Tips From Supermoms I've Met On My Motherhood Journey
I asked some moms I’ve met over the years for their best advice pertaining to keeping up with a mom life. I learned such great tips from them and compiled it in a post so moms like you can benefit from their words of wisdom as well!
Mom Superpower: 10 years of being a busy mom with a career
Age: Mid 30's
Country: CA, USA
Kids Ages: 10, 7, 4
How were you as a mommy a few years ago?
I had to be in control of everything because I was afraid that if things were out of my control, it would not be manageable for me. I ended up doing everything myself and had high ideals and rigid rules. I forgot about myself as a person, and I was only a wife and a mother. This made me lose who I was. I found it hard to relax and rest because of the kids. I was very dependent on my spouse emotionally as well as relying on him for things that needed to be done. I felt it was his job to make me happy and on weekends I use to feel pressured to always do things as a family.
How are you as a mommy now?
I have learned to be more independent emotionally, by realizing that I am in control of my happiness. I have become more forgiving and non-judgmental, maybe because of the wisdom that comes with age and realizing my own mortality. I realize that weekends and 'family time' do not have to include all of us together only, it can mean time that the kids spend with their dad on their own, which also frees up time for me to do what I need to do. I started to make time for things I enjoyed and realized my interests & hobbies. I learnt to release some of the control to my husband, especially concerning the kids and did not worry how he dealt with them when they were in his care. I took up kickboxing as a way to feel empowered and gain some confidence in myself.
What advice can you give to other moms?
Get advice by reading - I use to read up on solutions to my problems, but what I read did not stick at first, but over the years what I read came back to my mind.
Find a hobby - If you are at home a lot, try to do something outside, like taking up an exercise class or something recreational.
Take a break from the kids - Leave the kids sometimes with their dad or if that is not an option, a family member or trustworthy babysitter.
Have girlfriends - You should have friends to talk to. I noticed between 25-35 years of age, I had neglected having friends and that was missing.
Importance of prayer - I learned the importance of intention and feeling close to God in my heart.
What are your final words of wisdom?
You don't have to be a mother that is there for every small, little thing that your child needs in their lives when they are young. You can delegate some of the responsibility to someone else and realize that there will be many times in the future that your kids will still need you to be a mom for them, Inshallah. Your role may be even more important when they are older as they will always need you for something in their lives, so don't feel guilty if you can't do it all now.
Mom Superpower: Experienced multi-tasker and organizer
Age: Mid 30's
Country: Gauteng, South Africa
Kids Ages: 5, 2, 1
Why is it important for a mom to organize her home?
It is essential to organize your home because it saves time, money, and space. I get a thrill out of organizing the contents of my home. I’m what you call a “clean freak” and I embrace this title with relish. When I spring-clean and organize my home, which is a usual six-month occurrence, I mean business. I gear up, dress down, and get on my mission fearlessly.
How do you organize your home?
I can’t list every method I use, but I’ll give you a brief overview of the process:
First, I start systematically, one room at a time
I scan the designated area to see what needs to be done
Then I begin with the most challenging room first and save the easiest for last
I start with a shelf or drawer, to see what I no longer need and give it away
Then I store everything neatly and label it
What items do you find helpful in organizing your home?
I believe that putting things into tubs of various sizes and marking them with a label-maker ensures that my life so much easier. In this way, if I’m looking for something, I’m not rummaging through every shelf or cupboard. I’ve done this in almost every room in my house. It’s also important that my hubby and kids can easily find what they need. I like that they don’t need to scream. "Mommy!" every time they require something. Also, have a pen and a notebook to jot down anything you have and where it all stays, especially if you plan to rearrange the location of items.
What’s your suggestions for moms who want to start organizing their homes but just haven't the time?
Prepare yourself! The organizational process can become daunting and overwhelming, but set aside some time, and understand that this little effort will go a long way. Also, you have to look around your surroundings and critique it. Be realistic and honest with yourself. If you just know that you're not going to use it, throw it out! If you’re hard on yourself from the get-go, then the next time you spring-clean, there won’t be much to sort, you’ll just be cleaning the surface.
What’s your organizational motto?
I live by the rule, “touch everything once.” Meaning that you should do what you need to do at the same time do not leave it for later, and when you do it, do it well, so that you do not need to see to it again.
What do you love about organizing as a mom?
Organizing makes me feel so refreshed! I love the feeling of opening a cupboard and finding exactly what I am looking for. I think this organizational trait also runs in the family genes. I’m a little embarrassed to say, that when I asked my 2-year-old daughter to pack away her blocks, she color coordinated it first!
