will be the change within ourselves.

That is where we start.

About Maryam

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Maryam Bint Fareed is a mother of three children, Wareesha (9), Yusuf (6) and Asma (4). She is currently pursuing her teacher certification to be certified as a special education teacher in the state of Connecticut. She believes in shaping the youth of today to become strong leaders of tomorrow. She spends her (limited) free time studying, volunteering, eating, reading and learning.

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For the Fashionable Mom

Fahima Abdul

Interesting how often what you think will be the easiest transition, is possibly the hardest. Once I found out that I was expecting, I was extremely excited.

Many of us have great expectations, especially when it comes to ourselves. Pregnancy and childbirth would redefine a lot of those expectations for me.

For one, I thought I would be able to bounce back into my regular self & flow of things pretty fast, I mean you have the baby and your normal again…right?

WRONG.

Having a baby takes A LOT out of you, emotionally, mentally and physically. It feels as if you are starving of yourself and then begins the slow process of healing, but along with that comes sleep deprivation, latching on issues and colic. So again the healing doesn’t come single handed, it is presented with motherhood beginnings.

Fahima Abdul

One of the most challenging parts for me was getting back into my regular routine in how I present myself..I have never been the sweatpants kind of girl. I enjoy playing around with colours, textures and prints. I would go as far as saying that it is a crucial part of who I am but having a baby and breastfeeding exclusively made that harder. Often you find yourself in the easy quick outfits but they do not make you confident or happy. Contrary to popular belief how you feel about your body after childbirth is important, and coming from a styling background I know how wearing the right clothing vs the wrong clothing can influence body image issues.

So the first time I hit this realization that I had not been doing myself any justice and had became okay with feeling sluggish and very bluh about my body was a couple of weeks before my sweet friends bridal shower. I struggled more than ever to find a dressy outfit because I had surrounded myself in dreary clothing. So i’m here to rescue you with a few fashionable motherhood tricks I have found to work best for me.

  1. Oversized Dusters
Fahima AbdulFahima Abdul

Duster jackets/coats are a great way to add colour and elegance to a very simple outfit. They are perfect for spring/fall weather because they are a light Out-wear option. Your outfit could be as simple as a basic top and some leggings. I find dusters to be very slimming especially when left open to drape over whatever ensemble you think appropriate for your day. Dusters can be found on ASOS & Boohoo.

  1.  Shirt Dresses
Fahima AbdulFahima Abdul

I am a sucker for shirt dresses especially if you’re looking for a modest ultimative to a shirt. I think they are perfect for breastfeeding moms on the go and when paired with leather trousers, leggings or jeggings etc they still provide a fashionable but functional option. Shirt dresses can be found on ASOS, H&M & Topshop.

  1. Palazzo/ Wide leg Pants.
Fahima Abdul

I find these a great option if you’re looking for comfort and style. You can tuck in a nice loose T-shirt and then pair it with a oversized shirt of your choice. Quick and effortless. This will take you no longer that 10/15mins to put together & allow you to spend more time on your mummy duties. ASOS, Zara & Mango do a great range of wide leg pants especially in cotton.

  1. Checked Button down shirts.
Fahima Abdul

I LOVE checked shirts right now, I mean this is self explanatory. Add a choker, oversized denim or leather jacket, leggings & your fierce comfortable boots and you are on your way to being the rockstar mom you’ve always dreamed of. Zara, H&M and Topshop have a great selection of checked or buttoned down shirts.

  1. LIPSTICK
Fahima Abdul

I think this is the best tip to end the post, carrying your fave lipstick is the best way to accessorize any cute outfit.

Love Always,

Fahima Abdul

About Fahima

Fahima Abdul

Fahima is a 26 year old Modest Fashion Stylist & Blogger. Her style and out-look is deeply influenced by her Faith, Experiences & East African Heritage. She has styled at DC fashion Week & Canada International Modest Fashion and Design Festival (IMFDF) from Hakeemah Cummings (CMB). Visit Fahima’s Instagram and Blog!

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Nahela Morales

Breaking Stereotypes: Living as a Muslim Latina Single Mom

In this day and age, single Muslim mothers are often ostracized, deemed unfit to marry, or blamed for their circumstances.

