New Mommies: Beware and Prepare!

8 beware prepare

  1. Keep your energy level boosted.

Breastfeeding, sleepless nights, unexpected visitors, home chores, and tending to older kids’ needs is undoubtedly taxing. This might not be a very suitable time to crash diet or dream of fitting back into your wedding gown. Please eat nutritious home-cooked food, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and energy-boosting snacks. Keep them handy in your bedroom. An already fatigued mind and body cannot afford to starve. The outcome is frequent ailments, horrible mood swings, and strained relationships. Later, as you mature from being a new mommy to a veteran, you will manage your diet more effectively and shed the extra pounds, too.

  1. Let the Iman thrive.

A new mother has a myriad of emotions bottled up. They can whip up a storm of tears. At other times, they may send her on a guilt trip. The changing body and volatile hormones are no help either. And, of course, Shaitan strikes with full force seeding evil and negative thoughts about everyone and everything you care for. The best remedy is to play Surah Al-Baqarah daily. Keep your tongue moist with Allah’s (swt) Dhikr. Watch and listen to Islamic videos and talks for spiritual uplift. Recite to your baby, as the child is listening. After Nifas (post-partum bleeding), return to your prayers regularly. Read at least one page of Quran daily with its translation. Only Allah (swt) knows, listens to, and understands what a mother braves.

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My Faith Rescued Me…

faithI grew up in a Muslim family but I hated Islam and the Muslims. I was not happy to be called a Muslim. I was looked at with terror and called a troublemaker. I did not like to pray and hated to wear Niqab. I wanted to fly free like a bird, intermingling with the opposite sex and staying overnight at parties. However, my mom never listened to me. Moreover, she would force me to pray and compel me to cover. She would make me say all my Duas and made me learn the Quran as well. She would make me recite Surah Al-Falaq and An-Nas for my protection.

Once she was invited to her cousin’s wedding, held in a village that was a day distance by train. I refused to accompany her. Until the last moment, she warned me and requested me earnestly to read the Duas, recite Quran, offer Salah and wear my Niqab when I go to college. She said:

أَسْتَوْدِعُ اللَّهَ دِينَكَ وَأَمَانَتَكَ وَخَوَاتِيمَ عَمَلِكَ

“(I make) Allah (swt) responsible for your Deen, your trustworthiness and for the results of your actions.” (Tirmidhi)

After bestowing me with the Dua, she left. Her departure meant an arrival of entertainment in my life. I had all the fun pre-planned days ago. My friends had invited me for a sleepover at their place. There would be party, music, and fun!

I was ecstatic. In the evening, my friends picked me up in their car. As soon as I entered my friend’s home that was candle lit, I found something fishy. My heartbeat sped up.

There were not only girls as promised by my friends. There were boys too who were smoking!
Ya Allah (swt)! In what a mess had I stepped in! I was glad I had obeyed my mother by reading the Duas and wearing my Niqab and I was still in it. I had offered Maghrib too. My friend and host Nadia, who was busy talking to a boy, turned to me and said, “C’mon now!” and stretched her hand to my Niqab saying, “Remove this disgusting thing and learn to enjoy!” I defended my Niqab. I saw her dressed in a low cut T-shirt and a very short skirt. Her long legs stood bare and I told her curtly: “I am very comfortable like this Nadia.”

Her parents had a bungalow in a posh area of the city. But she had left them and rented a flat in an apartment.

Music was blaring loudly. Soon, all were couple-dancing. Ryan had no one to dance with and so he was approaching me! He offered his hand to me but I kept mine locked behind. I knew it was Allah (swt) who was helping me to stay away from the evil temptations (for which I had craved earlier). Then he sat next to me with a huge thud! Now! What was I going to do? Should I run away from the house?

I stood up with a firm resolution to leave. He tried to hold me back by my shoulder, but I pushed him down. To my amazement, a gentle push made him fall on the ground and he fainted. Nadia was furious at me. The lights were switched on. They tried to revive him by pouring water on him. But he was gone! There were no pulse beats!

All the girls and boys were shocked! I saw the bottles of the deadly drink laid on the table that was placed in the terrace. This overnight party and sleep over was not something simple. It was like a bar – a Zina centre.

