Can you believe Mamanushka just turned six months old? Well six months and 7 days but who’s counting? What an absolutely wonderful 24 weeks it’s been getting to know you all and sharing the Mamanushka magic – and yes, you know we’re mothers when we measure things in weeks…
As we write this we are finally in the same time zone again. One of us has travelled across the ocean and is nestled in the corner of a squishy sofa, basking in the glow of a crackling fire and the other is typing away while the baby in her belly is doing acrobatics and the apartment is filled with family all ready to help with the impending arrival (due any day now!). For both of us, it feels the best it has in a good long while and, dare we say it, merry and bright.
It’s coming up to holiday/vacation period for a lot of countries in the western hemisphere right now and even if you don’t partake in Christmas isn’t it just the best time of year to unwind and reflect upon the past year? The privilege of being able to ease into the holiday season in this idyllic way is not lost on us – with family, friends and blessings abundant – it is one we hope that you will all be able to have. After the recent weeks and months we’ve had, nothing seems more called for than to gather in, stay close and reconnect with others and with our own best selves.
So, with this in mind, we are making the best of the season and taking a winter break.
How will you be spending this time of the year? We’d love to know if there are any topics you’d like to hear/ talk / read about when we come back. Ever had any questions about Mamanushka that you’d like to ask? Please do so! Let us know in the comments or email us directly.
Thank you, as always for visiting and reading – InshAllah (God -Willing) we are looking forward to returning in the New Year with some lovely new content and ideas.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to revisit old favourites (or find new ones in the midst of them!) – here are some posts from the archives:
‘How To’s’ With Our Children:
- How to talk to young children about the Quran
- How to explain racial bias to your children
- How to introduce a new sibling to your child
- How to say it so your children do it
- How to encourage your child to be an Eco-Muslim
- How to teach your Toddler reliance on Allah in one simple way!
- How to make sure a movie is appropriate for your kids (without having to watch it all first)
- How to have 52 Eids in a year!
- How to tell your child the truth about Santa
- How to celebrate the Hijri New Year
- How to build a shadow puppet theatre from scratch and put on a play about the seerah
- How to support a parent grieving the loss of their child
- How to do good work
And Two ‘How To’s’ For Ourselves
- “This past summer, between juggling international travel schedules, school holidays and family commitments, Sumaya and I finally did what most people do first – we met! And it was so good”. How we met
- “Is there any being spiritually closer to God the Creator (al-Khaliq) and God the Bestower of Life (al-Muhyi) than a woman carrying and giving birth to a baby?” Celebrating the feminine attributes of God
- “Not for me the things that everybody else liked. Not for me a routine boring existence. No. My life would be fresh and amazing, with experiences unlike any other! It had to be offbeat, it had to be new. It was all that mattered.” The one observation that changed everything
- “At a mosque gathering, I once referred to moving house with my Partner and was met by several bewildered looks to which I didn’t pay any mind until we were leaving and one lady caught my sleeve and exclaimed “By partner you mean Husband, right?!? A MAN?”. Oh boy.” What do you call your spouse?
