Tagged parenthood

Kickstarting A Return to Blogging: Love InshaAllah Give-away!

You know those historical reports (hadith) of Prophet Muhammad stating that mastering a certain verse or concept within the Qur’an, is akin to knowing all of your faith? Simply put, a surrender to God can be explained in a single concept within Revelation.  For me, that one concept is the Qur’anic view of the human soul.  It explains that the soul knows right from wrong.  The Qur’an continues, stating that the one who nourishes their soul is the one who succeeds.  Just as the farmer toils away at the land to produce a good crop, providing sunshine, water, and good soil, so should we be farmers for our souls.

For the past couple years, that’s the state of mind I’ve been in; putting that core principle into practice.   What better way to nourish my soul than by becoming the best househusband I can be?   Of course, I’ve made several mistakes along the way and those struggles pretty much threw my blogging out the window.  I’ll write about all of that in the coming months, but for now, I’ve broken up my househusbandly duties into five areas.. and I’m excited to shift the content of hijabman.com to reflect these aspects of my life:

1.  Raising our children.  WarriorPrincess is almost 7 years old now and as feisty as ever.  WarriorPrincess#2 is due in April.  And we have begun the process of adopting a WarriorPrince in the future.

2.  Nourishing our bodies through diet and exercise. We’ve done away with most processed foods (and the additives, ‘natural flavorings’ and crap that comes with it) and cook good, wholesome food throughout the week.   MrsHM attends zumba classes regularly, and I’ve been going to a fitness bootcamp 3x a week for the past year.  Next week, I start training for my first sprint triathlon.  My biggest fear?  Being a hairy pakistani dude.  WarriorPrincess wants to compete in a kids triathlon this summer.

3.  Keeping an organized house.  I come from a disorganized family– I know the ‘junk drawer’ all too well.  Training myself to create a system that I can work with has been a huge struggle for me, but I’m well on my way to banishing all the ‘junk drawers’ in my house.

4.  Money management.  With one kid edging toward tween-dom, one kid about to be born, and a couple big purchases coming up (more on that later), it’s become more important to track all of our finances and make sure we’re maximizing our savings.

5.  Time management.  While my official title is househusband, I do have a part-time work from home gig which makes my balancing act a bit more challenging.

That all being said, welcome back to the web site!  For all you loyal fans of the site, I’ve decided to start a giveaway each month.  This month, I’ll be giving away the book Love InshaAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women… (MrsHM is one of the contributor’s, remember?)  All you need to do is 1. share this post on Facebook (Twitter, if you don’t have a FB account) using the FB button below and then 2. comment here, telling me what you’d like to see on hijabman.com.  On Tuesday Morning… UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon, I’ll pick someone randomly!  Oh, feel free to like the FB page as well.

Have a great weekend!

Image1: BinGregory‘s son at the beach in Sarawak, Borneo.
Image2:  WarriorPrincess and I on Eid.

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Why I Dress My Daughter In “Boy” Jeans.

Back when I was an undergraduate student at the University of Massachusetts, I took several women’s studies classes and worked/interned at the Media Education Foundation. I have to say that throughout all my coursework and learning, one of the things that struck me the most was the blatant hyper-sexualization of women and girls in media. Sure, it made me want to puke back then, but as a single man, I never had to deal with that sort of thing.

It’s also been about a decade since then, and I haven’t ever owned my own television… so I’ve been kind of out of the loop.

Then, the other day, I read an article that got my wheels spinning again: The 7 Most Baffling Things About Women’s Clothing.

Now that I’m the father of an almost 6 year old WarriorPrincess, this stuff is back in my face. When buying jeans for her, I noticed that they didn’t feel right. They felt stretchy. And when she put them on, they hugged her bottom and her thighs and flared past her knee. I must’ve not been thinking straight, because I didn’t stop to check the label (like I do with all of our food) or question the cut of the jeans (riding low, accentuating curves she doesn’t/shouldn’t have). Against all signs from the universe, I bought them.
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That’s an Arabic Name. Are You The Babysitter?

philly mural

On Friday my mom took care of Eryn while I took some sorely needed “me” time to run some errands.

When she gets fussy, one of my mom’s tried and tested ways of getting Eryn to calm down is to take rides in the elevator. Up and down they go, pushing buttons, making faces in the mirrored walls, and more importantly, giving smiles and waves to the strangers they meet.

Recently my mom has been trying to befriend Muslims in her neighbourhood as well as mine, specifically so that Eryn can have some Muslim playmates on the days my mom will care for her once I return to work (and generally, because my mom is just friendly). So when a Muslim woman with her 15 month old took a long ride down from the penthouse to ground, my mom naturally stuck up a conversation.

After chatting about ages and the cuteness of babies, the woman asked, “So what’s her name?”

“*Eryn.”

“That’s an Arabic name. Are you the babysitter?”
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Thank You For Parents Who Value Creativity

“I’ve never been in a room with a South Asian photographer, filmmaker, and teacher, before… I mean, how do you do that? How did your parents let you get away with that?!”

This past Saturday, I spent the day photographing a Pakistani guy propose to his girlfriend on the ice at Rockefeller Center. After looking for a place to crash, I ended up in Harlem, at my friend Musa’s apartment. His brother Esa was also visiting. Musa is an award-winning filmmaker, while Esa is a talented and successful educator. In addition to their careers, they both have passions beyond their day jobs. Along with their family, they have served as inspirations for me as I continue my journey to discover and pursue what I love.
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My Dad Isn’t A Crazy Old Man [Yet]

The family was hanging out in my parents’ kitchen, when my brother-in-law, Angrez, described some car trouble he had been having:

“Baba, the boot of our car is stuck!”
“Wha?” My father replied, not understanding Angrez’s British terminology.
“Sorry, Baba, The Trunk. The Trunk.” Angrez giggled.

What followed was a family procession through the garage door and onto the driveway. We weren’t expecting much, as American-raised kids doubtful of our parents’ wisdom.

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On My Mother & Her Porsche

For my 25th birthday, my parents took me out for seafood, and on the way back to their house, I turned to my mother…

“Mom, you know, the whole reason I’m here, where I am, is you. There is something you consistently drilled into me that has helped me to this day.”

Mom looks self-conscious, but smiling

“Okay beta..”

“I used to subscribe to Nickelodeon magazine when I was 10, and there was some sort of problem with the billing. I asked you to call them for me, but you were adamant that I spoke with them. ‘HijabMan, don’t EVER be afraid to ask,’ you would repeat, as I stood there crying. You eventually gave up and spoke to them for me, but looked at me and repeated again. ‘Beta, how do you expect to live if you can’t talk to people in the real world?’

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