Vacation and all that comes with the mindset

I am all for vacations in life. Married women tend to have a whole another situation when it comes to vacations, especially moms. I have noticed a lot of moms just get too caught up in their routine lives and aren’t able to plan a vacation. For many who live away from their family, their holiday is all about meeting their family than actually exploring the world. It’s almost like a choice you have to make, between family and your lifes goals. We all are not able to take vacations whenever we wish, finance being one of the major reason. With a family to book tickets, and plan an itinerary around, you need a lot more of it!

What I have learned is that “me time” can serve as good mini break while life takes over. We need that time not just to pamper ourselves, but to be able to think about us, and where we are and where we are headed. I often times find life to be moving way too fast to be able to even breath. Especially with a baby around, it gets even more tough, add to that your everyday responsibilities and you’re one lost soul. I have observed that since becoming a mother I very easily put everything that has to do with me to the side. The attitude is ‘Will do it later, after the baby is xyz old…’ It’s like a bottomless list of priorities and whatever has to do with me gets lost in the bottomless pit. Sad isn’t it. Take a moment and think, you too may have thrown some of your lifes goals in that pit!

Thing is no one trains you how to live your life with periodic vacations. No one prepares you for things, mentally, physically, emotionally or even spiritually. I do believe if the moms of my mothers generation were more insightful, thoughtful, or simply vocal, we would be prepared for a lot of what we experience as surprises. Not to blame anyone, I am being realistic, and hence talking about it myself. There will be plenty people ready to make you feel guilty for taking a break, some don’t understand the concept of ‘me time’, and as a mom you are so aware of the incredible list of tasks that you feel bad to skip some to take time out for yourself.

I used to wonder what people get from a ‘weekend getaway’ but now I understand, that few hours away from routine helps a lot. The world isn’t how it used to be before, cycling for hours to school/work, walking to your cousins place, getting together on weekends for a tea, writing letters, and waiting patiently for responses. We live is a world that is too fast paced. We ourselves aren’t ready for what we have created, we do not have the coping mechanisms for our inventions and innovations. So what do we do? We vacay as much as possible, however possible and try to maintain our sanity to get through life 🙂

YouTube gurus I am loving right now

Always looking for a way to unwind. I seem to get bored with even my new unwinding ideas! YouTube has been one of the steady ones. And I am glad that in the smart phone world we are able to access YouTube whenever, wherever!

I would go the the lengths of saying that I have a relationship with my YouTube subscribers list, we are BFFs at this point. There are days I tend to lose interest in some of my subscriptions. However in the recent past I have been steadily enjoying few and wanted to share the love 🙂

  • Lily Pebbles – A UK based beauty and lifestyle blogger whose vlogs I am addicted to. She puts up a video every Sun and has recently also started podcast series with another YouTuber. I love her accent, her take on things, and most of all, I totally enjoy how honest and down to earth she is. In her recent two part Q and A video she embraces each question and is super open about her experiences as a YouTuber and the business of things. I also follow her on Instagram, and enjoy her Instastories.

  • Emily Norris– A mommy blogger from the UK. Yes Mommy bloggers are my saviors at times when I feel isolated in my motherhood madness. Her vlogs and videos are fun to watch, I get a lot of inspiration from her parenting with her three kids. I feel if she can do it with three, I should be fine!. I particularly enjoy her vlogs and she is extremely relatable because of her soft spoken nature, and truthful opinions.

  • Danielle Mansutti– She recently moved to the UK and I am totally enjoying her moving vlogs. I somehow feel empowered by his big move on her own to a new city. It’s a good feeling to see young girls following their dreams and taking control of their lives. Let’s face it, moving to a new country ain’t a joke! (She was living in Australia prior to her move just in case you’re curious). I totally loved this particular vlog where she unites with her pug after moving….I am not ven an animal kinda person, but this was emotional!

