Many women struggle through motherhood, consumed with feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Mum stress stops us enjoying motherhood to its fullest, and may even lead us to mistreat our loved ones.
This blog-post contains affiliate links. For more information see Disclaimer.
As new mums, we were filled with aspirations of creating a beautiful, peaceful and loved-filled atmosphere for our family; but instead, it is us, mums, who have become the biggest barrier to this dream. Stressed and overwhelmed, these emotions spill out onto our spouse and children too.
We know that we can be better mums, but it’s not working out that way in our lives.
In reality, there will always be cause to be stressed. Whether it’s a messy house, unruly children or family disputes, there is always something that could trigger negative emotions in you. Instead of wishing for a different life, a life free from diffulties and struggles, you could be happier if you learnt to cope better with stress.
In episode 17 of Raising Mums, I give you the 3-steps you need to know to Deal with Mum Stress! If you feel overwhelmed or frazzled, these steps will help you to turn the situation around in the heat of the moment.
To find out how to manage your stress as a stay-at-home mum,
You are not your thoughts! Distance yourself from your thoughts and recognise that your true essence is your soul, not the chatter that goes on in your mind. This will stop your negative emotions escalating.
Practice gratitude. List at least 3 things you are grateful for. This will help you to turn the negative emotions into positive ones.
Renew your intention. Remember your “why.” This will help you to move forward, free from stress and renewed.
These three steps will help you to gain “mental space.” If this is not enough, try to create “physical space” too. This means leaving the situation that is causing you stress. Perhaps you need to leave the room, make some tea, or go into the garden.
Use these techniques to manage your stress. It will help you to enjoy your children again, and thrive as a mother!
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Thank you to our Sponsor!
Thank you to WordUnited for sponsoring today’s episode!
Make sure you check out their website, where home-educating parents can browse and filter resources by subjects and learning areas! Explore their resources for children with special needs, including autism and dyslexia. Their website is super easy to navigate, allowing you to browse the specific area of learning for each subject, e.g. under numeracy, you can browse for resources in multiplication, fractions, telling the time, money etc. And check out their Free Resources Hub while you’re there!
Home educators can receive 10% off every time they shop using the DISCOUNT CODE wu4homeed. Isn’t that incredible?!
In Next Week’s Episode, on Sunday 2nd February 2020, we’ll be talking about:
How to Add Poetry and Song into your Homeschool!
I’m so excited to talk about this topic! Adding poetry and song to your homeschool truly brings so much joy and heart to your children’s learning experience, and I can’t wait to talk to you more about it!
Thank you for stopping by today.
Wishing you a beautiful and blessed week ahead.
Peace and Love,
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I’ve just had a baby, so I know how hard it can be to homeschool during pregnancy!
As if homeschooling wasn’t challenging enough; and then add in nausea, exhaustion and the mood swings (oh boy those mood swings!) and it can seem almost impossible.
This blog-post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see Disclaimer.
But my experience with four pregnancies has taught me some “hacks” that can sustain your homeschool during pregnancy, ensuring that your children’s education doesn’t suffer and neither do you!
In Episode 16 of the Raising Mums, I share some amazing ideas will maintain the momentum in your children’s learning experience, whilst being easy and gentle on mum (that’s you!); and isn’t that what every pregnant mum needs?!
Whether you’re pregnant now, or worried about how having more children will impact on your homeschool, I’m speaking to you in this episode…
Remember, there is no homeschool without a homeschool mum!
If you don’t take care of yourself during this time, there may be no homeschool to come back to after the pregnancy is over. It may be necessary to rest during pregnancy, or take some time off from homeschooling, to maintain your own health and wellness…and that’s ok!
Get more Homeschool bang for your buck!
Incorporate different subjects into one lesson. What does that mean? Let me explain!
For example after reading a work of literature, have your child:
Write out a passage for hand-writing
Practice spelling some of the words
Learn new vocabulary from the passage
Narrate what they just heard for English composition
Writing down their narration will also teach spelling and grammar too
Have them read the next page for reading practice
Choose a book that is set in a historical time period to include History
Perhaps there is a way to involve Science or Maths into the lesson too!
Maybe you can find a way to bring maths into a science lesson, or maybe even English or History!
