Hello and Salaamualaikum!
One of my Haute Hijab team members, Noor, told us in our weekly company meeting that she discovered the ultimate parenting hack for her kids on New Year’s Eve and employed it for the second year in a row. She found a doctored video on YouTube of the ball dropping at midnight and played it at 7:30 p.m. for her children after hyping it up with a dance party and hoopla.
Promptly at 7:30 she played the video, they all did the countdown and celebrated, and soon after she was able to get her two young kids to bed without having to negotiate with them wanting to actually stay up until midnight (at least this was how it played out two years back).
Welcome to January 2022 my friends, which I’m declaring the “Year of the Hack” – as in whatever shortcut, whatever solution, whatever thing you figure out to make things easier for everything you have to manage. Ok, so I know I really don’t have the power to declare 2022 the year of anything in particular, but there is a logic to my thought process:
If 2020 was the year we were figuring out how to survive and live differently during a global pandemic, 2021 was a year when many of us were starting to emerge with new ideas of what was important to us, what we wanted to take forward and what we wanted to leave behind. We may have prioritized ourselves to try and figure out what was important to live more happy, fulfilled, stable lives.
Which brings me to 2022.
I encouraged my kids to focus a lot last year on what they needed to do to focus on themselves, their goals and priorities. My daughter began her first year of college, and I encouraged her to be a little selfish and put herself first – focus on her studies, on what she needed to feed her deen and less on whatever dramas were going on with family and friends. But this year I also want to remind my kids that there is a world out there bigger than them and their own lives and challenges.
Another day, another bedroom selfie :)
We are a community of care, and in caring for ourselves, Insha’Allah that gives us the strength, energy and stamina to care for others and give back. Because let’s face it – while respecting our limits and boundaries is so very important– balancing that with giving back to others is also so necessary.
One of the things that Gen X-ers like myself (yes, I’m dating myself here) think about is how hard work will always be hard work. As in, sometimes you have to stretch yourselves. Sometimes you have to dig deep and grind to achieve what you want or what you want to give back to others.
Now, no one wants to return to the insane, archaic working and life conditions of yesteryear or pre-pandemic, where women were severely undervalued (and underpaid) and a host of patriarchal attitudes ruled the landscape. (Not that everything is magically better now, but you get what I mean.) But the value of hard work is something to be, well, valued – but in a balanced way where we don’t chase burnout and loss of self.
And so, if you’ve stuck with me this far, this is where the hacks come into play. We need as many hacks, shortcuts, strategic solutions and more efficient processes in our lives that don’t compromise on the quality of our work or whatever it is we’re doing (including how we wear hijab), so that we can seek that ongoing balance between respect of self and building that community of care and hard work in all other aspects of our lives.
Here at HH, we’re always thinking about all the ways we can eliminate pain points and improve your hijab-wearing experience as well as provide strategic solutions to helping you find ease and success in other parts of your life. This month on the blog we’re featuring articles around the theme of “If your hijab is hurting you, you’re doing it wrong,” and then discussing all the ways to make your physical and mental hijab-wearing experience better.
Dr. Uzma Jafri, one of our writing partners over at Mommying While Muslim, is going to try something new on the blog by bringing you a three-part fictional short story that we’ll share in installments! Our writer Layla will be bringing you a great list of winter reads AND … drumroll please … we are working as a team to bring back the “Ask Haute Hijab” advice column (in a new form)!
I’m super excited, and I hope you are too! So, let’s goooooooooooo! As always, make good choices and always start by saying Bismillah!