Friday, 25 April 2008

I ask again...

Well now that I've got two little ones I ask again....

Is it REALLY possible to be a busy wife, mother AND look good?

Here's a post I wrote a year ago in March O7. Some Spring Fashion stuff will follow in a few days InshaAllah.

Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "When a woman prays her five prayers, fasts her month (of Ramadan), preserves her chastity, and obeys her husband, then she may enter the Jannah (Paradise) from any door she chooses." [Ahmad and others; authentic]

Before marriage we read many books on how to obey our husbands and how to be good wives. One of the main things that was emphasized was adorning ourselves for our husbands.

How easy! We would think. Is that it? And we couldn't understand it when we would see married sisters who didn't.

After marriage - 'It's still easy - with the odd 'bad hair day' here and there.'

After children - quotes:
'I can't remember the last time I had a hair cut!'
'Maybe I'll just wait till Jannah InshaAllah to look beautiful....'
'I don't know where to start, it seems like sooo long ago....'
'I need to loose 2 stones first!'

Lately I've been thinking. We make too many excuses, there are too many beautiful woman out there to make excuses. As for the last excuse, a sister responded, 'We know that losing even a few pounds doesn't happen over night. And what to do in the meantime? Plus we could die tommorrow so lets make the most of how we look.'

A sister commented about adorning herself for her husband, 'I'd honestly rather have him expect to come home to see his wife in the best form and therefore push himself harder to lower his gaze, than have him expect to come home and find me in jogging pants and a t-shirt and find it harder to resist the temptations. He's out all day, and he sees all kinds of things. When he knows that if he lowers his gaze, he will be rewarded in the akhirah by Allah, and in the dunya by going home to a wife who can show him what he saw and better (because it's halal) it makes the struggle all the more worth it for him. '

Allah describes the woman as: “…one brought up among adornments” [Sûrah al-Zukhruf: 18]

Below are some practical tips and advice from various sisters that inshaAllah will help us to balance our obligations, to Allah, our husbands and children.

* Buy clothes that are crease resistant or drip dry them to save time on ironing.

* Wear kohl - it takes a second to apply and you can do wudu over it without removing it.

* Try to find out what your husband likes, styles, clothes etc. That always makes things easier. (Ebay is great for this because you can show the pictures of the items before buying - pictures without women in them of course.)

* Time is of the essence! Learn to have quick showers and get ready in a few minutes.

* Practice doing different hairstyles and keep a note of quick ones that look good. Loose buns look great with casual clothes.

* Wear perfume and matching body lotion. A sister said, 'I quickly apply body lotion to sweat areas (ie under arms) straight after a shower and a quick spray of matching perfume to my home clothes so I'm always smelling good.

* Buy clothes that are comfortable - but look good. A sister said, 'Lately I've bought a new wardrobe from ebay (bargain prices! My husbands favourite dress cost me 2 pounds - including postage and packaging!) I've bought some dresses that are comfortable, flattering, not too long so i don't trip over it and can climb up and down the stairs with my daughter. I buy dresses that have some sleeves so i can wear them in front of other women also . I try to look for Warm fabric so i don't freeze on cold days and Comfortable enough to do all household chores in. Also I make sure it has a side zip, or i can pull down the neck because im breastfeeding still.'

* Wear Simple Jewelery that don't get in the way of things.

* Try to balance things ie cooking, cleaning, dressing up. Don't do too much of any so it ends up that you're neglecting the others.

* Going out. A sister said, 'I try not to go out too much Because my hijab makes my hair flat. Also I do most of my shopping online rather than spend a whole day in town with my toddler moaning in her buggy and not getting anything I needed or wanted.'

* Mirror Mirror.... A sister once said, 'A wise woman is one who has a mirror in her Kitchen!'

* Water of life. Remember to always drink plenty of water for radiant skin.

* Oh Sugar! Sugar and water is a fast, cheap and effective way to Exfoliate!

* Remember the most important thing is DUA!!! A sister said, 'I pray to Allah in Sujood to make me the most beautiful woman for my Husband in this world and the next.'

May Allah help us to keep steadfast on the deen and be balanced Muslimaat. Ameen.


Misfit Muslimah said...

Assalamu alaikum

I have dry skin and I have found that a mixture of powdered oats and honey makes a great face scrub. Honey serves as a terrific moisturiser. Make a small bottle of it and keep it in the bathroom (it doesn't need refrigeration).

Fruits are rich in anti-oxidants (which help delay the effects of aging). Puree what you have in your refrigerator - grapes, green apples, strawberries, apricots, etc. and use as a face mask. I would imagine you could use what's leftover from what you use as food for the baby (I dunno, I don't have a baby).

Saabirah said...

"I'd honestly rather have him expect to come home to see his wife in the best form and therefore push himself harder to lower his gaze, than have him expect to come home and find me in jogging pants and a t-shirt and find it harder to resist the temptations."

If a guy's wife is pleasing to his eyes when he sees her, lowering his gaze wouldn't be hard! So by looking and smelling gorgeous you're not only doing wonders for your self esteem, you're easing the path of obedience for your husband. :)

JazakiLlah khair for this, it was good reading it again.

Anonymous said...

im all for looking great for your hubby!!
theres days that i feel great...but others when i jus feel yucky and look it too!!!

how do i pick myself up??

Anonymous said...

Umm Maymoonah, any ideas on how to stay attractive despite the extra body fat and the not so flattering clothes mothers have to wear, just for the sake of convenience, yes I'm talking about extending the maternity clothes post-pregnancy and the not so attractive undergarments!

