Afraid


Let’s talk about her – her choices, her decisions, her life and her things.

She is strong, independent, well educated and afraid.

She opted for an arranged marriage because she was afraid of ending up alone. Afraid that she won’t be able to have children.
Afraid of what people will say – the rumours they will spread, that will sting.
But most of all she is afraid of what her parents will think.

Now she is afraid of saying no to her husband. She is afraid because she knows that she is not ready to be a mother.
Afraid of the consequences her actions will bring.
But most of all she is afraid of what her parents will think.

She is brave in more ways than one.
She deserves to be loved and respected, not shunned.
Parents, please tell your daughters about all the joy that they bring.
So that they are no longer afraid of what you might think.


This post is inspired by a chat I had with a young woman recently. If you are reading this, I want you to know – you are brave, loved and I’ve got your back.

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Consistency, September TBR pile & Bookstagram goals

Last week, while at a conference, I asked a blogger friend of mine how he managed to monetize his blog and he said, “I just blogged every single day for two years and it took off.”

While I don’t think it is just a matter of luck, I do believe that consistency is key to being good at anything. I see that in my 5 month old, who constantly tries to push herself further by first learning to roll over on her belly and now by trying to crawl. I am even beginning to see signs of her starting to sit.

My point is, she didn’t know how to do any of this stuff when she was born and with sheer willpower and daily practice, I am sure she will learn all of it.

Books I am reading in September:

I am currently reading a book titled “Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud. The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman” by Anne Helen Peterson. A series of essays aimed at highlighting stories of strong women who, for the lack of a better phrase, don’t give a fuck and always do their thing — and that’s exactly what has made them successful. The first chapter is about Serena Williams. I had no idea that the Williams’ sisters trained that hard to turn the odds in their favour and it is truly eye opening.

“As Richards later recalled in his autobiography, he’d arrange for kids in Compton to stand outside the courts while the girls were playing and yell every racial slur they could think of — a way to harden them against the white recoil that was bound to accompany their rise.”

Will write a more detailed review on this once I have read through the whole book.

Wow just wow! If you read one book this year, make it this📚 Scarborough is a low income, culturally diverse neighbourhood east of Toronto; it suffers under the weight of poverty, drugs, crime and urban blight. The book tells the story of several of its inhabitants but isn't just all doom and gloom – as many books like this tend to be. It definitely kept me up all night. My folks also live in Scarborough and this is the side of Scarborough that I have heard about but never seen for myself. And that's me acknowledging my own privilege. As is the case with many a neighbourhood in Toronto, there is such a stark difference between two different sides of the street, let alone a totally different side of town. 🙍🏻🙍🏻🙍🏻🙍🏻🙍🏻 🌙Day 4,5,6 of #moonlitreads right here🌙 4️⃣currently reading 5️⃣indie covers 6️⃣read in a day . . . #moonlitreads #bibliophile #cat #home #bookish #booknerd #bookishphotography #booknerd #scarborough #canadareads #womenauthors #lgbtq #diversebooks #bookchallenge #booklove #bookworm #newrelease #catherinehernandez #debutnovel

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I did finish reading Scarborough earlier this month and it is a fantastic read.
What did I like so much about it? The fact that it is set in a neighbourhood where I have actually lived in Toronto, realistic characters and heart wrenching stories.

I did, finally, start a book specific Instagram account on May 27 this year, which already has more than 300 followers and I am quite proud! The photos featured above are from my account.
Goal: Connect with 500 amazing book bloggers by end of the year!

What have you been up to lately?

5 Things I Don’t and Will Not Do as a new mom

When you become a new mom, you receive a ton of advice – some solicited, other not so much. This advice is usually given by well meaning loved ones or if you are a nervous first time mama like me, then by some random strangers on the bajillion mommy forums online.

Let’s face it, when you are a first time mom, you want to do everything right… or if you are like me, then at the very least you don’t want to fuck your child up. I don’t want to break my baby ok? (That was an actual fear of mine when she was a few days old, what if I dropped her and broke her bones. I didn’t but still…)

During the first two weeks, I tried to follow as much of the online “wisdom” as I could but some of it just doesn’t work for me. Here is a list of 5 things I am not doing and will not do in the foreseeable future.