All were Muslims! They had tried to shake my faith. They had already lost theirs. The point to ponder is that how Ryan’s life ended in just trying to touch a woman! I was feeling happy and grateful to Allah (swt) for I had a lovely mother who protected me with the armour of Islam and moulded me into a modest woman. It was a changing moment in my life.

Ryan’s death was a warning bell for all of us. We never know when would be our turn.

(Based on a true story with names changed to protect identity)

Career or Kids? Every Mom’s Dilemma

career or kids

Is there a way out? There always is. Mary Pipher in her bestseller, “The Shelter of Each Other”, shared the story of a couple caught up in a hectic lifestyle. Both husband and wife worked long hours to meet their financial needs. They realized that they hardly had time for personal interests, each other, or their three-year-old twins. They were guilty as sin to know that the daycare providers had seen their children walk the first steps and heard their first sounds. They were now reporting behavioural problems in the twins. The couple had essentially fallen out of love, as they were operating as machines run on a schedule.

The wife felt even more anguished for her unfulfilled desire to help her mother, who had cancer. But what was she to do? She couldn’t make time for herself due to her demanding career. They seemed trapped in what appeared to be an impossible situation.

They headed for counselling and set their mind to fix the problem. They made some vital changes to their family life, which created dramatic differences. The husband talked to his employers that he would no longer be able to work on Saturdays. The wife eventually quit her job to stay home with the boys. They invited the wife’s mother to move in with them, pooling their resources. Now, the children had the loving company of their grandmother, and the grandmother was cared for by her own daughter.

But this togetherness didn’t come by a wave of a magic wand. They all agreed to make personal sacrifices, realizing what they were giving up was lesser in value than what they would eventually gain. They cut back in many areas – stopped eating out and quit buying things except for essentials. The husband carpooled to work. The wife didn’t behave like a victim of circumstances, who was forced to surrender her career.

This family understood clearly that either they could have more time with each other or more money – not both. They chose time over money. This choice made a profound difference in the quality of their personal and family life. They were happier, more fulfilled, less stressful, less guilty and more in love.

The point is that there is always an option. You may simplify your lifestyle, consider cutting back, changing jobs, shifting from full-time to part-time work, work closer to home to cut commuting time, create a virtual office in your home, etc. But you need to be honest with yourself, first and foremost. Why exactly do I work? Is it really a financial need or is it that I enjoy the independence? Does it help me earn a more sound reputation in society and family or does it fulfill my craving to pursue my career? Only if you look yourself honestly in the eye and understand the deep reason for your work motives will you be able to prioritize. What weighs more for me: my family or my career?

Steven Covey said: “The bottom line is that there is no need to be held hostage by these lies, if family is really your top priority. And making the family priority will push you into creative exploration of possible alternatives.”

In order to prioritize our values in life we need to understand that parenthood is a unique role. It is about nurturing the potential of a special human being entrusted to our care. There is no substitute for the relationship between a child and a parent. When mothers wish to head for the career world, anyone with a positive attitude and caring disposition appears to them as their substitute for their kid. However, competence and character are a difficult combination to find in caretakers. Urie Bronfenbrenner, a child development expert, puts it aptly: “You can’t pay someone to do for a child what a parent will do for free.”

A working mother should also know that if she doesn’t have time to teach her children, society will. And all will have to live with the results. It is said that when the infrastructure shifts, everything else rumbles. If only we study the changes that have occurred in the four dimensions of society – popular culture, laws, economy and technology – over the past fifty years or so, our findings will put everything into perspective. Following is a brief analysis:

Popular culture

Un-monitored children spend most of their time today either eating or watching TV. They have increasing access to videos, music, movies; hence, they view pornography, illicit sex and violence. Working moms have to beat the clock, so the tone at home is not relaxed, and family members seldom get any meaningful time to bond or share.


Hochschild writes: “In this new model of family-and-work life, a tired parent flees a world of unresolved quarrels and unwashed laundry for the reliable orderliness, harmony and managed cheer of work.” At work, a mother receives affirmation, prestige, instant results and compensation. If she decides to stay home, she will be making a pro-active choice that can only come from the heart and results will appear in many years, Insha’Allah.


Popular culture has impacted the political will and resulting laws, too. Once, the institution of marriage was held as a vow of two individuals not only to each other but to the society as well. Today, marriage is no longer a covenant or a commitment. It simply is a contract between two consenting adults. If this contract is found to be inconvenient, unnecessary or an obstacle in one’s road to desires, it can be annulled without considering the family at all.