For a new Muslim, and a Latina, this stereotype may be even more emphasized. However, single motherhood is no more than another test from Allah, and the person being tested with it is only fulfilling their duty in this life: to worship and struggle for a promised reward. Single motherhood is a life of hard work and sacrifice, and so it may be that the reward is that much greater. Only Allah knows.

My son was conceived when I was 29 years old, and I had him at the age of 30. When I was younger, I used to say I never wanted to become a mother. However, when I became pregnant, I was delighted with the idea of motherhood and I felt that I was more than ready. At 5 months pregnant, my son’s father and I separated. Nevertheless, I began to focus on making a life for myself and my baby. The minute I found out I was pregnant I knew this blessing was a lifetime commitment, therefore being the sole provider and mother came hand in hand.

I was born in Mexico City and raised most of my life in California, I had moved to New York prior to my pregnancy. My journey to Islam began soon after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Living in New York, the incident hit very close to home, and it awakened a curiosity for Islam and my subsequent spiritual journey. Andrew was born a few years later and soon after his birth I decided to embrace Islam.

I believe that his birth brought on many positive changes in my life and Islam was one of them.

I had been on this spiritual quest for quite some time, but reflecting on the type of future I dreamed for my son made it easy to finally take that leap of faith. The values and morals emphasized in Islam was exactly what I was looking for to raise my little boy.

Soon after I embraced Islam and decided to wear the hijab, I was fired from my job with a baby to care for. As I desperately fought to hold on to my new faith, many trials poured my way early on. All I kept thinking at the time was that I wanted a better life for my son and I knew Islam is the key to success. I remember always asking Allah, subhana wa ta’ala, to guide me in order for me to guide him. Fighting my nafs and staying firm regardless of the various challenges we were facing at the time was difficult but we got through it together.

Andrew has been my rock since day one.

We began learning about Islam together. I recall reciting Surah al Fatihah to him and before I knew it he was actually reciting it back to me, Alhamdulillah! By the age of 3, I enrolled with him in Arabic classes at our local mosque. We learned the Arabic alphabet and many small surahs together, masha Allah. Because my son’s father and I separated when I was still pregnant, I have been able to raise my child without restrictions of any kind until I remarried. Unfortunately due to his lack of understanding of my religion, I was forced into court to fight for sole custody of my child, which I won, Alhamdulillah.

Since then, Andrew, himself, has made it a point to teach his biological father about Islam. They have established a respectful relationship and have agreed to learn from one another, which has made it easy for us to practice our faith to the best of our ability.

I had remarried when my little boy was still a toddler, around 2 years old, but my intentions were never to provide a father figure for him. Since his biological father has always been in the picture, I have made him aware that no matter who I marry he will always have his father.

My second marriage turned out to be a green card fraud, and as a mother this was extremely hard.

We were married for 6 years and my then husband and son had become very close. He called him “Papi” (Spanish for Daddy), and he was the only man that shared our home for the majority of his life. One day while Andrew and I were away, he gathered his belongings and walked away from our lives.

Letting go of our attachment to this man was not easy. I remember explaining to my little boy how Allah removes obstacles from our path in order for us to reach our final destination – jannah al-firdous. We would say a dua after every salat together: “Oh Allah, if Papi will not take us to jannah please do not bring him back.” We, my child and I together, endured this painful trial and together we overcame it by holding on to Allah’s words: “Perhaps you may dislike something which is good for you and like something which is bad for you. God knows and you do not.” – (Qurán, 2:216)

nahela-and-andrew

Although the challenges I encounter as a single mother are numerous; physically, emotionally and financially,

Allah has never left us alone.

He always sent aid our way and so I learned early to rely only on Him and allow His promises to shine on my problems. If I could offer advice to other single mothers in my place, I would say to put their trust in Allah in all situations. After all, He knows best! As far as motherhood is concerned, it is extremely important to practice what one preaches. Always remember that children may close their ears to advice, but they keep their eyes open to an example. So be the best example.

Nahela (Umm Andrew) Morales

Nahela Morales

is a Revert, Mexican-American, Humanitarian Muslim Da’iya, single mother of one, currently residing in Houston Texas. She formally served as the National Hispanic Dawah Coordinator for WhyIslam a project of ICNA and is currently the Brand Ambassador & Community Manager for IslamInSpanish. She also formally served as the Brand Ambassordor & Community Manager for IslamInSpanish. She is currently blogs about her journey and serves as a the Outreach Coordinator for ICNA-Dallas. Morales’ efforts go far and beyond the imaginable, she travels the world with her son attempting to covey the peaceful message of Islam. Click here to contact Nahela!

