Drift Away

You and I, we survived
The tides of heartbreak and heartache
Of growing up

We had so much in common, that we never stopped talking
Even when there were ripples of discord
Between us

We moved across continents and countries
But still remained like two rivers flowing parallel
Boundless

There was no tsunami or seismic shift
That altered our relationship
Or broke it

It was a sprinkle, not a stream
Of small changes that littered our lives
So drastically

So when the waves of life pulled us under and apart
The silences were mangled and and massive
And misunderstood

Our memories of the good times became frozen
As our lives pooled in dramatically different directions
And the bond broke

You and I, we didn’t survive
The torments and torrents
Of life

 

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Motherhood

Hey guys!

So I never really thought I’d be doing monthly check-ins but that’s what it looks like is happening! I can’t believe my baby girl is 2 months (and a bit) already! The days are definitely long, but time is still passing.

It’s been 2 months since I gave birth. At times, it feels like it was just yesterday. But then at other times, that one day is already becoming a distant memory when compared to the challenges I’m faced with daily.

I’m going to be honest with you: motherhood is HARD. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I feel like laughing when I think of my struggles during high school, university, the process of getting married, and pregnancy. I still remember thinking pregnancy was difficult. I feel like someone should have shook me and told me to enjoy myself, since life wouldn’t be the same after giving birth. I remember being so annoyed at the fact that I couldn’t sleep on my back, at the end of my pregnancy; I was so uncomfortable with my belly that I couldn’t wait to sleep PROPERLY after the baby. HA! One thing I’m not doing these days: sleeping properly.

Motherhood is difficult in a way that nothing else is. It’s a job that demands you to be there 24/7. There are no days off, no off-times. There are days when I’m dying to crawl into bed, especially as the sun goes down and the day comes to an end, but I know that my day isn’t necessarily finishing. There’s still work to be done at night. The lack of sleep drives me crazy; all I want to do is sleep. Sleep uninterrupted. There are days when I stuff anything I can get my hands on in my mouth in the few minutes I have to spare. Dieting and trying to lose any of the baby weight are a dream I can’t even be bothered with right now. There are days when going to the bathroom is a luxury. Those few minutes I get to myself in the bathroom are the only break I get. There are days when I feel like crying as much as baby, from utter exhaustion and frustration. There are days when I finally reach my bed, wondering how I’m going to get up again in the morning. But somehow I do it all again the next day. 

The quote “The only thing constant in life is change” describes motherhood perfectly. Each day is different. Even when I think baby and I have a routine, or some sort of schedule, something changes and I’m back to trying to figure out what happened. The first year of a baby’s life is filled with changes, so I know that the way baby girl is now is bound to change in a few weeks. There are many milestones coming up: teething, rolling over, holding her head, eating solids, crawling, talking, walking, and more! So even when I think “Ok, I’ve got this” I know I have to be realistic because things will change.

Even though I had 9 months to prepare to become a mother, I still feel so lost sometimes. I wish my husband and I had spent more time together, before baby girl arrived. I wish I had used my time during pregnancy better to do the things that my hands itch to do these days. I wish I had accomplished more in my life. It’s hard to say this, but I’m going to be honest: I miss my old life.

This is not to say that I don’t love my daughter and don’t realise what a big blessing I have. I am thankful and grateful for my little princess every day. But it’s still a transition. And a difficult one at that. I’ve wanted kids for as long as I can remember and have always pictured myself having a big family. But I still find myself trying to stay afloat most days.

I look at other mothers and they make it look so effortless that I can’t help but thinking that there’s something wrong with me or my baby. Are we doing something wrong? How can I be better, more efficient, and get more done? I see many mothers who are working, running businesses, taking care of the house, raising other kids, volunteering, exercising, and much more. I feel like I barely get anything done. All I do is take care of baby but I wish I could do more. I know motherhood is not a competition but it’s so hard not to compare my life to the lives of other moms who make it all look so easy on social media.

Whenever I ask people if it gets easier, they tell me it gets harder. And I can’t imagine it being any harder than it already is. They say “The days are long but the years are short.” I haven’t gotten to the years yet, but the days are endless and exhausting. 