This doesn’t mean creating complicated unit-studies, but just using what you already have planned and see if your children can learn anything more from it!
Simplify homeschooling when pregnant!
Unless it brings you joy, cut back on complicated art projects, hands-on activities or field trips.
Instead, use resources that give you “more bang for your buck!” (see explanation above).
Use Open and Go Homeschool Curricula
Open-and-go curricula are generally not something I would use. They do not fit well with the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, however for those really hard days (or weeks) during pregnancy, open-and-go curricula are a life-saver!
All that is required is to open the book or login into the online programme, and work through the next lesson.
Reading Eggs – Online reading programme for children aged 2-11. 30-Day FREE Trial!
Don’t forget AUDIOBOOKS!
Pregnancy is a great time to catch up on reading, and let you kids feast on the plethora of excellent quality audiobooks that are out there. We get our audiobooks from:
Audible – Choose from the world’s largest selection of audiobooks including best sellers, new releases, sci-fi, romances, mysteries, classics, and more. 30-Day FREE TRIAL! Get One free audiobook of your choice – yours to keep, even if you cancel! Prime customers receive two audiobooks in your trial.
Quantum Chronicles – a collection of Islamic audio series including the Life of the Prophet (saw) and Maryam, the mother of Eesa (AS). Use DISCOUNT CODE: OMHomeschool 15 for 15% OFF!
You might also like:
You might also like these episodes of Raising Mums all about Time Management!
A big thank you to WordUnited for sponsoring this episode. Check out their Free Resources Hub with 100s of free resources to download, print and share, and their Blogthat includes many videos with lots of ideas and links to free printables to make learning fun. Explore free resources for maths, English, languages including Arabic and French, science, history, geography, arts and crafts, fine motor skills and resources for children with special needs.
Homeschooling requires a lot of motivation. Whether it’s just getting up early to start school, preparing lessons, or dealing with the ever changing emotions of your children; you need to stay motivated when you homeschool!
In the latest episode of Raising Mums I share the reasons why homeschoolers need sustained motivation. I also share with you ways to generate and protect your existing motivation.
When your baby cries, you learn early on how to be attuned to the sound of that cry.
You become adamant in the knowing, so as to understand what your baby is crying out for. It has a tune, that you are able to discern almost immediately; once you begin tuning into your baby.
The sound of hunger, the breaking tone of discomfort, or the close todeathaffectionate tone of wanting to justbe held. If you ignore your babies cries, they get louder and louder. After much trial and error you were able to master the answering of that cry, and soon after there would be something new or more challenging to tug at you.
Each time you either; held space for the cries because of your willingness to learn and eagerness for your baby to adapt, or perhaps you may fall short at times by giving in and solving it by feeding your baby.
Covering up something you felt you couldn’t resolve by finding a temporary solution.
The truth of the matter is, the latter is how you manage yourself daily. You tell yourself you’ll deal with your struggles, you’ll sort it out but often by feeding it a temporary solution.
It works, but does it solve the issue at hand?
When you do not give yourself enough time to cry, so as to understand yourself, you are covering up your underlying needs by suppressing them. These needs are not met- not only by yourself, but you will come to know that they’re also needs that haven’t been met in your childhood by your caregiver(s).
Not to say, that many parents didn’t do their best with the knowledgethey had, through what they were taught. Rather it is coming to an awareness that you’re simply continuing on a generational chain of patterns and habits.
Most habits are observations you took from your environment as a child, that found a place in your subconscious mind where habits developed, memories stored and energy is re-played. We usually act out of our subconscious mind and it is a programming that acts as a lens whereby one see the world and perceives it.
You make your everyday decisions out of this part of your mind, you react out of it. Your beliefs and values are stored there about yourself (who you believe you are)- usually beliefs given to you from the responses you received earlier on in your life. You create images of the world you live in from this part of the brain, which dictates to you, your chosen path. It is a boat that you are sailing on, that is stirring your life without your realising it.
