The aroma of the coffee beans brewing send waves of intense flavor floating, awakening every sense in a new moms body. My eyelashes continue to flutter, fighting the urge to sleep, as the exact change for my small coffee bounce off the counter and spin right into the baristas hand. Her smile is comforting and the sense of relief is beyond real, as she hands me my cup of goodness. You see, my alarm clock decided that it was okay for it not to wake me up as it always does, just because it felt like it. Hence, my hair remained in its knotty bun, and my breakfast remained uncooked and my morning yoga routine missed me more than I missed it. But, it was in this moment that I realized that it was more than worth it. With my one year old huddled right into my chest and my three year old attached to my hip, we slept. Dreaming of nothingness. Breathing deeply. Loving closely. Here we were.
Mind you, this didn’t last long. Before the second hand of the clock could pass the mighty twelve, to announce that 8 am had arrived – my two sons rightfully took it upon themselves to relay that message. I never knew that my eyelid could be pinched in so many angles, in a pursuit to open my tired eyes. But what a view. My two favorite boys only millimeters away from my iris, and to add to that, a slobber of drool waiting to bunjee-jump at any given moment. I quickly reached over for my specs, in anticipation to quickly skim through the long list of emails that remained unopened from the day before. But that bubble popped faster than I could say “STOP!” As my heart dropped and my blood pressure flew through the roof, I watched my new phone fly over our queen size bed and land safely after exhibiting a 9 point triple axle, on a pile of clean laundry that remained untouched for its second day in a row. Okay so I think it was about time to “wake up” and get out of bed, already.
My stomach grumbled louder and louder, as I waited for my three year old to finally put his toothbrush down. But, apparently he missed a spot, so here we go again. But there was light at the end of the tunnel, because sooner than later, the pearly whites glistened in the sunlight, and the diapers were changed and we finally made it down the stairs and into the kitchen. Good morning to you too!
I watched my husband scramble frantically for the token missing item, as he does every morning, and those being his keys, his wallet and of course the credit card which he for some reason refuses to actually place into the wallet that has the perfect place for it. Rest assure, just like every morning, we eventually find it, tucked between the sofa cushions or more commonly than not, hanging out in one of his pockets we missed to check. With a quick kiss and a nod of acknowledgement, he rushes through the door. A deep breath escaped my mouth as I turn around, and our day is ready to begin.
Nursery rhymes echoed though our home and I stood by the kitchen counter, just staring at them. Munching on Cheerios and watching the wiggles in complete awe, as if they had not just seen this episode for the seventh time. It was truly in this moment, that I was reminded of something I heard many times by now, and that being that they grow up so fast! When the tedious tasks of diaper changes and all things baby create a mountain of timely tasks, sometimes you forget. You forget that right now he’s asking thirty questions about the cracks on the road and the creative answers you muster up within seconds; because when he’s older he might not be in the mood to be as talkative. You forget that your lap is his favourite seat in the house, because when he’s older he may not even have the time to sit down. You forget that these oh so small fingerprints all over the television screen, will one day become bigger and you will miss them. Within seconds I felt a lump in my throat and it felt like a volcano of the sea may erupt any second, but just then I felt a tug at my leg, it was the baby wanting to be picked up. I glanced over at my in-prepped dinner items, the avalanche of unwashed dishes but then I looked at him. Without a sigh or any hesitation, I picked him up and held him tighter than ever before. We walked over to my older son who had already lined up all my Tupperware as a race track for his new monster truck, but this time I greeted him with a smile rather than a lecture.
Let kids be kids. In order to raise a kid, you need to become a kid. So I brushed all the chores to the side and dove right into an imaginary castle, a lego tower made of molten lava and you know what? Life never felt better. The time flew by, as if it was being carried away with giant wings fuelled by the essence of joy, love, laughter and indulging into the moment.
This is me. This is us. I wouldn’t want to remember doing dishes and folding laundry over creating new moments with these two little guys. Moments that would evolve into memories so beautiful that they would leave footprints in our hearts. These are the times that brighten our lives. Innocence and unconditional love is what makes up a child. After all, all they ever knew was Mom and dad. So how could we not be present in these tiny moments when a trail of silly questions or accidental spills re- appear yet again? We become the mirrors that children peek at, even when we think they are not looking. So smile, dance and laugh with them, because the years are short, and believe me I know, the nights are long. But we will miss these days so embrace them, just like your kids.
Written By: Aisha MK
The tiny hole in the curtain let in a ray of light that danced around the room, until it found its resting place on my son’s cheek. His eyelashes fluttered as he dived into his world of dreams, hand in hand, with every adventure his heart could endure. Sleeping so peacefully in my arms, I leaned over to kiss his forehead, only to find him snuggle even closer to my chest, as if he was drawn to the beat of my heart; the one rhythm he memorized from the nine months he spent warm and secure within my womb. The clicking from the living room clock slowly dulled as I found myself lost within this very moment. With my one free hand, I caressed my growing belly from side to side, wondering what it would feel like to hold two children and love both infinitely with one heart. As my son let out a sleepy sigh, he rolled to the side, releasing my arm which was slowly regaining its circulation. I sat up ever so slowly, only to find that my morning alarm snoozed itself back to sleep, and I was left with fifteen minutes before a very tired two year old would regain all the energy the morning sun had to offer and leave a trail of zest in his every footstep. My shuffled gait and the slight waddle across the hall could never be mistaken for anything less than a very pregnant thirty something year old who frantically packed an overnight hospital bag just two weeks shy of the official “due date”.
There was a racket of noise echoing across the hall and three little knocks on the bathroom door. He was awake – but so was I. My sleepy eyes could not have received a more zippy awakening then to realize that I was part of the 10% of women whose water would break before labour. I quickly turned the door knob, releasing the door behind me, only to find my toddler camped outside the washroom. With the minimal amount of bending I could afford to do, I picked him up and swung him around in my arms, just to see those shiny pearls smiling back at me. With the newest Sandra Boynton book in one hand and a sippy cup full of milk in the other, he marched straight to his high chair. With one quick jump and a semi air lift, he was comfortably sitting, awaiting for breakfast. As the water in the pot rose and bubbled around the two eggs that wiggled around each other, I stood still. My eyes glistened as they found my overly tired husband laying on the couch, half on and the other half somewhere lost within all the unnecessary yet necessary accessory pillows. I caught my breath trying to escape from my lungs again, as I walked over to tap his shoulder ever so slowly. His eyes opened yet my mouth refused to do the same. The hairs on his eyebrow grew closer together as the words escaped from my mouth. It seemed as if he jumped five foot into the air all while holding a toothbrush and a hospital bag in his hands.
My heart sunk, as I strapped the seatbelt snugly onto my son’s lap, knowing that within a few short hours, he would not be the only one holding onto my arms. Before I could even turn around, I felt two little arms reach across my waist; hugging me ever so tightly. Not able to express what he may be feeling, with the limited words he could articulate into a sentence, I was able to understand every word. Every touch. Every rapid heartbeat that calmed itself as I hugged him back. The car ride to drop my “little but not so little baby” off to my mother’s house was full of joy, happiness and a dash of nervousness as the idea of an epidural was slowly becoming a reality.
As we turned onto the driveway, my very excited parents were already standing outside the door. My son’s eyes shined with excitement as he already knew that cookies and any flavor popsicle under the sun was only steps away from becoming dinner. I hugged him tightly; my first born – the person that gave me the honor of calling myself a mother. As he ran towards the grandparents, I smiled, knowing that he was in good hands and I could try to focus on getting through labour.
