Monday, February 9, 2009

Woe's of a cross cultural muslimah mom


Salam alaykom to you all.
I know I ahve not been keeping up my blog as I should... To tell you the truth, I just don't feel like talking.
TOday, however, while I am sitting here with my morning coffee ( I got to work rather early) I decided to write a bit abotu what's going on with me these days.

Sisters...being married to a north africain.. when you're an idependant americain woman..is HARD. It takes a lot of patience..and sabr.
I was always against this meeting on the internet men from over seas and getting married. But even with this, somehow it happened to me !! Al hamdulilah..I do not regret it, but really... I thought it would be easier for some reason. I can hear my freind, Ammena saying.. sis.. was like this before he moved here... and ya she is right. I had the warning signs. I think he thoguht life would be easier too.
It takes a great deal of the stuff I already mentioned, and also a lot of LOVE..and most of all faith in God.
Anyway.. these past months being rpregnant hav been difficult...and exhausting.
I am now at 31 weeks. My scheduled c-section si for April 3rd, Incha'allah.
Not one minut too soon!! al hamdullilah. I am anxious to get this baby out of me so that I can have normal emotions....and even normal functions in the toilet lol..ya..u read right.. to be able to sleep on my tummy....ahhh it would be great !!!

So.. really I am blessed , this pregnancy is going well.. considering I am 39 yrs old...I am tired and uncomfortable, but healthy....al hamdullilah.
Does anyone have any ideas for names? I asked my husband to chose, but I think that was a mistake. he seems to make even this decision one of those last minute things. aughhhh... I persoanlly love the name Jennah. My grandmother was Jennie..and a very good freind of mine, not able to have children, is Jennifer. Of course it means Heaven...I just love it. Norah is very nice too. Everytone else seems to like this name. If it's a boy..I like Zakaryah. we're loking for a name that easily pronounced in Canada as well as Morocco.

My 12 yr old daughter is taking a baby siting course today. So she is preparing for the arival hehe.. Al hamdullilah, I will have so much help with my two older ones. They really help me so much.. May Alalh reward them for this. I adore them.

lately, I wanna eat EVERYTHING....Im sooo hungry !!!

My husband decided to go to school and work part time. It will be for the next 2 yrs. I pray Allah tohelp us through this as I am aleady in debt and having a hard time supporting my family by myself. Thank God that I work at a hospital and have good benefits from them.

Anyway.. anyone thinking about embaking on this kinda of over seas marriage.... pls pls PLEASE....once you are togethe take the time .. about 3 yrs to get to know one another and togethe set up a solid life before u have kids. It's very very important.

Salams to you all....
Fi amenallah
Anisah

21 comments:

Katarina said...

Oh dear, you seem to have a hard time at the moment! I saw your comment on Itto's blog, so I stopped by...
I'm not a muslimah, but would like to give you a little support, anyway!
Take care!
Regards, Katarina

Anisah said...

Thanks Katarina...:)
everything always feels overwhleming when pregnant I think hehee.
take care you too!!

أم ترافيس said...

assalamu alaykum

I can understand on the cultural differences part -- and even on the emotional bit, because I was pregnant when we first married, then I lost the baby a few months later. I remember then how hard it was, and subhanAllah, I was just thinking today, how much harder it owuld have been if we didnt lose the baby. Because the truth is we have fought like cats and dogs for more than year, then it slowly eased down, and the past few months, alhumdullah we have finally settled somehow and appreciate each other in spite of or even because of our differences. But I am not lying when I said it was hell... without the pregnancy. I really couldnt imagine trying to have coped with that extra difficulty.

May Allah make it easy for you, and as you said, have patience, and think of it as a great test (and blessing) from Allah... even this will calm down with time... it always seems to alhumdullah...

I don't talk about that stuff much on my public blog, but you can email me anytime or if you are interested you can view my private blog. ( write me at ummtravis at live dot com )

wa salam my lovely Canadian sis :) Take care

Anisah said...

Jazak'Allah Khair UmmTravis.

I love your name :) I guess I'm UmmNicholas. Sounds kinda weird lol

Glad to know I'm not the only one. Al hamdullilah.

I think most women who get into these situations really have no idea how hard it is..and ya.. HELL.
I have to say it IS better now than the beginning..Maybe even having the baby may have helped in certain ways. At least with Baby it's easier to stick it out.
It's a day o day struggle. I have to admit my faith has grown through all this and I have learned to really give it all to Allah to take care of. I read a surah about this during one "drama"

http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/pick/058.htm

there it is for any woman to read. Al hamdulillah

As a convert, the trust In Allah is a bit of a struggle. So for this at least I am most humbled and greatful.

A freind of mine who had same kinda marriage.. they decided something very important right from the start, which is a really good thing too.
It was to not try to change each other until After at least one yea of mariage. This sounds silly..but if ur commited to this, I think it's easier to accept the differenced and maybe even embrace them.

I'm a bit afraid of whn Baby comes...how it's going to be a battle of who's right and who is wrong. Incha'allah we can wok something out before hand. May Allah open his heart to this, Incha'allah.

thanks Again sis

Adventurous Ammena said...

salam sis.. lol I had to smile at your comment :D you know me, but Im glad sort of that you still went through it. U deserve the best sis and I only pray you have it insha'allah. I cant wait to meet buba :) but 3 years sis? hmm.. dont think I can wait that long ;) remind me that if it happens sooner and I complain lol. miss ya xx

Ines said...

I think marriage is hard full stop. I am not saying that the cultural things is not an issue but in my opinion is not the only issue. After all shaitan loves nothing more than to wreck a marriage...I am also married to a north african and although there have been cultural differences and all the rest , with time and lots of sabr we have come overcome the barriers.
May Allah make it easy for you sis and give you success in your marriage and in motherhood, ameen.