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Dear Fathers, You Are Not The Babysitter

A new mom recently asked:

“Imam Zaid, in our communities it is fairly common for some men to ‘babysit’ their children rather then taking an active role in parenting alongside their wives. How do you address this issue?”

The first thing to mention is that this is un-Islamic.

This approach to child rearing is against the Quran and Sunnah. The Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) was present throughout the entire childhood of all his children. He was not migrating, nor engaged in nomadic lifestyle. He was settled in Mecca and Medina.

Understand being settled does not mean a father is actively involved. The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) was settled and involved in all aspects of his children’s lives.

There are many hadiths where Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) would play with his children, and children of the Sahabah. He would line them up for races, wrestle with them, and carry them. He would involve them in various activities and sometimes allow them to sit with elders of the Quraysh. The love he showed towards his grandson Hasan asking Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) to shower him with his love, is just one example of his fondness for children.

Narrated Abu Huraira (radhiallahu anhu):

“Once the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) went out during the day. Neither did he talk to me nor I to him till he reached the market of Bani Qainuqa and then he sat in the compound of Fatima’s house and asked about Hasan but Fatima kept the boy in for a while. I thought she was either changing his clothes or giving the boy a bath. After a while the boy came out running and the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) embraced and kissed him and then said, ‘O Allah! Love him, and love whoever loves him.’

So this is our example..

Tariq Toure

This is the example that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has presented for us. An example that we should follow and know. Know that if we consciously with no necessity avoid or abandon our responsibilities as men, we are giving more weight to the sociological realities of America then we are to the sunnah of our beloved Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam).”

Children are a sacred trust given to us by Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) reminds us in the Quran,

” Verily Allah commands you that you deliver the trust to their rightful possessions…..” (Surah Nisaa: 58 ).

Hence, we need to stand up as true men, lest we meet Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) on the Day of Judgment knowing we have failed to implement this most vital command.

Be a Father.

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About Imam Zaid

Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid is the Co-Founder, Board of Trustees and Senior Faculty Member at Zaytuna College located in Berkeley, CA. The New York Times describes him as a “leading intellectual light”. In the 500 Most Influential Muslims by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin, Imam Zaid is ranked as one of the most influential scholars in the world.

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Your Life, My Love

“Grandpa, what happened?” squeaked the melodic voice of my 5-year-old daughter. In a somewhat discomforted tone, I listened to my father respond, “The police they, uh, they shot somebody.”

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She casually took note of the energy of the room, and went back to watching Ryan’s Toy Review on YouTube. Meanwhile, her 10-year-old brother didn’t even glance up from whatever he was occupied with on his iPhone.

Like my step son, the thing is, that none of this phased me. It can’t possibly phase me anymore. There’s literally no time left to be phased, raising black children in America.

My daughter was born in 2010, when lynchings were becoming mainstream again, and it wasn’t long before police lynching via extrajudicial killing was borderline normal, and often going viral. Her brother, my then step-son, is old enough to have witnessed anger over events such as the execution of Troy Davis, the Occupy Protests, the increasing trend of police killings, the public anger, the protests – and even to a degree – the racism which began to poke its head out of the prairie dog hole. The thing is, these are black babies, and they have to live here much longer than their mother, and myself.

If this were a speech, this would be the moment of pause and reflection. This would be that moment where I felt pain but had no choice but to convert it into functional power.

It’s not easy to explain to young minds that phenotype technically doesn’t matter, unless it’s his difference, and her difference – which is being black. Your differences make you special, my loves. Your differences make you both targets, and subjects.

My daughter was raised surrounded by a fiery energy emitted by both her mother and I. An energy that was never tolerant of the unjust murder of black men and women. “Black Lives Matter” is probably something she’ll never forget as she first heard the phrase at 3 years old – but does she understand the exact implications of what’s happening, and why there is so much anger around it? No, she is somewhat sheltered from the details, as a child deserves to experience childhood. Watching her father on computer screens as her mother live streams protests I attended in various cities. Feeling her mother’s energy, anger, and sadness as she supported the movement to the best of her ability – all of this, no doubt has affected the psychology of my progeny.

