Friday, January 25, 2013

Who am I?


I have been suggested by many friends that I should blog about how I juggle everything in life between working, parenting, hosting and so much more.

Thank you, kind friends, for acknowledging that life is tough and the roles we take on with age are tougher. I truly appreciate moments where you say things like ‘I don’t know how you do it, I come home from sitting at work all day and I’m too pooped from just that. How you have the energy to cook up all those things you post on Instagram?!’ 

As enthralling as hearing about my life might be, I think most of the stuff I go through is really no different from so many of my friends also experience. We all can relate to many of the same moments in life, so I’m really hoping you all nod and agree that you share likeness of me in any of the below situations (so I don’t feel like a complete moron). 

Here in no particular order is my attempt at laughing at life.
You know you’re an American born working Muslim-Pakistani mom/wife/daughter/sister when:

-       Your child’s teacher chuckles when you groan as she gives you the note Jilly’s mom for you. Because you both know it’s yet another birthday party invite. Another event where your kid comes home with too much sugar for his pint sized body to handle. Another event for which you have to go buy a gift and a card and a gift bag. No you aren’t lazy (much), and you probably should hoard these things in bulk like all those crafty moms do, but having a full time job means no time to remember those time saving moves. (You have no time to save time, the humor is not lost on you)

-       The moment when your mom gushed compliments over your goat biryani and the look of pride on her face is forever etched in your mind. Your mom doesn’t do false compliments, this is huge and it probably ranks up higher than getting your Masters/CPA as ‘Moments I’ll never forget’.

-       You fall asleep on the couch after 2 episodes of Game of Thrones, only to be awaken at 1:30am when your 2 yr old is crying in the bedroom. And you realize you forgot to pray Isha namaaz and really mean to do it now but fall back asleep after putting your child to bed. You totally promise God you won’t do it again, yet you have so many Isha prayers to make up even God ain’t falling for it anymore.

-       Some days your child eats nutella on toast for dinner. It’s better than food being forced in while you try to pry his mouth open. Mostly you manage to squeeze in somewhat of a healthy meal, but some days Nutella toast wins the battle.

-       You ponder over your chances at becoming a fashion blogging success. These hijab fashionistas seem to really have found their niche, too bad you don’t wear a scarf and probably wearing one just to blog about it isn’t such a great reason to start. And also, you will probably never pose regularly for pictures in pretty outfits, because even if you do somehow find the time your son will most likely also be pictured tugging at your pants in every pose.

-       You think a freshly cooked meal two times a week is pretty commendable and if you manage to find time in your weekend packed with birthdays/bridal showers/weddings/baby showers/couple’s get together/girl’s night to cook a meal ahead of time it’s definitely worth bragging about.

-       Either you or your husband (or both) are serious addicts to websites like slickdeals, and due to this your once fairly large apartment/home is now filled with tons of unnecessary merchandise.

-       You show up to work wearing one earring, because your child woke up crying before you got to the second one and due to Mommy brain you plum forgot you had just one in!

-       Your child watches Sim Sim Humara (Pakistani Sesame Street) so he can learn some culture and it warms your heart to hear him shout words like ‘Himmat’ and “Yakeeeeeen’ even though he probably has no idea what they mean yet.

-       When your 2 year old son says ‘bless you’ upon hearing you sneeze and you’re not sure to be happy that he’s learning manners at daycare or ashamed that you’re not doing a good enough job at home on emphasizing ‘Alhumdulillah’. Which then leads you to yet again fall into depression/guilt that he spends 10 hours at daycare and only 2 hours at home with you so of course he’ll learn ‘Bless you’ before he learns ‘Alhumdulillah’. And all of this just ends up in more chocolate being eaten. (this time by you)

-       Your sister and you promise each other that you won’t baby your 30+ year old son like your mother in law does your husband. Both of you swear to never end up this way unconsciously knowing you probably will.

-       You would be better off buying stock in your local gym instead of having a membership, because at least that way your monthly contributions would give you some form of long-term profit. I’m a proud member of WoW since Dec 2009, now don’t ask me how many times I’ve been in the past year. I tend to take 2-3 month long vacations from exercise. 

