11/16/2008 09:56:00 AM


Assalamu alaikum,

My life is such a roller coaster of emotion, sometimes I find it so hard to sort out which way is up and which is down. Sometimes I feel like I am slipping back into a depression, but other days I feel fine emotionally, although I always feel overwhelmed. I wonder if I am cut out for this whole 'family' thing, but I suppose it is too late to wonder that. Marriage itself is so challenging for me. I am not the greatest house-wife, (I'm sorry, 'HOME MAKER') for so many reasons, and I know that I am failing miserably in that department. As far as parenting goes, well that is something that I just cannot seem to get right.

But enough with that rant.

Here is an update of what has been going on in my life:

Ma went to New York in October for a month. She came back on November 7th and stayed for a weekend, and then left for Los Angeles. She will be back on the 24th and that fact is something that I am dreading. The weekend that she was home, I spent in an angry, depressed fog. I don't know why, but I just cannot seem to deal with this situation. When she comes back from LA, she might stay for 2 months longer, and I am not quite sure if I can deal with that without having a melt down. Maybe I sound like a huge whiner and you all are thinking that I should just suck it up and deal with it. Well, I have been telling myself that everyday, but I am still terrified of how things are going to go when she returns. I am an incredibly sensitive person and I have a hard time dealing with the outside world, except on my own terms. My home is my sanctuary, and I use it to recuperate from anything on the outside that causes me distress. Sometimes I go a month without talking to my friends and I just stay inside my shell, which is mainly because I suffer from depression that seems to cycle back around every year at least once. Alhamdulliah, I have good friends who are understanding during my down times. But this person, staying in my home, invading my space, my only space that is my own, it is too much for me to handle. On top of that, she is constantly insulting my intelligence, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Plus, it is putting a huge strain on my marriage. I just don't know what to do. I feel like I want to stay at my mom's house for the rest of the time she is here, but that will make her and my husband's whole family hate me. AAARRRGGG!

Well, now that you guys have heard me complain, complain, complain, here is that good news. Z started walking a few days ago!!! She is still pretty scared and only likes to do it if a person is on the receiving end of her adventure, but she can make it some pretty long distances without falling. I am so proud of her, masha'Allah. She will be turning 1 in a month, I cannot believe it! She is so amazing in every way. A is talking non-stop now, and has recently discovered an overwhelming love for 'Finding Nemo.' I don't let her watch much TV, only a few specific cartoons, such as Curious George and other PBS shows that I think are educational and fun, without any content that I take exception to. 'Finding Nemo' is one of the only Disney movies that I find appropriate, mostly because there is no gender distinctions, besides the sound of their voices. I hate that children's movies always have these beautiful women, dressed very provocatively and acting 'sexy.' I actually watched Aladdin a few days ago, and that was a disturbing experience. Those girls are wearing see-through clothing, including see-through niqabs! In one scene the girls are actually rubbing up on Aladdin! Why is that necessary in a children's film???!!!! Well, that is why I am so particular about anything that she watches. But I am kinda glad she started liking this movie, because it is my favorite.

It is getting cold in MN. We have had a few snows already, although I am still waiting for the first heavy blizzard so I can take A outside to play. I really want to go sledding this year. I think A would love it!!!! Plus I want to see my husband's face when he goes down a big hill! He is terrified of things like that, but if he sees his daughter doing it, then I will be able to talk him into it. I usually dread winter, but for some reason, this year, I am actually excited about it. The cold isn't bothering me, it is about 28 degrees today. Hopefully I will feel this way about winter every year.
So that is about it. Gotta go now.


11/09/2008 11:41:00 PM

Assalamu Alaikum,

It has been a while since I have updated what has been happening in my life. Things have been a little stressful, but pretty uneventful. I have been feeling very emotional lately and that has been affecting my relationships with people around me, including people here on this blog.

Musaafir, I am sorry if I sounded rude and unappreciative of your comments. In all honesty I have been feeling very defensive about my support of Obama and I have also been feeling very conflicted about my role as an 'American.' I have been listening to my very cynical husband for 3 years telling me that this country is going to descend into chaos and that we will have to flee, and he was especially stressing that this would be more possible if McCain was elected. Now, I don't exactly agree with him about all of this, I mean, it is always a possibility, but no one knows except Allah. But we must always be prepared for the worst and I have spent a lot of my time worried about my children's future and what it would be like to grow up here, especially with the growing hatred towards Muslims. My expression of my excitement about the election of Obama is mostly the feeling that 52% of this country looked past a name and a face and elected some one who is a very unconventional candidate for President. Someone who almost one in four Texans believe is a Muslim. One must admit that in itself is amazing. And whatever his policies, he is better than McCain. Anyways, maybe that still doesn't justify it to you or anybody else, but the truth is, that is just how I feel. Man, I can't tell if what I am writing sounds rude or not, but please believe me, that is not my intention, and if so, please forgive me if I offend you.