Mom Superpower: Experienced Mompreneur and Homemaker
Age: Early 50’s
Country: Pretoria, South Africa
Children: 2 Grandchildren: 4
Kids Ages: Both in their late 20’s
I interviewed a mom in the community who had some wise words to share about juggling being a mom and running a business at the same time. a mix that can be challenging and straining. But here today, I have sister Joemyma, who has found the key to achieving this with great success. A dynamic mother of two daughters and a young grandmother of four, she runs a home and has her own business...making time to put her faith first.
Explain a day in the life of a mom who works from home?
My day does not start off properly if I sleep through Fajr salaah. So I wake up and pray my Fajr and alhumdullilah, Allah gives me the energy to achieve the most from my day. I begin by switching on my laptop, (remind you, I was once a lady that called it an internet machine), and then I start sending out emails to motivate my consultants to keep their heads high and their sales even higher. I run a beauty business and I am currently a team leader for a popular company. I have 50 consultants on my team. Running such a large team of ladies means that I have to lead from the front and be a good example.
Would you say rising early is key to your success as a mom?
Absolutely! It helps my day to run smooth and as planned. I have always been an early riser, but I also like to work with no interruptions. I take a break at about 8 AM to start my cooking. It’s always a good idea to plan your menus weekly, so you don’t end up being short of ingredients and unprepared to make any meals. After I cook the meal for the day at 8 AM, I start to clean and tidy around the house. I also get a helper once or twice a week to help me with the more strenuous chores.
Where do you get this energy and motivation?
Allah gives me the strength! Also, my family helps me keep the house tidy, especially on Thursdays, when I get my deliveries and I need to try to check all my stock on that day. Because come Friday, I have the pressure to deliver the stock to my consultants. It has its challenges, but I am very grateful to Allah that I can run a business from home. I am able to make my prayers on time and see to my household and family as well as earn an income.
Do you take time off?
Yes of course, that is the key! To plan your day and week. I have business time, family time and most importantly, time for Allah. I make sure that we have at least one meal together as a family, and on Thursday evenings, we all take at least 1.5 hours out of our busy schedule to read the Quran as a family.
As a young grandmother what happens when your grand kids come around?
When my beautiful, very active grand kids come around, it is a bit more challenging, because I just want to spend time with them. And that is why planning is so important for me. I keep a planner, and use it to schedule my time, so that I have time for everything and everyone. I cannot go a day without my planner!
What’s your advice for working moms who run a home with small kids and are juggling a career?
My advice, is to keep your faith strong and remember Allah SWT in times of hardship. You need to have schedules in place that can be adapted when necessary. Our children are our first priority, and I believe that Allah is happy with the mother who sees to her child's needs. Allah has indeed given women the incredible strength to juggle so many chores, run a happy home, and of course, not forgetting a happy husband!
I managed to grab another busy mommy from her hectic life, to sit down and share with us her priceless advice on how she balances her life as a mother who is constantly on the go. She juggles life as a dedicated wife, inspiring mother, successful homeschooler and organized homemaker. She also studies part-time towards a professional career, side by side with her study of Deen.
Mom Superpower: Experienced Mom and Homeschooler
Age: Mid 30’s
Country: CA, USA
Kids Ages: 9, 8, 5, 4
What is one of your most valuable tip for motherhood?
Balancing your life as a mother within your home first.
How do you accomplish this balance so well?
By having a schedule, gaining insight into my children's needs, realizing the importance of daddy time, early meal preparation, de-cluttering, having fun with my kids, having hobbies, setting goals, having alone time with hubby and having girlfriends.
What are your thoughts on having a schedule?
I have a schedule, but I always leave room for tweaking. You see, you have to leave room for the needs of yourself, your husband, and kids when setting your schedule. I make a mental schedule most times, but I think a written one is best.
What’s your schedule like?
I awake for Fajr every day. Make dhikr and recite Quran in the peace of the morning. Then I get some computer time for myself. I get my kids up early too, like an hour later, and I have the Quran playing for them. I like to put on Sura Baqarah daily. Even though I homeschool, I like to get my kids up early to instill in them routine and rhythm. I want them to get used to rising early to avoid laziness. They may get up at around 7 am, pray Fajr, then have breakfast at a particular time after. Instilling routine will break any negative characteristics or hereditary traits.
How do you gain insight into your children's needs?
By spending time with my kids and learning about them. Being affectionate and loving towards them with hugs and kisses. Making sure they always greet me every morning when they go anywhere or arrive from somewhere, with salaam and a kiss. This reinforces that you are there, and they can acknowledge it. I speak to my kids all the time, and I ask them questions to know what's going on in their mind. When they whine or show neediness, I give them one-on-one time for a few moments, which may seem tedious but actually cuts down the nagging.
You mentioned the importance of daddy time, how do you implement this?
