My little guy and me

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It was a hectic day today. I did feel a little too off all through the day due to my health which is downright adamant on not coming back to its usual chirpy state.
By the by, for all those who might not be familiar with this rather significant piece of news, yours truly just gave birth to a baby boy this April, who has been keeping her quite busy of late 🙂

[Now being busy or not- for that matter- does have a most complicated relationship with the heart. For if your heart desires to accomplish something; it will find a way and no amount of lack of time will matter. For there is no such thing as a lack of time as far as my (amateur) study of the matter is concerned. There is however a severe lack of discipline in my life though, the presence of which might very well be the eventual demise of all my dreams. If the demise hasn’t already happened that is. Which could be the case since I am usually not aware of most of the happenings related to my being. And most of the things come to my attention after the damage has already been done; by me or by someone else. Sigh.
BUT BUT BUT I wont go into the details of why this happens here because this has been happening for quite some time now and well; reasons are for the foolish (or the lazy in may case)]

Crux of the story is, the little guy just doesn’t let me brood over the vanity of my life anymore (that I was bent upon doing for the last couple of years or so), which was something I gravely needed but didn’t quite realize before.

He keeps me busy yes, but in a way, this little person has (sort of) renewed my sense of existence in life. My discipline situation has vastly improved (it hasn’t completely gone away I assure you, but yes, it has become better). I care about the sanctity of time now. Or perhaps I’ve started caring about it much more than I ever cared about it before. The joy and love this little being brings to my life is something I can’t even begin to describe here since there are no appropriate words to portray the many emotions he has brought out in me.

Perhaps it is true what they say about babies that are born later in life; that you do appreciate them more. I’ll also add another thing here however. I think when you have these kids, you actually are in need of them— in order to take you back to the self that you’ve somehow lost somewhere. You need them to regain some confidence in the prospect of hope, of that much-touted ray of light at the end of the tunnel, again.

By Maasi Wajo

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Kids

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Kids are amazing. Alhumdulillah. They make you smile, they make you laugh, and then they make fun of you and laugh at you. Out of love, of course!

The other day, I was watching the movie “Burnt,” starring Bradley Cooper. (It was an okay movie. Watch it if you have spare time.) It was about a washed out chef trying to make his comeback and earn a 3rd Michelin Star. As I was watching the movie, my little one came and sat along side me. Thank goodness in that scene no foul language was spoken. The scene she watched was where they were preparing a meal for their restaurant. They made it look so easy. Cutting up vegetables with such precision. My little one, may Allah swt always protect her, says, “Momma, they are cooking just like you!” I stopped breathing for a few seconds, and remembered she wasn’t making fun of me, but felt that we cooked the same. Little does she know I’m just a mediocre cook. She said it twice with a smile. It made me feel so happy. Then a waitress was serving either green tea or coffee and again she said, “Look momma, they make keva just like you!” I gave her a kiss and said thank you and she she gave me a hug. Such sweet children we have. Their compliments are so much better then mens’!

But, there are other times, when they aren’t so sweet. Sometimes, this is because of age, experience, hormones, I don’t know. If you recall, I wasn’t brought up in Pakistan. Therefore my reading and writing skills of the Urdu language are next to nill. I can get by…sometimes. I was learning with my kids up until grade 1. Then too many toddlers in the house and too many distractions and I fell behind. With each kid! Khair, now they ra in middle school and I don’t understand most of their stories, poems, and homework for urdu class. Now I have to constantly hear, “You don’t know what that means?!,” or “I can’t believe you don’t know this word!” It’s frankly embarrassing. All my fault for not trying to learn my native tongue sooner. And the kids telling me I don’t know simple things! Those innocent faces have a way to insult those who carried them for 9 months, went through pains to bring them into this world, and have been dealing with sleepless nights, vomiting, tantrums, etc. As Stephanie Tanner would say, “How Rude!”

The reality is, they are right. I don’t know the urdu language well. Therefore I can not help them with their urdu homework. (Has its perks! One less subject for me to worry about.)

I guess it’s an awesome feeling to know something your parent’s don’t, and to know it with ease. I should be a good mother and just be happy and brush it off and let them have the moment. I should, shouldn’t i?….hmmm… I’ll think about it…for next time.

By Maasi Saba

Spending time with kids

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Family Having Picnic In Countryside

I spend a lot of time with my daughters, which is an added perk of working from home. That said, most of these days what I don’t realize is that time is just passing by, I am there with them, but I am really not there. I am either watching TV (I’m a sucker for good TV shows.. sigh), or reading a book or (the worst) on my phone. Since they both are now more or less independent (one is 12 and the other one is 8) and don’t really need my company as such, I have also stepped aside and have started doing my thing. In a nutshell, I am usually only acting as their supervisor (telling them when to eat, do their homework, brush their teeth, etc.) and not really “in” the moment with them. Though when I really start thinking about it, what’s absolutely baffling is how fast time is passing me by!!