It had been some time since I rode in the front seat next to my husband. His hand always seemed to find mine, and that in itself, had a very pregnant woman turn blushing pink. It wasn’t very long until we both burst into laughter. As the sun reflected off of his sunglasses, I squeezed his hand a little tighter, knowing that with him by my side, there was nothing to worry about. The big letter “H” of the hospital was approaching closer, as we finalized our last minute plans on where to park and which entrance to take. As he lugged the hospital bag on his shoulder, he never let go of my hand. We walked hand in hand, well perhaps I waddled a bit, but nonetheless, we were together, and that’s all that mattered.
The elevator ride seemed to take celestial ages until we reached the second floor. As the smiling faces of the maternity ward greeted us, it wasn’t long before a nurse showed us to our birthing suite. It all looked so familiar. Within minutes, the endless paper work began and before we knew it, the hospital bands with our names on them were secured around our wrists. Ladies and gentlemen, it was official – we were about to have a baby.
The second hand of the clock made it’s way around the clock cheerfully as my nerves were at an all time high. As much as I was trying to avoid inducing my labour, it was very much about to happen. I sat patiently, imagining the first drop to dive into the tube and create a wave of contractions so powerful that the only thing to rescue me from the pain would be the mighty epidural. As the negotiations began between the nurse and I, on the amount of dilation it would take to receive the mighty epidural, she left with a smirk on her face. Before I knew it, the contractions felt like crashing waves against my stomach, each one stronger than the last. I found myself biting my lower lip and looking back at the door, anticipating the entrance of the anaesthesiologist. When he finally arrived, my husband gave me a wink and I knew he could see the look of relief on my face. As the numbing needle made its way through the epidural space, I hugged the pillow so hard that I thought there would be a burst of feathers floating around any minute. The procedure was done before I could even open my eyes, yet the raging waves on the computer screen matched the amount of pain my very pregnant body was enduring. The epidural was a failed attempt. My patience was reaching an all time low as he returned to re-do the epidural, but this time with my guidance. You see, my knowledge of the spine and where my scoliotic curve was hiding nailed the procedure this time, allowing my very tired body to rest before the baby made his Grande appearance.
The clock struck to three a.m. and the delivery team arrived as if a football game was in session, ready to make the catch that would earn them the winning goal. I could sense the nervousness in my husband’s hands, as they shook by his side, until they finally rested in mine. Six minutes never looked better, because within that time, my womb went from being the nurturing walls to my unborn child to releasing him into my arms. The bright lights, mirrors and medical jargon being thrown from one end of the room to the other all seemed so far away, as I held him to my chest. His screeching cries mellowed instantly as we synced our breathing and soon our heart beats. I could see my husbands eyes glisten with tears as he quietly muttered a string of prayers in our direction. 3 am never looked so good. Nothing mattered in this moment. The only person I couldn’t stop thinking of was this little baby’s older brother, who was probably deep in sleep in grandma’s arms, without a care in the world. He would wake up in a few hours to meet someone who will one day become one of his closest friends; his brother. As my eyes began to close, my day dreams slowly winded off and before I knew it, the wheelchair was ready to take us to our private room.
The nurse pushed the wheel chair without a hiccup along the way, and as she opened the door, a feeling of nostalgia came over us; it was as if we were back after delivering our first son. The wee hours of the night passed quickly and were interrupted frequently with a visit from the nurse. My eyes opened faster than they ever have for an early morning alarm clock, but I knew that visiting hours would start any minute, and although there was a waiting room full of family members yearning to walk through those doors, the only person I wanted to see was my son. My husband held the crowd back, as Baby A galloped through the door, confused but delighted to see his mother, father and a little baby that he would call brother.
Written By: Aisha MK
The beads of sweat dance on your forehead, as the white coat across the room inches closer, handing you the prize possession you waited 9 months to hold. He is here. He is home. The worst is over – so you think. The hospital room glows with shiny smiles and hues of blue, as visitors celebrate the birth of your new child. Slowly, the wall clock ticks as your eyelids begin to close, but still, with whatever will and might inside your tired cells, you fight the urge to rest. To not miss that very moment, when your, not even one day old baby, may smile in his sleep. Yet, mother nature has other plans for you. As you drift into a peaceful rhythm of sleep, you hear a screeching cry from the bassinet beside you. Welcome to parenthood.
The distasteful yellow walls of the hospital have overstayed their welcome and you are more than excited to release your eyes from their gaze, as you manage to shimmy your maternity pants back on. Sigh. There isn’t much time to dwell over the bikini body you imagined would magically appear after you gave birth to your nine-pounder – but these pants will do for now. You take a quick look around before you take your first steps into the real world, without the eyes of nurses peeking in to ensure your feeding times are right on schedule. With a swift smile, your hands grip the car seat and the stress lines begin to already appear, as the struggle to lift this seat becomes real. With a wave of a wand, your brave husband appears and takes the burden off your chest. Piece of cake- right?
The apartment smells of sweet teakwood and the scene is truly off of one of the glossy pages of a magazine, as you kick off your boots and enter your home sweet home. Every torturous moment of sweeping the floor and sanitizing every corner of your home, truly has paid off as that swift smile makes a second debut on your face. You peek through the bassinet, to see that even baby is asleep so what better time to catch up on some z’s, than now? The duvet is extending its invitation with warmth and your heart is set on fire, to submerge into a deep sleep. Yet, the manual to parenthood forgot to mention that the above is complete and utter fiction and non-existent. As you quietly wiggle your way onto the bed, it’s as if the baby was born with a sensor to detect your every move. The symphony known as crying begins as the strings of your heart are pulled towards the bassinet. You shuffle quickly, trying to gather all the thoughts you assumed would be stored perfectly in your long-term memory – but someone forgot to press save. Breastfeeding was not as black and white as the nurses deemed true, because as you attempt the infamous night time feed, the pain has you clenching every tooth in your mouth but you dare not to let out that scream, in fear of waking the baby. The tears may have subsided on your baby’s face, but the fury of postpartum hormones make their appearance through a stream of endless tears as the fears and doubts cloud every future parenting thought your brain could hold in that very moment.
Days turn to weeks and weeks slowly but surely turn to months, and the endless polaroids of your little family tower over the night stand. Those tears quickly turned to smiles as your new baby attempts his first roll and recognizes you as the sole importance in his life. You close your eyes as you try to take it slow on this roller coaster ride called parenthood. You haven’t stepped out of your apartment in weeks, but there is nothing a red shade of lipstick and a quick tug at that collapsing mom bun can’t fix. By now, every chamber of your heart, is drumming loudly, as your silent prayers of not waking the baby as your stroller rolls over the concrete bumps on the sidewalk, are heard loudly as every passerby smiles amusingly.
The weight scale in your bathroom has greeted you with a smirk for the past few months, but your aerobics instructor and that distasteful kale salad is to thank for the moment when your skinny jeans finally hug your waist, a little tighter than you hoped for, but at least they made it all the way up there, right?
This journey, was one you dreamt of ever since that shiny engagement ring made its arrival on your left hand. You couldn’t imagine a better father for your child, and every time the three of you are together, it feels so perfect, that someone could truly wrap a red ribbon around how much happiness someone could feel. The ups and downs and the road to come comes with no manual but a real guarantee of speed bumps, yet you are ready. Your eyes sparkle with the thought of your growing family and all the sacrifices you made for this little child, is worth more than anything you could imagine. You forgotten how it felt to be so free to fly, yet be so grounded at the same time. Welcome new parent to the world of parenthood. May the force be with you.
Written By: Aisha MK
My left eyelash begins to flutter uncontrollably, sending off alarms in my body and before I know it, every cell in my body is recharging and diving into action. I can feel the electrical pulses colliding within the vessels of my nerves, as my arm begins to lift off of the pillow. A big wet kiss lands right on my left eye. A symphony of laughter rolls around my ear drum and suddenly I am up. Wide awake. It’s only 6 am. But in toddler time, it means get up. Now.
