Moms we should be talking about

Mothers Day went by and brought a lot of joys for moms across the globe. The social media exploded with posts, photos, heart warming messages and quotes, videos and loads of competitions/giveaways. There was happiness everywhere. I am a mom too, and I pondered over my life and the many moms that I know of. Deep thoughts made me realise that we don’t discuss some mothers. We are too caught up in the normalcy of life, and the struggles we see in common around us that we do not think beyond them to realise a fellow mom exists who isn’t in the same state as us.

This Mothers day I thought deeply of the moms like me, Moms who visit the courts to fight for their childs custody. I at-least have baby Abbas with me now, to feel more like a hands on mother, but what about the mothers who are struggling in our judicial system fighting in court for the best interest of their child? Dealing with an ego-centric ex-husband, not being allowed visitations! Thoughts led me to think about the moms who aren’t living the ordinary life. They don’t get a card or gift from their child, because their child passed away….Moms who are trying to make a living on their own as single parents, moms who have just separated or divorced and are trying to figure out the dynamic of their new life…moms who have child/ren with disabilities….moms who have children fighting for their life in hospitals..moms who chose to be moms and adopted children…..moms who have recently lost their moms…moms who may be battling a life threatening disease…moms who have been separated from their children due to war, moms who are unable to meet their children waiting for visitations rights….Moms who have children who have not turned out to be morally sound….Moms who are consoling daughters/sons who have been through abuse…..moms who became moms due to assault…They are all moms aren’t they?

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From my personal experience I have learned that; yes, in our country and culture moms are given much respect. But a lot of that is in words. “Maa” they say, but sometimes a mother can be another mothers worst enemy. I guess it’s only when you go through certain experiences do you recognise the honest people from the big-talkers. Everyone says moms are the most important person in the lives of children, yet we aren’t as aware of the severity of mommy struggles that surround us. Truly mothers are the strongest creatures on earth. I remember my moms prayers, whenever she used to hear the sound of speeding sports bikes in the late hours of the night, she used to say “May Allah give patience to the mothers of these boys”. I’m talking about school days, the thoughts that used to come to my mind were ‘oh cool, they’re going by like lightening…or I wish I could ride a bike that fast…..or why can’t be quieter….’ But since my mom voiced her concern as the mother, empathising with the moms of those biker boys I realised that there is such a solid perspective to this. How many times a day or month or even year do we think from the mothers perspective? How many of us have tried to think about the experience of the mother whenever her child goes through something?

I tell myself during my mommy struggles that, at-least I have faith, and the faith in God is the best. I am grateful that I am not a refugee separated from my child, I am grateful that my child hasn’t died in a shooting at school, or been killed by terrorists or extremist groups. As a mother I think it’s important to empathise, put ourselves in the shoes of other mums, even if it’s just in our thoughts and try to understand what the other moms are going through. Only a mom can understand another mom.

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This may not have been the most chirpy, candyfloss and balloons kind of a post, but important none the less. It’s extremely important for us to discuss the societal issues, and value EVERY mom, and think about the not-so-common struggles of a mother, and if not be able to help, be grateful that we aren’t facing them 🙂

I request prayers from everyone for my pending custody case, hope to get my daughter back soon and give her the life she deserves.

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What do I do? Introducing ‘The 24 hour hussle’

I have always been a keen observer, and try to draw as many lessons as I can from not just my own experiences in life but also from those of others. There’s always a phase where certain wisdom is relevant over other. I call my recent discovery ‘the 24 hour hustle’. The interesting aspect of this theory is that it can be used in an humorous sence, it’s a multifaceted.

I have a very busy life, like any other mother on the planet. I however have been told by several people on several occasions “how do you manage so many things, especially with a child”. And while ‘where there is a will, there is a way’ applies here 100%, it is also the realisation that there are only 24 hours in a day, and this fact can be viewed with ‘glass half full, half empty’ perspective.