Dear Umm Travis,
JazakumAllah for reading my blog. I am sooo sorry that I haven't been writing lately, I guess I have been internalizing a lot of things and I am having a hard time getting them on to paper (or screen LOL). But I am hoping that things will get easier for me insha'Allah, so please bear with me while I figure this out.

JazakumAllah Khayran

11/06/2008 06:36:00 PM


I just want to take some time to say how happy I am about Obama's win. I feel like maybe my children will have some chance for a good future in this country if this is where we decide to stay. That is all I want to say.

10/05/2008 01:16:00 AM

The love of a mother...

I wrote this letter to my daughter after a sudden realization this evening, one that should have been common knowledge in my heart, but somehow I had over looked: my daughter will grow up.

Dear A,

Tonight you had your 2nd birthday party mixed with a belated Eid celebration. Tonight I cried. I will tell you why later in the letter. First I want to tell you how much of a good time you had. We had about 20 people plus a few of their kids over and our apartment was CROWDED! You were running around with your friends Mariyah, Sammy, Adrian and Arriana. You went in Daddy and my room and jumped on the bed and wrestled and played with them. They were all older then you, the youngest of them 4 and the oldest 8, but you only cried 2 times, and I think that it was mostly because you were tired. But you laughed all night and you loved that you were the center of attention.
Your Dadu is here right now. She has been here since August 11th and will be here for a few months longer. You love her soooo much. Of all of the people in your life, you have connected with her the quickest. From the first day that she came here, you followed her and called her ‘Dadu.’ Every day that passes I see that you are more and more like her. You also look like her. Tonight she made some great chicken and byriani. Everyone loved the food so much that they clapped for her when they were done eating.
You had a cake that said ‘Happy Birthday A’ and you went with to the store to pick it up. The lady at the store was so nice and she went out of her way to make sure that your cake was exactly as it should be. You ate a banana as we walked through the store, you looked so cute. Your cake had butterflies on it that came off and they were actually rings and we sent one home with each of the big girls.
After everyone left, you accidentally pinched your finger in the closet door, and you cried so much, I could tell that you were exhausted. I took you in what was temporarily Dadu’s room and lay on the bed with you to help you fall asleep. Normally you would just lie next to me and fiddle with your pacifier until you slept, but tonight you grabbed me and laid on me, tummy to tummy, with your arms around my neck and it seemed to me that you fell asleep almost instantly. I felt so much love pouring out of my heart, I started to cry. I felt so sad because in that moment, I realized that you were going to grow up. Someday you are going to actually be reading this letter, insha’Allah, and there is nothing I can do to stop that even if I wanted to. Someday I won’t be able to hold you in my arms anymore and feel your soft cheek against mine and feel your arms, almost too little to reach, wrap around my neck as if you can just hold on then I can keep you safe. Someday you are going to decide that you didn’t like what I told you and you are going to think to yourself, “I hate her!” and that is the day that I am the most scared of. I want you to forever be my little girl, who I can hold and protect and know that you love me and won’t feel any resentment towards me. I want to know if every decision that I make for you and with you is what is best for you and I want to make sure that you do grow to become a wonderful Muslimah, the best in the eyes of Allah. Right now, at this point, I have no way of knowing what path Allah will choose for you and where it will lead you, and I want to keep you forever, here, in this age of innocence, where the world is flowers and candy and bed time stories, love and hugs and kisses. I don’t want you to know pain and sorrow and heartache. But the truth is, that I cannot protect you from these things, only Allah can, and most people must suffer some in their lives. But I do ask Allah to make you strong, so that you can take these things in stride and learn from them, grow from them and become a better person. Right now I am just hoping and praying that you will be able to understand how much I love you and that maybe you will love me that much too.