  • Niomi Smart– Also from UK (OMG are we seeing a trend here!) Niomi is a beauty and health blogger. I am thoroughly inspired by her healthy lifestyle. I am looking for inspiration to loose the baby weight at the moment, and anything that keeps me in the mind set is welcome. Aside from her health, I like that as a beauty blogger she has not lost her head while becoming famous. She’s humble and grateful for her achievement and I feel like I can relate to her in her vlogs. I also love the minimalist yet beautiful make-up she wear. I get appalled by beauty gurus who have a tonne of makeup on all the time, it’s not realistic and doesn’t appeal to me.

  • Kaushal Beauty – An Indian but in UK! She is hands down the most creatively inspiring beauty guru I have found on Youtube. Her looks are easy to do, and are beautiful. She knows how to transform simple looks to glam with her creative eye liner tricks. I think it’s the Indian in her who is not afraid of bright colours, especially in eye makeup. Most importantly, she is the sweetest and it shows through her personality. My favourite videos from her are the Indian get ready with me makeup looks. It’s nice to see her take on makeup when wearing Indian dresses.

  • The Uphill– A mommy from UK, also has another channel called A model recommends. I am subscribed to both, and discovered her on her first channel. Even though I still enjoy the beauty videos on that one, I am enjoying her mommy channel more. She has two kids under 2 and her day in the life videos are fun to watch. I relate to her as a mom who works from home and has a little baby. Her baby and Abbas are around the same age, and so I have been following her videos through her pregnancy 🙂 I like that her content is mature, and real. Mommies don’t have a glam life all the time, and she is not afraid to hide that. In fact I appreciate it and am inspired by her.

Over the years I have grown out of some YouTubers and seen some grow into people I can’t relate to anymore. I do appreciate how much YouTube has helped talented people show their talents and eventually become a brand. However, I personally enjoy YouTubers who stick to the aesthetic of making videos with the same passion, even though YouTube is their bread and butter, they don’t compromise on the roots of their channel.

Do you have any favourites? leave suggestions in the comments below, I shall happily expand my YouTube subscription list.

 

 

 

 

 

What does Patience mean to us?

Patience is by far the most manipulated word I have come across is. Here’s a fun activity to do; ask people around you of varied ages what they mean when they say ‘have patience’. You will get a mixed answers, some may make you feel pessimistic about it, some may make you feel good. You see, patience is like a shawl that all of us have had to wrap ourselves with at some point in our lives. Based on how our issues were resolved we define patience. A lot of the people take patience as a miracle that will cure all problems, but their way to practicing it is just sad.

Patience around me mostly has been defined as to bearing with whatever is happening, basically putting up with whatever rubbish it is that is going on in your life. Now mostly our problems are due to others around us and not so much because of ourselves. So once we do whatever we can to resolve our problems, we have to be patient while others continue to be the way they are and hence continue to mess with our lives. Spiritual people will manipulate patience with no end. They will say God will reward you for your patience (as defined earlier in this para), you shall go to heaven for your patient (ditto) blah blah blah….But I was never satisfied, why would my own creator want me to just sit and suffer?

So I got very interested in the topic of patience/Sabr and found much to read, and understand. Some of the stuff didn’t set with me, as humans we always try to apply every concept to our own personal lives and see if it fits, and if it doesn’t or seems like it doesn’t we totally reject the idea/concept/belief. In Islam patience is of different types, there is much reward for the one who is practicing patience etc etc. Understood. My ultimate understanding of patience was discovered in an interview of Maulana Jaun, it wasn’t even on the topic of patience BTW, but in his talk he cleared the air about it. And that is when the cloud of confusion moved away. However this cloud is one stubborn cloud and keeps coming back, and pushes us to despair.

As struggles in life increase with age, I have noticed that the most difficult problems are the ones caused by others. We don’t control the universe, and anxiety can totally take over our sanity and leave us pessimistic, sad and depressed. The worst state that one can reach due to such happenings in life is despair AKA Yas. (It is the second greater sin in Islam). Basically once you reach there, it’s all downhill!