‘The 24 hour husstle’ is a way to keep myself motivated, the more I am able to accomplish in a day the more I learn

about the audacity of those 24 hours. There will be lazy days no doubt, but a recent introspection has helped me conclude that I have a tendency to work like crazy, and then just want to not even get out of the house. I don’t know if it’s the healthiest way to function, but it works for me. I shall clear at this point that I don’t usually have the luxury to take a break as often as I want or need. The more work you have on hand, the more productive you are and the more exhausted you will get. And that’s a fact, and with people like me the amount of work only increases. I have to admit though, I wasn’t as open initially. Around 5 years ago, I didn’t know I had this capacity. It’s only after having Batool that I realised that I needed to have more in my life to prove to myself and also to be a good role model to Batool and all other young moms out there. Being a mother shouldn’t and doesn’t stop you from achieving any goals, if anything it will motivate you. This is subject to how driven you are and your personality. The bottom line being; you are a human being before you are anyones anything.

So what is it that I do on a regular basis? The following are a regular part of my life apart from being a mother:

1. Studying

2. Blogging (my blog and other freelance blogging)

3. Job

4. Teaching at my Sunday school

5. Running my Sunday school

6. Volunteering and doing community service (this is rather random in terms of institution and type of work)

And this schedule is about to get crazy after my present holiday. Starting June I am going to have a 6 day working week. By that I don’t been I will be at my job for 6 days, but that the many things I do will take up 6 days of the week, and that one day “off” will be to get organised and catch up on left over work. This is me looking at the glass half full with my 24hours.

This way of life really helps you become productive, and automatically omits things that you don’t truly value. Your mind will make you conscious of the number of hours left, and you will prioritise, organise accordingly and realise that many things you held as “important” aren’t really that significant to you.

There will always be people who will demotivate you, or make you feel like you’re wasting time or are not that interesting anymore. Most of these people are lazy 😉 Trust me on that. They can’t understand the ‘why’ behind working hard. And there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I do come across days where the physical, emotional and mental exhaustion takes a toll, and I just want to hide somewhere, be surrounded by white and silence, but that’s all part of the hassle and is a tiny phase, if anything it will increase your strength.

It is important to surround yourself by people who appreciate you, and your work. This is a very important factor, you have to also know what helps you unwind, it would be a day out with friends, a book, a chill movie, a quiet few minutes, writing a diary etc. could be anything, but it has to be time efficient. You can’t spend more hours unwinding than being productive.

I have decided to work on a new agenda, ie to sleep less, I want to gradually bring it to 5 hours, and maybe a power nap of 15 mins (if needed) and eating less. This will be a simultaneous work on self-control that I am looking forward to, plus the reduced hours of sleep will “increase” the number of hours for being productive.

In the past three years, I have experienced a great sense of accomplishment and confidence from my multitasking routine. I have discovered my love for hardwork, not just for myself but in others. I admire people with a ‘no nonsense’ attitude, who have a focus each and everyday. I aspire to be that person, there’s only 24 hours that we get each day, precious 24 hours and how dare we waste them?

I have a new sense of appreciation for people with drive. Those who aspire to do something with the skills they have been gifted, and I don’t mean this in the career aspect, just as human beings. Only those who have discovered the potential in their personalities can truly be productive on a regular basis. We come across so many talented people who are not contributing to the world in anyway. If that person is you, wake up, and do what you need to, because it’s your right. With all this appreciation comes low tolerance for laziness. An aversion to those who spread the vibe of nothingness. It comes with the mind-set I guess.

What are your thoughts? (Comment, share, like)

5 Tips for Breastfeeding Success by Himalaya

In our continued journey with Himalaya Baby Care, here’s a new article by Dr. Jayashree Keshav, an Ayurveda doctor, that shares 5 amazing tips on breastfeeding. I had previously posted an article by her on winter baby care. Dr. Jayashree

I hope all mommies out there can benefit from this amazing post, do share with your friends and family who may be benefited too!

1) Keep your baby close to you after birth: Lay your baby on your chest as often as you can, as it is believed that when your baby remains close to you, skin-to-skin, s/he will cue to breastfeed more often. It promotes a feeling of closeness and a strong hormonal response, which has been linked to breastfeeding success.

2) Watch for the signs: Look for early signs of wanting a feed including sticking out of the tongue, puckering of the lips and rooting for the breast. Crying is a late indicator of hunger. While you don’t need to stick to a fixed schedule, it’s always best to feed your newborn every one to two hours.

