Our blogiversary and some more good stuff! 

Hello friends, 

This is a little getting-in-touch post! As some of you might recall, we started Maasi is Trying last year in April and well, it has come a long long way since then. And it is you, our readers that we’re immensely thankful to, for giving our little brainchild a chance. So thank you! 🙂 We couldn’t have done anything without y’all! Also, we couldn’t manage to write anything on the day of our blogiversary, because life! 🙂

But we’re here now to pay our little gratitude to you, our lovely readers! 
PS: You must have noticed the things that have started happening on the page… after being silent for a couple of months or so (our bad!). We have a brand new profile picture for starters! Which is a tiny reminder of all the changes we have in store for you. Maasi is trying is in for a big time revamp. We’re aiming to give you more fashion news/tips, parenting tips/stories, life saving hacks, product/online store reviews, regular giveaways and a little insight on decor trends around the world. So a lot of exciting things in pipeline for you all.  There’s a lot happening at the headquarters of Maasi is Trying! 

All you have to do is bear with us and stay tuned! 🙂

Love, 

The Maasis 

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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

The Power of Prayer

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I am a firm believer in the power of prayer.  I am also a firm believer in this quote, “Whenever you do not understand what’s happening in your life, just close your eyes, take a deep breath and say, ‘Ya Allah, I know this is your plan, just help me through it.’” I’m always praying for something. Usually wanting something or not wanting something to happen. Scholars say that when we are making dua, we are directly speaking with Allah swt, meaning prayer is a direct link between our Creator and us, his creation. He and us. He and me. Just the two of us. There is no reason for anyone to go in between us and pray for us, while we sit back and relax. I remember listing to a lecture by Mufti Menk. He was talking about how his little daughter would beg and beg for something she wanted. He had said that that was how we were supposed to pray. Allah is the one and only one who can either give us what we want, or not give us what we don’t want. Mufti Mehnk said to pray like you were a toddler; when they really want something, they cry, they are asking (or screaming in a toddler’s case) with all their heart.  All because they really, really, want it.  We should try to pray with our heart and mind together.  With kids always calling for us, and chores to be done, sometimes our prayers and duas are just said automatically, with no feeling.  We need to take a few minutes for ourselves. This will take time.  

From my past experiences, I have learned a few things.  There was once something that I didn’t want to happen.  Everyone else was happy with it, but i had a tornado running inside me.  I prayed and prayed for Allah swt to put it in everyones hearts that this wasn’t a good decision.  I think weeks went by like this.  Then one day, I felt I was being greedy and started praying that if this was good for me, to put it in my heart, and if this was bad for me, to put it in my parents heart.  This went on for a few more weeks. Then one day, I just prayed for everything to go smoothly.  I can honestly say, that that particular day, my heart felt at ease.  I came to realize this was what was meant to be for me.  I’ll share with you something.  At that moment, when i cam to that realization, my brain was still screaming, “NO!, NO!” but my heart was saying, “be happy, this is good for you.”  An ayah from the Quran comes to mind here.  I can’t recall which one, but I remember a bit about the translation.  It went something like this: Listen to your heart. It speaks subtly, softly. Your heart tells you what I want for you. It always will lead you to the right path.  My path. Your heart is not influenced by anything, but me.  Listen to it.  Your brain is always influenced by society, culture, peer pressure.  It will scream at you and confuse you. Your heart will not.

The thing is, one doesn’t usually pay much attention to the heart tugging at you to make a certain decision.  We usually ignore it, for a while at times.  It’s not easy, but we just have to be patient and one day, we will hear what Allah swt wants.  We will feel it.  It’s like weight being lifted from your shoulders.  Sometimes it will be what you were praying for all along. And sometimes, it will be what you were praying to not happen. That’s my case 90% of the time.  So far, whatever I was praying for was not meant to be for me.  I guess I don’t know what is good for me yet.  But it’s okay. I am learning over time. Allah swt knows what is good for me, so I’m in good hands.  

Pray with your herat. Pray for it whenever it pops in your head.  Just pray, say a few words to Him, it will bring some relief to your heart.  Things will fall into place, and your heart will be at ease, and your brain will eventually stop screaming at your for thinking the worst.  

What is best will always happen. We just need to be open to it and we will understand it and be okay with it.  Inshallah.

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

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

The Hiatus

thank-you-clothesline-752x483You must have noticed this blog’s eerie silence of late. Sigh. Well firstly, our sincerest apologies for not being able to regularly visit the blog. A lot has been up with the Maasis lately and as much as we’d like to be regular at this forum, one thing or the other comes up, always and it just slows us down. But that does not mean we have forgotten you and hopefully it’s the same at your end too.

