New Routine… Part 2

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Almost 4 weeks into the second instalment of my wife’s practical experience program and 2 weeks left of my househusband duties. Despite my reluctance the first time around, it’s become second nature now with 10 weeks under my belt. To be honest, I am going to miss it when it’s over.

After successfully implementing a toddler friendly work routine I was able to work more productively and even found time to earn some brownie points by cooking dinner and taking care of the groceries. I can’t remember the last time I worked so efficiently and productively, I really hope I can maintain it going forward.

When you work smart and focus hard, you can achieve certain efficiencies but that’s not the end goal, the goal is to work smart enough to get what you need done and allow yourself time to unwind and do ‘other’ things. When the day’s work is done and the day is not over, that’s when you start having fun.

My office has been transformed into an awesome little playground, there are toy cars parked everywhere, a fuel station under my desk and car stickers on my filing cabinets… it’s awesome. We watched movies, played games, went shopping, cooked lunch and had some very interesting conversations. Became quite the pro at carting the kid everywhere I went, even managed my meetings and met all deadlines.

The best of my accomplishments though, was strengthening my spirituality and reviving old good habits. The last 4 weeks have allowed me to maximise my time and take advantage of so many things I’ve neglected and have been striving to achieve since my job description changed last year. Frequenting the mosque, setting aside time everyday to recite Quran, studying the meaning of the Quran and countless hours listening to inspirational speakers from across the globe has helped me find contentment in my productivity and a sense of peace.

My routine will change again soon Insha Allah but I’m hoping to continue on this path. If I was able to achieve so much with my current schedule, I must do even better with wife’s help during the day.

Insha Allah (God Willing)…

Advertisements

Mid-day reflections…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful. 

There’s something very fulfilling about praying Dhur at the Mosque, something I missed when I worked in an office and something I took for granted when I started working from home. Today was a wet, blue day and the congregation was small, I’ve found that rainy days and a the silence of the mosque are quite soothing and thought provoking. 

I thought about how satisfying it feels when you simply drop anything and everything you’re doing to answer the call to prayer… an indescribable feeling that unfortunately  the modern lifestyle often deprives us off.  It’s a sad reality but for most of us, it’s something we can overcome with a slight change in mindset. 

When prayer is a chore or something we have to do at a certain time and certain place, it’ll always feel like a chore, something we do without too much thought or reflection with a goal of simply doing it. I’ve had Salaah on my chore list at times, though I’m grateful for the awareness and consciousness of prayer embedded in my upbringing, the attitude towards it makes a huge difference and can be the difference between ritual and spiritual. 

Image

Let prayer be a break from work or routine, not because you have to do it, but because it makes for a good break. The mistake we make is that we work, briefly stop to pray so we get it done and then take the break… which often involves some sort of mainstream leisure activity like watching tv or going for coffee. 

A small change in mindset can make all the difference. Work hard, have fun, set priorities, develop efficiencies but let cleaning, banking, changing light bulbs and gardening be chores… Salaah is the break you need from a busy schedule and a hectic lifestyle. 

For me personally, it means the difference between a 5 minute break in my office to pray and a 20 minute break to pray at the mosque, in congregation with a change in environment, some fresh air and an opportunity for reflection. 

The reward is greater, the break is better and what you may lose in time, you make up for in contentment, piece of mind and a greater sense of purpose. 

Start with one, Dhur is a perfect mid-day break to try out… then move on. Take a break 5 times a day and you’ll work better, feel better and live better. 

A new routine…

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Today was the first day of my new routine and my new job as a (part-time) house-husband. The Mrs is doing her 6 week practical experience program for her teaching degree so I’m on babysitting duty from 7 AM to 3 PM everyday.

First day went well, productivity was high, had some good bonding time with my little man and I must admit, the satisfaction and pride I felt at the end of the day made all the poop nappies worthwhile. I am pumped about my new routine and I hope everyday is as good as today.

Despite my initial reluctance in accepting my role as a house-husband for the next 6 weeks, I feel a sense of achievement in my acknowledgement and enthusiasm for this new experience. I’m not sure if it’s a masculinity thing, an ethnic one or perhaps a cultural issue but for some reason, my initial reaction was the fear of being labelled a house-husband. I can’t explain it but my instinct was to justify the situation in the most masculine way possible to avoid anyone assuming I’m some sort of stay-at-home dad.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! I decided not to justify it but to embrace it, break tradition, or culture or whatever it was that resulted in my initial reaction and be the best house-husband (in the most masculine way possible) for the next 6 weeks.

Man is naturally forgetful and instinctively ungrateful. We always want change, always something different. A few months back I would have killed to have 6 weeks at home with my son. I hated leaving home every morning and weekends were never long enough. I used to fantasize about the things I would do if I worked from home and if I had more control over where I was and where I had to be. Fast forward a few months and the dream became a reality, after quitting the office routine and working from the best place ever for the last 6 months, it was so easy to forget those fantasies.

My little reflection gave me a new perspective on things and I’ve been looking forward to my new routine. Day 1 went well and I look forward to tomorrow Insha Allah. I can’t take credit for a full-time house-husband since my amazing wife still takes care of the cooking, cleaning and all the prep that goes into being a housewife/mother/student/teacher/food blogger 😉

While some dads have to be part-time fathers due to their work requirements, I get to be a full-time father for the next 6 weeks… and that is all the justification I need!

Perhaps this is the inspiration I’ve been seeking… Insha Allah I’ll be able to learn, remind and reflect through my writing again!