3) Get the right latch: You can get the right latch by getting the lower part of your breast and areola (an area of skin that is darker than the rest of your breast skin) into your baby’s mouth so that the nipple hits their high palate, which stimulates sucking.

4) Seek help: If you notice that your baby has lost over 10% of her/his birth weight, s/he is not ready to feed or is very fussy while feeding, seek help from doctors, nurses, family members, or friends.

5) Consider herbs to increase breast milk: New mothers who wish to enhance their milk supply may consider using Fenugreek. However, it is not recommended for use by diabetics or those who are on strict insulin regimens as it can lower blood sugar levels considerably. Shatavari is another herb that is known to stimulate milk production in new mothers.

I can back the 1st trick, as Batool was a preemie, and KMC at the NICU and at home helped me tremendously. What has worked for you? Leave your views in the comments below and share the love.

too much commotion I am exhausted

The last two weeks feel like a year with the amount of activity going on. I so desperately need a break. My sad life in Hyderabad with only 2 friends is becoming unbearable. I am feeling needy, stupid, and well just exhausted.

My folks are in town for a wedding and starting the construction of their house, which is in full swing now. There was a tiny pause for dasera and Eid and now it’s all sand everywhere. I don’t mind that, it’s just the chaos. The weddings bring with them late nights, a constipated child due to disturbed eating schedule, and add to that school. What really is frustrating to me are my dead lines. They’re so close, they’re touching my nose and even then I am unable to just get any work done. People are constantly visiting the folks, no schedule on that. Can’t blame them, my dad leaves in few days and the mother will stick around for a couple of months. I am hoping for a visit to Dubai just to get away from everything that is Hyderabad. In Jan maybe, but I don’t know. I don’t even have the energy to dream.

I hate the stuck helpless feeling. It’s the worst. I know I slack away days when I very clearly know when my submissions are due. It’s not that I am not inspired, it’s just that life is going by too fast. I don’t want to become 26! I am not looking forward to a year passing away, while I struggle to keep pace the whole time. I know people are living their lives like that, with vacations becoming nothing but week-end getaways. I just want the calm back. I don’t like this struggle, like I’m drowning and just want to breath enough to survive another minute. At times I have difficulty putting my finger on exactly what’s wrong. And that’s just sad. That’s just stupid, I know.

I am not unhappy, I am just waiting for the calm after the storm. But the issue I have is once the deadlines are done, I still haven’t figured out a one guaranteed relaxing day. Everything is dependent on others’ schedules even my own day of chilling. I’ve decided that I am going to do my masters full time. I need to socialise, make friends, have people ready to hang out with.

I just want to take a breath, and I shall and this time I’m going to make sure, my assignments are not left till the last moment, and I am not blogging a negative ass blog, throwing negative energy into the mommy world.

working it out through a work out.

These days the stress is getting to me a lot. The everyday routine, the dead lines, the responsibilities, it’s just a mixture of no break and full hard work. One of the issues that has been consistent is my weight. After Batool my weight transported me into obesity, which is not at all normal for one pregnancy to take you from 53 kilos to 85kilos. And no one bothered to make sure I was healthy, in fact I was constantly told it was normal to become this fat. I was naive enough to believe, as it is Batool was a preemie and I totally forgot I was a human being in the process of taking care of her. It’s just recently say in the past 2 years that I’ve had time to look at myself in the mirror for more than 5 seconds. And I hate that I am still overweight and that losing weight is so bloody difficult. I’ve seen my cousins get to pre-baby weight by the first birthday of their child!

Anyway, recently I have been losing weight, I traced my way back to the days that I was of normal BMI, and tried to compare my past lifestyle to the one I am living now. And well, I realised I’ve been eating like I am pregnant, because I got habituated to eating larger quantities. I also don’t have as much exercise as I did then, and I don’t mean going to the gym, I mean climbing of stairs, running around the house, skating, cycling, playing table tennis and other sports. I have since the revelation decided to fill this void. Many young girls start to feel there’s a time in your life when you just don’t gain weight like when you’re in school or college but that’s rubbish. It’s not “the time” it’s how active you were. After marriage most women don’t have 2 or 3 floors of stairs to climb to classes, or sports period, or visits to the parks with parents. It’s a lifestyle issue not time. We can find endless excuses, we can live in denial but always unhappy, the jiggling fat reminding us of the person we have lost.