There is a new soreness arising on my back, probably arises from the sliver I was offered to sleep on last night. A growing little boy had decided that the best derivative of sleep, was apparently horizontal. And by now, I know to never wake a sleeping child. Unless of course the universe was colliding with Neptune’s stars – but even then, my brain would be wired to lift him in such a graceful fashion that his eyes wouldn’t even leave the R.E.M. Cycle they so loved to rest in.
The day had begun even before Mr. Sun decided to make his grand debut. After a tug of war with the toothpaste, he finally gave in to brushing only the top teeth – and I’ll accept that. Because tomorrow is another day.
As we walked down to the kitchen, counting each and every step in a random order of numbers, which by now I also found a chuckle in, we finally made it to the high chair. Yesterday’s colossal tower of dishes didn’t magically disappear as I imagined it would, so the laundry list of chores had already begun to pile up. Ten minutes into breakfast, I feel a coolness on my leg- cereal. Soggy cereal, to be exact, made a splash and just so happened to make its emergency landing on me. Looks like breakfast was finished before it even begun.
I watched swiftly, as all my plans flew out the open window, spreading their wings and diving in any direction to get away from the chaos that has already started brewing in our tiny home. How could such a tiny human being multi task through a highly alphabetically organized bookshelf and create a wave pool of books and then scrimige his way into every labelled mason jar of herbs and create a tasting bar far greater than anything you’ve seen at Costco?
My breaths have also taken flight with packed bags and begin to make their great escape through my mouth. In between the grinding of my teeth and all the depressing thoughts of re-organizing cupboards with a brand new sore back, something came over me. The glaze over my eyes had begun to melt away, and a smile hijacked my frown. I looked down, to see this almost two year old, scoop up the newly mixed herbs with his tiny hands and screech the words “help you” in some foreign accent either adopted by britains peppa the pig or our household favorite Pingu. My arms wrapped around this bubble of mischief, hoping from the deepest chambers of my heart, that it never burst.
Mischief and mayhem may be in the spotlight for us these days, but the front seats are always taken by a mother’s love.
Written By: Aisha MK
My tiny hands paved the way, as I crawled under my mother’s feet while she quietly sipped her afternoon tea. As my eyes looked up at her, she always smiled and never stopped me from the epic adventures I would have creating forts and sliding under her feet. As the years carried forth, the same feet I would tickle under the coffee table would walk me to my first day of kindergarten. As I hid behind her, attempting to hide from the reality of being separated from her for the first time – it was time for me to take my little steps forward, as she kept hers grounded until mine were safely inside. When it was time to see mom again, the ground shook from the excitement of my feet pounding against the pavement as I jumped right into her arms. Little did I know, this would be the first of many days that would help me create footsteps of my own.
Years passed and as the books piled up on my desk so did the amount of time I spent with my overbooked calendar – but there was never a day, that my evening meal wasn’t fully prepared and neatly placed on my desk. Some days, the words “Thank-you” were too much effort to mutter as my eyes never looked up from the endless sentences that had vowed to make this chapter reading the most difficult yet. As my teenage years rolled on, so did my eyes at every little speech and lecture that came my way. My new blackberry quickly replaced the old calendar my mom helped me hang on the wall, so many years back. In between my new love for coffee and studying came along the excitement of spending the few weekend hours I had freed up – to see my best friends. As the door slammed behind me, I would see my mom from the glass door, waving good-bye – but with a flashy smile, I roared out of the driveway to endure on my weekend plans.
An engagement ring later and a year of planning for the big day, I found myself, again, paving my footsteps for a bigger adventure than I could ever imagine, but this time, down a new road. I could see her eyes glisten in between the camera flashes and as we exchanged our hugs, I began to walk hand in hand with my newfound love, but as I turned around to capture the moment, and within the stampede of people, I was able to see her feet – still grounded, ever so still, waiting patiently until I sat safely into the limousine.
They say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. And I say, they are right. It wasn’t long, until I overlooked every text message from my girlfriend to quickly dial my mother’s number, hoping to catch her for our afternoon chat before she left for work. Soon, it became one of my favorite moments of the day, just listening to her empty spaces between every sentence and the clearing of her throat that used to get on my every nerve, now just made me laugh.
The day finally came, when those two pink lines would rattle the chambers of my heart until they came close to exploding. When the day came that I found out I was pregnant, there was only one person I wanted to call, it was her, my mother. It was in that moment, that something had changed inside of me.
As the months went on and the calendar filled with the endless appointment and registry meetings, every cell in my body strapped itself in armour to battle the urge to sleep. Yet again, we lost and I found myself collapsed on the couch, wrapped in endless seams of the checkered throw.
As my belly decided to take on a new shape, so did my poor feet. Swollen and achy, I finally gave up the fight of fitting them into my favourite stiletto and propped them up on the ottoman. The rain clouds gathered around the city in protest of any sunshine as the rain droplets trickled against my window. The wall clock ticked quietly reassuring me that tonight was the perfect evening to stay put on the couch. My arms reached over to the side table and as my hands struggled to hold onto the photo book, they gave out and a flood of pictures fell right into my lap. I let out a sigh and as my eyes re-opened from the clumsiness my new body put on, I slowly started to gather the photographs. Stopped in my tracks, my lips quivered for a short moment as they curved into a smile. I picked up an old photograph of me playing under my mother’s feet. I remember this like it was yesterday. There was a flood of emotions that flowed through my body until they found their release through my eyes; streaming endlessly was a river of tears. Memories of the closeness I once felt with the one person who selflessly put her children first, retiring her own needs for several years, were up close and personal. The stage had been taken over by feelings of losing touch, failing to repay her with the same love and admiration she showered us with. Once the lens of my glasses fogged up, I rolled them up on my head and all I saw were my feet. Aching from the blessing Mother Nature had chosen for me to carry. 9 months of doing everything by the book, changing the bad to good and the good to even better; creating a kingdom of good vibes and love – for someone whom I have not even met yet. If this isn’t love- then I don’t know what is. The steps I took forward were fundamental in my growth and there was not a shred of regret for that, but it was sprung from the empty thank – you’s I missed as she took her steps away from my bedroom door, after delivering my dinner to my desk; rather it was from the steps I chose not to turn around from, to give her that second wave of reassurance or that warm hug that would let her heart beat to a more peaceful rhythm. Instead, if the wooden panels laid out in front of our front door could speak, they would count the amount of steps she took pacing back and forth, after the four missed calls I chose to ignore as the clock struck it’s course at the evening hours.
Maturity comes with stages of life and I know very well, that pregnancy came wrapped up in a bow tie of nausea and a perfect crease of emotions – but this was a deep awakening of every sense in my body. My feet became grounded as they took their steps to the kitchen, where my phone flashed it’s missed call from her – my mother. As I opened my mouth to say hello – the words wouldn’t dare come out. The silence between my sentences were mention enough for her to know that a flood of apologies and a storm of emotions were ready to pour out. This was my first recognition that a bond between a mother and a child is not only selfless but un-breakable to the many forces it endures.
Heaven lyes under your mother’s feet, is an old Arabic proverb that I grew up hearing- but it went in one ear and out the other. But today, as my fingers trace the outline of my belly, guarding, protecting and nurturing the child that will one day play under my feet – I will always cherish these moments, because the sweetness of his innocence will one day grace my eyes, as I watch him take his tiny steps that will one day become the greatest adventures of his life.
Ps. Go call your mother
Written By: Aisha MK
Wrapped so comfortably under a blanket, with every fold so eloquently tucked in, he drifts off into a place where only he knows. Peaking from the top of the bed, I spot a mellow smile from him, but before I could press on my camera click – he’s already flipped over and that moment is gone. I shuffle my tired legs towards the bed and collapse beside him – knowing that within two hours, his cry will reach down into the tunnels of my ear, awaking my every cell as l attempt to his need for comfort.
