Wednesday 9 April 2008


I picked up the idea of journaling soon after I graduated. I guess part of it was because I missed my studies and the knowledge I got to store in my notes (I am a terrible hoarder in so many ways). Another reason was because I love books, including self-help books and wanted to keep notes of interesting and useful things I came across.

This is my earliest journal from 2001 which I still look back over now and again.

Another kind of journal I have started to keep since last year is an idea’s journal. This has really come in useful in terms of ideas for stories, things to do with the kids and general inspiration. I have also pasted in pictures I loved and poems and articles that have made my day or inspired me. What I have found is that as I tried to be more creative through my crafts, writing and blogging, rather than exhaust my creativity, this filters into every other area of my life: the way I raise my children, work, relationship, cooking, taking care of guests.

The last type of journal I keep (albeit sporadically) is a Mother’s Journal. I have one for each of my children and these are for stories and memories relating to each of my children. I got this great idea from a book called the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey and the journals are meant to remain secrets to be presented to your child on the onset of adulthood. The first few pages of each journal have newspaper cuttings from the day each child was born, a picture of the newborn and an envelope with their scan pictures. I also included the hospital card that gives details of birth weight and time. Now I just add entries as you would a diary talking about something great they have done, or something that has really made me happy with them. I try to keep it positive, but have on one occasion written in Little Lady’s diary about how trying she was (when she was a terrible two) and how much I loved her anyway. I have been sticking in the little notes that Little Lady has started to write for me and I also write a short note now and again about what they love at the moment:

Little Lady at age 4: Rice, make-up, presents, Barbie-Bratz, Nano-mummy, Cola-bottles (we have sooo much in common), milk, play-dough, bath time, fish-fingers, the colour pink.

Little man aged 2: Cars, grapes, cars, apples, cars, motorbikes, juice, bath time, Tom & Jerry, the park, cars.

Gorgeous aged 10 months: Grapes, dummy, milk, chewing on everything, giggling.

I would definitely recommend this for anyone who longs to hold onto those golden moments when your darlings are still so small and innocent. I started by scrap-booking and just didn’t have the time to keep three books going, so this was an easier alternative for me.

"You will never know what you will leran till you start writing. Then you discover truths you never knew existed." - Anita Brookner


  1. MashAllah such a nice idea sis.
    I have two real questions with regard to this.
    1)How do u find the time for this?
    When do u fill in the journals which u have made for your kids?
    2)How do u keep the books safe from the hands of the little ones?
    i have failed miserably in keeping even the basic baby book safe from the hands of my small ones.
    And all that remains are torn pages.
    Even if i hide it from them,they come across the books one fine day,and thats enough to bring the beginning of the end of that book..
    Can u please enlightin me on this?.

  2. Assalam-alaikam Sister Safia,

    I have just seen your comment today, so I hope you get to see my response. In answer to your questions:

    1) I ususally make time either in the evening after the kids are in bed or early in the morning before they are awake.
    2)All of my books and diaries are where the kids can get to them, I am surprised that they have not yet destroyed any, but I think they got some kind of vibe from me that these things are sancrosanct and it is not worth their lives to touch them lol. I keep all their toys and books on the shelves nearest the floor and they seem to stick to that. It's odd, I will ask them why they don't touch my books or papers.

    Sounds like your kids are very curious and tactile mash'Allah. Nothing for it but to keep such stuff far out of their reach (I hide the play-dough on top of my cupboard when they are not playing it)

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