This depreciation of the sanctity and solemnity of marriage has unleashed an epidemic of divorce, child neglect, community ruin and loneliness. And the present day laws do very little to prevent this disaster. In fact, feminist movements and others fan the disintegration more. Deviations from Deen and sheer ignorance think it right for couples to divorce each other.


Cost of the average home has increased, inflation has spiraled, and dream life-styles have emerged. Consequently, homes have nuclear families of parents and children. Intergenerational and extended families are viewed as a source of interference.

Since economic responsibility has been reducing from intergenerational to just nuclear families, it has given rise to a culture of freedom and independence. Escape from responsibility and accountability is available everywhere. Families and individuals are increasingly becoming isolated.


Steven Covey observes: “Changes in technology have accelerated the impact of changes in every other dimension. It provides unfiltered access to highly impactful visual images, supports saturated advertisement, puts us into materialistic overload, causes a revolution in expectations.” Mass media literally drives the culture in your home.

Having said that, a child, whose mother stays at home and resents it, is worse off than if she goes to work. The benefit comes only if the mother understands completely that she is fulfilling a sacred stewardship in life by rearing her children. Nothing on the list of values outweighs her role as a nation builder, and Paradise can be hers just by being a loving and responsible parent. Otherwise, she might just hear herself scream and whine before her children, making them guilty of being a hurdle in the happiness of their mother’s life. Her children would soon start wishing that she goes to work, so that there is peace at home.

It is a great tragedy for a woman to not realize that if today she neglects her professional, developmental and social interests, they can still be pursued tomorrow. However, if she does not invest herself in her kids at their young age, she herself will eventually be the one to reap the whirlwind. As John Greenleaf Whittier wrote: “For of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’” Will this regretful mother be able to turn back the clock?

Mothers of Believers

Jan 11 - Mothers of Believers

For most it is a much-awaited, exciting development; for others, an unexpected, pleasant surprise; for some, a disconcerting event that takes time to accept. Whatever the case, being in the family way is a significant turn of events. It is the onset of one of the greatest responsibilities Allah (swt) can entrust us with – that of bearing and raising a person according to His (swt) pleasure.

Most Muslim mothers are not fortunate enough to realize what a pivotal task they have on their hands. Modern research has revealed that everything a mother-to-be feels, thinks about and believes in affects her baby, who starts hearing and recognizing her voice from the fourth month of pregnancy. Pregnant women are thus advised to stay positive, calm and happy during the gestation period for the healthy development of the baby.

So what can you, as an expectant mother, do in order to bear a pious Muslim baby with a sound heart: a baby connected to Allah (swt) from pre-birth?

Quran recitation

If your own Tajweed is commendable, recite the entire Quran aloud throughout your pregnancy (especially after the fourth month). If that’s not possible, play the recitation of a Qari on a cassette-player near your belly, listening to it attentively yourself. This will bless both you and your baby, acquainting the latter with Allah’s (swt) words as soon as it begins to hear it and tranquilizing you in your expectant state.

Positive thinking

Satan’s ultimate aim is to make us ungrateful for Allah’s (swt) blessings. During pregnancy, a woman has many fears and apprehensions. Coupled with physical sickness, she is prone to depression and negative thinking. That’s why our Prophet (saw) said: “A woman who dies during pregnancy is a martyr.” (Abu Dawood) Count your blessings, reminding yourself that you have been blessed by Allah (swt).

Dhikrof Allah (swt)

Engage in Dhikr as much as possible. Capitalize on your nine-month state of uninterrupted purity by offering supererogatory prayers besides obligatory prayers. If Ramadan falls during pregnancy, try fasting before giving up without an effort. Fasting is worship; it can be good for both you and your baby. Furthermore, join a Quran class to be engaged in Allah’s (swt) remembrance regularly.

The best nutrition

Breastfeeding is difficult to master, but when learned it is the best Sadaqah you can give your baby. While nursing, try to be with ablution, read the Quran or a beneficial book, do Dhikr, or listen to Quranic recitation. Just relax and don’t fret about the pending household chores or the weight that you have not shed off.