I don’t know if I’m a good mother. Patience is a virtue I’m sorely lacking. I find myself feeling frustrated often. Many days I’m left feeling drained and I try to think about what I got done in the day. It doesn’t feel like much: the laundry didn’t get folded, I wasn’t able to help out with the cooking, and I didn’t get around to asking my husband how his day was. All I did was feed and change my baby, and try to figure out why she’s crying.

But then I start to remember the smile baby girl gave me first thing in the morning, a smile so sweet and pure it made my heart so full of love it felt like it would burst. I remember the way her eyes widen with wonder at the world around her and the way they are filled with so much love when they meet my own. I remember the way her finger grasps mine when she’s drinking her milk, and the funny and cute faces she makes afterward. I remember the yummy way she smells, my favourite smell in the whole world and one I will never forget. I remember the sweetness in her manner when she giggles, music to my ears. I remember the way her body curls into mine when she’s sleeping, as if all is right in her world as long as we are together. And it somehow makes it all okay.

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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5 Weeks Old

Hey everyone! Remember me? I’m  writing this as 5 weeks postpartum and as the mom as a 5 week old!

Baby girl is currently sleeping so I’m writing this while hoping she doesn’t wake up soon. The last time I posted was when I was 39 weeks pregnant and so ready to pop! Little did I know that I would go into labour only a week later…

I was so scared of going over my due date and having to be induced that I stressed about it 2 weeks before my due date. As soon as I passed 38 weeks I was like let’s go, et’s get this show started! But baby girl was going to come when she wanted to.

I actually ended up going into labour the day I was due! Labour and delivery were NOT FUN. Try every synonym for excruciatingly painful (and this was with pain medication). I have no idea what it’s like all-natural! But I survived. My beautiful baby girl, Emaan, was was born the next day at 10:04 in the morning on Monday April 24th.

The past 5 weeks have been such a blur! I love to be prepared but becoming a mother is something I don’t think anyone can ever be prepared for. The emotions you feel, the fullness you feel in your heart, the attachment to this tiny human being that you would do anything for, the exhaustion and stress of it all. It’s been a huge learning curve, and of course it’s not over.

Every time I think “Ok, I got this mothering thing, I know what to do,” baby girl throws me a curve ball! Everyday is literally completely different. No two days are alike and it’s been challenging to keep up.

I think the first 3 weeks I was in such a haze. I’m a girl who has never been able to survive on less than 8 hours of sleep (I used to be in bed by 9:30 or 10, all throughout high school and even in university) and so the lack of sleep totally got to me! Now I know why people drink coffee and tea to get through the day (although I haven’t succumbed yet). Every time Emaan was asleep, I would try and sneak in a nap as well, even if it was just for 30 mins. And luckily I had the support of my family to be able to do, alhamdulilah.

But now I feel like I’m getting used to the lack of sleep a little better. I still try to nap at least once in the afternoon, but there’s a lot to get done in the day before I allow myself to do that. There’s laundry, cleaning up, restocking of diapers and wipes, taking the time to eat and shower, and a million other mundane things that take up my day. I’ve been meaning to sit down and write this post for a week now but there’s always something to do during the naps.

The first few weeks were a bit of a haze for her too. But now she’s able to track me with her eyes, and gives me the cutest gummy smile and has even started giggling now. I have no clue what she finds so funny; usually it’s like she’s just laughing at an inside joke only she knows, but it’s the best sound in the world. She smiles at her dad when he comes from work and has started grabbing things (and not letting go). She’s already growing up so fast and it’s only been a month!

Even though it’s already been 5 weeks, it still feels like yesterday that I first held Emaan in my hands. When I’m feeding her and her tiny finger tightly grasps mine, I still can’t believe that she was inside me for 9 months and that I gave birth to her. It honestly feels like a dream.

I still can’t believe she’s all mine. <3 She’s definitely the most precious gift I’ve ever received. 🙂

I thought pregnancy was life-changing, but it was just the beginning. The real adventure is motherhood and it’s just beginning!

