I don’t think I will sit for my membership this year or in the near future at all. I have procrastinated endlessly and after being out of the veterinary study mode for over ten years it’s going to be a huge struggle. I am, however excited about a new adventure for me this year.

I think I’ve mentioned my love affair with Hand in Hand parenting and all its listening tools. I have successfully completed a support group and mums are keen on continuing the group (we took a break for the holidays and Eid and haven’t got back into the swing of it just yet). There is an opportunity now to get certification to be a Hand in Hand teacher. Rather than just offering support to parents as they navigate their way down the uncertain, fulfilling, frustrating and overwhelming road of parenting I will be able to TEACH the listening tools and teach parents how to build emotional understanding – understanding their emotions as parents as well as the emotions of their children.

The course goes for a year (but there is really no rush to get things finished by this time, even). I am scared because while there are no exams to sit for, there are some short assignments. I will be expected to videotape a support group or other public speaking WHICH TERRIFIES ME. (not so much the videotaping but the speaking in public thing.)

It’s costly. I will probably have to work a few Sundays (something I said I would never do again.) The painting of the house suddenly seem less important and we can always wait until the children are older to do the home improvement thing.

Throughout the year, I will have support in the form of weekly conference calls where I can ask questions, relay my progress or frustrations of lack of progress and get time to just be listened to.  I have a listening partner who will help me at other times if I need to vent. There is a discussion group where other members currently enrolled in the certification programme can ask questions or just to get extra support. There are videos online that I can access.

I have spoken to others who have completed the course and they have been very encouraging. I will sit down one night and pray istikarah (the prayer for guidance) and inshaAllah enrol in the next couple of days.  I will just have to sit down and write my application letter which as procrastinators will understand, I have left till the absolute last minute.

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