As life pushes your buttons, you have this subconscious that literally speaks for you. It is a fixedway of receiving, giving, reacting, responding (to name a few)that isn’t completely your authentic state but it has become so habitual that it feels safe and natural. These ways are programmes instilled in you from your caregivers, the education system, society at large. You developed a way to filter out anything unfamiliar and continued to absorb information\ways of being similar to that which you received in your childhood and adolescent years. Anything new – good – or even great is rejected by your subconscious because you’ve developed a way of ‘being’ in the world. Unique to the way you were raised.
So in tune, your cries and struggles are unique to the way you were raised. Everyone you see, though you may feel isn’t struggling with what you are. Has a different and unique cry. Your cry as a mother is important.
The good thing is, the parenting you received were learnt ways of being. You are able to gain control of your life and completely recreate emotions, beliefs, values and ways of being. So, if you are feeling frustrated, angry, in denial, stuck. It is not your fault and you have to believe that there are ways of breaking the cycle for yourself, your children and generations to come.
As you may have noticed by now, many of the Motheringstruggles you are fighting are not yours. However it is your responsibility as a Mother to Heal those cries and nurture yourself; so to better take care of your baby or children and their cries.
I want you to pause and take a moment and truly ponder on what cries YOUhave buried beneath the frustration, tiredness, anger or hopelessness.
Have you ever thought about Mothering or (Re) Parenting yourself as a form of Self Care?
I personally believe one of the major things we as Mothers need to learn is how to care for ourselves. I never quite understood this, because I always assumed it was just physical maintenance;
because physical maintenance is a task and it requires a lot of effort when you have very small children. Often, I would try my best to care for my outer self because I knew it helped me somewhat feel better about the chaos inside of me.
As a young mother I realised I was not taking care of myself emotionally. I didn’t even realise my need for emotional care. I don’t think it is something most of us learn at home. I know for sure, I was taught the importance of maintaining my home by being given chores that I excelled in because I was taught that this was somehow going to serve me later in life when I had a family of my own. Except, I became too focussed on serving. I didn’t know when enough was enough.
I couldn’t accept that I could ‘burnout’ when I did become a mother. I was living out of my subconscious and serving to me meant that not only was my home in tip-top condition but as a result I would be appreciated.
My Self Worth was tied to serving and being a pleasing to those around me, not realising that this was going to hurt me and my children. I never thought about the Mothering for the ‘long run’.
So as you may have gathered, I was walking around seeking validation for being subservient in detriment to my physical and emotional health.
What we often forget is that, there are ways around it and perhaps my ONE example may not resonate but I am sure you can think of many ways you unconsciously ignore your needs daily.
I would like to share some really important and life altering ways that have helped me in meeting my personal unmet needs. I didn’t come to it easily. It actually required me to lose people, possessions and status but it was perhaps the greatest gift I could give myself. Although at times, I still question, I still wonder however what I do have now is a clear understanding of my priorities. I invite you to do the same.
Self Care is Setting Boundaries
The first Self Care act comes in the form of Setting Boundarieswhich has helped me greatly in regulating myself emotionally. Becoming better able to understand what I can and cannot tolerate from others has helped me make better decisions.
To achieve this you must protect yourself. Protect the energy and the treatment you are exposed to and surrounded by. This will require you to re-evaluate yourself on a whole, the boundaries you currently have or lack thereof; especially in close relationships.
Once you are aware of the patterns in people who drain you and do not serve you, then you will be better at limiting and protecting what you allow into your energy space on a day-to-day basis. This requires you to speak clearly on what matters to you.
And if ever, you feel rejected, shamed, misunderstood, isolated, ostracised, abandoned by anyone, not matter how dear to you. You must understand it is not your fault, nor an issue within you. You have every right to set a boundary with the most dear of people. If theytruly are dear, they’ll welcome the change you need.
Your life is in your hands. The best thing you can do, is listen to your gut by changing anything that feels uncomfortable, repetitive, toxic, manipulative and that simply doesn’t serve your well-being.
A Mother who protects herself, protects her children because she knows anything she experiences or is subjected to; directly affects her children and the programmes or the subconscious ‘ways’ they will develop and act out from, later in life.
Now back to your cries, do you ever notice how you feel if you skip a meal? or if you don’t drink enough water that day? Does it make you feel weak, tired, angry, sluggish, agitated? reactive?
If you’ve got this far into this Blog, I’m assuming YES, YES AND YES!!