1. Skin on Skin Time

Cue the shocked, angry, judgemental tones. But yeah… I am not stripping my baby down for every feeding. NOPE.
When my little one is freaking fussing and wants to eat, stripping her down to her diaper is the last thing I want to be doing.

As far as bonding is concerned, we are happy and are doing well. She smiles every time I am around, either that or she smells milk and smiles. Both of those things work for me.

2. Feed every 2 hours 

Ok so when we were at the hospital I was told to wake my baby up every two hours after a feed but then she started cluster feeding and I just didn’t have it in me to wake her up after 2 hours after 6 hours of continuous feeding. NAHHHH BRAAH
Apart from that, she wakes up like clockwork when she wants to eat and has been putting on weight consistently.

I am sure that feeding every 2 hours works for some babies but my baby was constantly spitting up and had so much uncomfortable gas.

3. Use diaper cream during every diaper change

Why the heck would I slather on chemicals on my baby’s bum without a cause? Coconut oil rules.

4. Leave my baby in a dirty diaper overnight just because pampers are super absorbent

Okay first question: How’d you like to sit in your shit for 5 hours?
I know people say that you shouldn’t wake up a sleeping baby and normally I’d be happy to oblige but I don’t want her to get an extremely angry bum rash.

I am happy to rock her back to sleep or feed her once she is clean.

5. Not rock her to sleep in my arms

I enjoy it and so does she.
She is equally happy to fall asleep on her play mat. I am told she will get used to it but my experience tells me otherwise.

We are constantly told that every baby is different, then why do we try to put them in buckets and tell mothers to follow all of that advice that may or may not work for them? Mamas you know your babies best so do what works for you.

Self Care as a New Mom

Becoming a mom has come with its unique set of challenges. I am definitely grateful but suddenly not having time to yourself can be trying. That’s why self care has become extremely important to me because let’s face it, without self care, I would 100% lose my shit.

Given that I am a millenial (* do I hear you cringe?*), when I decided that I needed to incorporate some intentional self care in my daily routine, I youtube-d it. And lo and behold, every other person, who was talking about self care, wanted me to take several hours to myself EVERY DAY to do nothing. HAHAHAHAH ok. -_-

1. That’s not possible with a newborn
2. Let’s be realistic, is this ever possible even without a newborn? I am lucky if I get 20 minutes of peace and quiet these days. Yes, newborns sleep a lot but if you are a functioning adult who needs food or wants to take a shower or a shit (you do you boo!) then you are basically doing something when they are sleeping. Or, if you are me, you are napping and catching up on sleep.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get some time to yourself. Here are 9 things I have been doing to make myself feel better each day.

1.  Spending time chatting with my baby

I know, I know, I am talking about getting time for myself and I want to spend that talking to my baby? I sound like I have lost my marbles but hear me out.
I am a C section mom, so in the first few days of her life, I couldn’t really talk to her or engage with her a ton without completely exhausting myself. Now that I have recovered, I am taking full advantage of it and I intentionally set aside an hour each day where I do nothing but talk to her.

I find that as a parent I can be quite overwhelmed, especially because she is only a month old, but if I put away all my electronics and just spend time talk to her, not only is it good for her language development, it also helps me relax! I have also noticed that when I do chat with her she starts babbling, which is really the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen a baby do!

2. Taking a 20 minute walk every day

Each day, I ask my partner to look after the baby for a minimum of 2 hours so I can get some me time. This can even be scheduled when she is taking a nap.

During this time I can take a shower, read or go for a walk. Since the weather has turned warmer, I have been opting for more walks instead of reading or sitting around.

3. Put some lipstick on

Something as simple as putting on some lipstick in the morning makes me feel put together and happy for the rest of the day.
Admittedly though the weather in Toronto is hot as shit right now so I have been avoiding putting lipstick on because I hate the melting feeling on my face. UGH.

4. Have some tea

Image courtesy of David’s Tea Instagram

Because tea is magic!

I lovvveee love love tea! I don’t care how hot it gets, tea always makes me happy!