Your Mommy

9/06/2008 02:31:00 PM

And Thunder

Sometimes I wonder

if the thunder is all in my head.
If the lightning strikes
just to mock me.
I can still hear the uproar,
echoing in my ears.
The brilliance
sears new canyons in my mind.
The silence of the rain
tempts me into sleep,
but the redundant sound
haunts my nightmares
like a childhood monster.
I wake,
still dreaming,
to find misery,
gray misery still.
No break from my dreary solitude.
No silver lining.
Simply gray,
and thunder.
My memories of the sun are vague
and I find they fade away
as surely as the rain will not.
The dreariness is perversely enchanting
as I fade off into transient sleep.
I find no salvation.

8/15/2008 08:00:00 PM

Things could be worse

Things have definitely changed since my last post. Before now it was practically impossible to find time to write because of the following:

I am having the typical reaction of daughter-in-laws, and I am super paranoid. I feel like everything I am doing is being judged. I am very tired, emotionally and physically. I just want to relax, sit down, go back to my old schedule.

There are many things that I let my children do that I considered normal, such as crawling around on the kitchen floor when I am cooking, or going without a diaper for potty-training. Unfortunately, according to Ma, these things are not acceptable. When I try to explain why, or tell her it is okay, she does not understand, and will not stop telling me to do something until I do it. And the list of things that she does not like is very, very long. Not only that, the minute that she finds some use for me, she will call my name, and continue calling it (frantically) until I come to her, even if I say please hold on one second. I know these things are cultural differences. The only problem is that I was overwhelmed taking care of 2 children. Now I have another person to care for, who happens to be diabetic and very different from myself, with different expectations.

A few days after she arrived, we went to walk at the local garden. It was very beautiful and fun. I really wanted to take her to a restaurant so that she could try some food other than Bangladeshi food. My friend offered to take us out to Mexican Village. Very good food, interesting decorations, I thought it would be a fun experience, maybe a little exciting for her. I asked my husband what to order for her and we waited for her food. She even munched on the chips & salsa and ordered a diet soda, and that made me feel confident she was enjoying herself. Well, her food came out, she took one bite, and then promptly pushed her plate away from her. I felt so sad. This is the big shocker though:

I actually started crying. In the middle of the restaurant. In front of my friend, the waitress and everyone. I was so horrified, but I couldn't stop. I felt so upset that I was trying so hard, and yet nothing was right. All I have wanted to do for the past few weeks is crawl into a hole and hide. I want to sleep. I want to relax. But I also want to make her happy, and I cannot even do that. I took my diabetic mother, who needed to eat, to a restaurant where she didn't even like the rice. I felt so selfish.

Well, now some time has passed. I actually wrote all of the above the day that it happened, but it has been 3 weeks since then. Things are pretty good when my husband is home, but the second he leaves I think that Shaytan takes a hold of me or something. I feel so angry. I found out that she really is only understanding about 10% of what I say, if that. And she never tells me that she doesn't understand. She just say "ha" and then continues what she is doing. The other day we were walking around the neighborhood, and my husband was on the phone. She asked me "What is this?" and she pointed across the road at some orange fencing which appeared to be a construction site. "Construction," I said, very slowly. She said "Ahhh," like she understood. I felt satisfied that we had communicated. The second my husband finished his phone call, she asked him what it was. He said "construction." She understood him.

Things like that are really getting to me. According to her, I cut the onion wrong, I stir things wrong, I grab the wrong pan, I hang her clothes to dry wrong, I cut the lime wrong, etc.... Everything that I do she does over or comes and at least takes a very close look at it, inspecting for any flaws. I know that she is not a bad person, in fact when my husband can translate for us, I feel very warm and toasty feelings towards her. But our inability to communicate on our own is making my life miserable. I guess I just feel like my husband did not bother to warn me about any of these things. I have been hearing about this woman for 3 years. For 3 years I have been hearing about how she is very independent, very sweet, and soft. How she will come here and help me with the children. How she will be a big relief to me. But instead I feel like another person walked off of that plane, a person that I have never heard of.

She calls me to come from the other side of the apartment to turn on the stove for her. She also calls me to turn it down or up. Every time! (by the way it is an electric stove) If I am in the middle of a task that she gave me, she will start asking for something frantically, so that I have to stop what I am doing to get that thing for her, and then she will just set it down and wont even use it for 10 minutes. Very frustrating. This happens all day long. She will tell me to do one thing, and then tell me to do another thing right in the middle of that thing, all the while I cannot sit down except to feed my daughter a bottle. She refuses to eat dinner before 9 o'clock, and most of the time it is closer to 11 before she will eat. My children's schedule is completely messed up because now they stay up until after she is done eating because I cannot get them to bed while I am busy cooking her dinner for her. A is no longer potty training because the week that my husband was gone, Ma made me put a diaper on her all of the time. After he returned, he explained to her what we were doing, but now A just pees all over the floor. She is not even interested in going potty on the toilet. By the way, we were pretty much done with daytime training before Ma came. So many things are so frustrating.

