Stitching Up A Newsletter

Assalamu’alaikum all,

How is it already February MashaAllah!

As last year was pretty unstructured for me (because I mainly followed my lil explorer’s very unpredictable schedule), one of my goals this year is to have more structure insyaAllah. Toddlers, you never know how they will feel! One time they are happy, the next they are suddenly screaming and shouting. And then dah penat all become cranky and then play some more even tho dah ngantuk all, and then like eons later finally go to sleep.

But in no way am I complaining coz it’s been the most rewarding journey thus far Alhamdulillah (you know sometimes we just need to ranttt). This year will mark my second year in motherhood (how is it that my little newborn is almost 2??!) and I’m still learning along the way.

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Speaking of growth in my previous post, and following my creative pursuit on Mekar Maker, I’ve decided to, gasp, start a newsletter for my mommies! Well, to be honest it’s not just meant for mommies je lah, but I’ll be sharing more of my motherhood journey, what I’ve learnt and the likes. I’ll also be sharing about what I’m up to with my embroidery projects (not that I have a lot right now) and what I did (and am doing) to keep myself sane as a SAHM hahaha. Plus I thought I’d do something more productive and presentable with my writings lah kan insyaAllah. In this blog I try to write well but always like tunggang langgang like that coz it’s more informal gitu the ambience.

I love blogging here too, but I guess I want to reach out through a different platform, through email, and be more intentional in my writings. To be honest I *never* thought I’d be having a newsletter of my own because the idea of appearing in someone’s inbox personally like that initially scared me off (I’m pretty shy actually and an introvert through and through, but I do like making connections and one-to-one conversations and talking to a small group of people too), but Aida from The Shawl Label does it so well (if you haven’t subscribed to her Tuesday Love Letters please do! It’s super awesome I tell you). And I really love what they do (they even have a podcast for ladies). So I *somehow* got inspired to start my own newsletter for my super awesome ladies, sisters in humanity, especially moms who love having some side projects of your own… but if you’re not a mommy (or not a mommy yet), and you’re okay with reading this kind of stuff heh (which hopefully does not bore you), I fully welcome you to join! ūüôā

P.S: When you click the subscribe link above you’ll be directed to a page where you can subscribe to our newsletter which insyaAllah I aim to send every Thursday. (I do plan to have a proper website but it’s currently under construction).

P.P.S: For now I’ll be leaving this blog as it is and update as and when (not that I update here often but you know, bila bila feeling feeling nak blog gitu).

Love, Mardhiah

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A 2016 of Growth and Learning

Assalamu’alaikum all, happy new year everyone!¬†Just thought I would like to share a little wrap-up of my 2016 here since it’s been a while since my last update. I hope all of you are well and smiling and welcoming 2017 with a fresh and rejuvenated spirit, just like me.

2016 marks my second year of motherhood. I welcomed my baby boy in May 2015 and entered the beginning of 2016 with a 7-month old. In 2016, we celebrated his 1st birthday by going on a short trip to Malacca as a little family of three. Alhamdulillah he’s currently 19-month now as we speak, literally.

Babywearing kept me busy in the first half of 2016. I fell in love with the art of wrapping and practiced babywearing the lil bub a lot with a variety of wraps and eventually decided to get a woven wrap from Carering Sling. So much so that I got the opportunity to be involved in a babywearing photoshoot with Jars of Fluff. It was pretty cool and I got to try the Serenity jacquard woven wrap by Soul Slings in size 3. In the photoshoot I did a Poppins carry, one of my favourite carries (because Poppins is just so pretty!) but also one out of only two shorty carries that I know of.

You need a village to raise a child indeed. Alhamdulillah for the mommy friends that Allah has blessed me with in 2016, whom I met personally through Ummi fitness dates and also, online through FB groups. Hehe my mummy village also happens to be online too most of the time. #socialmediamummyvillage

Being your own person. In March I started a dedicated art platform called Mekar Maker (@mekarmaker in Instagram) to showcase my embroidery works and other creative pursuits. 2016 also saw me spending more time pursuing creative interests, which greatly helped me in my motherhood journey. Honestly I do experience some mommy guilt doing this, but I realised it was important as I got the chance to just be my own person amidst being a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend which in turn helped me be a more confident and happy mommy. Alhamdulillah this venture led me to meet like-minded creative individuals whom I admire for their principles and creative work.

So those are my highlights of 2016 Alhamdulillah. Among these highlights there were definitely some lows which were pretty rough and so painful. But, important lessons indeed which is so essential to keep the heart in remembering Him and purify our occupied, distracted hearts MashaAllah. In 2017 I hope to continue serving Him with all that He has blessed me with in my many roles, and I hope to do it well insyaAllah. May this new year bring plenty of opportunities, happiness, joy, sustenance in many forms and most importantly contentment and gratefulness. InsyaAllah ameen.

-M.

On Making Choices as a Mother

The thing about motherhood is that every decision you make has a trade-off and you have to choose your priorities. The sooner you can accept that, the less stressed and frustrated you will be and more accepting of your current life. The sooner you will find peace despite the voices in your head and despite what is happening around you.

The most important thing is to strive to be an empowered mother regardless of the choices we make because ultimately every mom wants the best for her kids and every family has a different “formula” (there is no formula though), what works for you may not work for others and vice versa. You just have to do what makes you feel right and what works best for all of you.¬†And God knows how much our children will benefit more from empowered and happy moms instead of stressed out and insecure ones.