Anyway, today being the first day of the month of Ramadan, I decided to listen to a lecture I had saved in my ‘watch later’ list on Youtube. Usually in life I have noticed that I go looking for something but somehowI end up with something more. I guess it’s Gods way of guiding His people. Just like the lecture above I actually went about to know more and learn more from and about Bibi Zainab (AS) since I share her name and believe it is important for us to understand the affect of the name of the person on whom you have been named.

It just so happened that Sheikh Jaffer in this lecture speaks about the various good qualities of her, but focuses the majority of his lecture on Patience, and while some of the information (like the types of patience) was already familiar to me, it was his explanation that answered some of my questions, brought peace to my heart, and most importantly gave me the inspiration to be more patient.

Patience in all it’s true meaning, means to be steadfast, while waiting for the results. And so you don’t sit thinking patience is the finality of your struggle, it is what will enable you to work, struggle, move to make things better.  The truth is that it’s a phase, and Islamically your patience being tested is a sign that you are chosen to be tested.

As mothers and human beings, we have the responsibility of a society on us as we nurture future adult members of the society. It also the responsibility of the fathers, but I am focusing on mothers because I am one. And I firmly believe and second Maulana Jaffer in educating and supporting our children in understanding what patience is. And most importantly as parents we need to not just jabber about the theory of patience, but be brave role models. We all know that children learn through what they see, and they should see the beauty in our struggles, so that they are chosen for bigger struggles and grow closer to their creator, and also become the support system for others who are going through a difficult time.

Anyone can make you laugh to take your mind off worries, but it is a true human who will help you through your difficult time by showing you how to be patient, and be patient with you while you struggle 🙂

Moms we should be talking about

Mothers Day went by and brought a lot of joys for moms across the globe. The social media exploded with posts, photos, heart warming messages and quotes, videos and loads of competitions/giveaways. There was happiness everywhere. I am a mom too, and I pondered over my life and the many moms that I know of. Deep thoughts made me realise that we don’t discuss some mothers. We are too caught up in the normalcy of life, and the struggles we see in common around us that we do not think beyond them to realise a fellow mom exists who isn’t in the same state as us.

This Mothers day I thought deeply of the moms like me, Moms who visit the courts to fight for their childs custody. I at-least have baby Abbas with me now, to feel more like a hands on mother, but what about the mothers who are struggling in our judicial system fighting in court for the best interest of their child? Dealing with an ego-centric ex-husband, not being allowed visitations! Thoughts led me to think about the moms who aren’t living the ordinary life. They don’t get a card or gift from their child, because their child passed away….Moms who are trying to make a living on their own as single parents, moms who have just separated or divorced and are trying to figure out the dynamic of their new life…moms who have child/ren with disabilities….moms who have children fighting for their life in hospitals..moms who chose to be moms and adopted children…..moms who have recently lost their moms…moms who may be battling a life threatening disease…moms who have been separated from their children due to war, moms who are unable to meet their children waiting for visitations rights….Moms who have children who have not turned out to be morally sound….Moms who are consoling daughters/sons who have been through abuse…..moms who became moms due to assault…They are all moms aren’t they?

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From my personal experience I have learned that; yes, in our country and culture moms are given much respect. But a lot of that is in words. “Maa” they say, but sometimes a mother can be another mothers worst enemy. I guess it’s only when you go through certain experiences do you recognise the honest people from the big-talkers. Everyone says moms are the most important person in the lives of children, yet we aren’t as aware of the severity of mommy struggles that surround us. Truly mothers are the strongest creatures on earth. I remember my moms prayers, whenever she used to hear the sound of speeding sports bikes in the late hours of the night, she used to say “May Allah give patience to the mothers of these boys”. I’m talking about school days, the thoughts that used to come to my mind were ‘oh cool, they’re going by like lightening…or I wish I could ride a bike that fast…..or why can’t be quieter….’ But since my mom voiced her concern as the mother, empathising with the moms of those biker boys I realised that there is such a solid perspective to this. How many times a day or month or even year do we think from the mothers perspective? How many of us have tried to think about the experience of the mother whenever her child goes through something?