Mum of 3 said...

Anonymous I hope you don't mind my input.

I'm assuming you've had a baby recently? I would say that don't worry too much about it.

Eat well - wholesome good meals with plenty of fruit and veg but exercise lightly to begin with as well. I actually do 'bottom clenches' while I am sat feeding my baby!

And the way I see our husbands are just as glad to be rid of the bump after 9 months as we are - so they are so glad its over they don't notice the extra fat since they are so happy to finally have us back!

I also like saabirah's point about smelling nice. We focus a lot looking nice we forget what we smell like (smiley).

Watya think Umm M, Umm Zaida?

Umm Zaidah Nusaybah said...

I am all for smelling nice. there is nothing I hate more than smelling of curry and smelling curry on others. my advice to sisters is to have a wash after cooking and open windows so that your house does not smell of curry.

don't get me wrong I do like eating it but I don't like to SMELL of it!!!!!!

Umm Maymoonah said...

Jazakillah khair Misfit Muslimah seems like a great recipe - will try it soon inshaAllah and let you know how it goes.

Anon.... Hmm, how to pick yourself up on yukky days..

I guess it would depend on what kind of yukky day it is, if its a whole day of chores, cooking, cleaning, dusting etc then i guess its hard to pick yourself up on days like that.

On other yukky days - something I tried once is to throw out all my yukky clothes so even on yukky days - i was still wearing nice clothes. that way you make an effort with the rest as well as it seems weird to wear nice clothes without the rest. (But then I fell pregnant and with Morning sickness you WANT TO wear yukky clothes!)

So I'd say - make sure that even your jammies, comfort clothes etc are quite nice looking, nowadays I always buy crease resistant clothes with the exception of a few linens.

Hennes have really nice but comfortable jammies etc.

Another way is to just go out! get some fresh air etc and also when we go out it reminds us of the fitnah our husbands are exposed to. Or just freshen up with wudu or something to try and pick yourself up.

Saabirah Wa Iyyaakh :-) oh and methinkhs sometimes jog pants and t shirts can lookh very nice!

MUM OF 3 JazakAllah khair for that advice ukhtee very much appreciated.

Anon - I agree with what mum of 3 said, I was going to say something similar.

I think with a new baby its always important to look at the whole picture - even if we already have children.

Spiritual Nourishment,
Remember to do plenty of adhkaar, and try to include reading the Qur'an wear possible to help us to deal with the changes and constantly thank and be graetful to Allah for our children.

Physical Nourishment and well being.
Eat a wholesome well balanced diet. I would not recommend dieting as new mums or even just as mums - we need what we eat and even the daily dose of desert, sugar etc. Rather what I'd recommend is eat well. Add fruit salad to all of your meals - even just chips and fish fingers.

Keep the fruit in your fruit bowl washed and ready to eat.

Never miss breakfast, try to make it the best meal of the day ( I know its hard!)

If you feel like you don't have time to eat try to snack on a quick sandwich or cereal to keep you going until your meal rather than the cookie jar.

While doing all this make sure you get the light excerises in.

Even 5 minutes of stretches a day can make a difference.

Try to get some fresh air at least every other day. even if its just taking the buggy for a walk around the block, the fresh air and walk will do you good and make a difference to how you feel over all.

Outer appearance
All of the above should already make you feel and look better. Drink plenty of fluid to keep your skin hydrated.

Even if you do feel the extra weight and under garments don't help try to make an effort with the rest - hair, face, smell etc.

Remember that we are also role models for our daughters. In todays society the jog pants and t - shirts are the home clothes whilst the nice clothes are for the outside world. Try not to let this be the case on most days.

I hope that helps please email me if you would like more personal advise.

your sister,

Umm Maymoonah.

Umm Maymoonah said...

Oops ignore all the spelling and grammer mistakes. My excuse is fast typing and lack of time. :-)

Caged Bird said...

Wow Clenches while feeding the baby, masha'Allah, will have to remember that one in the future, insha'Allah.

As for smelling of curry Umm Z,i always thought it was your favourite perfume Chicken Diva by Chanel!!

Seriously washing oneself would be ideal practise, but sometimes not always practical, as i haven't mastered good time management yet, so my quick practical step is to have cooking clothes on and then get out of it, as soon as you hear the key or car door shut and be sure to have perfume at hand!!

But to be more organised is a more long term solution, insha'Allah.

Hayath said...

I think something more effective than perfume is a strong smelling body wash, so rather than just smelling good u feel good and it has a positive effect on your attitude.

Hayath said...

hey mum's, when im with alot of woman its the mother's who interest me, I dont look at their size or shape,I think u only bcome a woman after becoming a mother. I think its glamourous.

Anonymous said...

Masha'Allah! listening to all you sisters is very inspiring! I hope that insha'Allah when i am married i'm not lazy and i make the effort as im sure it'll pay off!

JZK for the tips. they were all very useful!

Umm Zaidah Nusaybah said...

chicken diva by chanel...LOL!!!

I have a set of cooking clothes which is very useful to have alhamdulillah. I don't cook everyday and the days I do cook I do it early in the morning which leaves me the rest of the day free to do other things.

Anonymous said...

How about Gusht - Deep Night?

Anonymous said...

NB Umm M used to live in Liverpool, her friends tease her about being a scouser. But she isn't. Hence the the kh's!

sister 1 said...

Umm M you should publish your comment as a separate blog! Great advice.