Anyway point being, I have finally started to make a change, and right now this is the exercise I am doing at home.

I’m not putting pressure on myself, cos the aim isn’t weight loss, it’s a lifestyle change.So the slow I am to more committed I will be after I eventually reach my target weight. I am presently 67kgs, and my end aim is 55kgs. I don’t want to be at the border of Normal-Overweight BMI, I want to be safe, I want to be able to eat candy, eat them lovely chocolate cakes and not be worried. I am not a film-star, the only expectation I have with me is a realistic one. I want to have energy and stamina to be able to play with Batool. I am only 25, I don’t need to feel  50.

Here are few thoughts that motivate me:

1. You won’t have issues looking for your size in clothing

2. You will feel younger and stronger emotionally

3. No more jiggling!

4. Just do whatever you can, whatever you can

5. It’s your body, no one can help you but yourself

6. Women across the globe have children, blaming the child for bad health choices is unfair

7. My daughter deserves a healthy mom

8. I deserve to be confident and happy

9. I will get better sleep at night

I also try to focus on the people who haven’t seen me for a long time to get proper feedback. Like mom, she travels to Hyderabad with a few months gap, if I can work enough to show ANY difference which is visually noticeable than it’s good enough. Also, the appreciation element makes you feel proud, after all exercising is hard work.

What motivates or demotivates you from being healthy?

 

It’s not about being pessimistic, it’s about being realistic.

7am wake up time for a mommy, a mommy who wants to make sure that not only do her household responsibilities are taken care of but also her own life exists. That’s right, exists, in the sway of life not only does everyone else forget that we moms are human beings, but they forget to appreciate us.

Then the society wonders how so many women are joining the workforce, well, it’s simple isn’t it, a human being unlike an animal looks for appreciation, motivation, and intellectual healing to move forward each day and do the endless lists of chores for another 24 hours cycle. Moms fall through the cracks. They don’t get appreciated, at work they do because that’s work culture. You motivate your colleagues and you get the same in return. Why has this humanistic value been lost in the household, where the work is the hardest, most unpredictable, and ever so exhausting with no pay or vacation?

So the mom starts to think about herself, some start early on in their mommy hood, some lucky ones know beforehand that they need to maintain sanity via investment in self. Some new fools struggle, struggle for years till they finally figure out that no one cares, and no one’s going to make anything happen for them in return for the slaving she does. It’s not about being pessimistic, it’s about being realistic. And for many the realization comes in a form of regret. A regret they live with in their final few years of life wondering what the hell went wrong, and when. How did life pass by? The kids are old and on their own, lives of many have moved on while you sit saddened by the open nest syndrome, alone in your psychological mess. You’re alone, you always were, and it’s just that you realize it now without the camaraderie of kids around. You, always existed, but you didn’t stop to give yourself respect.

The worst is today’s culture, the compulsion of comparison. The Facebook statuses, tweets, fabulous Instagram’s, the facade of the educated. The desperate need to feel and appear like a celebrity, not wanting attention just trying to deliver a fake story to the world. And while all do this, the moms sit looking at their unwed, still in great shape friends and wonder. They wonder many things, many thoughts; many feelings pass through their overly sensitive mommy hearts. Then they breathe a sigh. A sigh that is often confusing, and then right when they try to figure it out “mommy” yells the kid.

It’s very difficult being a mother, be it a single parent or one with husband. What you do, is phenomenal. It can’t be expressed in words, and you better know that. Know also, that you have more to deliver to the world than kids. Take that aptitude test, continue that education, revisit that craft, and take control of what was first yours-YOUR LIFE.

 

Out with the girls!!

Much needed time out with the girls….We headed Rucci and Idoni Banjara Hills, and boy did I have!

Yummy food and a lot random chit chat…I ordered the oh so delicious Pink Lemonade (look at the size of that!) and Chicken Piri Piri

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After the loong lunch I headed to my very good friend Fabihas studio and chattted away till the sun came down……Every mom needs a good day out with friends…..Will definitely schedule many such outings….