I tell myself during my mommy struggles that, at-least I have faith, and the faith in God is the best. I am grateful that I am not a refugee separated from my child, I am grateful that my child hasn’t died in a shooting at school, or been killed by terrorists or extremist groups. As a mother I think it’s important to empathise, put ourselves in the shoes of other mums, even if it’s just in our thoughts and try to understand what the other moms are going through. Only a mom can understand another mom.

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This may not have been the most chirpy, candyfloss and balloons kind of a post, but important none the less. It’s extremely important for us to discuss the societal issues, and value EVERY mom, and think about the not-so-common struggles of a mother, and if not be able to help, be grateful that we aren’t facing them 🙂

I request prayers from everyone for my pending custody case, hope to get my daughter back soon and give her the life she deserves.

Baby Skin myths busted

Us moms have heard more than our fair share of unsolicited advice and have been bombarded by information that’s just false!. Some of us discover through experience, or via reading, or from using our own brain that some of these things are just not worth paying attention to. It’s only a matter of time that we realise that our instincts are the most reliable and mommies know what’s best for their children!

Here’s a post I wrote on World Of Moms on the same….Click below to read up and share the love!

http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/things-people-told-me-about-baby-skin-care-and-what-i-eventually-learnt/1280/2?utm_source=vidya_suri&utm_medium=hyderabadimom.wordpress.com&utm_content=ithings-people-told-me-about-baby-skin-care-and-what-i-eventually-learnt&utm_campaign=influencer_campaign_baby_dove

 

 

The human moles

Some of the best descriptions of human beings can be made through comparisons with animals. We’ve all done it at some point in our lives, sometimes in anger, sometimes in just plain humor. We ourselves tend to identify ourselves with certain animal instincts and personalities that are exclusive to certain animals. And while I do not like to categorise humans being as animals, there is a mole phenomenon that exists.

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Who are the human moles (as I like to call them)?

For starters let’s try to zoom into which aspect of the animal I am referring to -The digging deep into the earth, FYI moles are nocturnal animals. And when you have a mole problem in your garden or back yard or house even, you will constantly be surprised as you explore each hole they have dug. Just when you think you’ve seen the deepest, you will discover a deeper one few steps ahead. Ditto is the case with the human moles. They’re not physically digging any hole, they are stooping lower and lower, losing all their self-worth, respect, sense of humanity.And just when you thought you discovered the lowest of that person, you will surprised by another lower level fall.

This is an experience of great betrayal. It eventually makes you accept that there’s talent in stooping low and that this person has no baseline. There is just no stopping such people, who are determined to showcase their true status in life. Initially it is difficult to accept, but then you just can’t even get surprised, just feel sorry for them. The lower they go the more difficult it is for them to get out.

Moles die due to prolonged exposure to sun. It’s same with the human moles, they can’t survive the light of a good human being. While you may not be able to witness the tortured death of the human moles, I advice you to have faith in yourself, your goodness, the light of integrity that you carry within your soul and be grateful you aren’t them.

Identifying the strength in you is enough to deal with the rubbish in others. We tend to think we are weak based on the  false/ exaggerated power showcased by our enemies, but the fact is, their strength doesn’t define ours 🙂

Playing the victim

I am only 27 years of age. Sometimes when we get into the true adult struggles at a young age, we tend to start feeling like we’ve seen it all. I have to remind myself that there’s much more to learn, this reality especially strikes when my husband tells me that the world isn’t as simple as I look at it. And well while it is difficult to hear those words, I have learned to accept it, because it is the truth.
There have been various experiences I have been through, till date I have gotten married twice, had multiple miscarriages, a pre-term baby, co-founded a non-profit organisation, worked and volunteered, and now growing my family with my husband. There have been problems, and being an observant and empathetic person I always tried to put myself in the shoes of others and be forgiving. But that doesn’t work for all, not all the people are deserving of that. And now I have learned to draw boundaries. I have explored my personality strengths, both in my professional and personal life. I have discovered many characteristics about myself that I need to love and respect, and several I need to work on and eventually let go of. One of the major lessons I have learnt is that there’s always scope to grow, and the right people will bring out the good in you, and help you work on the not-so-good bits about yourself. These people are the ones who are worthy of patience, care, empathy and love.