Very simple. I feel it is important for my children to see their dad and to greet him before he leaves for work. The same thing applies when he arrives home; they drop whatever they are doing to run and greet him at the door. I see how much my husband enjoys the awesome greeting that awaits him each day, and the kids love this too.
How do you meal prep?
At night I look in my fridge or freezer and mentally decide what I am going to prepare the next day for lunch and dinner. Once a month, I cook meat, such as chicken or ground beef with onions, tomatoes, and some spices - this is my base. Then I divide the meat mixture into portions and put it in glass storage containers. After it cools, I freeze it. Each day I will take out one container of meat and leave it by the stove to thaw. A half an hour before dinner, I cook some rice or pasta, make a salad or add some bread. I will cook the meat with whatever else I want to make that day to complete the meal.
Cooking like this reduces a lot of time and is a huge load off my head. Meal planning is one of the biggest issues for women. By following this method, you can cut down 1-2 hours in your meal preparation daily, because there is no need to defrost the meat, cut it, cook it and then cut up onions and tomatoes too. I also don't have that meat smell on me every day!
How do you declutter and organize?
Twice a year I go through my family's clothing, toys, and books. I ask myself this question, "Have I used this in the past six months?" If I answer no, I give it away. I also make Fridays a special day with my kids. We clean the house and organize the night before, and then do touch ups on Friday. My children have their showers, groom their nails and wear nice clothes.
What kind of fun do you have with your kids?
Friday is our special day, so we take it easy and have more fun and do extra things that we don't do other days. We may do things such as buying take out, going to the library or to a store. We also try to go for Jummah prayer at the masjid. After the prayer, I give them a treat as an incentive for going to the masjid. Once a month, I take them to a store and allow them to spend some of their pocket money on something they want.
Why is it important for a mom to have other interests?
You, as a mom need interests out of the home. Do any class that will uplift you, such as an art class or poetry class. Join a book club or any other type of class where you are interacting with adults. Have a goal as a woman, even if it takes many years to achieve it, or you only have one hour, once per week to spend on it. This is good for your mental state as a mom because you need to get away from the monotony of your responsibilities or motherhood will feel overwhelming.
Why is it importance to have hubby time?
A wife needs time with her husband alone and out of the house. If you have young kids and you can't go out at night, try going out in the day time and take your kids to a family member, or have family come over to babysit. You need to reconnect with your husband on a level that you can't when the kids are around. Try to do this at least twice a month. I prefer talking and connecting with my husband over a coffee or something simple like that. Going out together doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. Simple is best.
Why is it important to have friends?
Have girlfriend time at least twice a month. If you have to go on a playdate together because you are unable to go out alone, that's fine too. Get together with one another so that you can share your ideas and problem solve about the kid or home issues. Form a bond of support for yourself and your friend. One-on-one interaction is the best.
What’s your final words of advice for busy moms?
Plan for the future but never write it in stone. Trust in Allah and be content, and He will give you more barakah.
Name: Grandma Jeddah
Mom Superpower: Wife of 34 years, Teacher of 30 years, and Mompreneur
Country: CA, USA
Children: 11 Grandchildren: 13
Kids Ages: 20s and 30's
I had the pleasure of interviewing an awesome wife of 34 years, mother of 11, grandmother of 13, a teacher for over 30 years, educator of hundreds, children and parent author, who serves the community and offers helpful parenting advice, by writing popular e-books. She is known as Grandma Jeddah, well-known for her e-book, 'Disciplining Without Disrespecting.' Grandma Jeddah is one of those jewels of a woman, who can balance a busy life, with being a dedicated wife, and mother to many kids. To be a mother of 11 is no easy feat, but she has found the balance of making it a fulfilling and peaceful experience. So enjoy an interview with Grandma Jeddah, as I ask her to share a little about the mother behind all the helpful advice.
When did you start your writing career as Grandma Jeddah?
Well, I started Grandma Jeddah when I published my first e-book 'Discipline without Disrespecting' in March of 2011.
What made you start the Grandma Jeddah websites and write ebooks?
I wanted to start another home-based business. I’d had several businesses in the past, and for different reasons, I wasn't unable to continue with that. So I started brainstorming and came up with the idea of selling e-books. First I had to think of what type of book I’d write. I had done some research and read that it’s best to write about something that you are very experienced at, something that you know well and that others could receive benefit. So, I pondered it for some time. Finally, I came to the conclusion that the one thing I have a massive amount experience and knowledge in, and that could benefit others, is how to effectively discipline children in a calm, patient, and respectful manner—in particular, those with severe behavioral problems masha’Allah.
Did anyone help you with the ebooks and websites for Grandma Jeddah?
