20 years of (various)

20 years of (various)

Today my hubby and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary alhamdolillah!  Shukr Allah it has been 20 years of love, laughter and tears! We’ve got here through our own bespoke tailor-made efforts and lots of prayers.  Someone asked me the other day what the secret was to a 20 year marriage and my answer was that of Dory: ‘Just keep swimming’ and have no memory!  I am so grateful to have reached this landmark day, and that I have my wonderful boys and daughter, too.  Yet I always hesitate to want to share this joy with others because I don’t like to come across as picture-perfect.  What follows is a now amended piece which I wrote about a year ago but never published:

Sometimes I hear people call me a health nut, super organised, and a hands-on mum, and I am surprised if not slightly disturbed. I don’t like this image that others have of me, because really, that’s not me.

It disturbs me for two reasons: firstly because I don’t want to be a hypocrite. No one knows how healthy or unhealthy I am really… I have high aspirations, that’s all! I’m not super organised – I’m almost always late, very messy and chaotic. As Flylady says, I’m not “born organised”. And I won’t even comment on being a hands-on mum. Parenthood did not come with a manual and there’s no customer service to call when things go wrong. I don’t think I’m doing the whole ‘parenting’ thing right. I used to have hundreds of theories and staunchly believed in them but now I have four kids and no theories. Someone famous said something like that once. I’m just rolling with the punches and eventually I will be able to walk out of the ring. Battered and bruised. But out of the ring. (And possibly be like the woman who went to bed for a year!)

I also feel disturbed when others hold me in high regard because they start to look to me as one who has “got it all together”. Does that mean if I display or admit (shock horror!) any imperfection then I have no longer “got it”?
Social media sets everyone up for comparison. We start looking at what others have and start feeling the lack in our own lives. I heard such a wonderful 10 minute talk by Carey Scott on how we compare ourselves to other women, and how we think other women have better husbands, homes, lives than us. But half the time it’s not even true!
So here are a few things you may not know about me:
My husband and I argue a lot when our values clash. Our values often clash.
I strive to use Wise Words but don’t always get it right. I have trouble using Wise Words with my kids.
I am an extremely messy person. My house is a big mess most mornings…. – after the storm the night before.
The reason I try to eat so healthy is because I’m compensating for when I regularly binge on sugar and chocolate.
My gut reaction is to yell when angry. I have to forcefully control myself to stay calm although I actually feel violent rage within.

Celebrating 20 years of arguing in style, and getting bruitful results!

When I try to uphold a perfect standard and I have an argument with my husband, or I blurt out what is on the tip of my tongue, I start feeling like “I shouldn’t be arguing, I’m a marriage coach!” But when I accept my imperfection then I can let go and work on the nitty gritty issues that cause heated arguments.

Celebrating 20 years (almost) of parenting without a manual

When I try to uphold a perfect standard and mother my children the best way I can and it doesn’t work, I start feeling like a failure mum. But when I accept my imperfection I can let go and allow myself to parent my kids with love and patience… and mistakes. My children got me this for Eid a few years ago, lol, it says everything:

Celebrating 20 years of mess!

When I try to uphold a perfect standard and go to bed with the house looking like a bomb-site I start feeling like a inadequate housewife; I get a need for perfection and a burning drive to keep on perfecting everything even when I have no energy left. But when I accept my imperfection I can let go and enjoy the love, laughter and lounging around the night before and take pleasure in tidying up the morning after.

Celebrating a happy relationship with food

When I try to uphold a perfect standard and I spend days eating deliciously unhealthy food I start disliking myself and my body. I start resenting my imperfect proportions and beat myself up over my lack of willpower. But when I accept my imperfection I can let go and allow myself to enjoy food and then later enjoy getting back on track again.

Celebrating an imperfect me

When I try to uphold a perfect standard and then I yell and behave like a perfect grouch, I start hating myself and beat myself up over having a bad mood. But when I accept my imperfection I can let go and acknowledge that perhaps today has been particularly hard, and my grouchy self is a manifestation that I need others to reach out to me and not turn away in fear.
When I try to uphold a perfect standard, I burn out, I repel others; I beat myself up, I feel low, worthless. Things never seem to work out, I’m always chasing the pot of gold at then end of the rainbow. I’m always running, out of breath. I’m never good enough. I feel defeated. I question my competence.
When I acknowledge my imperfections, I can be me. I can love and be loved. I can enjoy the journey. Things fall into place. I fall into a heap of relief. I can breathe again. I am enough. I can do it. Bring it on!
I am not the perfect spouse
I am not a perfect communicator
I am not a perfect mum
I am not a perfect housewife
I am not a perfect health foodie
I am not a perfectly calm and composed woman… I am anything but!
I am imperfectly me.
I am imperfectly powerful beyond measure.
(the above piece was originally written in 2016)

Here’s to celebrating 20 years of a brutiful rollercoaster journey of love!


A new-look website!

Most of my loyal readers will know that I disappear of the blogosphere regularly – I’m known for it.  Come one family hiccup, event or emergency, and it ‘over and out’ from me and blogging and coaching gets put on the back burner.  But recently I’ve been very active on my site as yet again, my website got hit by serial spammers, who were leaving up to 3 comments per minute on my site whilst I was carrying on with life with blogging-on-the-back-burner, happily unaware.  The last time something like this this happened, my dd was just born and I just wanted a quick fix to the site.  Eventually it happened again, and I was advised to leave Joomla and move over to WordPress but it was a mountain I didn’t want to climb, an area of my life that I was burying under the sand, a pot that was on the back burner with the gas switched off. So again I opted for a quick fix until a few weeks ago when it became apparent to me that I could hide from my website demon no longer and also was helped by my new brother in-law who is a…. web developer! And here it is! Ta-da! A new look website which is more organised and accessible than before, and much easier for me to manage, alhamdolillah!

Success – do it your way

On the coaching front, I am back in action, helping ladies and couples to improve their marriages.  I was recently asked what my success rate was.  For me, it all depends on what one’s definition of success is.  For some women, separation or divorce is success, while for others, better communication and boundaries is; while some couples need to be more conscious of being respectful and appreciative of their other halves.

Speak up against unsafe behaviour

When mentoring and coaching, one of the things I encourage ladies to do is to recognise when they are presented with unsafe behaviour and to see it for what it is: unsafe.  Once ladies start to see the behaviour as unhealthy and inappropriate, they can then speak out against it. It’s surprising how much we have been conditioned to thinking that unhealthy behaviour such as manipulation, blame, emotional withdrawal, etc is normal and acceptable, but it is not and remember, when it comes to any form of unhealthy behaviour, silence is never golden.






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