- “Initially I remember being pretty blase about moving…Friends would say – ‘Wow’ New York! Some would say ‘How will you adjust?’ Secretly I thought ‘What’s the big deal? Surely it wouldn’t be that different from the UK. I mean, they all speak English right?” Mama before Me
- “Just today my three year old put her ‘baby’ to bed, covered the doll with a blanket and lay down next to her only to proceed to ‘pretend’ to use her ‘phone’. To my horror I realised she was doing what she sees me do. It made me feel terrible. And it’s hard for me to actually write this and admit to you that yes, sometimes (okay – often) after bedtime cuddles, prayers and stories I lay next to my child and work from my phone. Whether it be catching up on reading or working on the blog, what my three year old sees before falling asleep is her mother engrossed in a screen.” Teens Tweens and Screens : Screenagers, the Movie
- ” Is this the same moon, Mama? That the Prophet looked at with his own eyes?” On Promising the Moon
- “… They are the quintessential Fairy Godmothers of Aunthood….Younger, more fun versions of their mother. Forever ready to listen to them, feed them jelly sweets in secret, buy them the coolest gifts, send them the best postcards from travels around the world. They are Readers of the best stories and Writers of the best letters…” The one first I experienced last
- ” … at one time or another, we’ve all made that face – the Judgey Judgeface.” Don’t be a Judgey Judge Face
- “Without missing a beat she whipped out her phone ordered an über, gave the bewildered über driver her address and the takeout bag of food – and slid straight back into the conversation. I was in awe! Did you just über the food to your husband?!” Fun times
- ” … And wow, do those kids play! They play and play and play. There is no learning letters. No learning numbers. No academic tasks to complete. There is a lot of movement and building and making and baking in a classroom held by strong rhythms and teachers engaged in work worthy of imitation.” Honouring The End of Our Kindergarten Years
- Through challenges and celebrations, soul-searching and separations – The One Reminder We All Need
- Changing the narrative around “bad weather”. That Thing About Rain
- Finding wisdom in the most unexpected places. The Hidden Truth In Children’s Rhymes
- The other way we mark our time. Why The Lunar Calendar Matters
Style & Design
- 5 Modern Mehndi Artists
- Room tour; A shared, gender neutral kid’s room
- 3 Magnificent traditional Muslim artists you need to know
- The one gift perfect for all occasions
- 5 Easy Plants; (that look amazing and make you feel awesome)
- Sneakers & Saris
- 5 Of the best online resources for new mothers
- The most ridiculous baby product I ever bought (and actually loved!)
- Choosing a Muslim baby name
- What do you like to pack in your hospital bag?
Food To Make & Share
- The ultimate in home-made comfort now made easy for real life; Home-made bread in an hour
- Cup cakes baked in ice-cream cones. Genius!
- Melt in the mouth Lamb, infused with cardamom, cinnamon and fennel ~ A Royal Kashmiri delicacy: Kashur Yak’hn
- The ultimate home-made chicken nugget recipe! Yes I am that mom and now you can be too!
- My friend Hafsa recently made this for a competition at her kids’s school and won first prize!
Drinks To Mix & Enjoy
- “When you’re ready to make up a drink, pour a tablespoon or two into a glass and top up with cool still or sparkling water. Adjust the proportions of cordial and water to your liking and savour the taste of summer. Enjoy.” Elderflower Cordial
- “Now my kids love pink milk but theirs comes out of a yellow plastic box. This one comes from real strawberries … that are in your kitchen, strawberries that your kids may even have picked themselves.” Strawberry Syrup
- ‘…My Date and Orange Blossom Milk came in a cold hammered steel mug, smelling sweet and fragrant. I took a sip. Everything stopped.” Fassian Milk
- “…The dinner party was going seemingly well, when my husband surprised us all – including me. He would, he declared – ‘make some kehwa’ and ‘would everyone like to try some?’ Saffron Kehwa
Picture Books To Discover
One of my favourite childhood activities during the winter holidays was to traipse to the local library with my mum and sisters and borrow books that we would read at home under cozy blankets and then swap with each other. Some of our suggestions:
- Library Finds: ‘Ice Cream Summer’
- Library Finds: A Childhood Treasure
- Library Finds: Rufus The Writer
- The Hundredth Name: A Gentle Tale of Friendship, Family and the Power of Prayer
- The Three Questions: A Timeless Fable On How To Be Good
- An Awesome Book Of Thanks: A Heartwarming Read About Cultivating A Gratitude Attitude
- Muslim Storybooks for Slightly Older Children
And Finally, Something to Listen To
- The Mamanushka soundcloud playlists (not just for Ramadan!)
Image Credit: Illustration by Zarina Teli, inspired by Kris Atomic