I thank Allah the Most High for helping me and guiding me to put everything together. I did loads and loads of reading and research to figure out how to put my website together, how to start a blog, how to set up my bookstore and the other things that go into the business. Actually, at first, I began with a free website and bookstore. Then I switched to a web hosting service. Even though I had to pay fees, they had 24/7 customer service to help me with questions regarding the website, email service and shopping cart.
How did you cope with all this and 11 kids mashAllah?
At that time, I had 9 of my children still home another two were married and had moved away. I started writing the book during Ramadan in the summer of 2010. So I had more free time than usual because it was summer. During the school year, I teach. Summer was an excellent time for me to start on a new project. I tend to do a lot of my work in the evenings and late at night. At that point, the kids are usually doing their own thing or sleeping.
What is the age difference between your children?
Well, it ranges. To tell you the truth, I really don’t remember all of their ages. The ones in their 20’s and 30’s I tend to "guesstimate." But generally speaking, I’d say most are about two years apart. The closest two are a little over a year apart. And the ones that are farthest apart are about four years difference.
Did you have any help raising your 11 children?
Again, I thank Allah Most High for helping me. My husband and I raised them. Both of our parents, at the time, were non-Muslim and they both lived in another town. So I stayed home and took care of the kids while my husband worked.
Where have you lived most of your life?
Most of my life I've lived in Los Angeles, California, right across the street from a masjid. We have been blessed to live among many Muslim families, masha’Allah.
Share something about your hubby as a dad.
He’s an excellent provider, and he fits the motto that says, "One of the best ways to be good to your kids, is to be good to your wife," masha’Allah.
Share something about your children.
My kids were the inspiration for me writing my first parenting book. I didn't always discipline my children in the calm, respectable manner in which I do today. In mock (or not) protest, sometimes my older ones tell me they wish I knew about this parenting method when they were growing up.
What has been the hardest part of parenting?
I’d say the hardest part of parenting is regretting the mistakes and errors I've made.
What has been the best part of parenting?
The best part of parenting for me has been virtually all of it—from the time of carrying the baby in my stomach to delivering it (except for the intense labor pains— and even that is compensated for once I see and hold my precious new baby.) My children are companionship for me, masha’Allah There is No Power or Might except with Allah.
What’s your best advice for parents with young kids?
The advice I would share is, "Be gentle, kind, understanding, and tolerant with your children."
What's your best advice for parents with teens?
When managing teens, I’d suggest parents read my statement above. This makes managing teens a lot easier. It’s critical that parents develop a close and pleasant relationship with their children while they are young. This will, insha’Allah, help parents have a more harmonious and cooperative relationship with their children once they are in their teen years. This agreeable relationship will allow the parents to continue to have influence over their teen's decisions and choices in life, insha'Allah. I would also remind parents that children at this age are often influenced more by what they see than hear, so try to be the example that you want them to be.
How did you school your kids?
All my children attended an Islamic school, masha’Allah. I've taught all of them at one time or another at the school. Some of my kids who have special needs, I've also taught at home.
What should parents teach their kids first in Islamic knowledge and why?
From my understanding, it should be Tawheed. They should be taught that there is only One God, Allah. He is the only one we worship and pray to. He Created us and everything between the heavens and the earth. The reason for Tawheed first, is because this is what will get them to Jannah, insha’Allah. This is what will help get them through the difficult periods in life, also. And this is what they will need to know to counter-proselytizing from other faiths.
Share something about your 13 grandchildren.
Well, most of my grandchildren live in other countries. One lives here in the same city nearby, and I see him quite often, masha’Allah. Sometimes when I see, talk to or think about my grandchildren, I think of how it is such an enormous blessing that Allah chose to allow 24 new Muslims (11 kids + 13 grandkids) to come into this world through two humble people whom He guided to Islam — my husband and myself.
Share some of your day-to-day activities as a mom?
Well, during the school year, I usually get up in the morning around 7:30 or so, to help my two youngest kids get ready for school. Then I start on some of the work that needs to be done with the Grandma Jeddah business. After that, I homeschool one of my kids until about 1:00 pm. Then I leave to go teach at our Islamic school. I teach 7th and 3rd/4th grade. At 3:00 pm, I leave school for home. I then take a walk several blocks for exercise. On my way back, I might stop by the grocery store for a few items. When I get home, I start on dinner, interspersed with helping out with homework. In the evening I might do some reading or studying and direct the youngest ones to get ready for bed. At night I often do a little more work with the Grandma Jeddah business, and then I go to sleep.
Who is your favorite hero or what's your favorite quote?
My favorite verses from Quran are the ones that describe Jannah, and say what the believers will be rewarded with in the hereafter for their struggles, trials and difficulties.