I could go on and on and on and on, but I will stop here for the sake of my soul. But please do not get me wrong, I do have good feelings for her, it is just hard to be alone with her. My husband is trying to work on these things with her, and I am trying to be very patient.

If anyone has any advice on my situation, please let me know.

By the way, (although it should be my first line) Ramadan Kareem!!!!


P.S. Does anyone know about diabetics and fasting? My husband has said that Ma is determined to fast, but I feel like it is very dangerous.

8/14/2008 01:36:00 AM


It is so strange that no matter how much a person tries to prepare themselves for a certain situation in their lives, they can never truly know what it is like until they experience it. This is so true for me in every major event in my life. Some realities have proven more challenging then others. Take for instance, marriage, having 2 children very close together, and currently, the arrival of my mother-in-law.
Alhamdulillah, she is fantastic! She is so sweet, and I must say, I did not know that people came in that size!!!! LOL. When she stands, she does not even reach past my shoulders, and I am only 5' 4" tall! Masha'Allah! A loves her and now she runs around the house screaming "DADU!!!"(Bangla for 'Grandma on your father's side') I call her 'Ma', so from now on, I will refer to her as Ma, insha'Allah. ('Abbu' is father, so I will refer to my husband's father as 'Abbu') Her English is much better then I expected. I guess it is always different when you are speaking with someone face-to-face. I believe that we are doing pretty well for ourselves on the communication front. I usually speak very quickly, but I am learning to slow down and pronounce my words clearly. I am also learning to stop using slang like 'gonna.' Also, I tend to say some words wrong. Maybe it is the 'Minnesota' accent. I say 'ta' instead of 'to' and I usually don't pronounce most 'T's. But I am trying very hard to speak proper English so that she can understand. I think that this is very good for me, because people have been telling me for a long time that I speak too fast. So, whenever I am trying to convey a message, I say everything at least 3 times in 3 different ways, until I see that 'light bulb' go off in her head, and then I know she understands. Side note: It really bothers me when people that don't speak English very well will say they understood something when they did not. I realize that it might be embarrassing, or frustrating to have to constantly ask again, but what if it was really important? My husband and I had an experience like this recently with someone and something that needed to get done did not. I am happy to try and explain things again, but I cannot always tell if someone understood everything.

Moving on. So everything is going well, although I was not prepared for taking care of her. I don't know why, but for some reason I thought that she was going to come and be this huge relief for me with the girls, but instead, she is another person for me to take care of. I am not complaining though. Alhamdulillah, I want to make her sooo happy and I love getting things for her, and I love to see her sitting and relaxing. It is a little stressful, but I think it is worth it. The main thing is that now I am having to adjust my whole expectations on how this was going to be. I thought I would be able to get a part-time job, and feel comfortable leaving my children with someone who loves them and would share the same values as I do. Now I realize that might not be possible. I will have to stay and make sure that she is fed and takes her insulin, takes a shower, drinks enough water, etc. Again, not complaining, just making adjustments. I cannot wait for my husband's return on Saturday. I would like to get into a routine, and figure out all of the things that work for us.

When Ma was leaving Bangladesh, Abbu, my husband's brother and his wife and daughter accompanied her to the airport. I heard from my husband that Abbu was crying when she left. I think that is so cute! (hopefully I don't sound mean) I just think that after being married for almost 40 years, they have not been away from each other for more then 2 weeks, and they love each other so much. My father-in-law is usually so stern and serious. In all of the pictures I have seen, he is never smiling. He always looks very proud and noble, and very much like a no-nonsense type of guy. Well, to hear of him reacting like that melted my heart. When Ma was able to call back to Bangladesh Tuesday morning, she was talking to Abbu and I could hear that the moment he picked up the phone, she started crying. I could here all of the love in her voice, also all of the pain and fear that she was experiencing, being so far from home and family.

Well, it is getting very late, and I need to get to bed, so I will end here.


P.S. Within a week, I think that Z's first tooth will poke through, insha'Allah.