Nabila / Redmond, WA
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am a working mother who is trying to balance the relationships around her as well as the demands of a fast paced, challenging career, who is constantly switching from one role to another and in an attempt to do-it-all has figured out there is no such thing.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY
We are a small family of three. My husband and I were married 9 years ago. We have both been raised in very traditional Pathan families but I have spent the majority of my life in America. Our little boy just turned 3. We would love for our son to benefit and learn from the best of both cultures.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING A MOM / WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGING PARTS
My favorite part of motherhood is that it not only makes you re-discover the world through a child's eyes but to re-discover your self. Children have a way of making their mothers superheroes. Becoming a mother gave me strengths that I never knew I had.
For me, the hardest part of motherhood is letting go. Whether its turning my back to him when I drop him off at daycare or letting go of each phase of life he has outgrown. Each milestone of his is a bitter sweet moment. Every morning having to put away this little piece of myself so I can concentrate on work. But the funny thing is, becoming a mother made me even better at work. I have had the most success as a working mother. He gives me this strength, this drive to achieve, that I never had before.
ANYTHING THAT YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR PARENTS THAT YOU WANT TO PASS ON TO YOUR KIDS?
My parents are opposites of each other. My mother is passionate and hot tempered. My Father is my calm during a storm and gives excellent advice. My mother has taught me the meaning of hard work. My father has always been and will be my rock to lean on. His words are poetry in itself, with layers of depth that I keep thinking about and re-discovering. With each generation that passes, there are values and a way of living that is lost. It is important to cherish whatever you can of your parents and pass it on to your children. It’s these values and lessons that build character.
HOW DO YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ‘ME-TIME’ ACTIVITIES?
The more complicated and demanding my life gets, the more hobbies I pick up. I have always been a reader. To me, there is no better time spent then lost in a book somewhere far away. As I get older, I am trying to read books with more substance, but still enjoy the occasional vampire thriller! I also enjoy photography and being able to steal moments of life and tuck them away to enjoy later. I like poetry and writing letters to my son. My relationship with him gets stronger with each letter I write to him, page by page, word by word. I also picked up sketching recently. It doesn’t matter that I am not great at all of these, that isn’t the point. This time spent is my outlet and help me stay grounded, and where I have no deadlines or numbers to meet.
WHAT ROLE DOES YOUR FAITH PLAY IN YOUR PARENTING?
Faith has always played a different role in my life at different times. In hard times it is where I turn to for help and strength. In good times it keeps me grounded. I think God doesn’t make you go through hard times for no reason and that doing things the right way, not just the easy way, will eventually lead to a better outcome. I also think intention plays a big role in faith. My son is very young to understand the concept of faith right now, but I think one of my biggest responsibilities is instilling a strong sense of faith in him. Having children really makes you reflect and question your faith and in my case there is a greater desire to strengthen my relationship with God.
AS AN IMMIGRANT DO YOU SOMETIMES WISH TO MOVE BACK? HOW DO YOU COMPARE LIFE IN YOUR BIRTH COUNTRY TO THE ONE YOU HAVE IN THE UNITED STATES?
Honestly, no.I have spent very little time in Pakistan. The majority of my life has been in America and I have a hard time relating to the life lived in Pakistan. I think it’s important for kids to know and understand their roots but I don’t believe in following culture just for the sake of traditions. Traditions, religion, and culture is very easily abused. It’s very hard to overlook that in Pakistan. There are some beautiful aspects of Pakistani culture that I would love to instill in my son - like its hospitality, community, and respect for elders.
WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
I read somewhere that my dream for my child is so that he grows up and follows his dreams. But as a parent you can’t help but have hopes and dreams for your children - some selfish and others selfless. My dreams come in a form of prayer for him. I pray that he grows up to be happy, healthy, successful, loving, and gives back to this world a lot more then what he has taken. I pray that he has a close relationship with God and is able to respect and appreciate the relationships around him.
ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER MOMS OR ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE.
I know mothers love to give advice and are tired of hearing it; so I will keep it short. Do whatever you think is best for your child - you know your child better then anyone else. There is no manual, there is no standard, there is no competition. Be strong and have confidence in yourself.
Thank you so much Nabila for sharing a piece of your life with us. So glad to have you here.
Thanks for reading and lots of love.