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What’s the purpose of this post? Well, I wanted to discuss a classic characteristic of people I have come across- Victimizing yourself. The people who just won’t accept their fault, and their ego is too big to accept any weakness in themselves, and when they know they’re wrong, they turn to playing the victim. Blaming you for the problems you are in and they are in as well, instead of owning it. You may have come across such people in your life. What I have observed is such people tend to become the way they are due to backing from their parents, family or friends. Poor parenting results in irresponsible children, who just refuse to take ownership of the rubbish they have created, they also tend to be liars, lazy, selfish, and inconsiderate. If you’re a sensitive or naïve person you will very easily fall into the trap, and start feeling like the problem, because of their skills in playing victim. They do it with confidence BTW.
Fact is, when it’s a stranger you will behave differently, but when your own friends or family are like this you tend to be more forgiving and hence are taken for granted. This is where the damage on you starts while the other person just enjoys the attention and pampering. Anything wrong that happens becomes your fault by default. Point to remember here is; you are strong and don’t need to manage anyone’s rubbish. I learned this the hard way. In the end it’s a logical discussion to have in your mind, take a deep breath and be sure of yourself, be rational in analyzing the scenario and try to see from a third persons eye if it truly is your fault. And don’t worry about how elder or younger the person is, if they’re wrong they’re wrong. You need not be their ego polisher, that’s not our job on earth.

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A recent experience just boiled my blood, and I for the first time stood my ground and didn’t give in to the emotional manipulation. Makes me feel so strong it’s indescribable. Experiences mold us, but we can choose to change our reactions to every situation, see what works best for us. As human beings we have a natural pre-disposition to gravitate to goodness. Let’s liberate ourselves from the negative people in it who unfortunately walk the earth. And make sure we aren’t contributing more of such types, through strong parenting.
Be strong, be right!

 

Himalaya for moms body butter review

The excitement is uncontrollable. I have been on the Himalaya bandwagon for over 6 years now, and it just keeps getting better with new products, new packaging and now a whole new range of products for moms! I was delighted to receive the hamper from Himalaya and am even more intrigued to try them all and review them for you. Being half way through my current pregnancy it was just great timing!

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Let’s familiarize ourselves with the ethos behind this launch; as per the brand ‘Himalaya FOR MOMS is a range of safe, effective and gentle products specially formulated for women during pregnancy and beyond. Combining the best of Ayurveda with years of scientific research, these products effectively restore natural health and vitality of the skin’. The products in the line include body butters, anti-rash cream, nipple care butter and toning massage oil. Today I will review the Himalaya FOR MOMS soothing body butter.

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There are three body butters in the range that provide these three main benefits;
1. Smoothen and soften extra dry skin
2. Provide long lasting deep moisturisation
3. Intensely nourish and hydrate skin
I have been testing out all three from the range, that have different fragrances to cater to the likes of the moms; namely rose, lavender and jasmine. The formulation of all three is the same and I liked the fragrance selection, all three appeal to a large audience of Indian moms, and aren’t super strong. During pregnancy the sense of smell is heightened, and me experiencing that right now, find the mildness of the fragrances in all three comfortable. Also, they don’t seem like they would bother the new baby when I continue using them postpartum.