5. Drink lots of water

Our little one is exclusively breast fed so drinking water is high on my priority list, especially on these hot days. AHHH GOD! SO HOT! Can we go back to winter already. DAMN IT!

I have the pink S’well bottle and it makes me feel oh so fancy even when I am just drinking water. You don’t need to have a fancy water bottle but I like having one so I use it!

6. Ask your partner for help 

Let me take a moment to acknowledge my privilege – I have an incredibly supportive partner. I already mentioned this before but I have been asking him for help to look after our baby for 2 hours each day. He is around all the time but during those two hours I read, bathe, sleep or do whatever my heart desires.

7. Meditate

I do this by colouring in my mandalas! You can use one of those meditation apps too, here’s one that I am currently obsessed with

https://www.calm.com/meditate

8. Blog

I find that not only does blogging help me relax, it also helps me get organized when I can get my thoughts out on paper or in this case in a blog post.
I have always found blogging to be extremely therapeutic. Doesn’t matter if people are reading your blog or not, do it for yourself and perhaps your kid down the line.  It is also really fun to go back and read posts you wrote several years ago and see how you have grown as a person.

9. Eat well! 

I can’t stress this enough! Eating well gives you the energy to take care of your baby & yourself.

Mamas, I want to know how do you take care of yourself?


Disclaimer: It took a while after Iman’s birth for me to start taking care of myself or to even figure out what I need to be doing & by no means do I have it all figured out.

ABOUT OUR FIRST BORN & LABOUR 👣🌝🍼❤️😊

Saw this on facebook and wanted to partake (:

1. Did you have an epidural? 
HELL YES! and then some…
2. Was your husband/boyfriend in the room?
Yes
3. Were you induced? 
Yes
4. Did you find out the sex?
Yes
5. Due Date? 
11 April 2017
6. Did you deliver early or late? 
1 day late
7. Did you have morning sickness? 
No
8. What did you crave? 
Cheesy Cheetos, 
Ice
9. How many pounds did you gain?
10 lbs
10. What was the sex of the baby? 
Girl
11.Did you have complications?
No, just some good old UTIs, low iron…
12. Where did you give birth? 
Mount Sinai
13. How many hours were you in labour?
25
14. How much did your baby weigh? 
6lbs 1oz
15. What did you name the baby? 
Iman
16. How old is your baby now? 
1 month 2 days (:

Come on mamas! Let’s hear your story!

Motherhood – Update

Hey y’all!

I hope everyone is doing splendidly. Iman and I are happy, healthy and thriving and boy she sure does love drinking milk, which roughly translates into extremely sore and raw nipples for mom (real talk, p.s: Coconut oil is my bff). Honestly don’t know how our mothers did it or my paternal and maternal grandmothers, who had 8 and 6 kids respectively. They didn’t even have fucking epidural.


Life is awesome as a mother but figuring out how to not lose yourself is pretty tough. I don’t have baby blues as such but there are days when I really want to go for a walk and I do (because that’s just how I roll) but once I am outside, I worry that my child is going to need me so I better hurry back.

My partner is trying to be supportive (but doesn’t quite know how yet) and we are slowly (real slowwwwly) getting the hang of it. Kudos to single mothers who do it all on their own. Be kind to all the mamas in your life.  Oh and now I totally get why parents want to share every little memory of their child on Facebook and why they are fascinated because sure all kids smile but when your kid does it, it is extra special.

So mommies, how did you make sure that you still got some time to yourself?

New Mom Alert : April & Our New Family

April brought with itself many changes, the biggest one being the arrival of our daughter Iman (: We are thrilled to welcome our little angel into our family!

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 3.19.52 PM
She is the funniest and there are many things I’ve had to do that I never thought I’d ever do for anyone, I love her beyond measure and she makes it so easy to love her. A massive thank you to everyone who has been supportive throughout my pregnancy & helped us prepare for the arrival of our baby and thank you to all of you sending gifts and offering help in different ways, Our little family really appreciates it.

Flowers

Thank you Product Hunt Toronto team for these lovely flowers (: 

I want to journal more and read more but tons going on right now. I am not sure why people think that motherhood is basically lots of sitting around. Sure, to feed I suppose but not beyond that, especially when it is just you and your partner. Will share my labour story on here soon!