Anas White - Black Lives Matter
“Rest in the midst of unrest is taking a moment to reflect in the middle of a highway.”

She does, however, know – to the best of the ability of her mother and I – that she is black. She is melanated. Her nose is wide. Her hair is kinky. Her skin is darker than others. Her lips are full. Her parents are different from others parents. Her story isn’t the same as everyone else’s in America. She wasn’t born with a silver spoon. She can’t simply act as though she’s protected by laws that are alleged to protect her.

As if it wasn’t already hard enough to instill pride in blackness, imagine a child being bombarded from every angle with a euro-centric standard of beauty. I almost wish it were as simple as “Baby, don’t let children at school play in your hair,” or “Baby, there are certain words that if you hear you need to tell me or your mother immediately.”

However, as a father, I must accept the sad reality that I could be faced with the possibility of my beloved being detained, questioned, or even molested by a police officer. I must accept the fact that I can’t teach her the lie that police are “public servants,” and that police “serve and protect.”

As she continues to grow, I will be forced to figure out the gentlest way to let her know that her servants and protectors are very few to be certain: her family and her parents. I will have to explain that not everyone is on her side just because, like her, they have 2 legs and bleed red. I will have to somehow explain to my child that the badge, the flashing lights, the riot gear, are not representative of an entity supportive of who she is, and who she will be.

My beloved child, I’m sorry, but representatives of the government of the country of your birth, are another obstacle which you will need to move around tactfully, for genuine fear and preservation of your life. I have a hard time trying to teach you this, Beautiful, because I don’t want you to be raised in fear – but I will not hide the ugly truth from you as you grow. You come from a lineage of kings, queens, enslaved human beings, survivors – and you must continue to be one of those survivors. You were born with an enemy my love. As your daddy, I will do all I can to change the world before I leave it to you, but never forget – God is with the faithful.

Just as we as parents have no choice but to convert our fear and anger into power – we must teach our children power and power alone. Fear isn’t an option, awareness is the answer now.

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Black lives matter my child. Your life matters.

About Anas

View More: http://najmdesignsny.pass.us/320slj

Anas White is a 24-year-old Muslim, artist, writer, and activist with a deep-rooted interest in race relations particularly as it pertains to members of the African diaspora, religious pluralism, and African spirituality.

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What moms of multiples already know, and a few things they don’t

In my most recent Facebook post, I laughingly posted that my clever 1 year old son made mockery of us by never playing with any actual toys. He cleverly turns anything into a makeshift toy, happily entertaining himself until he moves on to the next object or contraption most of which are never colorfully decorated or targeted towards a toddler.

It’s fueled my strike against ever buying toys again.

A friend of mine commented, a new mom of 1, informed me that kids don’t play with what they’re supposed to and as long as I keep chemicals and sharp things away I should be fine. While I am sure she meant no harm, seeing past the humor of my post she sought to comfort and reassure me that it was okay, I took a tiny bit of offense to her assuming that I didn’t have the common knowledge to keep sharp objects and chemicals away from my kids. However I refrained from responding, because I didn’t want it to come off nasty.

So I’ll save you the trouble, this is a bit passive aggressive.

Respectfully, having 3 kids and expecting a 4th, my oldest being nearly 9, lets just say, I know a few things about raising kids. I know all about bedtime routines, sleepy time fits and the importance of brushing at night. I know all of the famous kid Dr’s; Dr.Sears, Dr. Ferber and Dr. Seuss. I know all about reinforcing positive behaviors and avoid using negative words. I know all about meal planning and healthy snacks.

How did I ever make it through 9 years not knowing to keep sharp things away?

This unsolicited advice is further agitated by the occurrence that I am expecting my 4th. New moms, old moms and the like seem to want to beeline towards me to give some thoughtful while obvious advice about my children. Most recently a colleague, mother of 1 and training behavioral psychologist, after spending the day with us thought that she’d helpfully tell me some things from her observations to modify my 4 year old sons babyish behavior before it got worse before the baby came. I allowed her to “advise me”, I interjected when I could, but try to give me tips on how to “teach him to be a big boy” and ” don’t respond to his cries for attention”.

However, what she didn’t observe in that day, was that he is a 4 years old middle child, with an already 1y years old brother to compete for attention, and an older much more independent 8 years old sister that is able to do many things on her own. This is a tough space for a 4 years old, especially while expecting another baby brother.

