Guest Post by Heather
Asalam Alaykum, Peace be on you
My name is Heather, and I have been a Muslim since 1997 (officially in 1998). I am the mother of 3, step-mother to 1 and wife to my wonderful husband for 12 years this Friday. I am also a home care provider for 4 other children (whom I call my "chosen children").
Bismillah Masha Allah
Through my in home daycare (where I am in Canada, it's called a Dayhome), I was told I should study to get my Early Learning and Child Care Diploma. I put it off time and again, but finally, in the fall of 2008, decided that it was time. Every month or so, I drive about 2 hours to the college for a Saturday seminar; the rest of my learning is online. It will take me twice as long to graduate, but I'm still able to work and keep my family obligations while I study. I am about to get my certificate, and will begin my diploma courses this Fall. I am very proud to say that I have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout.
Children busy learning at the Dayhome
As if I didn't have enough going on in my life, I suddenly discovered a love of fitness. I was a little bit upset when my clothes were getting tighter and tighter. Eventually, I had to admit that it wasn't the dryer, but more my lack of fitness and poor eating habits. I decided to make a change. I began a workout called The 30 Day Shred, it's hard, but the results have been worth it (I think you'll understand if there are no before/after pictures here!). There are days that I don't want to wake up and exercise, but the same thing happens with Fajr, if you wake up and do it, it's not such a big deal, and your day is off to a fantastic start.
Little ones at play @ the Dayhome
This love of fitness has spread out to my children (and the "chosen children" too!). We eat whole grains, I've removed the processed stuff from our diets (no more kraft dinner from a box, no more cheeze wiz, etc) - that alone has had a wonderful effect on us. More energy, better thinking, better behavior. Now, we all exercise; sometimes I sneak it in, sometimes I'm open about it, but in general, we all do...from my 9 year old daughter right down to the 18 month old that I care for.
Room for creative minds at the Dayhome
My blog is my spot for getting "me" out there. I'm surrounded by children all day long, and it's not often that I'm able to talk with grown ups. Blogging gives me that opportunity. It allows me to vent if I'm upset, to chuckle at a funny thing a child has said - and recently, to keep me accountable for my exercise. Before my exercise postings, I was getting roughly 30-50 hits/day...since I started my rants or raves about the aches and pains and sufferings and successes of exercise, my blog has begun getting upwards of 200 hits/day.
I think that this is mostly due to the fact that I keep things real. I don't sugar coat a whole lot -- not on my blog and not in real life. I am sarcastic, witty, and real and I don't make excuses for any of it. I am Me, I am Heather, I am teacher, I am mother, I am Muslim.
Thank you Heather for this lovely post. I hope you don't mind I share with our Sisters your challenges and experience in running a Dayhome. Just in case someone would like to know more. Here is an excerpt from the Dayhome blog:
"It's hard being a provider because you become attached to the kids. In September of 2008, I 'lost' a beloved little boy, who had been in my home for three years. He became a part of our family and we had grown to love him dearly. Unfortunately, circumstances outside of our control meant that he was no longer able to come to me any longer."
And I like this quote:
"Little children come to me for hugs and books and such.
I care for all their special needs and also fix them lunch.
I pick up toys, mop up spills, and sometimes dry their tears.
I change their diapers, settle fights, and kiss away their fears.
I tie their shoes, button coats and push them on the swing.
I really love these kids, you see, but there is just one thing.
Call me Heather, Aunt or Teacher or other names that fit,
But please don't call me the "babysitter,"
Because I never get to sit!
Once again thank you.
Asalam Alaykum, Peace be on you
Dear Sisters:Do you prefer sarcastic, witty, and real blog content or just the rosy stuff?