Okay so we are back (hopefully… As you may have guessed there’s a lot of hope going on here, which is a good thing anyway!) And with any luck we won’t be going anywhere now. As you all know, this is a very young blog and we are in the process of learning ourselves; which means, we may make mistakes and we may not be able to blog as much as the “blogging guidelines” suggest or as much as we’d like to, but we are here and we are trying, we are going no where and hopefully we’ll be here for a very long time.

That said, thanks for reading our blog guys. We can’t even begin to express how much your readership means to us. I mean seriously, we wouldn’t be anywhere without your constant support even when we vanish for weeks. It’s seriously a lot of love and we love you too for putting up with us! J That is what makes us want to do more for you and to better the blog in such a manner that is infinitely more useful for you all.

We will try to be more regular from now on. We promise.

So, bear with us a little more. For Maasi is Trying is slowly evolving and needs a lot of support and love from you guys! Thanks for being here for us! We love you all 🙂

Randomness

By Maasi Saba

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At 36, sometimes I feel that I haven’t accomplished much in life.  Sometimes when I think of what I did that particular day, (cooking, cleaning, some ironing, taking care of kids) it just doesn’t feel fulfilling. I get this feeling, sometimes, not everyday. When I read the paper, or go on the internet and read about people doing so many amazing things, and sometimes particular people are just doing something that needs to be done. I get mixed emotions. I’m happy for them, and happy for what they are achieving in life; happy that someone out there is doing something to make this world a better place to live in. But I get sad at the same time. Sad thinking what little I have done to make life better. I think about all the things I had wanted to do as I grew up, and realize I only accomplished a few things. That too, was to get married, and have kids, and basically, “ghar basana.” 

I’m not saying I’m not a happy wife and mother. I am. But I think it’s those days, when things are going wrong that I doubt my self worth. It’s those days when the kids are fighting over something or another all day. Those days when the servants aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing. That day when I suddenly realize that I left my pants on the counter to be altered about 2 weeks ago, and it’s still not done. 

Do you ever have those days where you feel unproductive, short tempered? (And I’m not talking about when Aunt Flow is visiting.) I love being at home. I don’t mind. I think venturing out in Lahore can usually lead to time wasted and a big, big headache. I enjoy sitting at home with my kids, reading a book, or playing a game, or just sitting and relaxing. But some days, I’d like a change in my daily routine. I guess nothing is perfect. You want change, yet you don’t. You want to do something amazing, and then yet you just want to live life contently in your own home.

Am I making any sense? 

I read in the paper a few days ago about a nursing home opening up in Lahore, or was it already open? Taking time out to spend time with our elders. I do that everyday actually. I live with my in laws. My mother in law has severe osteoporosis and her hands have minimum movement. So she needs help at times making her hair, and eating and getting ready. We have an aid who is with her, but that doesn’t always make her happy. There are certain things she doesn’t feel comfortable if I do for her, and other things she’d rather I do. Such as, she doesn’t want me to help her in the washroom, and to bathe. I’m not sure if she feels uncomfortable or makes her feel helpless if family is helping instead of a servant. Then there are things she wants me to do for her like bring her food or snacks throughout the day, and make her hair. I do, at times, but sometimes get so caught up in my daily routine that I’m rushing with the clock to get the food ready on time, and the laundry should be out to dry before midday, and to help my little one snack and sleep on time so she won’t cry. Sometimes it’s tiring to do this, and I have to realize that my family comes first. I have to remind myself to not get angry with her over things, because for someone who had done everything for herself all her life but now has to ask others for help for the littlest thing such as opening a drawer because she can’t use much force, is harder for her to deal with than anything I am going through. Asking for someone to make your hair the way you have been making it for years with ease is harder to accept. And for me to help make her hair and get it in the right position is hard as well. And the frustration is on both ends.  Now she likes to ask the aid to make her hair. It’s not easy making other people’s hair!  But hey, I am learning.

People always come up to me and tell me how important my job is right now to take care of my mother in law and the kids and a home.  Sometimes I understand it, sometimes I think, “It’s all in a days work.” They tell me that what I do is an amazing job when I take care of my mother in law and try to make her happy and content. These people also know it is the hardest job to do, so when they say this to me, I feel happy and contended. But I have those days where I feel I’m in over my head. I just pray Allah Swt makes me more patient, because life is hard. I pray He makes me more understanding to the needs of my family because sometimes they are all confusing.  And I pray for my sanity. Lol. 

On my off days, I always tell my sister, “One of these days, you are going to see me on the news as the mad women who is running around the neighbor hood looking like a wild beast.”

Yes, I need my sanity to remain intact the most!

The Good Life

  

Life can sometimes be a very tough thing to handle. So it’s better to try and just take one day at a time. Try to be strong about the things that life throws at us. And smile. Sometimes a smile is all we need to get through the day 🙂