Self Care is Self Parenting
The second Self Care practise is Self parenting …To Mother yourself. Yes, you read correctly!
This has to be my favourite Self Care approach of all. Although I will remind you, without the First self-care practise (establishing boundaries), Self Parenting will be a challenge.
Self parenting is taking this ‘Self Care’ wavethat is happening today all around you, especially on Social Media and remodelling it by giving it a different meaning. The mental images of lush Epsom Salt Baths, the lavender diffuser diffusing on a Sunday, or even ‘Netflix and chill’ midweek. Taking these examples and tailoring it to YOU, by asking yourself as a ‘Mother’, What does self-care look like to me? What does it feel like? How can I mother myself?
I did this firstly by becoming more attuned to my needs on a moment to moment basis, like a Mother would her child. To check in often, to listen to my cues; especially in the presence of my children when I suddenly feel the need to react.
I personally started with food, feeding myself nourishing foods that would sustain me throughout my day. For example, one of the needs I found was that I was Iron deficient. It is a good idea to start with your health requirements.
I then started to practise writing my sporadic thoughts onto paper so as to reflect and understand my needs better. I started to prioritize myself a little more each day by simply stopping to breathe through challenging moments. The learning of changing old habits and instead, serve yourself first is a crucial part of self parenting. Checking in takes time, if you listen carefully and long enough you’ll know what to do.
Below are some easy questions you can ask yourself. Getting into the habit of questioningyourself is a great way to cultivate introspection.
Do I need a glass of water right now? Serve yourself.
What one thing could I eateverydaythat would better my health?
Do I need space? Leave the environment, go to my room and catch a few breaths or a 10 minute stretch.
How can I be kinder to myself today?
Do I need support? Ask for it, or search for paid services.
What could I do to welcome how I am feeling?
Do I need a hobby? Spend time reflecting and cultivating a new hobby.
Where can I delegate tasks?
Do I need to get outside? Health is an investment.
I do understand that Self Care can be difficult to begin with, and that’s OK. Self Care doesn’t look the same from person to person either. However, taking this Self Mothering approach is going to teach you to become more attuned to yourself and learn how to do that through becoming Self Serving.
Just like you as a mother would prepare ahead for your child on a trip, a sick day, a day that requires low impact activities. Prepare rituals for yourself that you can fall easily into as a way to mother yourself. Be tender, compassionate, responsive, and think ahead.
At the beginning of this Blog, we spoke of the time it took for you to become attuned to your baby. The more attuned you were to his\her cues, on a moment to moment bases the better you were able to fulfil the need accordingly. Fulfilling a need requires you to be present in the moment.
The more you are willing to listen to yourself and your momentary needs, the increase in your Self Worth, Self Validation and Self Regulation.
Self Care is Healing
The last Self Care act I’d like to leave you with is to Self Care through Healingyourself. A Mother who awakens to her own subconscious, becomes aware of her patterns, thoughts and behaviours.
Healing herself is the greatest gift she can give her children. Reading on the matter is a beneficial way to achieve that. Being aware and open to healing is the best type of self-care you’ll be exposing yourself to. Parents who Self Care in this way, model healthy ways of being in the world to their children, otherwise we are all walking projections of pain and fear.
Healing requires deep introspection, and mistakes through trail and error. Just as a new motherfeels, it’ll be scary and exciting all at the same time!
These are all the things I wish I knew before I had children and I sincerely hope this Blog was of benefit to you, and I ask Allah the Al mighty to give us understanding and beneficial acts to follow.
My name is Ilham. I am a mother of 3 Alhamdulilah. Divorced. Studied Sociology at City Uni London. I’m from West London, however I’ve been living abroad the last decade. I currently live in Cologne, Germany. I taught English as a second language to pre school children ages 3 to 6 before becoming a parent.
I’m preparing to go back to work soon, holding off for as long as I can doing small jobs from home while school isn’t compulsory before age 6 where I live. I have a Blog and a Youtube channel where I share my some of my experiences and tips on healing, growth, self care and mothering. http://www.fruittofruition.wordpress.comYoutube: FruitToFruition
Teaching children about consent has become more important than ever. Consent is about allowing children to voice their emotions and say “no,” when something feels wrong or uncomfortable. It is a crucial part of their safety, and of our responsibility as parents, and yet within our communities we don’t talk about it enough.