Before my alarm clock could screech it’s daily tune, my outstretched hand was able to silence it , reducing any possible risk of awakening our little bundle of joy. This night has gone down as one of the worst sleeping records a new mother could possible endure – out of the six hours I was aiming to get shut eye, I was only granted a full hour and a half of sleep. All this between an endless stretch of feeding and the “on again off again” cries as the teething pain roller coastered through the divots that would one day give way to his future chompers. But just like clockwork when the clock strikes 7 am, his final roll onto his back occurred before his eyes opened and wandered about looking for me. As much as I wanted to hide under the duvet cover, he knew very well where to find me. The mop of hair on my head would be far from a lucky guess. As the strands of hair from my head began to be yanked, l let out a yawn so loud that only a lioness could replicate. But aside from every cell in my body fighting the urge of getting out of bed, there was something so uplifting about every morning that it was almost impossible not to fly out of bed – my son, holding my hand, pulling me and pointing towards the door. He was ready to take on the world, and what better partner , than myself. So before I knew it, there we were, toothbrush in hand and making faces in the mirror. After the uproar of giggles faded, I could feel the slightest push against my knees – it was him, insisting I pick up the speed and join him one the carpet.
My eyes did a quick time check, only to find five minutes had passed from our journey from the bathroom to the living room. We read through the same three books from the day before before but his eyes brightened just as they did on the first day. it was in this moment I began to realize something – the same dwindling routine that I had become accustomed to with my eyes closed were still as shiny and exciting for my little sidekick – my son.
We become so “momified” as some would call it – so intertwined within the ropes of chores and our calling to be the perfect mom, that the little ones who are looking up from under us, only see the frowns and tired looks.
So within the cracks of our smiles, you will always find a story of the two us that made us laugh so hard that we forgot about all the troubles of the day.
Written By: Aisha MK
I can hear the whistling from his stuffy nose as he attempts to flip over in the middle of his sleep – but I dare not try to even move him, as his legs wraps around my elbow. My eyes can hardly make out the time, but given my alarm hasn’t blasted my right ear drum means that I just bought myself extra time before he officially wakes up. Any mother can relate to this situation and compare it to finding gold under the rainbow – this is realistically one of the rarest things to occur when your baby somehow sleeps on clockworks – but I’ll take it!
As I literally limbo my way out of bed, I moon dance my way out of the bedroom to ensure my foot doesn’t step on the cluster of toys I forgot to clean up last night. My eyes quickly glance over to the wall clock only to realize that I have 20 minutes before my toddler boy officially calls it morning. I quickly gather up all his toys into the basket, broom last night’s dinner off the kitchen floor and arrange whatever furniture I can without making too much noise. With only 4 minutes to go, I manage to wash the necessary dishes and blend his morning cereal. As I tip toe into the bedroom, I see a hand rise up from over the bed railing. Before the cry reaches any higher octave, I’m already bouncing onto the bed for our morning cuddles. A quick diaper change and we are off into the kitchen for round 1 of breakfast feeding time. Two clicks of the high chair and a snap of the buckle, and we are good to go. The spoon barely reaches his mouth before the freshly made oatmeal splatters all over the floor. My glasses are riding down my nose as I bend down to clean the mess only to find drops of juice splashing down. My eyes close for a millisecond and a sigh escapes my mouth – but I’m not about to give up. If there is one thing motherhood has taught me – it’s the art of multi-tasking. With one hand imitating a plane as it twirls around and finally makes it into his mouth, the other is replying to a text from my mother. 40 minutes later, and only two spoons of cereal left- the bell for the first round rings as the toddler claims victory and refuses any more attempts for feeding. Fair enough. I let him run circles in the living room, while making the grocery list and cleaning out the fridge. While I am lost in the world of chores and creating invisible lists in my head, I glance up to see my son, holding one shoe and bringing it towards me. For a minute, I am completely lost – but soon enough, he brings another show to me as well – but this one doesn’t belong to him; it’s mine. With only a handful of one-syllable words under his belt, he somehow finds a way to tell me, it’s his day too. Since I could remember being a mother, the idea of keeping a fridge full of food, a neat and tidy home and an impeccable laundry folding time has reached the top spot on my to do list. But with his growing imagination and desire to explore, these priorities of mine started to lose their shine. Dimming perceptions of the “perfect mother” started to take place as my son took his stand on center stage. For months, his cuteness radiated from the bassinet – allowing me hours at a time to maintain the tidiest house on or street. But this soon became a challenge as he dove out of the crib and waddled his way from crawling to walking and now plain old running until you caught him.
My to do lists because so overwhelming that I was cutting into the time I could be spending with this little adventure seeker. Instead of spending an hour folding laundry on the sofa; I could be reading the same ten books as last week lying on the sofa with him. As the wheels in my head began to turn, so did the strings of my heart. It was as if they were being tugged at from every corner. The guilt began to take over and a dark cloud started to rain over my head as the tears began to well up in my eyes. I looked down at him, with two different shoes in hand; I knelt down and wrapped my arms around his tiny body. I whispered “I love you” and he grabbed my finger as we walked over to the shoe closet. I left my chores and worldly affairs behind, even for a little while, and we began to take our steps, slowly but surely, hand in hand as we closed the door behind us. Because at the end of the day, with all the lists and things we give priority to day in and day out, we sometimes miss the little moments that our children live for, smile for and dream for the next day.
Written By. Aisha MK
The second hand of the wall clock couldn’t tread any slower, as my eyes shifted from the wall back to my cell phone, in hopes of not missing that first birthday call as the midnight hour struck. My memories flooded in as I remembered my inbox being full within minutes and my text messages ringing throughout the night. But this year, as I put my son down for bed, I looked down to see myself already dressed in my cupcake pajamas. My misty eyes were fighting the urge to fall asleep in the queen size bed that was over flooded with accessory pillows, making it seem like the perfect escape from the list of chores that I had scribbled down in my planner, somewhere.
Before I knew it, the sun’s rays were seeping through the open blinds and casting radiance all over the room. With my eyes still closed, I could feel two tiny hands cover my face and a big thump echoed shortly after, as our night table took a fall from a toddler trying to use it as a lift. With two tulips in hand, purple and yellow, and a scribbled birthday card shoved in my face, how else could a mom want to wake up on her birthday? I could see my husband prompting my son, step by step, as he snuck in a smirk. With a peck on my cheek, and an extra hour of sleep gifted by my husband, it was time to face this new year, this new age, this new gift of life.
The water sprinkled off my face, as it always did, but this morning everything seemed a little more different. Realistically, how could a few hours dictating a new day really change all that much; but it was the realization that one year older meant new insights and grasps of reality that I never accepted before. I rushed out of the washroom, quickly grabbing a face towel and scoring three point shot into the laundry basket. On the way down stairs, I must have collected at least three toy cars and found my reading glasses in the oven drawer. As my husband took the liberty of feeding the baby, I grabbed this golden opportunity to sit on the porch, slowly sipping my tea. As I twirled the tea bag in endless circles, the ripples left me thinking about a few years back on my birthday; there were at least three outfit changes, streamers galore and birthday celebrations that lasted until the wee hours of the night. My fingers swiped the arrow of my phone, unlocking the mysteries that lurked within it, only to see one birthday message. I wasn’t sure if I was disappointed or actually content with this new maturity that emerged within minutes of the clock striking midnight. My smile that stretched from ear to ear was a clear indication of the latter.
As I closed the storm door behind me, what I saw was more than I could have asked for. A love story that led me to find a man who’s swept me off my feet and took me on this epic adventure we call a marriage. And soon after, the journey of motherhood that is life long that showered my life with a new type of happiness, a new glow and a smile that never leaves my face.
