Saturday, 4 December 2010

Finding Bliss amongst the Busy

Alhamdulillah, I have had an eventful and challenging two weeks or so:

  • My brother-in-law travelled to Pakistan to get married, meaning that for the first time in four or five years it is just me, hubby and kids in the house – not for more than a few days of course... • My dad travelled to Pakistan to be with his brothers and sisters on the second anniversary of his mother’s death.
  • Not so eventful in itself, but at the same time my mum spent last weekend in and out of hospital with severe stomach pains scaring the hell out of us (we think it might be a stomach ulcer, please do make dua for her).
  • We have had a little boy, staying with us whilst his parents undertake hajj. We are not quite sure when they are back (hopefully this Sunday, as the planned flight for last Thursday didn’t get confirmed). He is eight and one of the naughtiest, most testing children I have ever come across. Boy has he taught me some lessons in setting boundaries and non-violent discipline (you can’t hit other people’s kids no matter how much you want to can you?).
  • In the absence of brother-in-law, we spent a whole Saturday clearing out his room, putting his stuff in storage and packing some of it for hubby to take Pakistan.
  • Hubby then found an older lady, who was looking for a room, to move in with us in exchange for helping us with the children’s school run. Alhamdulillah she has turned to be a wonderful lady. I don’t expect anything apart from help with the school run, but she has been happy to help out with watching the children whilst I rushed out to see my mum when she got ill. She is also an amazing cook and has promised to teach me how to make her amazing dishes (and all of her home beauty remedies) – so watch this space insh’Allah.
  • My husband flew out to Pakistan to on Thursday to attend two of his brothers’ weddings which are happening this weekend. I am pretty upset about being left behind, but the wedding was announced at short notice and I did not have enough leave before the Christmas break, nor was I willing to take the kids out of school (once you lose your school place here you can get placed in all sorts of random schools which could mean your kids are miles away from each other in different borough’s).
  • In case you didn’t notice, it snowed (in November! Only a few inches I know, but we are not very good at dealing with it).
  • All of the kids, myself and the live-in-Aunty, have all caught nasty colds, meaning we have a chorus of coughs going on and my first job of the day was cleaning up vomit from Gorgeous bed and various spots he managed to get to on the landing.
  • Work has been very busy with a project around reporting on the borough’s performance and approach to the 2012 Games, a project to design and run a survey on witness support services, managing three housing surveys and a feedback survey, supporting on a service quality review, trying to do my first equalities assessment and two days of training in business process reviews (Lean systems thinking). This week we have also been having meetings about the organisations expected job cuts and changes to terms and conditions (proposing no more dependants leave, no sick pay for the first three days you are sick, reducing annual leave, pay freeze, reviewing everyone’s pay and grades).

So I am pretty busy at the moment with working full time, having the kids on my own, having another (challenging) child, who goes to a different school to my children, (so two school runs - over the ice and snow), fretting about mum and missing hubby like crazy.

I managed to get quite stressed last week about how I will manage it all. After a good cry on my husband’s shoulder (I just needed to get it all out including the upset about missing the wedding), I realised that I needed to have the right attitude to manage the situation. I believe there is pretty much a solution to every problem if you are willing to be patient and thoughtful and if your mind is in the right place. Once I had vented and cleared my mind out, I could start to think about getting myself organised.

I arranged two days to work at home and one day of annual leave. Aunty agreed to cover the school run on the remaining days as she is not working elsewhere on those days. I was worried about a course I had to attend in Epping, usually my husband would drop me there and pick me up as I don’t drive and it is miles from the train station. Alhamdulillah, Allah (SWT) made this easy for me as the venue was changed this week to somewhere close by and very convenient for me to get to.

Mum has been better this week, although still in some pain, but she has been her stalwart self, sending everyone off to work and trying to get straight back into the kitchen.

The “challenging” child has on more than one occasion, nearly sent me crazy, but I have to say I have learnt soooo much about managing children older than my three and heading off bad behaviour (I plan to write an article on my experience for Mum and Muslim shortly).

I was angry and upset at missing the two weddings happening today and tomorrow in Pakistan and had decided that I would not speak to anyone over there. However, out of guilt for leaving me here, hubby has agreed to take us all on holiday (I proposed Turkey, Morocco or Tunisia in the first instance, I also managed to sneak in Cornwall, the Peak District and the Lake District whilst I was at it, so we shall see!). We probably could not have afforded the £700 approx each tickets for the five of us, plus the costs of staying there (Pakistani relations are very expensive!). I am still cut up about not being included or considered in the discussions around setting wedding dates. I have managed to dispel some of my anger after meeting family who have just come back from hajj. They told me that they made lots of dua for me to make umrah (pilgrimage) and hajj soon. I thought perhaps that if I behave a bit more kindly to my relations Allah (SWT) might send me to his house insh’Allah (how I would love to do Umrah with my children in the calmer period after the hajj rush), so that is my motivation to get over how I feel:

“Those who suppress their anger and forgive people-verily God loves those who do good."~ Qur’an, 3:134

Work had been hectic, but alhamdulillah I have learnt so much in the last few months and picked up so many skills. I am also enjoying it.

Aside from that, I am trying to take good care of myself and the kids and really enjoy the next few days together. I took them for burgers and grilled chicken last night and before we could order everyone needed to go the loo. Of course there were no toilets, so I trekked them all over to mum’s where she made homemade burgers for them all (I told you she was stalwart).

Today I will make sure everyone goes to the loo first (although I did that yesterday too) and then take them for burgers for lunch I have asked them to think about what they would like to do this weekend keeping in mind the youngest is throwing up and there is ice outside – I find if you set some basic parameters it is easier for kids to make reasonable suggestions and easier for you to say no to unreasonable ones. One thought that comes to mind is a midnight feast for the kids – I am wondering what kind of foods to do this with (most likely a special picnic on my bedroom floor).

I am also spending time sorting out my beads again (sooo therapeutic) to gear up for a weekend of crafts:

A friend is organising a sell/swap/buy event at work and wanted me to bring some stuff in and see if it sells. I have some ideas (cards, bracelets, treat pouches, gift baskets) and it will be a nice opportunity for me to test out if people like the stuff and what kind of prices they will pay, pictures to follow insh’Allah.

Feels like a nice few days to look forward to insh’Allah.


  1. Salaam sis. You know, I just love your attitude masha'Allah. You always try to find the good in the situations and check yourself when things become overwhelming.

    I noticed the other day when I was reading another sister's blog that she is always negative. She had a positive post and I was surprised. Yours is a much-needed antidote to that type of thinking.

    May Allah bless you and your family amin. :-)

  2. Setting monthly, weekly, daily and hourly goals will make task management more easy. Time management around prayer times is also useful.

    Please read Islamic articles @

  3. I noticed your from the UK (on your profile)..and London too (also from your profile). I'm currently living in London (as I have done for most of my life), and I have yet to come across a store that sells a beads-set very much like yours. hahaha...where did you get your set from? I'm tired of racking my brains finding them. I got my last set from Pakistan almost 6 years ago...I guess should have bought half-a-dozen of them *sighs*

    loving your blog by the way, very inspiring and creative.