The explosion of the #metoo movement is enough evidence that we need to activelystart teaching consent to our children; not when they hit puberty, but as early as two years of age.
This blogpost contains affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.
It may sound like a complex concept, but some practices if made a part of daily life, can easily instill this value in your child.
Before they even learn to speak, children are learning by observing and copying all that is happening in their environment. It is essential that we ‘model’ consent by practicing it with our spouses, friends, and other children around them, so they begin to understand what ‘consent’ looks like.
When they are two, start with giving them a choice in expressing consent and then honour it. Please remember, they only get a choice in situations that don’t involve any health or safety hazards. Sitting in a car seat, going for a vaccination, adhering to their bedtime, or wearing a jacket when it’s two degrees outside would be some of the examples.
“Do you want to wear starry PJs tonight or these dino ones?”
“Which book are we reading; Elmer the elephant or The Very Hungry Caterpillar?”
“Can I kiss you goodnight?” Respect their answer.
Model consent by asking permission before you change their clothes or wash their body in the shower. Wait for them to say yes before you proceed.
“Can I help you wash your back now?”
Allowing Children to say NO!
Children must understand that ‘No’ and ‘Stop’ are important words, to be honoured at all times.
If you are tickling them and they scream “Stop, stop” even as they’re laughing and having fun, stop tickling them immediately.
Encourage your children to ask for permission before touching, hugging or showing any kind of physical affection.
For example, if Maha wants to hug her friend goobye, you can say:
“Maha, let’s ask Ali if he wants a hug right now!”
If Ali clearly says ‘No’, or does not say ‘Yes’, you can cheerfully ask your child to wave goodbye instead.
“That’s okay, let’s wave bye bye to Ali!”
Similarly, do not force them to receive affection either, even from their aunts or uncles.
“Would you like to kiss Aunty Asiya goodbye?”
If they say no, respect their choice.
“Its ok, you can wave her goodbye, or blow her a kiss?”
Why Children’s Consent Matters
As we aim for a more inclusive world, we have to remember that there are individuals amongst us with additional needs, who may not be comfortable with any kind of physical contact at all. This is another reason why asking for permission before touching or hugging someone is so important.
We must teach our children that when somebody says No, or Stop, they must discontinue their behavior.
“Ali said no, and when we hear No, we must stop what we are doing immediately. No matter what.”
Also tell them that their No and Stop has to be respected and followed through by their friends.
“If you don’t like something and say No, your friend should stop. If they do not stop, it is okay to not play with them anymore.”
Intervene on their behalf if you have to and politely let the other child know the importance of honouring someone’s No and Stop.
Resources about Children Consent
Reading a book about Consent also helps in making this concept easier and simpler for children to understand. It also gives you a range of characters and situations to talk about as examples. No Means No! by Janeen Sanders is a great book about Consent that can be read with as little as 3 year olds!
Teaching Consent has to be an ongoing dialogue with your child, not just a one time discussion.
I hope this article helps parents and caregivers ease in to this discussion with their little ones. I will highly recommend printing the above poster from http://www.elisegravel.com and pasting it on your child’s bedroom wall or door, so it’s always visible to revise and reinforce.
If you hit any roadblocks, or need answers to any questions or confusions, please feel free to write to me or leave them in the comments below.
Rafia Amber is an Early Intervention Specialist with seven years of experience working with children with additional challenges. Throughout her career she has supported children in developing their academic, sensory, social and communication skills, and overcoming challenging behaviours. Her experience ranges from one-on-one sessions in the home environment to classroom settings in inclusive schools and early intervention centers.
Rafia has recently started blogging onInstagram to share her expertise with parents and caregivers. She aims to raise awareness about unconventional concepts such as Body Privacy, Consent, Safe/Unsafe touch, Abuse Prevention Strategies etc, that are indispensable for a child’s development. You can follow her HERE!
This week, I was on the Our Muslim Homeschool Facebook and Instagram page answering your questions LIVE!
I answer questions about:
Healthy meal ideas
After school activities at home
Teaching children about the Islamic Heros
Coping with mess
This blogpost contains affiliate links. Please see disclaimer for more information.