I watched from the French doors, as my husband and toddler boy shared a sprinkle of laughter as he wiped the icing sugar from my son’s nose. A homemade birthday cake was something I never expected from the stream of epic birthdays I have had in my lifetime – but I liked this. I was falling in love with the evolution of motherhood and how it’s not just changing me physically but it’s an open invitation to fly freely, with a fresh scent of idea, rather than the ordinary ideal of what a birthday is. My love for celebrations still ignites a curiosity that I have had since I was a child, but as my new age springs an extra digit, I too add on new traditions, openly and happily.
Happy birthday to me, but to my new life as a mother, as a lover, as a partner, as a friend but most importantly as an ordinary someone that was given a gift that she is still unwrapping – motherhood.
Written By: Aisha MK
His tiny hands curl up and intertwine with mine, as we lay for our daytime nap. The wind blows the curtains ever so swiftly, tickling his nose. I fight the urge to close my eyes, as to not miss these little moments that will one day become a memory as new ones form. His hands grasp onto my finger tightly as he attempts to roll over, but I pull him close to me. I have never known a love so pure and as I continue to hold him pressed against me, I begin to realize that his tiny hands hold the whole of my heart within them.
The nine months I carried him, safe and sound within a world of new sights and sounds, were not the easiest to say the least. My once selfish desires to skip my daily dose of aerobics or indulge in a family size of dill pickle chips were a mere sacrifice compares to changes I had endured for months to come. The aches in my muscles fought hard to release their tensions as my growing belly made room for a baby. Soon enough, the bodily pains had ceased and the ticking of the wall clock became my new companion.
Awaiting the arrival of a very important guest had me frantically checking my calendar, making sure to cross out the passing days. In my adventures of this new body and the rhythms and rhymes it danced to, I often had to remind myself to sit, breathe and think. This child, enclosed within an envelope of the unknown, can hear my voice echo through the womb. He could sense my smell everywhere around him. The blood rushing though my vessels, crashing against the cord that sustain his life, breathes a sense of nurture to him. The constant waves of movement he lives through, rock him slowly to bed. As I sat, cross-legged, covered in the sofa throw, I felt a connection, a bond, a friendship but more importantly a love so deep, that it lingered through my body until it reached him. How could you fall in love with someone you have never even met? I always thought this was impossible; that not a shred of truth lied within such remarks, that I heard so many women announce so profoundly. This held true, until the day, I sat impatiently in my doctor’s office, flipping through outdated magazines analyzing the fashion trends that would be put to rest in a couple months. It was there, that I felt something that would have me fall so madly, deeply in love. There it was again. And again. And again. It was as if he was spelling out, “I love you” in three small little kicks. The smile on my face could reach the ends of the walls and I could feel my heart beat quickly take over my senses. When I finally heard my name being repeated for the third time at the front desk, I was brought back down from my daydream that I so unwillingly wanted to leave.
The months that followed, brought a true realization that a life relied on me solely to nourish, love and care for even before he made his grand entrance. As the rhythms of my heart became all that he knew, it surrounded him with melodies that I was sure he called home.
From barely being able to conquer the art of crawling to the great adventures you endure under a fort of blankets and pillows I can see the distance grow between us. But I still see you peeking back; just to assure your tiny heart, that mommy is close by. No matter where you go, the tempos of my heartbeat will always bring us together, because home is when you are in my arms.
Written By: Aisha MK
The lines on his face deepened as if they were holding onto stories of his lifetime. His eyes became craters of untold sadness as they glazed over to the empty guest chair beside me. As a new mother, the sight of tears set an alarm inside of me that instantly went off as the slightest sight of unhappiness. I had mothernature to blame for the new re-wiring that took place inside of me. As I finished filling in the man’s paperwork, his lips quivered as he spoke, the first time in a month, to say, “I can hear my mother”. The pen from my hand dropped, landing on the floor beside the hospital’s emergency button. As I bent down to grab it, I was busy trying to wrap my head around the words he had spoken. The silence became louder between the two sole people in this empty hospital room, just him and I. The lines around his mouth stretched as if they would reach the world’s end, but only to give me a broken smile. The disappointment on my face was replaced with comfort as I reassured him, his nurse would be here soon. As the second hand on the clock made its way around the torturous track it took every minute of every day, it was time for me to leave. I gathered my files and as my hands reached for the door handle, it began to turn on its own. I took a step back and was stopped in my tracks. His voice emerged from the back of the room, “I told you, I heard my mother’s voice. I would never forget it.” I held the door open, as a frail, old woman slowly walked in. This was the first time, in over six months, that there was even an ounce of happiness sprinkled amongst this man’s face. The hospital charts were in abundance and the scribbles all wrote the same story of a senior aged man, bruised from a fall, lost in his world of thoughts.
My heels clicked behind me, as I raced to my car, keys jingling in my hand as I frantically tried to turn the key. There was a stream of tears creating their own story, as they trickled down my cheeks. In a parking lot full of people, I quickly got myself into my car and off I went. Was it just me or was something telling me that every red light I met on the way back home, was a free moment to gather my thoughts. Emotions on the high and memories of my son over the past 18 months, flushing into a storm of thoughts gathered in my mind; I finally found a moment to catch my breath. How could a man of such age, who lived such a difficult life away from his mother, still recognize her voice through a steel door, amongst the chatter in the hospital hallway. A man whose broken smile was fixed instantly from the sight of the woman who gave him life, was a moment that ignited something inside of me. The realization that no matter how much a heart has endured over a lifetime of hurt, love, and dismay; a mother’s love is endless, infinite and pure.
As I walked through the front door, I found my son already waiting for me with open arms. His little hands grasped the back of my knees, and as he looked up and our eyes met, there was something special in that short moment. I was taken back to my childhood and how I always found love in my mother’s warm hugs. With all my time crunching tasks left at the door, we collapsed into each other’s arms. How beautiful this bond of motherhood is? A child so young has not to worry about the towers of trouble we face every day from finances to work schedules and keeping the fridge full. No, he just looks to me for comfort and the basic needs to live. When his eyes open as the sun pours its love on us, his eyes only seek one person, his mother. It was in this moment, I made a vow to myself, to always cherish the miracle of becoming a mother.
Written By: Aisha MK
Her steps could always be heard pacing back and forth until the porch light turned on and her daughter was back home, safe in her sight. Her eyes refused to shut and her heart denied the peaceful beat it thumped to, until she answered her phone call after bidding farewell to her daughter for the start of University. There was never a lunch bag that wasn’t filled with a surprise for the late hours her daughter spent studying for her finals. Her hands never retired from scrubbing a basket full of laundry so she didn’t have to worry about chores when the stress of school took over for a few months. The sacrifices she made for me were swept under the rug on most occasions, greeted with a simple thank you if she was lucky and life continued as it always did. Diploma in hand with flashing lights surrounding her; an engagement ring swapped for a wedding ring and a stream of vows soon followed along with the ignored voicemails and seldom call backs until she made one of the most important calls in her life, Mom, I’m pregnant. Of course the phone calls from my mother just about doubled but my finger always gravitated towards the accept button rather than the overly used ignore button. Something was changing inside of me but I never gave it much thought. The way she started looking at me and my changing body was comforting as I always found home lying on mom’s lap as the nausea created a whirlwind inside me. Her hands caressed my hand, ever so gently, reminding me of my younger years. She never moved from her place as to not disturb her newly pregnant daughter. I awoken from a well needed nap to find my mom fast asleep but never removing her hand from my head. As I lay there, our hands locked and for the first time, after a long time, there was a stampede of emotions running through my mind. I was taken down memory lane of all the times I could have hurt her perfect soul; I was reminded of the times my words drew a knife close to her heart, bleeding unsaid words she kept captive for all these years. My hands drew closer to my stomach, where I was nurturing a child of my own. A child I had grown to love but whom I had never met. A child who would become so dear to me that I would forget my own selfish desires to even remotely see a shred of happiness in him. This realization had emerged from a bond so close, so secure – so unconditional. She didn’t have to speak the words; I love you, because I remember seeing it in how her hand always found mine as my legs shook taking their first steps. I remember hearing the growls from a skipped breakfast and an uneaten lunch so that mine were answered first. I remember the heaviness in her eyes as she woke up earlier than she needed to, so that I wouldn’t be late catching the 7:00 AM bus. Her every step in my direction raised me high to reach dreams I could never imagine, to take steps that had me running through the best experiences in my life to ease the aches of my heart when the world’s cruelty came crashing down on me. It was the love of a mother, my mother, through her unspoken words that comforted me.