How these girls who don’t need their mommy to do most of their stuff now, were completely dependent on me at one point in their life! Don’t get me wrong, I do feel happy for this, and wish them all the happiness and success in the world… but at times, I also miss all those little moments when they were small. Cute times which are now a part of the past and well, no matter how much I want everything to freeze, time will go on and it should too! 🙂

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It’s just that we being the forgetful human beings that we are usually don’t realize the speed of time when it’s silently going by us. And often suddenly get aware of the fact that we have wasted most of it caught up in a mind numbing daily routine. We get a glimpse of it each year at the New Year’s Eve when we realize how fast the year flies by us—and so we make new resolutions all over again which are then generally packed off for the next year, after a month or so. We don’t realize this most of the times, but we spend our lives exactly in the way that we spend most of our individual days. If there is something we cannot do today, chances are we won’t find the will to do it the next day as well. And sooner than we know, we are fifty and we don’t know where all our life went.

So keeping this in view, one of my New Year resolutions for this year was to spend some quality time with my girls on a daily basis— be it going on shopping with them or going to out to eat together. Things that we have just stopped doing together for reasons I don’t remember now. Perhaps we got a little too busy with life. I haven’t been doing as much as I would like to and a month has already passed, but hey, we still have the whole year ahead of us, don’t we! Keeping my fingers crossed.

I’ll definitely give you all a lowdown on how to spend some quality time with your kids once I figure out some sort of formula myself, but for the most part I’m sure it needs to come from the heart and it needs to be worked on. Keep watching this space for more!

by Maasi Wajo

A perfect skincare regimen

So I know I published a post yesterday but just came across this amazing skin care routine  that I thought i’d share with all you ladies out there. Seriously, it’s like a go to grid to attain that perfect skin that you’ve always wanted. Do check it out and if you can, try to stick as close to it as you can. I know I will! At least I’ll try. I hope.

I don’t know about you all, but I have been really negligent as far as proper skin care is concerned. And a good, healthy skin is all one needs. I don’t really care much about the hype around looking young, it’s looking healthy that counts the most I believe and a good skin regimen goes a long way in assuring that. 

I’m sure we’ll be able to get most of the prescribed things from any major store around here. But even if we can’t find a couple out of all these, i’m sure the few that we will end up getting will be better than the nothing we usually use.

Below is the chart I came across at Good Housekeeping today.

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So let’s get all the stuff ready for us to finally begin taking care of our skin. And let’s hope it actually works!

Good Luck!

By Maasi Wajo

 

 

What if we say ‘yes’?

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As parents and especially as the mighty mothers, each one of us must have found many a moment in our lives when it is much more inevitable to say no to our children than the often scary, yes. Though it often does come to that after a couple of heart wrenching screams and some inevitable drama.

There are times however, where parents should say yes, even if we don’t want to, or if we have no time for anything at all.

I’m pretty sure that if we did something like that the sky wouldn’t fall down. Our children wouldn’t automatically become the worst behaved children in the world and wouldn’t start taking us for granted only because we had said ‘yes’ instead of the usually expected ‘no’.

You see, as mothers we have been conditioned to say ‘no’ to our children, often unintentionally when we find ourselves in the middle of something important, when there is a looming deadline over our head or the popular ‘I’m tired’ excuse (which is not an excuse ladies, I know but let’s just pretend for a moment only for the sake of this discussion!) I, for one, often find myself saying,

I’m really busy right now” or,

“Can we do this later? Mommy is a bit busy?”

“I’m making dinner, cant you see? We can do it some time else”.

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But more often than not, that “later” doesn’t ever come. And time flies by and we keep turning down our kids demands and wishes and before we know it they’re all grown up and we don’t understand what happened to their childhood. Problem is that we don’t really enjoy their childhood when it’s actually happening. We get so busy living our everyday life that we forget that time never stands still— that our children will not remain children forever. So what if we say yes instead of no, next time our kids want us to do something for them, or take them somewhere or just be with them for a while. The little time that we give them brings so much light to their life; we can’t even begin to imagine that sort of happiness.

So I have decided that the next time my kids want me to do something for them, I will try not to listen to the ‘no’ in me and instead will just say ‘yes’. Because I know, in the heart of my hearts that I will never regret it.

The little hugs, the giggles, all those cartoon discussions, those hour late bed times, all those special moments with my kids. These are the things that life is all about. This is when life happens.

I’m sure I’ll not regret saying ‘yes’. I’m sure of that! 🙂

By Maasi Wajo

 

Another cup of tea please!