Shun useless activities

Whether during pregnancy or the initial nursing months, avoid pastimes such as gossiping, frequenting markets, watching dramas and films, reading fiction or listening to music. This time, when your baby is physically bound to you, will never return. Use it to build his/her foundation of piety.

Practice Sunnahs

When your toddler starts to speak her first words and eat a varied diet, inculcate Sunnahs into daily actions: always feed her with the right hand and only when she’s sitting; say ‘Bismillah’, ‘Alhumdulillah’, and all Duas aloud (such as on leaving the house or using the washroom). Put her clothes or shoes on right side first.

Tranquil environment

While your infant lies playing, put up Allah’s (swt) names in the room or on a mobile overhead. Play Quranic recitation nearby; do this right up to the toddler stage. A home sans television is the ideal home for a Muslim baby; realistically speaking, however, when the television is on, keep your baby in some other room of the house, where she can play undisturbed. Avoid taking your baby to noisy gatherings.

Intellectual training

Babies deserve better stimuli for intellectual development than cartoons and musical nursery rhymes. Talk to them about Allah (swt), visit the park or seaside and give them mind-stimulating games that use numbers, alphabets and illustrations. Provide age-appropriate building blocks, Lego, markers, crayons, paper and computers. Seek the company of righteous people, frequenting circles of religious study and intellectual discussion, taking your baby with you.

If we work hard on our babies today, we can expect our Ummah to be righteous tomorrow.

Mother – Our Door to Paradise

Vol 3-Issue 1 MotherBy Umm Isam and Muhammad Al Shareef

When my brother learnt about his bosses’ mother’s sad demise, he went to pay his condolences to him. His boss, a director of a multinational corporation established in the UAE, explained helplessly: “I can’t go back to my native country. It’s too dirty. Besides, my brother is arranging the funeral. I am so depressed that I am flying out to Hong Kong for a break.”

My brother just stared at this man in absolute silence and disbelief. This is not fiction. It actually happened.

Another mother that I am reminded of is my grandmother, whom I often caught holding on to my uncle’s crumbled graduation photograph that had seen better days. She held on to it for almost twenty years or so before dying, hoping that one day her son would come to visit her. Her son, who was not able to do so because he had a phobia of flying by planes. Can you believe that? This is not fiction either. It actually happened.

These were the sons, who gave up Paradise for trivial pursuits of the world.

Islam has a special place for parents, especially mothers. The following are some examples of it:

Allah (swt) has commanded us: “And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both attain old age in your life, then do not say to them Uff (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them; rather address them in terms of honour. And lower for them the wing of submission and humility through mercy. And say: ‘My Lord! Grant them Your Mercy, as they brought me up when I was small.'” (Al-Isra 17:23-24)

Ad-Daylami collected from Al-Husayn Ibn Ali (rta) that the Prophet (sa) had said: “If Allah (swt) knew any smaller word than uff (tsk) to be disrespectful to parents, He would have decreed it to be Haram!”

Ibn Hazm has said: “(Obeying ones parents) means placing their pleasure above the pleasure of anyone else, including ourselves, our wife, and kids, etc.; obeying them in everything they command or forbid, whether it agrees with our desires or not. Offering them with everything they desire, whether they ask for it or not that too with kindness and mercy.” But balance is essential. Obedience to parents does not also mean that one should be disobedient to Allah (swt) or denies rights of other relations such as spouse and children. Wisdom and justice should be the guiding factors for every offspring.

Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “(Of the) major sins are: to ascribe partners to Allah (swt), disobey parents, murder someone, and to take a false oath (intentionally).” (Bukhari)

Abu Hurairah (rta) reported: a person came to Messenger of Allah (sa) and asked: “Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He said: “Your mother.” He again asked: “Who next?” “Your mother” the Prophet (sa) replied again. He asked “Who next?” The Prophet (sa) said:  “Your mother.” He again asked: “Then who?” Thereupon he said: “Then your father.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The rights of a mother are three times more important than the father. Mainly because there are three troubles the mother suffers exclusively without the father sharing them.

Firstly she carries a baby in her womb for nine months in a state of weakness. Secondly she suffers labour pains to bring her child into this world. Thirdly for two years she suckles her baby, which disturbs her health, sleep and comfort. An ordinary individual cannot even dream of sacrificing selflessly to such an extent for another person.

Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) has said: “A man came to the Prophet (sa) to give him his pledge of allegiance. He said: ‘I have come to pledge allegiance to you for Hijrah! And I have left both my parents behind crying.’ The Prophet (sa) commanded him: ‘Go back and the same way that you made them cry, make them laugh.'” (Ahmad)

Narrated Mu’aawiyah Ibn Jaahimah As-Sulamee (rta): “My father Jaahimah (rta) went to the Prophet (sa) and asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah (swt), I would like to go out and fight for the sake of Allah (swt), and I have come to you for advice.’ The Prophet (sa) asked him: ‘Is your mother alive?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ ‘Then stay near her,’ advised the Prophet (sa), ‘for at her feet is Jannah!'” (Ahmad and An-Nisai)

During the funeral of his mother, Al-Haarith Al-Aklee (rta) wept. When asked for the reason of his tears he said: “Why should I not cry, when one of my doors to Paradise has now closed?”

Those, who consider that Islam has given scant rights to women, must know that Allah (swt) has thrown every believer’s Paradise at his or her mother’s feet. This is the value of women in Islam and worth of an able mother. Can anyone match that?

The Battle of Moms

Vol 2 -Issue 3 Battle of Moms

“Oh! You work full time?”

“Yes, I am a project manager for the Children’s Memorial Hospital.”

“You are missing out on your child’s most precious moments: his first step, his first words…”

“Actually, when I hear them, they are the first for me, I am not missing out. By working, I am providing better economic conditions for him.”

“That is just an excuse; you can cut down on luxuries to spend time with your child.”

This is a typical tug of war conversation between a working mom and a non-working mom (in the traditional sense, because I think that the term ‘non-working mom’ is an oxymoron). At the impending birth of my son, I suffered through countless hours of back and forth debate, whether I should quit my job or not. Eventually, I decided that my working would provide more opportunities for Bilal, my son, in the increasingly competitive world. Now, facing the birth of my second child, I am a work-from-home mom. This change of circumstances led me to analyze, which mother is better.

Basically, moms can be categorized into five groups:

  1. Working moms due to necessity;
  2. Working moms due to boredom or a feeling of inadequacy for letting go of their high profile careers;
  3. Work-from-home moms who, utilizing technology, work from their homes, and take care of their children 24/7 as well;
  4. Stay-at-home moms, who believe that they are the only ones able to provide the best care for their children and;
  5. Stay-at-home moms, with busy social lives, they hire nannies to take care of their children.

Most working moms (WM) feel that stay-at-home moms (SHM) are dull – they cannot cut it out in the big, bad corporate world and spend most of their time in beauty parlors and gyms. Conversely, most (SHM) moms feel that (WM) are robbing their children – they give their best to the workplace and have no time left for being good mothers.

The Quran (Luqman 31:14) instructs children to be good to their parents. There is also a Hadeeth in Sahih Al-Bukhari, where Abu Hurairah (rta) narrates: “A man came to the Prophet (sa) and said: ‘O Prophet! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?’ The Prophet (sa) said: ‘Your mother.’ The man said: ‘Who is next?’ The Prophet (sa) said: ‘Your mother.’ The man further said: ‘Who is next?’ The Prophet (sa) said: ‘Your mother.’ The man asked for the fourth time: ‘Who is next?’ The Prophet (sa) said: ‘Your father.'”

The logical deduction would be that a mother sacrifices much more for her child. What does ‘sacrifice’ entail? Does it mean spending 24/7 with your children, even though all you do is scream at them? Or does it mean spending quality time with them? How are we to decide? According to Heidi Murkoff, author of children’s guides, the answer is simple – the real parenting expert is YOU. Only you can decide, what is best for your child.

Ralph Gardner (New York writes: “Motherhood, for all its joys, has become a flash point for envy, resentment, and guilt. ‘Everybody struggles, and everybody envies what the other has,’ says the (SHM) of a 9- and a 14-year-old. ‘The (WM) wishes she had more free time to be available to her child, and may be have a coffee after the drop-off. And the (SHM) would maybe like to have something that’s a reflection of her as an individual – a label that says she’s a capable, creative person, who knows about more than just baby formula or after-school programs.'”