Months flew by and before I knew it game day was here; labor. All of a sudden, every anxious thought that was once put to ease by Google had re-emerged to the surface. The monitor showed lines of fury as they roller-coastered for a few minutes and suddenly halted. In those short moments of relief, I remembered my mother; her soothing voice, the gentle caress of her hand and the unspoken words that so easily put my worries to rest. The connection we shared was so strong, even after all these years, that although she was not in the room with me, I could sense her love in everything in that moment; from the blood striking the inside of the walls of my veins to the beads of sweat dancing on my forehead. For the first time, I became fully aware of how much a mother’s love begins even before her child is born. The struggle her body endures in preparation for her child; every contraction battles her inner being but she never gives up. Her muscles ache in agony as her insides cry for relief but she never gives up. She becomes one with the life she is carrying and with all her courage she unleashes her fears in exchange for the eagerness to meet her child.
The pains of labor are easily forgotten with a few popped pills and the stitches of her battle are healed with time. But the nights she spent endless hours feeding her child until his cries ceased and the peace returned upon his face are unforgettable. The discomfort in the positions she had to lye so her child would be comfortable and the way her body ached from holding him because he was too afraid to be left alone are etched in her mind. My mother won’t forget these moments, not because of the distress but because of the treasures she found in them. My mother ensued years of sleepless nights, hunger pains, tears of joy and nights of sadness. And today, as I hold my son, close to my heart, I hear my mother’s heartbeat, even after all these years.
Written By: Aisha MK
The freezer was filled last night with the baby’s meals for the rest of the week. The alarm goes off every morning at 5 AM so that she never misses her daily dose of aerobics. The floors were polished recently, because you can see your reflection on them clearly. Her emails are filling up, with requests to join the “Mom Group” she created a month ago. The other mom’s smiles and fluttering eyelashes grace her presence but quickly vanish as she walks away, but their whispers never get to her – How could she work when her baby is only 8 weeks old? How does she even get time to doll herself up every day – maybe she skips pumping. How does she juggle her baby, her husband, a career, a mom group, calling her mother everyday and sending flowers to her mother in law on her birthday and of course, never missing a spot contouring her face? Easy – She is Supermom.
Our responsibilities will only grow as our family does, but how come we never find the time to become like her- Supermom? What is she doing that you aren’t? The key is prioritizing and organizing your life, instead of the same shelf you always find yourself arranging. Any mom can become “ Supermom” – because she is made of the elements of your life; the things you give importance to, she is your creation.
As a new mom, we learn that sleeping when baby is sleeping will save you the look from your husband, when he takes a bite out of the dinner your burnt – because you chose to fold laundry instead of catching up on your sleep. You were a neat freak before you were a mother, and now you can’t even fathom the idea of wearing matching socks – because last weeks laundry is still sitting in a neat little pile on your bedroom floor.
It’s time to look in the mirror, and accept the changes that are not only physically bringing you down, but also the emotional, the mental and the social ones that are running circles around you. Make a physical list of one to five things in each category in an orderly fashion from the most to least importance. Pick one thing from each category to perform the next day. But let’s slow down here for a minute. You could write down something like, make a big fancy dinner for your husband, but if you don’t know the first thing about making a steak – then it might be more realistic to set three small goals rather than one goal that is hardly attainable. Practice makes perfect, and you are Supermom in the making!
What may seem significant in one mom’s life may not be as important in your life. Finding the things that are imperative to becoming more organized, happier and allowing you to achieve goals in your life is a good place to start in becoming a “Supermom”.
Written By: Aisha MK
It seemed like any other day – the day I am supposed to find out that I am pregnant, that is. I rolled out of bed, patted on some concealer to hide the dark circles I endured from a late night in front of Netflix with my husband, and dashed out the door. Hours seemed like days, as the second hand of my office clock slowly made it’s way to 7 P.M. I managed to keep myself busy, fiddling with a new app I was using to calculate when my period would be due. My eyebrows rose for a moment as the puzzle pieces in my head began to gravitate towards one another – I am late. Not by a day, but try 5 days. How could I not realize it was a leap year and how is it even possible that I miscalculated the date? Okay, don’t panic. The second hand on this clock seemed to be racing against me, as my heart was beating out of my chest. My fingers seem to be moving at lightning speed as I googled the closest pharmacy to get my hands on a pregnancy test. I grabbed my purse and raced out of the office faster than my boss could finish her sentence. Nothing could get in the way of this test and me; that would mark my fate in two single lines. But as luck would have it – fate wanted me to wait at every red light until I finally rolled up to the pharmacy doors. I grabbed the best two pregnancy tests on the top shelf – only to find myself behind the longest line to have ever existed at 7:15 PM on a Tuesday evening, at what happened to be one of the only pharmacies in this area. I let out at least 3 sighs within 1 minute, that had the elderly man in front of me turn around and give me a look that made me want to melt into the floor. I was losing my cool over something that could quite frankly be completely fictional – right? I whipped out my credit card while the cashier held back her sly smile and quickly stuffed the receipt into the bag – and off I went to face my fate. I couldn’t think about the dinner my parents had already laid out for me on the table, as they did every Tuesday night – No, the only thing twirling around my head were onesies and diaper vests and the fact that I have never actually held an infant in my arms in my entire life. I quickly kicked off my shoes and attempted to tippy toe my way up the stairs- but my mother wouldn’t let me take one more step without joining her at the dinner table. Every bite seemed to take longer to chew and my stomach was turning with every passing minute. Enough already! I dashed upstairs and ran into my parent’s bathroom – nobody ever uses this one anyways. I ripped open the box and skimmed through the instructions – did it really say I would find out if I’m pregnant in 5 minutes? Yes. Yes it did. Time really was not on my side today. I took a deep breath in and decided to just close my eyes – I am sure when I open them, 5 minute will just zoom by. My right eye peeked out to the side where the wall clock was and no more than a minute had passed. Finally, five minutes seem to be over – should I let it sit longer? Who am I kidding? I couldn’t bare the wait. There it was – two pink lines. My eyes watered up, I took one very deep breath, looked down again – still two lines. I wrapped up the test in a square of toilet paper, stuffed it into my bag and cleared up the evidence. I was pregnant.