If we look at the Muslimah mummies in Islamic history, all of them had a different story of their own. Like Khadijah r.a. was a businesswoman, and Fatimah r.a. was a homemaker. But both were special in the eyes of Allah s.w.t. and Rasulullah s.a.w loved them both so so much. Allah blessed Aisyah r.a. with knowledge and Maryam raised Isa a.s. on her own. Rabiatul Adawiyah never married and Zainab r.a. went through a separation before being married to the Prophet s.a.w. Hajar found Zamzam while running between two mountains in searching for food for her baby SubhanAllah. 

Their challenges were different from each other and Allah purposely made it that way so there is something for everyone. Likewise, our children are unique individuals and so are we. We always read up about children being different from each other but hey, no two moms are alike too! My own mother and mother-in-law couldn’t be any more different MashaAllah, with their quirks and personalities – but they manage to raise us to the best of their capabilities Alhamdulillah. ¬†

So whenever we catch ourselves comparing with other moms (as we usually do, let’s face it), we should insyaAllah try and be conscious of our thoughts – as most of the time they are whispers from the syaitan, who always wants you to feel bad about yourself. #goodvibesonly¬†

Allah said that “And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative…” (excerpt of surah Fatir, verse 18).

So see? It’s totally okay that you have chosen this and not that or that happened and not this (like what you have planned). At the end of the day, only Allah’s redha is necessary, not anyone else’s. He knows Best.

Coffee and Scone.

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¬†A “light breakfast” and a cranberry orange scone along with a flat white at And All Things Delicious.

I have always loved a good coffee and a well-made scone. But for a new mom like me, with an increasingly active 8-month old and a little family to take care of, to enjoy a good coffee and scone  Рalone Рwhile at my favourite cafe is seriously the best thing ever. Or at least, one of the best ways to recharge and have some much needed me time.

A fulfilling breakfast of roasted pumpkin on toasted multi-grain bread, with perfectly boiled eggs served with cherry tomatoes and arugula helps lift up the mood (and tummy) too!

I love the cosy vibe of this cafe that also makes me feel like I’m out of the country. My little escapade.

Korban; sebuah puisi

Setiap pagi minggu
Ku korbankan tenaga dan waktu
Ke madrasah mengejar ilmu
Menimba ilmu tentang Yang Satu

Namun hanya Dia yang tahu
Betapa hati ini sukar dan sayu
Meninggalkan si kecilku
Untuk sepeninggalan waktu

Wajahnya sentiasa di mindaku
Hati ini penuh rindu
Tapi harus ku cekalkan kalbu
Kerana korban itu perlu

Untuk aku menjadi seorang guru
Yang terbaik untuk anakku
Kerana al ummu madrasatu
Dan sekolah ini bermula dariku

Wahai anak, inilah korban ibumu
Wahai diri, inilah jihadmu

Dikarang di Madrasah Aljunied, 6 September 2015

Nota penulis: Sempena hari raya haji yang bakal tiba. Di bulan Zulhijjah yang penuh barakah. Setiap seseorang mempunyai pengorbanan mereka tersendiri, dan inilah salah satu pengorbananku. Seorang pelajar yang sedang menuntut ilmu, juga sebagai ibu baru. Bukan mudah untuk ditempuhi, tetapi inilah dia sebahagian dari perjalanan keimananku…

A New Journey Begins

It has been some time since I wrote anything here. I miss this space.

Just 2 days ago Singapore turned 50. The Golden Jubilee year. While it seems pretty young for a country, we’ve come a pretty long way from just being a small trading port in the past. We’re still a tiny little red dot in the world map, but this tiny little country is where I call home. It is where I was born and raised, met my husband, got married, and recently gave birth to an adorable little baby boy two months ago, Alhamdulillah.

The past two months have been a journey of sorts while we navigate through a lot of first times, but our hearts have never been so full. Of love. Of faith. Of mercy and compassion. Towards this gift and amanah presented to us, and towards each other as we slowly embrace our new roles as parents.

And so a new journey begins. One that I’ve never been on and each step will be a first. The exhilarating journey of motherhood and parenthood.

May Allah guide me and my husband throughout this process, and may He make us the best of parents for our little one. InsyaAllah, ameen.

parenting
Best job ever.

Of Endings and Beginnings

Recently, a dearest friend of mine lost her mother. She passed away peacefully in her sleep during the wee hours of the morning.

It was one day before the wedding day of another dearest friend of mine as she embarks on her new journey as a wife.

I was reflecting on how we go through endings and beginnings every single day on earth and shared this short poem in my facebook page:

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

Today a dearest friend’s mother passed away.
Tomorrow, another dearest friend is getting married.

One will begin life without a mother,
While the other will begin life with a husband.

Two new beginnings,
Two totally different circumstances.

The ending of a soul in earth,
And the ending of singlehood.

Life in dunya, filled with beginnings and endings.
An ending brings a beginning of something.
With a beginning, there is an end.
And our ultimate end – is back to Him.

“Therefore glory be to Him in Whose hand is the kingdom of all things, and to Him you shall be brought back.” – Yaseen, 83

It’s true isn’t it? One day our life in this world is going to end and we will move on to the world that we came from, to a world that is eternal.

Speaking about beginnings, currently I am going through a new beginning (MashaAllah, who knew a career switch would be really t-o-u-g-h). Another thing about beginnings is the importance of breaking out of your comfort zone and have the guts to learn new things. For my newly wedded friend, she has to adapt to having a new person in her life 24/7 and her new responsibilities as a wife. For my friend who has lost her mum, she will have to learn to slowly deal with her own emotions of grief – as well as her father’s.

May Allah bring us through our different personal challenges and may these tests that He has presented us with, only aim to bring us closer to Allah s.w.t. InsyaAllah ameen.