Tuesday 2 June 2015

Busy Bee and Mindfulness

I have been quiet on the blogging front recently while I try and make sense of my real life. I have a cycle of establishing routines at home and then finding that something comes along and we are back at square one with meal plans, bed times, housekeeping timetables and all sorts of other good intentions.

I am currently at the end of a period of chaos and coming back to establishing a routine. Baby has been teething and finally popped her first two tiny teeth, I started trying to potty train Darling and she has been dead set against the idea so far. She will only sit on the toilet for as long as I sing “Daddy Finger” to her and then insists on getting straight off again. I am getting the feeling that someone is using me for her own entertainment only and has no intention of using the loo any time soon.

Little Lady has started to prepare for her end of year exams for the Islamic side of her studies (Arabic grammar, recitation, memorisation and taleem-ul-haq - which is basic fiqh, or law). She has to pass these to progress to the next year. We have never been in this position before, so I am a little stress and keeping a hawk eye on her to make sure she does some revision daily.

Little Man has a few months to prepare for his 11+ exams for grammar school, which is immensely oversubscribed here and which leads to parents hothousing their kids like crazy, which is not something I want to do. Thankfully he has been amenable, we do a little study each day and we are thinking about any other options open to him.

I started back at work a month and a half ago and re-joined just as my service was being restructured to save money. My team had to apply for their jobs leading to much stress, preparation, interview practice with my dear best friend which helped no end. It also created lots of disillusionment that we go through this process every year or two.

Some dear colleagues either left or were made redundant, much to my sadness. I managed to retain my job alhamdulillah, but the whole process left me drained and the few weeks of prep and interviews was extremely disruptive on all fronts. I am grateful for my faith at such times, which is clear that our sustenance is not from employers or managers, but written before we are born and will find its way to us in any case.

My husband has been planning to travel during Ramadan for dawah work and will be in America until just before Eid, so we have been planning and packing for this. He left last night heading to Los Angeles and San Francisco. This will mean a few changes for us for the next seven weeks or so.

I have been thinking about planning for Ramadan, but haven’t got very far yet. I was hoping to freeze some food, do a little meal planning and have any Eid prep out of the way. I them wanted to make some time to get my intentions right for this month and set some simple goals. I still have two weeks until Ramadan, so I will see how far I get.

I have been aching to write again, but have been reminding myself to prioritise the things most important to me: worship, childcare, rest and taking care of my household. I have been working hard to be mindful and attentive to these things rather than the usual scatter-brained and day-dreamy way I deal with things. And gosh it has been exhausting, utterly exhausting to turn my full focus on everything I am doing for extended periods of time. I am known for tuning in and out of the world: whether meetings, conversations, activities, cooking or something else. I realised my children had to get my attention physically, usually by battering a dent in my arm. So the practice of being mindful, and attentive and listening properly and deeply and patiently has been different to my usual mode of being and doing and has been hard going. I am already seeing the rewards, with a slightly calmer, earlier bedtime routine and the kids doing things without being told quite as many times.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous03 June, 2015

    Assalamou aleiki Sister, I hear you sister and so feel with you. The situation will be better when the children are older and more independent ... Or so I keep telling myself ;-). May Allah grant us patience and strength, wa salam from Oum_Ilias