Written By: Aisha MK
My mornings always begin with a 7 am poke to my face, courtesy of my curious baby. His tiny fingers soon find their way into the knots in my hair, and with one yank – I am officially up. Good morning to you too my baby! The day goes by as it usually does; endless hours of cleaning the same rug that seems to have a hint of sweet potato in it today. The battle against his nap schedule, is one that I will never win – but somehow, he actually fell asleep fighting the urge to stay awake. I think I might actually jump for joy – but I rather not be the risk taker today and give up all hope of folding this load of laundry. So as the clock ticks, I am eagerly trying to fold the last pair of jeans and pile them with the rest of my clothes. For a moment, I find myself just pausing to stare at how neatly I have managed to organize, what seemed to be an impossible amount of laundry for one mom to handle. I think I just patted myself on the back, but the smirk on my face is wiped away instantly as the cries of the baby echo through the hallway and pierce my ear drum. And the routine simply continues where it had left off, on pause, for the very short one hour mother nature gifted to me. The sun sets, the bath is turned on and water is splashed onto the floor. One more task checked off of my to do list. As the baby flips through his favourite story time books, I am able to scarf down my dinner and the vitamins I forgot to take this morning. And there it is – from the corner of my eye, I see it. I see the first yawn slowly creeping in. He is tired. Another three yawns, circle around his tiny mouth and as his eyes meet mine, the cries to be picked up off the ground begin. I swoop him up, give him one last loop in the air as I twirl him around our tiny living room and make our way upstairs. As I lay down beside him, I can feel how exhausted my body is today and I could fall asleep this very moment – but I am so glad that I stayed awake to see what was about to happen. My baby boy is about to put me to sleep. For the first time in 15 months, his tiny palms graced my cheeks and found their way to every crevice of my face. It was as if he was speaking to me through touch – a silent form of love, I have never experienced. He leaned over and gave me about twenty kisses followed by his infamous achknowledment of giving a kiss “awwaaa”. I could simply hold on to this very moment and re-live it, anytime I questioned motherhood and all the challenges it brings along. As he lets out his last yawn, his hands fall into my palm, and that is where they stayed. I fell asleep instantly.
Written By: Aisha MK
I set my timer for fifteen minutes and tucked my phone away under our sofa throw, only to dig it up 3 minutes later. Two new text messages and one spam email later, I can’t seem to focus on the slow and steady pace of breastfeeding. I know everyone says, “Oh, they grow so quickly! Make sure to never miss a thing!” But I can’t seem to stay awake and keep myself engaged to my baby, because he too looks like he will fall asleep.
I think we are all guilty of it; playing candy crush or aimlessly surfing the web in hopes of making the time pass faster while breastfeeding. I know I am – well I was, up until, this late afternoon. I had my son on my lap, feeding away, and with my free hand I was finishing up an email. I could see him from the corner of my eye, trying to catch my attention. I smiled gently at him and quickly returned to my phone, only to find his hand covering the screen of my phone. I turned to him and I sat there in silence. He didn’t make a peep, his eyes were deeply set onto mine; as if he was reliving the very first moment he had met me, his mother. It was this very moment that without question, I set my phone aside, and didn’t need to frantically check how many minutes had passed by. This silent conversation between my son and I had become so intriguing, that we both burst into laughter. It was one of the most beautiful moments of motherhood that I had ever experienced. For the first time in fifteen months, I began to regret the countless number of times that my eyes were set on notifications and Instagram filters – rather than the admirable eyes of my son. His innocence reminds me of how much of his life is dependent on me cueing into his need for sleep, nourishment, love, play and most of all engagement and company. Soon he will be too old for feeds in the middle of the afternoon, as we cuddle on the sofa covered in the throw. And soon, he will sleep independently with no need to be comforted with heart-felt songs and stories to fight his nighttime fears away.
These are the moments that highlight my day and make me smile while I am out grocery shopping or finishing up at work. It was today, that I realized, how deep a bond a mother shares with her child. There aren’t many people in this world whom you can have a completely silent conversation with and still understand each and every single word.
The rest of the afternoon seemed to pass by seamlessly as we sat side by side, finishing a puzzle and giggling over absolutely nothing and everything, all at the same time. I found myself smiling at things that usually had me shaking my head in frustration, all because of a little boy, my son. Time may truly never stop moving, but we can stop and enjoy the little moments before they too, get tucked in somewhere between the important things that will one day be not so important anymore.
Written By: Aisha MK
Do you remember the times when you used to spend endless hours playing with small cars or a barbie doll? Your imagination took you on a joy ride as your little toy car rode on imaginary tracks on the carpet and zoomed its way onto mom’s lap and finally back onto the table. Now, when I watch my son rolling his yellow truck around our tiny apartment back and forth, I have to stop myself from thinking “How could this even be fun?”.
Before having my son, I would easily classify myself as the quiet, straight to work type of gal. If I was forced to speak in front of a large group, I would literally imagine myself melting into the ground and transforming into human form once I made my escape. Today, there are times when I don’t even recognize myself – in a good way.
My son, at the tender age of 15 months, is the most powerful and influential little person I have met. I have never been the type to sit on the floor yet I spend an endless number of hours sprawled onto the carpet with my son in my arms. The songs we sing are completely out of tune and better yet entirely out of order – yet there is something about these moments that just clicks between us. I find myself making silly faces and making funny sounds for any chance of getting the spoonful of spinach into his mouth. The guitar strings are strung in horrid tunes and for once, I don’t even care who is listening.
All eyes on this new and improved care-free me. I define this as freedom. There is a new skip in my step my husband noticed the other day, something a little different he says. To be able to break free from constraints of being too loud, or walking funny while trying to keep your toddler in a straight line or acting a complete fool in a food court full of people just to make your little one smile – is priceless.
When he smiles, there is a little piece of me that finds peace. As a mom, a caregiver to a completely mischievous toddler that has me running circles around him – there is always a want inside of me to keep him happy. To see him giggle or smile when I am out of my element frees me of any boundaries between mother and child. It’s only now that he might even find my not-so funny jokes remotely humorous. With this change inside of me, I no longer care who is watching because the only eyes I want to see light up are my sons’. The other night, when I rocked my son to sleep and gently placed him onto the bed, I gave him a little kiss on his cheek and he smiled. Even in his deepest of sleeps and times of peace, I yearn for him to always remain happy.
Written By: Aisha MK
The words raced out of my mouth as the beads of sweat danced on my forehead. My voice echoed throughout the banquet hall and bounced off the microphone as I read the last sentence of my wedding vows. I married my best friend and throughout our many adventures over the years, I said it a million times, that he would make the perfect father-but I couldn’t quite picture it in my head – because what I got instead, was so much better.
Over 9 months, I started seeing an evolutionary change in habits which I was trying to conquer for years that suddenly became extinct. I would like to say it was because of an influx of maturity but I am too quickly reminded of the courageous battle he fought with my raging hormones. Nonetheless, a silver medal, at the least, is what I awarded him with.
But it wasn’t until the very moment in which he held his son for the first time, that I began to realize that the shedding from man to father had already begun. This was a phenomenon like no other. A man, like many others, who left the door unlocked, forgot his keys every other day and never remembered to turn on the dryer full of wet clothes, had ultimately began to master the art of fatherhood. Slowly but surely, I began to recognize the melodies he sung to our son in the middle of the night to ease his yearning for comfort.
The same man who slept longer than a grizzly bear in hibernation, had somehow figured out a newborn’s sleep schedule and had his bottles all ready in a row. Once the crying and whimpering had seized after a few kisses and the baby was tucked in comfortably, I would notice from the corner of my eye, that my husband would frequently tippy toe his was into the room to check on the baby. If this isn’t love, then I don’t know what is. The mother is respectfully granted much gratitude and praise upon the birth of her child, but the father is easily forgotten in her shadow. It was only after I became a mother, that I saw how beautiful the bond between a father and his child is. How deepened it is with every passing day and the changes that emerge within a man so quickly.
It’s not the physical aspects of parenthood like changing diapers or preparing a bottle that truly matter at the end of the day – it’s the emotional connection and appreciation of fatherhood that should be celebrated.
Written By: Aisha MK
I can hear the lightbulb buzzing frantically as I dig my head deeper under the pillow. Oh shoot! How could I be so forgetful? I’m usually very sly in my movement, avoiding any unnecessary racket of noise that could awaken this baby. I have my fingers crossed in any hopes that maybe avoiding eye contact with him will give me an extra ten minutes of shut eye. But no cigar. In no less than a millisecond later, I can feel my tangled hair being yanked along with a cry for attention. Good morning Monday. Good morning baby. Good morning coffee – for the last time.