~PakKaramu~ said...

Visiting your blog

أم ترافيس said...

yes me too, I have thought about that -- the arguments over children -- eek! May Allah make it easy for you both, ameen :) Stay strong sis. It seems you are on the right path, and in shaa Allah we will both be better people at the end of the journey.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anisah, this is Maryam, I am happy to read that your pregnancy is going well.
Cultural differences are a big thing to adjust to in any marriage.
I married a Palestinian last Eid, but unlike your husband, he had already been in Canada 5 years, and had also worked in the states, so the adjustement on his part wasn't as difficult.
Being a convert myself, there is friction when it comes to my non muslim family and relatives, I have difficulty for them to understand why he will not participate in some family gatherings, i.e. weddings.
Anyway, our love for each other for Allah helps us through it, inshallah things will settle down after your baby is born.

May Allah bless you alway, hugss

Anisah said...

Ammena....I will remind you ;) At LEAST one year..but three...would be better.

Thks Ines...it IS true what you've said..for sure. I guess I have been through so much in my life..I am just sick of it all.
btw..already a mom.. so I've had practice hehe. I have a 14 and 12 yr old. ;) Thank GOD for them!!

Thank you very much maryam...would love to see ur blog?May Allah bless your marriage...

Umm Hibaat said...

Assalaamu Alaykum sis,

I hope you and baby-yet-to-pop are doing well. Yes, I think most marriages are tough and then the added complexities of different cultures etc. can be tough. Just keep asking Allah to smooth everything out. I'm married to a North African too, so yes, quite aware of what that can be like :)

Anonymous said...

you already know me, from multiply, take care sis,
Maryam

struggling said...

Salam alaikum Anisa
I understand the struggle of a intercultural marriage...sigh, but inshAllah things will work themselves out, my only advice is non stop communication, things that he does that may bother you may be completely acceptable back in his home country. You know men are clueless :P. As far as names I like Jennah, that's a very cute name! If I had had a boy I would have named him Layth ( means lion in arabic). Take care and enjoy your pregnancy ( i actually miss it )

Hajar said...

Assalamualaikum sister,

Conveniently popped my way here. ^ O-my, you seem to be carrying quite a load here. I do hope that you'll endure all this with great patience. Insha'Allah, everything shall eventually work out fine for you and your loved ones. :)

W'salam,
Hajar

Anisah said...

Salam alaykom maryam !!!
I miss u so much !!
hope u get the blogger bug here :)
incha;allah you are well and strong in Imaan. xo

Candice said...

I so fully understand what you're saying about being married to a "North African". My husband is Egyptian... and it's difficult... really really hard!

For names, I have to say that Norah is gorgeous, but my daughter is Nora. :) I considered Lana and Nala pretty strongly. I also love Isadora, Gwendolen, Fiona. But my name had to work well in Arabic, French and English.Good luck!

Anisah said...

merci beaucoup Candice :)
at least, with my husband being north-africain, french is already easier.. Imagine.. this litle baby is gonna have to speak, french english, arabic and moroccan.. lol

I can imagine that being married to an egyptian can be just as difficult...May God make this easier for us all.. Amine.

Francesca Najea Lujan said...

As-salaamu-alaikum Sis. Anisah,
May Allah give you strength and sabr. I'll pray for you too. I lov ethe name Jennah, it's very beautiful. I also love Saffiya. I have two sons, mash'Allah, named Khalil and Iliyas. So, I love those names. Then, there is Ismael. The story of Ibrahim (my step-son's name) and Ismael is so touching, I would gladly name a third son after him.
Ma'aSlaama,
Najea

Anisah said...

wa-alaykom salam Najea.. what a beautiful name you have.. what is the meaning of it?
I love the names of your kids.. good choices !!
and thanks for the vote for strength.. I think with hormones of being pregnant..everything seems to be worse than it is? not sure..
now if I can just get the hubby into gear about choosing a name !! arghhhhh
Thanks so much for your comments :)

Anonymous said...

As-Salaamu Alaikum

I married a North African (Algerian) right away....TREMENDOUS DIFFERENCE GIRL!!!!
I never would have imagined just how different it would be. I think the same for him, he thought an American woman couldn't be that much different than an Algerian woman (HA). We had a son right away and named him Noah. Pregnancy is very difficult especially with the differences in gender relations. He was very hands off, and I have heard that is common with Arab men. It helped me to know some women in his family who could reassure me regarding what I perceived as 'odd' behaviors. I recall standing on his sisters porch with my infant son yelling,,"THAT GUY DOES NOT LOVE ME AT ALL....I AM DIRT TO HIM". They explained otherwise, although it is still difficult at times. I pay for all of the bills as well since my husband lost his job in the depression of the US economy. That is also a major additional stressor. My husband also doesn't quite understand that he stays at home which should mean that he cleans and cooks instead of waiting for me to come home :-) Insha'Allah, you will both learn to communicate with each other effectively and share in things that create love. I am not saying your husband is like mine, but I thought there might be some similarities so I wanted to let you know that you are not the only one! Oh and yeah just forget about all of the crazy things that you will say and do with pregnancy hormones, other people will likely forget too, they did for me :-). The first year of marriage is the worst, I heard it gets better after that. It helps a lot to talk with a third party present like an imam (one you trust) or a counselor or your wali. Congratulations and May Allah Bless your family with all that is good in this life and the next!!!

Candice said...

I remember reading this post when you wrote it and I just re-read it (I'm watching the LMOTP episodes backwards, lol) and wanted to say/add that 3 year tip is really a good one! It really takes a certain amount of time for the passion to wear off a bit and to start thinking clearly. I love that I'm thinking clearly in life now, but I hate what I see in all this clarity.
Hopefully things are going better for you now, a month and a half later.