In this LIVE broadcast, I also made a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. If you don’t want to spoil the suprise, stop scrolling and watch the video now!
So, here’s the news….
Firstly, these LIVE weekly shows have been given a new name, “Raising Mums”. I chose this name as it reflected my ambition for this show….
A live weekly broadcast that inspires mums to live with purpose and intention, to raise their children mindfully, and empowers mothers everywhere to own their lives and to thrive doing it!
Dr Gemma Elizabeth – Raising Mums
And even BIGGER NEWS!….you can now listen to Raising Mums as a podcast!
Yes, that’s right! Wherever you listen to your podcasts, you can head over there now, and Subscribe to Raising Mums!
You can listen to these broadcasts whilst you’re commuting to work, cleaning the house, working out, or driving the car! The great thing about podcasts, is that you can “grow on the go”, and learning whilst doing other things! Perfect for busy mums…right?!?!
Please had over to iTunes, Apple podcasts and Spotify, and leave a review for “Raising Mums” so other mums, like you, can find it!
You can also simply play the podcast directly from my website! Try it now…
This episode marks the end of Season 1 of Raising Mums. It’s been an incredible few months, and I’m so grateful for all the lessons I’ve learnt during this time and the people I’ve come to know through it.
I’ll be back Sunday 24th March 2019 at 10am GMT on Facebook and Instagram LIVE for the launch of Season 2. insha’Allah
I’ve got some great content planned for you! I hope I’ll see you then!
Peace and Love,
Dr Gemma Elizabeth
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Running your home like a boss is a way that homeschool mums can free up their time and energy. Whether it’s the desire for more time to read aloud to their children, or the energy to play football in the garden, time management is the way to achieve it.
If you are looking to take ownership for your time and energy, and live a life of more meaning and purpose, you’ll want to WATCH THIS VIDEO!
I’ve also made a FREE Home Management Planner for you, which you can find towards the end of this blog-post.
This blog-post contains affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.
This week I was LIVE on Facebook and Instagram talking about home management for mums and how they can run your home like a BOSS!
Do you find yourself saying, ” I wish I could, but I don’t have time?” Do you want more time and energy to do what is important to you. Do you want more time to connect with your children? Do you want higher energy levels to play and read to them?
Now you know the steps you can take to go forwards insha’Allah.
Now its up to you. I hope with all my heart that you use this as an opportunity to really take ownership and responsibility for your time, energy and ultimately your life. This is where you can start! Use this as a chance to make those positive changes that you and your family need.
Thank you so much for tuning in.
I’ll be LIVE again next week, at 10am GMT, Sunday 27th January, on Facebook and Instagram where we’ll be continuing this discussion on home management for mums with:
“Run your home like a BOSS Part 2- Taking it to the next level!”
I’ll see you there!
If you have any further questions, or ideas for future lives broadcasts, please leave them for me in the comments below.
Peace and Love,
Never Miss a Video…
Signup to our mailing list and these LIVE broadcasts will be sent straight to your inbox!
Homeschooling with a baby brings with it many challenges. I often hear from women who are struggling to homeschool their children, whilst also caring for a small baby. They are overridden with guilt and with feelings of failure. They want to be a good mum, to all their children, but they just don’t know what the right thing to do is.
If you have a baby or a small child at home, you’ll want to watch this video!
This blogpost includes affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.
This is a recording of a LIVE broadcast from Facebook where I spoke about homeschooling with a baby.
We talked about:
What are the most important things to focus on during this time
Alternatives to what learning can look like for your children
Encouraging independence and the value of experience
This week I was LIVE on Facebook and Instagram talking about some of the ways you can ensure you’ll be homeschooling for many more years to come insha’Allah.
I’m speaking to the mum who wants to homeschool, and is planning and preparing for this new adventure.
I’m talking to mum who homeschools now, but feels disheartened. Who feels that it’s not going the way she thought it would, and she feels like she’s failing.
I’m talking to everyone who homeschools sharing my nuggets of wisdom as to how you can continue to homeschool for many years. There are things we can do in our lives, to make homeschooling a sustainable, longterm experience for us.