My university years were made possible by my favourite Starbucks tumbler. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee beans were permanently embedded in all my favourite sweaters. I couldn’t imagine life as a single, free spirit young female without it! With all those late night cramming sessions and the oh- so emotional coffee dates with my best friend – how could I even survive without you, my sweet coffee bean? One cup quickly turned into two as my days began earlier and my nights ran later.
Let’s fast forward to today; I’m standing in the middle of my house with a living room full of toys, a screaming toddler, the tv blaring with nursery rhymes and a load of laundry from two days ago still waiting for me to fold. The ticking from the clock is getting louder as my eyes, bloodshot from lack of sleep, pivot from this bowl of rice cereal to frantically checking how much time has passed. With some luck on my side, I have single handedly managed to feed my son and now he has sleepy eyes – which by the way, is never a bad thing.
After a successful plea with my husband to watch the baby while I run out to get my daily dose of Starbucks, I stop in my tracks. The driveway has enough snow to reach my knees and the car doors are frozen until further notice. My eyes shut for a moment as I let out my first sigh of many for today. The next twenty minutes are spent digging up Mother Nature’s pretty, sparkly white dust off my driveway. The twenty minutes after that, I worked out every muscle in my arms frantically trying to break the ice pockets over the door handles. If there is a will there is a way right? Somehow I find myself in deep contemplation as I repeated those words over and over again. While I waited in the drive through lane, I sat in complete despair. I just spent 40 minutes chipping ice off my car and drove another ten minutes to get this coffee – all for what? I’m already over the time limit I had given my husband for my short escape. My son is probably awake now and I still can’t feel my fingers underneath these leather gloves. Yet, with my coffee in hand I walk into our home and in deep realization of the life I am currently living, I pick up my son, squeeze him tightly and announce to my husband “ this is my last coffee.” His eyebrows rose in sheer confusion as the woman who he knew to be admirably addicted to caffeine, announced her split from coffee. The words escaped my mouth faster than I could formulate them in my head, but I knew that I had to take control of my life and not the other way around.
My eyes opened today, after a very long time. My dependency on something that was controlling my mood, my mornings, my activities was ultimately dictating my life. I guess this was Mother Nature’s way of waking me up and I don’t ever want to fall asleep in the hands of my old love, coffee.
Written By: Aisha MK
The grey and white threads of this carpet are beginning to rub against my skin as I desperately try to push with all my might to move even an inch closer to where she is. Sigh. I haven’t shifted at all and for some reason, she seems further away from me. I hope she doesn’t leave, but as hard as I try I can’t get to her and my emotions are starting to get the best of me. Oh no, that fluid is starting to build up in my eyes again – but it’s probably not a bad thing, she seems to come running every time it starts running down my cheeks. Works like a charm, here she comes. I’m talking about my mom, she’s the one I’m always clinging onto. Lately, she has been trying to feed me all sorts of things but I have learned to just keep my lips together and fling my hands at that silver thing she keeps bringing closer to my mouth. Other than that, she is always making me smile. Sometimes she holds me so close that I hear this pounding noise come from her chest. It reminds me of where I used to live; it was a tiny and dark home and that pounding sound seemed so peaceful that I use to fall asleep instantly.
Another day, another race to the finish line. I can sense the quiver in my legs as I find the courage to stand. My eyes are shifting from every corner but I don’t see her anywhere. Yesterday I lived a life of a slug and today my legs have broken free of the cement that held me in place. Here she comes with that bright light again; mom loves to take pictures of me but today her smile looks brighter than ever. As she extends her hand towards me, every cell in my body takes a leap of courage until my hand finally reaches hers. My left leg begins to slow down but an instance of excitement pushes my right leg forward. I turn my head to look back at the bear I left behind and my heart begins to sink because there is no time to turn back; she is waiting for me ahead. My eyes make their way down to my tiny feet as I begin to realize the new journey that I have taken.
Each step seems to come with more ease as I don’t need to spend all my daylight hours lounging on that grey carpet anymore. My eyes can’t seem to stay in one place as I conjure up all the adventures I will have in this place. As I begin to take my first steps, I can sense my mom tip toeing behind me. It’s in this instance, that I begin to realize, that as much as I am enjoying this new found freedom, I miss her closeness, her smell and that pounding noise that puts me at ease. Every time I turn around, she is right behind me. I take a few more steps and my heart begins to flutter; I turn around swiftly and wrap my tiny arms around her leg. This is all so new to me; the colours, the faces, the tall fixtures all around me. I want to take my first steps into this new and exciting world, but mom, will you hold my hand? I extend my head back to catch a glimpse of her face, but she is already bent down. I felt the comfort rush back into my body as she reassured me with a kiss. I left all my worry behind, as we began to walk, hand in hand.
Written By: Aisha MK
The mannequins are dressed to the tee and every head turns as the newest collection for spring is displayed through the store glass. I can see my husbands disapproving eyes, as he squeezes my hand, to walk faster. As my heels click behind him, I am captivated by the soft hues of pink and pastel blues and that’s all it takes – I am lost in a daydream of retail therapy.
I found great passion in staying on top of trends and getting myself ready everyday. But this reality had become a mere dream after I had my son. Instead of prancing around the house in my skinny jeans, I was spending more time in my flannel pyjamas. There were days when the fading cupcakes on my housecoat accompanied me from morning to night. It wasn’t exactly the company I was hoping for, but most days, this was as close to human contact I was going to get.
A new baby showered our tiny home with the utmost admiration and love, but the stork was also nice enough to drop off a lack of sleep and a chaotic schedule. How sweet. I found myself thinking back to the way I used to be, not too long ago actually; I was energetic, fashionable and I only wore my pyjamas to bed. Where had that burning desire that once lived inside this fashionista gone? Sigh. But the only thing burning now, were the eggs I forgot to flip on the frying pan.
Day in and day out, only the pattern on my pyjamas was changing but how I felt inside remained the same. Dull, worn out and bored. There was a realization that was beginning to emerge from the bottom of my closet; the way I dressed was beginning to effect the way I was feeling. A young mother’s life should be vibrant and playful, not faded in black and white like a 1920’s playback film.
I started coming to grips with my unpleasing reality, as I was caressing my, then 3 month old son’s cheek. I felt my husbands arms squeeze my waist, “You are my star”, he said. In that moment, It was as though he could read my heart’s inner writings. I want my son to see me always smiling, vibrant, free and that was all fading because I gave up on myself.
There was an inkling inside of me, fuelled solely by this new yearning to re-write this chapter in my life. It didn’t take too long, before I found myself smiling while applying s little bit of eye liner and wearing my skinny jeans again. It felt nice to play with my newly curled hair strands while actually being outside of the four walls of my tiny apartment. There was an upsurge in my energy that wasn’t ignited by coffee beans or day time soap operas. The skip in my step and the melodies I serenaded my son with was ignited from my new ammunition; the selfless desire to always be happy for my son. I would never want my child to look back at his younger years, and look up to a melting smile or a broken sense of identity. It wasn’t just about me anymore, it was about a curious little adventure seeker who now bursts into laughter when he sees his mom prancing around the living room. His bright and excited eyes give my heart a new sun kissed glow.
As a new and young mom,I still have my gloomy days where you can spot my mom bun and track pants a mile away. My concealer fails to hide my dark circles some days, but I never lose sight of who I am. I may not have time to wear matching socks to my yoga class but I always laugh at the silly things that come with motherhood. At the end of the day, no matter how long and weary it may be, I dress to impress only for myself and inadvertently my son. My confidence has sky rocketed and I have a smile that doesn’t get wiped off as easily as it used to. After hanging up my house coat, I have picked up a new sense of life. New flavours and aromas of motherhood that keep me alive, energetic and vibrant for everyone to love, but especially my son and I.
Written By: Aisha MK