His reality and space feels threatened.

As a mother to many, I realize that children tend to regress in this stage and assert themselves in some obnoxious and annoying ways. Cries for attention, bed wetting, and bursts of proving their independence,  just to name a few. I am particularly patient and lovingly, give him the help and attention he desires (moderately), to reassure my child that I still understand he needs his mommy, while also fulfilling his emotional needs for affection.

In addition to that since I have read many parenting books and my social media feed is full of parenting websites to keep abreast of all the trends in attachment parenting, I know that with every undesirable behavior, there is a emotional component that should not be ignored.

I have lived with my child everyday of his young life.

Please understand that, to simply be able to survive the day, I know some things about him. So while you may observe many children, you simply do not know everything about mine in one day or from one Facebook post.

You see, I have been through nights where I cried, stayed up late reading books and going the extra mile to provide my children with the best possible healthy environment. While I am not object to hearing helpful advice, respect that this isn’t my first rodeo.

I hear way more criticisms than I do compliments as a mom of many.

From the way my kids are dressed, to what I am feeding them, to giving in to their cries too much. I am inundated with advice and I am over it.

I am tired of hearing it.

One way you can help a mom of many, is not by offering advice, but rather telling her how great she is doing.

Tell me my kids play well with others, tell me they ask curious and thoughtful questions. Tell me I engage them well and that I have a careful eye to have kept them safe for so long. Tell me I am an attentive loving parent that uses my discretion for what I expose them to very well. Tell me that I am doing a great job and juggle 3 kids with the ease of a lion tamer.

Tell me I am doing a wonderful job.

Those are things I want and I need to hear, daily. I am hard enough on myself as a parent living between the struggle of either working 40hrs a week to provide them with insightful opportunities vs. staying at home with them a providing a nurturing loving always available mom environment, and hating myself either way.

I am already trying to break free of my parents shadow of either great choices or…not so great ones, and making my own that won’t scar my child. Be my cheerleader, my positive voice of reassurance, be my friend. Resist the urge to be critical or need to flex your knowledge of the latest trends in child rearing.

Expect that I know it already. Respect that I know it already.

Understand that sharing my child and time with you is a privilege because there are many people I choose not to. Appreciate us, appreciate me. Let’s follow one another’s example, before we use our sometimes harsh, non retractable words to condemn an innocent and well meaning mother doing her best.

Respectfully, from a mom of many.

About Rachel

rachael-paradise

Rachel Azzaam is a Muslim, business student, entrepreneur and married mother of 3. In her free time she enjoys bringing her plants back to life, taking too many books from the library and smothering her kids with love to be the favorite parent. Her previous works include unsent text messages and the rescinded over dramatic Facebook posts. Although the author of many term papers, this is her first blog contribution.

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up


tavasha-shannon

A Child Protective Specialist once asked me, “what do you enjoy the most about being a parent”? I replied, I like to teach my daughter new things, watch her grow and watch her create. I get to be a part of someone who is great and will do great things. He then asked me, what is your biggest challenge? I answered, “Single parenting”. The fact that I have little to no help, doing everything on my own is hard.

Parenting is a full time job, one which doesn’t guarantee you will be able to use your vacation or sick days.

Allah (God) helps me. That’s automatic.

What is understood doesn’t need to be explained. But no one is there to assist with the day to day tasks. Getting her ready for school, prepping meals, helping with homework, nursing her back to health when she’s sick.

“The cliché term “Supermom” isn’t always so empowering.”

Sometimes my cape is dirty and needs to be cleaned. Sometimes my bones are weak and I feel stagnant. I can’t fly. Nothing else seems harder than raising a child alone. Not graduating college, or the agility test that I took for the NYC Department of Corrections. I completed that obstacle course in 1 minute and 45 seconds. I was dizzy, heart racing, adrenaline pumping. I felt like I was going to DIE!! But I made it, by the will of God. I was happy that part was over, eager to move on to the next. I tried to view single parenting the same way, hoping the hardest part would be over.

Perhaps one day the other parent will step up to the plate and give me some much needed relief. Having been called a pessimist, I tried to be optimistic in that regard. However, I am always reminded that a mountain will move before the character of a man will change. Most of her life it has been me doing it alone. I don’t want any accolades because the things I do are out of love for her. It’s my responsibility.

