Earlier this year, I had my baby shower and decided for it to be a small and intimate gathering. It was lots of fun planning the whole thing and seeing my friends and family enjoy the activities. Listed below are a few design ideas and baby shower activities (with an Islamic twist) I chose. Enjoy!
Since the baby shower was in a cold winter month, I figured it would be best to go with a winter theme. At the time the baby’s gender was not known so the color scheme was white and gold, with aqua accents.
I bought most of the items seen below from the clearance section at Target. They had a huge sale after Christmas that really helped me cut costs. I had the cake and cupcakes made from a nearby bakery (cake topper from HBSouthernInspired shop on Etsy!), Ferrero Rocher for the candy jar and teacups, and a talented family member made delicious chocolate covered strawberries. Baby’s breath flowers were the perfect flowers to decorate the table with considering it is for a baby shower!
One of the things I often ponder while staring at my 3 month old baby while she sticks her fingers in her mouth and looks at me curiously, is , how in the world will I raise this human being to be a good person? Ok, I also am wondering how she can fit her entire hand in her mouth too, but that’s a topic for another day.
I know that my parenting journey will be full of mistakes and lessons learned on the way, yet in the end I can only pray that I instill some of the traits and qualities that my own parents and my husband’s parents tried to instill in us. Some of the most important things I found are:
Forgive and Forget
Whenever I had a problem with anyone or anything, my mother would listen to my struggles and rant with me, and then in the end say “Let’s drop it, thank them for what they’ve given you and let’s move on” This mentality has helped me so much in not holding on to issues that once happened. It’s about taking a step back and making everything a little less dramatic than how you were portraying it in your head, and that alone makes all the difference in keeping your own sanity and not caring about what others think or say to you at times.
Something I learned from my parents is to always be humble no matter how high your economic or social status may be. That is to never joke about someone’s name or ethnicity/race/culture, and to take them for what they are on the inside instead of relying on generalizations to judge certain people. It’s also to never go down to someone’s level when they discriminate against you and always react as though it doesn’t bother you, because it shouldn’t.
Thinking Good of Others
This is one that my in laws are really good examples of. They always think positive of people and look on the good side of things. Something I may be critical of initially would be changed by the way they see things which is always a positive perspective. This is the key to their own happiness and I realize it is an excellent quality to have and to instill in my children by trying to be this way as well.
Be wise and think before you speak
My father always shows this one by example by staying silent in certain conversations and listening to the other person and then carefully explaining his point. You tend to listen to those who are speaking calmly and those who are definitely wise in their thoughts and actions.
Ramadan is a chance to change yourself for the better. It’s a chance to help renew your own self and get rid of bad habits. It is also a chance to strengthen ties with your family. Because you can’t really do anything else, it’s an opportunity to spend some time with your family when otherwise you wouldn’t have. It’s also a time to come together and eat together as a family over Suhoor or Iftar. No matter how early Suhoor is, it’s important to try to spend some quality time with your family because there is blessing in that. Since our hearts are softened and Shaytan is locked up, it is that much easier to try to look past our differences in our families and just focus on being more positive and giving time to your parents, children, siblings, and/or cousins.Once we realize that we should put family as a priority before anyone else, we learn that family is truly everything and the reason behind our happiness and reassurance in life.
It’s so very hard to keep up in the momentum of this thing called life. Even if at some point in life you may have so many things going perfect for you, God tests you and throws some curve balls in the mix to see how you deal with them. As believers, we strive to face these tests with patience, believing that Allah (swt) will help us get through the struggle. However, that is easier said than done. Sometimes when things aren’t going so well for you it is so hard to find the blessings in disguise at that certain moment. You could doubt yourself and your ability to overcome your struggles. You could begin thinking negatively and responding with angst in almost every situation because of the stress it has put on you. But something that has helped me that a dear friend once told me, is that in that certain moment you should just make Dua. Make dua that Allah give you strength to overcome the struggle and that He reward you for even going through it. That really helped me put things into perspective. Allah, the Most Merciful is there for you when no one else is. He knows what you’re going through when no one else gets it. He and only He can help you through it and allow you to seek the patience and reward for going through that difficulty. Going back to Allah and realizing that your happiness is completely dependent upon your relationship with Him is the key to finding the strength to get through these tests and difficulties in life.
Alhamdulillah Allah blessed me with a wonderful healthy baby girl 3 months ago. And in dealing with some rough complications during my recovery, I have found that the most helpful thing to me was seeing my duaas get answered. And even if that duaa took ages to get answered – I knew that Allah was listening to me. That is motivation. That is the struggle. Sometimes you don’t see your duaa getting answered. That does not mean He did not listen. That does not mean you won’t be rewarded for it in the next life or through another situation unbeknownst to you. How amazing is that? It is so important to REFLECT on the fact that Allah will still give you if you ask Him. There’s no limit. There’s no LIMIT because He loves you and wants the best for you. And that is what helps me to find the motivation during such difficult times. Knowing that my love for Him was all that matters because He is always with you and will always be there for you so long as you seek Him through troubling times and continue to worship Him in the blessed good times as well.