Apr 30, 2014

Scream and Stress Free Mothers Part 1

By Amatullah Aminah


What makes us Scream and Stress?

Infants. They can be a lot of things and you may marvel at their energy levels especially considering how they fuss around at meal times and refuse to open their mouths or they want to smear all their food on the table, or on themselves. You may find it impossible to comprehend why the vacuum fascinates them or why do they insist on taking everything apart, banging every breakable thing and painting every wall and upholstery with their crayons and oh! They may sometimes want to eat those wonderful colors too. 

It may drive you up the wall when they manage to sneak in the bathroom and splash their hand in the toilet bowl…aahhh the way you cringe on that sight! Which gets worse when, in a fraction of a second, they lick the same hand with a smile. And then there are those precious, covetous moments of sleep, which you snatch from time, interrupted by your infant because he has a sudden interest in your nose and eyes!! Emotions can be quite conflicting at such moments; most of the mothers would scream, cry and be flustered all the time, some of them have even confessed they have no life of their own, at the same time loving their children to death and dearly enduring everything which comes along the baby package.

Why do we need to go scream free?

To begin with we need to understand that taking care if babies are not an easy job, you have to be (very!) patient, versatile, responsible and understanding. Allah lays a huge responsibility on us when he bestows us with children.

Remember the time when you held your little bundle of joy for the first time and the sight of his tiny face and hands had an anesthetic effect on every pain and trauma of childbirth. When he yawned lazily, you almost skipped a beat and that moment witnessed many promises and duas you made for your baby. Recall each one of them…and thank Allah. They deserve your love and attention more than anything else.

I was reading a blog where a mother made a very logical self-observation. She refrained from screaming at her children in front of others because she did not want people to think that she was a bad ill-tempered person. Then she realized that her children are most important people in her life and she should have the same consideration for their opinions. Our children learn from us, which brings me to emphasize on the point of being the best model for them. How we react to their little adventures is an important part of teaching them how to handle situations later in life.

A couple came to Imam Shafi, with their 2-year-old son, expressing their desire to learn how to give proper tarbiyyah to him. Imam Shafi said it was too late and the process of tarbiyyah begins when the child is inside the mother’s womb. The point being: Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has made babies in the most amazing fashion. The brain has its best capacity to learn and develop in the first 2-3 years. What we teach and model to our children in this period is monumentally crucial; do not make the mistake of undermining their intelligence and capabilities. Being stress free is the first step to mold, tutor and educate our children. Your calm and enduring demeanor can positively affect your child, more than you can comprehend. Have you ever noticed how they copy every move, habit and emotion of their parents?

Another very appealing reason to control your outbursts and overzealous hormones is a more organized, controlled and happy life. When you are calm and organized, you can think clearly, have brilliant ideas, and make the best of every moment. You can chart your time and give quality experiences to your children and family. So, by being in control, you are not only teaching them how to react when confronted with mishaps and stressful situations but you are also making the most productive use of your time.

Let us brainstorm what changes we can make in our house to have a stress free environment.

1) The age old solution of Childproofing:

Child proofing your house may still be the answer to most of the problems. The idea is to make a territory in which children can explore freely and at the same time setting some limits for them. This is when child locks come into the picture. Give your child enough space and resources to satisfy and develop his curiosity, at the same time protect your peace by putting child locks on drawers/cabinets/cupboards, which may trigger your stress level if your child gets his hands on it. Lock rooms (especially bathrooms) and restrict your child only to certain rooms.

2) Let them cook:

They love to cook. They see you cooking and naturally want to do the same. Let them in the kitchen but at the same time define their boundary. Assign one (or two cupboards, if you have a big kitchen) cupboard for your budding cook and let him feel in charge (this will alleviate his confidence levels). Fill that cupboard with empty plastic boxes, wooden spoons and steel utensils; basically anything that can handle abuse. Let him cook and make some noise; you may not realize but such activities are very good for his cognitive development. Once in a while, put some potatoes and apples in his pots and pans to give him a better experience.   

Join me for Part 2, where I will brainstorm more ways to be a stress free mom!


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