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Happy weekend friends! This week has been awfully tough and the approaching weekend was the only one thought that made me muster up the courage to face the week. But glad its over (for now), Sunday is here and I can finally relax with my cup of tea and my laptop talking to all you guys. December just gets me immensely excited for so many things. Winter, holidays, happiness all around and an uninterrupted supply of tea when tea can really be enjoyed.

In this part of the world, we get an awfully long summer spell, which usually lasts till the end of November. Days get better usually by the mid of December, but our winter typically lasts till the beginning of March and it’s mild, not very cold. So yeah, we have all the reasons to celebrate the little winter that we get to have around here.

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I just had to show off my mug collection now!

Speaking of which, I am a huge fan of tea. Even our cruel summers cannot keep me from downing my 6 cups of tea in a day. But winter is when I enjoy it the most. There is something very warm about the whole tea experience, something that reminds me of home. Maybe that’s the only proper explanation that comes to mind. No surprises there since tea has been a staple drink in my life ever since I was a little girl. And now the obsession has gradually transferred on to my kids as well, since they cannot pass a day now without their morning and evening tea. There is honestly nothing better than a quiet evening at home lazing around with my favourite people having a cup (read cups) of tea, watching television. That’s what my depiction of heaven is!

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Anyway, I will now go get myself another cup of tea and then try to catch up on my reading. Sundays have never felt this good I tell you! Exam week again from tomorrow! Wish me luck. Also, end of 2015 is upon us, how have you all fared with this year and what are your plans for the coming holiday season? I’d love to hear from you guys.

Have a nice weekend guys (or whatever’s left of it!) 🙂

Maasi Wajo

 

 

 

A Stay at Home Mom’s Dilemma

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Time is a rare commodity these days since it’s exam time and trust me, all I want right now is a few hours to myself, with myself, ALONE!! I am getting the feels a wee bit more though, since it’s my 12-year-old daughter’s first go at exams. Normally schools in Lahore begin taking exams right from grade 1, but a few (very considerate) schools including the one my daughters go to, start end of term exams from 7th grade and above. I do like their approach better since it’s given me way more time to relax and chill compared to my friends who’d just go on quarantine as soon as exams would start.

No, I wouldn’t like to change anything about it. I also feel that this approach gives our daughters much more time to grow up, understand, evolve as an individual rather than get into the exam rut when they can hardly tie their shoelaces properly. When you’re taking children as young as 5 into an examination hall, asking them to sit still for an hour or so and concentrate, how do you expect them to perform? They are not supposed to, its time for them to play and be merry. Let them grow up first. Exam can wait. So yes, I’ve always maintained that my preference for this school is firmly rooted in their lenient exam policy above all.

That said, the fact remains; my whole day is spent being a driver for my girls who have very different schedules these days because of the elder one’s exams. Most of the time I’m on the roads and the fact that the school is at a 30-minute ride from my place adds much to the misery. There are days when I can hardly stop and catch my breath for a little while. But I don’t mind much. Hey, I do enjoy the driving (to some extent!)

But that also gives rise to this question that has always been lurking somewhere at the back of my mind. You see, I am an Accountant, I worked for some time but then eventually decided to quit work because I wanted to stay at home to raise my girls. It does unfortunately have a very negative connotation these days but I did not regret my decision once, back then. Now however, I feel that I am constantly being judged for this decision of mine. People don’t say it to my face, but I know they feel it’s odd for me not to be pursuing a career of some sort. They’ve somehow convinced themselves that just because I’ve decided to stay at home, I am “doing nothing” or am a loser of some sort who didn’t get the chance to get up the corporate ladder. I feel that this “doing nothing” phenomenon is what’s the most devastating of all. Only because I’m not adding much to the overall financial figure of my household, does not mean that I am “doing nothing”.

I read. A lot. I’ve taken it upon myself to further educate myself (trust me, there is life beyond organised education). In my commuting hours I usually listen to philosophy podcasts and am reading Camus these days. I also write; I contribute to a couple of literary journals on a freelance basis. So just because I don’t go out, sit in a cubicle nine hours a day to achieve someone else’s goals, doesn’t mean I am “doing nothing” and “wasting myself”. What is the exact definition of wasting yourself anyway? I am sorry if this sounded too harsh but trust me; I have been subjected to harsher verdicts only because I’ve decided not to join the rat race.

It’s just that my priorities right now are just different; or maybe my personality is, I don’t know. But I’m happy doing what I am; it’s as plain and as simple as that. I don’t understand why people have to underestimate or berate people who are doing something different from them. One of the things I shall never be able to understand I guess.

Anyway, bottom line is, just live and let live. You do your own thing and I’ll do mine. Why judge people when you don’t know their story? Be happy and contented with whatever you do/ whoever you are/ wherever you are in life and that’s what should matter the most. Even if that means playing with your cats or driving your kids to and from school; it’s the little things after all!

Maasi Wajo