I accept responsibility for making this choice, but I have decided I AM NO LONGER GOING TO BEAT MYSELF UP.

And you shouldn’t either.

I have to do the best I can with what God has given me. It’s a struggle but I need to maintain my own mental stability. It feels like I take 5 steps forward and 3 steps back. This is my test. Allah tests those whom he loves.

Sorry Perfect Patty, I am not a “Perfect Parent”. I have things that I do well, and things I need to work on. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone makes mistakes. In my opinion, I am a good parent. I take care of all my daughter’s needs to the best of my ability. I teach her values, morals, politics, and about our beautiful religion.

I protect her. I allow her to be herself, I teach her self love. I let her shine.

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But I need to work on my discipline methods. I need to set boundaries and let her know “Who’s in Charge”. I need to work on being more aggressive. She’s such a creative and vibrant soul. I use to have her in tap class. But my work schedule didn’t allow me to commit and my pockets didn’t permit.

I can’t beat myself up.

She attended private school for 4 years. I struggled with it. For the first time she is going to public school.

I can’t beat myself up.

I am not a mom and a dad.

I can’t beat myself up.

I am enough. She is enough…..

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My daughter and I have a project titled, “The Apple Don’t Fall Far” and the track “Just Have One” is dedicated to single parents. It’s a reflection of my own feelings, but very relatable.

Looking back on how much time has passed; how far we have come.

Forwards Forever, Backwards Never.

About Tavasha

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Creative Charismatic Courageous are three words to describe NY native Tavasha Shannon also known as Miss Undastood. Miss Undastood is a educator, public speaker, spoken word and Hip Hop artist.
She has toured London, Sweden, France, Ireland, and parts of the U.S.

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The Warrior

When you’re the parent of a special-needs child you become a warrior like no other.

You are the voice of the unheard, the defender of the fragile and an extension of another human being. You give yourself away and stand where most feel is impossible. Not just standing but also pushing on and persevering. You go without sleep with an often erratic diet and don’t even think about that thing called working out.

In the life of these warriors a day doesn’t go by in which they aren’t looking for that missing piece, that evasive clue to heal, cure and ease the struggles of the one they carried inside of them, and continue to carry and care for. Countless hospital visits, oxygen therapies, DAN protocols, out of pocket therapies and medications, brushing, sensory integration issues and massive meltdowns day after day doesn’t even begin to express the magnitude of the sacrifice and tireless love and dedication that is given by these warriors on a daily basis.

Never ending and never giving up.

There is nothing more rewarding than watching your child succeed in their own paths – even if it be slowly, on his or her own timetable which will certainly differ from their peers. These parents may feel sadness but they try to never let it show for they are the guides and those who reassure. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other we continue on while holding their hands, showing them the way.

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The children will continue to push on and succeed like The Little Engine That Could because slow and steady does eventually win the race.

We persevere, being the rock for such a dependent soul praying one day they will leave the nest yet knowing deep down that day may never come. Your life has been forever changed in one of most challenging, demanding and ever so stressful ways. Yet it is invigorating, ultimately for the best, and a gift from the Almighty above.

We are the real mujahideen as this is all done in the way of Allah, to fulfill the trust He has given us.

These are the ones over looked, left out and so often neglected. These are the parents who sacrifice themselves on behalf of those who need them most.

Indeed actions are but by intentions and everyone is rewarded according to their intentions. Instead of seeing this as only a trial (or worse, like you are a victim) intend your efforts, your struggles, your sacrifices as a means of drawing nearer to Allah for indeed, all success is with Him alone.

About Jamilah

Jamilah Breiannis

Jamilah Breiannis entered Islam in 1996 and has since then received Official licenses (ijaazaat) in several classical Islamic texts. She has also studied in the fields of homeschooling, Unschooling and guerrilla learning styles. She has received various certifications in Childhood Development, Early Childhood Education, and Special Education. She has been certified in Dyslexia Therapy, Braille Literacy, Herbalism and Aromatherapy and these are skills she has used as she homeschooled nine children of her own, four of which have special needs. Jamilah also founded a charitable effort called the “Community Closet” which she still serves. She currently holds the position of Special Education Director for the “Muslim Learning Center” in Baltimore, Md. where she resides with her family.

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