-       You fervently worked out to Youtube videos of Zumba routines the day you finally accepted you will not be going to the gym any time soon. That was the last time Youtube was used in your home for anything other than Sim Sim Humara or ABC Phonics.

-       Getting out of the car and into the house without toppling over is a mini feat, because you managed to carry: your child (who is usually trying to run free), purse, lunch bag, child’s school bag, numerous artworks/toys, and sometimes groceries all in your two tiny hands while climbed up 12 steps sometimes in snow, ice and rain whilst having to go pee so badly. Mini Feat indeed. (I suppose you could probably make two trips, but do you really trust your toddler alone in the house? Man that’s one good toddler, can we switch? Also, this saves time, you really just don’t want to go back out in the cold dammit)

-       You spend quite a bit of time on websites like Realtor.com waiting for the day your husband gets over his ‘I don’t want to pay interest’ phase so you can call a lovely ‘4 bedroom 2.5 bath’ home. You don’t want to pay interest either, but dreaming of being homeowners is so lovely. And you both know this phase is more about your husband’s excuse to be the cheap Desi he is at heart.

-       You are quite thrilled to have a ‘wellness room’ (real purpose is for breast pumping mothers to use) in the office so you can make wudu and pray namaz at work without your coworkers having to know or deal with that awkward moment in the bathroom when someone walks in to see you washing your hands til your elbows.

-       Seeing the only other Muslim coworker walk out of the wellness room around Maghrib time and realizing he was probably using it for the same reason as you (I sure hope he isn’t breast pumping in there!) makes you super proud that handsome single moderate Muslim boys do exist! You immediately start plotting schemes on how to introduce yourself and eventually get him to marry one of your single friends.

-       Even though you try not to be vain and judge people solely based on looks you follow Faryal Makhdoom on Instagram. Let’s be honest she’s a pretty girl of Pakistani descent and famous by association, that’s reason enough to follow her. She may end up having her own reality show one day and then you can say you liked her before the rest of the world did. Jay Sean style.

-       You’ve got the best Worst Mom Incident out of all your friends. It involves dinner with a couple you never met before, a baby bag forgotten at home, a wailing child stuck in a high chair with you then your husband struggling to get him out, numerous restaurant diners staring, and the story ends with your child going home wearing a receiving blanket wrapped like a sumo wrestler’s underwear. And the couple still wants to be your friend. Yay for Happy endings!

-       The advent of Pinterest has caused you and your husband to gain some serious weight in the past two years because you can’t stop pinning all these amazing recipes! 

-       Despite stockpiling spare Paci/Binky’s, you feel like you spend half your life searching for lost ones. God damn the day you decided to hook your child onto this creation.

-       Sometimes you look around at your living room/kitchen/bathroom/bedroom and secretly thank God that your mom can’t see what a slob you have turned into. You’ve contemplated a cleaning/cooking schedule (pinned some cute ideas on Pinterest too!) but only wonder how long people actually stick to those.

-       You see an adorable newborn/infant girl and make a mental note to keep her in mind as a future daughter in law one day. Yes it’s totally disturbing since your son is not even potty trained, but hey finding love is hard and you just want to help your little sweet pea out!

-       You have a whole slew of fasting days missed during your pregnancy that two years later you still are making up. And sadly your reasoning for not doing make ups during December (when the days were shortest and the fasts were easiest) was that the office had too much free food and holiday parties you didn’t want to miss. Clearly your priorities of putting food before everything else have got to change. (She says while eating a midafternoon snack)

I think I’ll stop now, not because I don’t have more delightful anecdotes to share with you, but because I’m afraid you probably think I’m the laziest, weirdest, most unorganized, disheveled mother/employee/wife/everything else. I promise I do have some great accomplishments and strong attributes too. When I’m not totally exhausted from all the things I’m involved in, I can be quite a pleasant person to be around (hah!). Mostly, I am thankful for my life, albeit it is not always perfect. Sometimes life hands me a challenge and sometimes I just make senseless mistakes, but mostly I’ve learned that if I can walk away from an experience and laugh about it, it’s been a good life.

So I’m trying hard to smile with each struggle and be thankful for the times that we get a full night’s rest to tackle the next hurdle!
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