The body butters are essentially induced with ‘rich cocoa butter’ providing that thickness to the consistency and also moisturising. I personally love the lavender, and jasmine variety, rose is a little too rose-like for me. Ingredients and directions for use are mentioned at the back of the packaging; the products can be applied all over the body and are recommended for twice a day application for best results. They are all white in colour and have a thick creamy consistency. Pregnancy tends to dehydrate the skin, with all the stretching, changes in hormones, higher body temperature etc. the body butter delivers in its promise to rehydrate extra dry skin. I enjoy using it on my feet and hands, especially with winter approaching; it’s a great hand cream substitute that is rich and most importantly herbal!
Soothing Body Butter is available in packs of 50ml, 100ml & 200 ml priced at INR 120, INR 200 & INR 320 respectively. I have to mention, since it is body butter, it tends to get slimy if the area where it’s applied comes in contact with water, even after hours of application. It’s something that’s common with every body butter/moisturizer I have tried in general. Just a heads up.

For the product I give a 4/5. I do see myself running out of the lavender one quickly and buying it for further use. Have you tried any of the Himalaya FOR MOMS products?

 

Diaper dreams- Gender-specific diapers from Huggies

There is not end to ‘new and improved’ in the world we live in. Huggies has launched their gender specific pant-style diapers in Hyderabad. It took me some exploration to get to them, and while there’s still time for the diaper days to begin again for me, it was nice sharing my experience on world of moms.

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Catch the blogpost here. Leave comments with your experience/excitement for the gender diapers below and share the love….

 

 

Himalaya gentle baby wipes review

There are some products that live beyond the ‘baby’ period, and you may end up making them a staple for yourself too! This has happened to me, I have been a fan of the Himalaya baby wipes since years now, and the brand has changed the packaging along with their other baby care range products, but the product remains the best still.

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I got sent the 12 wipe pack from Himalaya Baby care which retails at Rs.40. Each wipe measures 20cmx21cm, and has multiple uses. Focused on mainly wiping your baby between nappy changes, the packaging comes with picture description of how to use it. The contents of the wet wipes and their effects are also mentioned clearly in pointers on the packaging; it has Aloe which ensures moisture balance in the baby’s skin, Indian Lotus to keep the skin soft and supple, skin friendly pH . The wipes are clinically tested for mildness, so that they do not irritate the baby’s skin, as baby wipes are used multiple times during the course of the day.

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The sea green and purple packaging of all the new Himalaya Baby care products is very welcoming, it’s a unique colour combination and very soothing to the eyes. The Himalaya wipes  aren’t the only baby wipes I have tried, and through experience I have learned that the brands that I tried tend to induce heavy scents in their wipes, I can understand maybe it’s to fight the poo smell!, but it’s just appalling to me. I love the light scent of the Himalaya wipes; I also enjoy wiping my face with them, just to feel fresh.

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Some tips to increase the longevity of wipes, is to keep them upside down, to make sure the moisture doesn’t seep to the bottom, leaving the wipes on top dry. The 12 wipe pack is great for on-the-go, it’s small, and the size of the wipes is big enough. I personally don’t restrict usage of wipes to only diaper changes, I use them to wipe dirty hands, feet, knees or anything, it’s like a quick clean up. Because the wipes are herbal I used to let my daughter explore using them as well, no alcohol or harsh chemicals in them to worry about. I stick the tab over after opening that helps in easy removal of wipes from the package; the flap doesn’t keep annoying you that way. Here’s a pic to show you what I mean:

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I would recommend moms to always read up the content on packages before buying baby products, Himalaya always keeps the consumers informed, and there’s content on every side of the packaging. Even though you may not pay attention especially if it’s a small pack like the 12 wipes one, it’s always good to know how you are treating your childs skin, and what ingredients have what effect. The Himalaya gentle baby wipes are free from alcohol, silicons and lanolin. All three of these have incredible harmful effects on baby

The product is instructed to be used 3 years from date of manufacture, and is readily available online, in larger packs too. I give these wipes a 5 star, what has been your experience with them?