Welcome to Play, Unpenned! My name is Suhaila. I’m a stay-at-home mom of three girls, aged 4, 2, and 8 months. I love tea, ice cream, being outdoors, and reading. I converted to Islam when I was 19 and I can’t believe that was more than 10 years ago. I studied Computer Science but I don’t like computers. I’m still stuck in the 90s. I have read the Lord of the Rings trilogy three times.
I started this blog as a place to write about what’s going on in our lives, as well as about various topics that I’m interested in. If you’ve followed me in the past, you’ll know that the blog centered mostly on parenting issues and my kids’ lives. I took a long hiatus from blogging when I was expecting my third child and a lot has changed since. My parenting style is still the same, but my focus is completely different.
Let’s see… I have had three home births. We cloth diaper 95% of the time. We practice elimination communication. We do baby led weaning. We exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and continue alongside solids for as long as possible afterward. I would still be nursing my toddler today if she hadn’t self-weaned at 13 months when I was expecting my second. I don’t like the term “babywearing” but I love my wraps, ring sling, mei tai, and ergo. We extended rear-face. We are planning to home school for at least the kindergarten years, and possibly beyond. That said, we have three terrible days for every good day, I never get it all done, and I mostly struggle to just get dinner on the table.
I would describe my parenting style as “giving children the freedom to lead in the safest possible way.” I dislike “child containers” — bouncy chairs, exersaucers, car seats (outside of a car), baby gates, and small spaces, as well as metaphorical walls, like gender stereotypes and “fitting in.”
Over the last few years, my family has grown and we have to share emphasis on play with excitement about starting kindergarten. I’ll be writing more about our homeschool journey and experiences with my oldest daughter discovering the world of formal education. We tend towards the classical method of homeschooling, with a heavy focus on play and experimentation in the first few years.
Simplification and mindfulness
This is the biggest change in our focus. Over the last few years, I have been putting more care and thought towards my own happiness, and the happiness of my family. I feel that today’s world is too rushed, too disconnected, and too mindless. We are running on autopilot. I see our kids’ behaviour change on our busiest days, when they’re taken from one place to another without a chance to breathe in between, and it makes me realize that we adults are no different. We also need space to breathe. We also need opportunities for play. We also need to sometimes get back to basics and detox from screens and technology. You’ll be reading a lot about our journey towards minimalism and cutting out the extra in our lives that were just weighing heavily on us.
Now that you know about me, there are three other main characters that show up in these posts:
Pretty self-explanatory. He works full time outside the home but that doesn’t stop him from being a full-time dad. He is the science fiction to my fantasy. He has a Klingon print mei tai carrier.
My first-born. She’s four years old and never stops talking. I didn’t really name her Pippin. She’s a troublemaker, but for the most part has good intentions. She never ceases to amaze me with her imagination and curiosity. She could sit and read book after book for a whole day without noticing that she missed lunch.
My second-born. She’s two years old. She’s another trouble maker, and together they’re a force to be reckoned with. Merry is more of a deep thinker; you can almost imagine the gears turning in her head, and when she causes trouble she knows exactly what she’s doing. She loves to talk your head off about trucks, planes, buses, and cars. She’s my empathetic child; she seems to know what I’m thinking and when I’m feeling down, she’s the one who notices first and gives me a big hug.
My third-born. She’s eight months old. She’s my curly-haired observer who’s curious about everything, especially stairs that go downwards. She loves her big sisters and her face lights up whenever she sees them. She loves books and she loves to move — a mix of both her older sisters.
Well, that’s us in a nutshell. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you’ll join us on our journey!