Keeping this in mind, every mom should understand that her counterpart (WM or SHM) is making the best of a situation not completely in her control. For example, if one mother quits her job, her family cannot survive, as her paycheck pays the school fees and food bills. What about a (SHM), whose husband is an ambassador, she has hired a nanny to take care of her four-year-old, because she has to plan special events and elaborate dinners, a must for her husband’s career. Should she hire a special events coordinator and spend time with her child instead? The real question is – what do you do, when you spend time with your children? Do you read to them, talk, and listen to them? Or do you just yell at them, your favorite word being ‘no’? Before you go pointing fingers at others, be sure you are giving your 110% to your children.

As kids grow up, they look to their parents as role models. I loved to tell my friends and teachers that my mom was a physician – I got envious looks. But, truth be told, I envied my friend’s life – her mom was at home, when she came from school. She had hot chocolate-chip cookies for breakfast, and her mom was always around to listen to her. She told me she would have loved to afford swimming and ice-skating lessons and to have her mom show her, how all the hospital equipment works. Most of all, she would have loved the prestige of having a mom that people respect! I guess there are pros and cons to everything; it is how you face them that make the experience positive.

Every mom needs her personal time. The (WM) gets it at work – the achievement that she is a viable human being. The (SHM) usually volunteers at charity events, helps at school, and thus makes a difference in the community. The new work from home mom (WHM), a creation of the Information Superhighway, I think has it all. She is empowered, she calls the shots, how much work she does and when she does it; quality time for family as well. We should learn to appreciate each other’s qualities. Those of us blessed with being able to spend more time with our kids – let’s cherish this opportunity, instead of wasting it on useless criticism.

A Fresh Look For Your Child’s Room

Image kids room

Alhumdulillah, the Muslim Ummah does not seem to suffer from the decaying illness of low or even negative birth rates. Islam not only highly encourages the natural growth of population, but also promises abundant blessings to parents for raising their children in a good manner.

If you are among the blessed parents who have one, two or may be a house-full of kids, then at one time or another, you have faced the question of decorating a room for your children. If you have not got started on it yet, here are a few helpful tips that will effectively, and without much expense, refresh the look of the living space for your children.

1) Toddlers and pre-schoolers will surely appreciate a large white or black board that would satisfy their “artistic need” to write on the walls, without actually doing it. Make sure to hang the board at an easy-to-access level and adjust it when necessary, as your child grows taller.

2) School-going children can utilize the same white or black boards for working on their homework and displaying their school related projects. If the board is not large enough, do not hesitate to put up the projects on the walls directly. Nothing helps to remember the lessons more effectively than repeatedly seeing the material in front of your eyes.

3) Decorative shelving can add a pleasant touch to an empty wall. Since most kids love colourful things, let your children select the colours for the shelves and involve them also in the painting process. Depending on the age of your children, the shelves can display soft toys, dolls, cars, books, awards, etc. If you and your children feel ready for it, you can extend the painting project to the other pieces of furniture in the room!

4) Encourage your children to create their own personal wall-calendars. Give them a helping hand in arranging the number part of the calendars correctly and marking down all the important dates they need to remember throughout the year: Islamic holidays, starting / ending of school sessions, dates of exams, etc. The opposite opening of each month can feature a selection of your child’s best artworks.

5) Walls and doors can also serve for displaying the Arabic alphabets, Duas, Surahs from the Quran, names of Allah (swt), and other Islamic texts, depending on the age and the learning level of your children. Posters containing Islamic landmarks can help to familiarize your children with these important sites. Work with your children on creating project posters that would highlight the Sunnah related to the Islamic festivals as well as their daily activities. Encourage your children to write out all the texts in their own handwriting – this will make memorizing easier.

6) A colourful area-rug will brighten up almost any part of the room, where it will be placed, be it near the bed, at the door or by the study table.

7) If siblings are sharing a room, create a private corner for each of your children, where they can retreat for reading or quiet playtime. Once again, a small area rug would be perfect here, along with some large pillows for a relaxing setting. A toy box or a floor-based bookshelf at an easy-to-access distance will add a more personal touch to your child’s corner.

Do remember, however, to keep yourself away from “surprising” your children by arranging their room in their absence. Although children are under your roof and care, their privacy, preferences, and personal belongings should be respected. Also, do not get carried away in unnecessary and expensive extravagances – kids’ tastes change pretty rapidly, therefore, the room setting should be flexible enough to accommodate those changes.