Anyways, I’m going to wrap this up before baby girl wakes up! Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing. Hope your Ramadan is going well!

As always, thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Almost at the End

I’m writing this at 39 weeks pregnant. I’m almost at the end of my pregnancy and can’t believe it!

I had so many more ideas for posts to write about my pregnancy journey, but for some reason or another, they never happened 🙁 But better late than never, right?

I wanted to write this at the end of my pregnancy to reflect on how it’s been so far and all the emotions I’ve been feeling lately. I went through a state of disbelief (first trimester) to excitement (second trimester) to can’t wait to meet my baby (third trimester)! Add into the fact that I moved back to Canada and am currently living with family into the mix and you’ve got a 9 month long roller coaster!

It might sound weird but there are still some moments of feeling disbelief, even at the end. It usually happens when I see my belly and can’t believe that I’m 9 months pregnant and about to give birth. I went through a lot of this at the beginning of April. When I first found out I was pregnant in August and heard the due date of April 2017, it felt SO far away. I couldn’t imagine myself being 9 months pregnant with a huge belly and a baby on the way. And as the end of March approached and April dawned, I couldn’t believe I had finally reached the end of the line.

Even now, as the weeks have been flying by, it still all seems surreal. I always knew I wanted to be a mom one day, but now that it’s almost here, I still feel a tiny bit scared and wonder if I’m ready. Apparently you’re never truly ready to be a mom, or so they tell me… I don’t know if I’ve done everything I wanted to do before I had kids, but it’s a little too late now.

But that’s only half of the emotions I feel! The other half of me is ready to have this baby NOW. 9 months is a long time, but it mostly flew by for me. But these last few weeks have felt SO long. Being 9 months pregnant is no picnic in the park, especially as your body definitely slows down and you long for the days when you could bend down to pick things up easily and when you walked, instead of waddled.

More than that, I just can’t wait to meet my baby. After 9 months of carrying her around inside of me, I feel so excited at the thought of holding her in my arms (soon, inshAllah!) and being able to hug her and kiss her finally. I know my life won’t ever go back to the way it was once she’s born, and there’s definitely some anxiety I feel over that, but at this point, all I can think and dream about is seeing her finally. It’s the end of pregnancy, but also the beginning of motherhood.

Anyway, here’s hoping that the next time I post, I’ll have a sleeping baby next to me. Hope you all had a great long weekend 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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Recipe: Tandoori Shrimp Tacos

I might have mentioned this already, but I’ve had no cravings during the entire duration of my pregnancy. I’ve still got 2 months to go technically, but I figure if they haven’t shown up during the last 7 months, it’s unlikely for them to show up now…

Maybe this is because I used to have cravings even before I was pregnant? I’ve had a love affair with food ever since I can remember and I’ve never needed an excuse to say “I’m craving this…” So maybe that’s why I never noticed my cravings as being unusual during pregnancy?

Whatever the reason, I have been ‘craving’ something light and healthy for a few weeks now. I know, I know, craving and healthy are complete opposites (at least in my books), but after a few weeks of eating heavy and oily food, my palate has been itching for something light and refreshing. Enter these Tandoori Shrimp Tacos!

So first of all, excuse the unprofessional picture. I currently don’t have access to all my blogging and photography stuff. So I just snapped a quick picture of this taco yesterday before literally stuffing it in my face and decided to share it with you all since it’s been awhile.

I usually make these with chicken, but was craving some scrumptious shrimp yesterday. But you could also easily make these with boneless chicken. Just be sure to cut up the pieces of chicken into small, bite-sized pieces before marinating them so that they’re easy to put into the taco shells.

I love these tacos because I always have the tandoori masala or seasoning at home. It’s pretty much a staple in most Pakistani households, but if you don’t have it, you can easily grab it from the international aisle of most major grocery stores. The brand that’s most easily accessible is Shan but if you can’t find that, feel free to use any other brand. Marinating the shrimp in tandoori masala adds a nice kick to the tacos; the guacamole usually tends to cool the taco down so feel free to add as much as you want. Now let’s get to the recipe!

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