The One with the Heart to Heart

I’ve been sick. I’m not entirely sure how I GOT sick, but it happened and I’m here and I’m sick and now so is Adam and well…it kinda sucks.

 

I don’t function very well when I’m sick. It’s almost as if my body is like “ya…NOPE” and turns into this useless blob of skin colored gelatin and I slink out of bed like goop and get my son from his crib crying at 1:30am because he, too, is running a fever. We then slink back to bed like the gloopy sick masses that we are and wallow in self pity and breastmilk.

 

I paint such beautiful mental pictures. That should be my new job. This fashion blogging thing can take a backseat…

 

So now that you have the background to my sick days at home, I figured I’d take the time out to have a bit of mommy-time and write about how hard it is in general to be a mom, then give you guys some of my favorite mama blogs/Instagram accounts that really inspire me to be better. That’s the agenda…here we go:

 

As of late I have felt like I’m barely managing my time as a mom. I took the time off to go to Denmark with Ahmad because, in all honesty, we haven’t had a proper vacation since our honeymoon. I’m aware that it sounds silly, but we travel so much and we ALWAYS travel for work. Even our “babymoon” type of thing turned into so much work and no fun for 8-months pregnant me that we just REALLY needed downtime.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I’m incredibly aware that I’m lucky to have blogging as my full time job, and I’m lucky that the hours are flexible, and I’m lucky that a portion of it means working from home so I can be with Adam. Trust me, I count all my blessings and I’m VERY thankful for them.

 

But, man. Working from home means you have no set hours. People message at 1AM. Email responses happen during Adams nap times, or after he’s asleep so work essentially starts at night after a full day of running around for meetings with an 8-month old in tow. It’s a lot harder than I anticipated…and it’s way more stressful than a lot of people make it look. I’m barely keeping up, and when someone tells me I’ve brought it upon myself because I take on too much work I kind of want to punch them in the face and ask them if they’ve ever really had a job…because jobs mean taking on work and not just doing what you feel like. It means taking on every opportunity that comes your way and making it happen.

 

No one tells you when you get pregnant that you’re signing on for a lifetime filled with guilt. So let me tell you:

 

It begins in pregnancy: guilt over what you eat and if it’s harmful, how much caffeine you drink and holy crap is it harmful? Guilt over how much sleep you get and is it bad for fetal development? Guilt over working while pregnant because the older women in your life gasp every time you’ve had a long day and look tired or lift something heavy. GUILT.

Then the baby is born: guilt over not being able to breastfeed properly right off the bat, guilt if too many hours have gone between diaper changes, over how much quality time you’re spending with the baby, over that freaking two hours you took for yourself to get a pedicure but when you called to check on the baby he was crying and now this relaxing pedicure has become a scheme of satan to tear you away from your child and WHY DID YOU EVEN GO GET THIS PEDICURE YOU’RE KIND OF AN AWFUL MOTHER…CAN YOU STOP SCRUBBING MY FEET I NEED TO GO HOME NOW?! And then you rush out with your keys in hand and ruin your freshly painted nails.

 

Basically.

 

I’ve had such a tough time balancing it all. I count the hours I spent at meetings without him as my time “away” from him, so I therefore cannot and will not take proper “away” time to have some me time. I categorize my work meetings as me time. Or my photo shoots as me time. Or traveling overnight for an event as me time.

 

But in reality, it’s not me time at all. It’s work time and I know that, but I cannot handle the guilt of taking more time away on top of the time I take away working. So women who work a 9-5…my heart goes out to you. It’s so hard to be away. It’s even harder to be away while being a nursing mother…that pump life is brutal (so is explaining myself to a Saudi security guard in the middle of the Saudi Arabian airport while I struggle with my abaya and suitcase that the suspicious looking device I have in there is to suck milk out of my breasts and not blow up an airplane. Fun).

 

But really, the only thing I’m clinging onto as a guide to me being a decent mother despite all the work is breastfeeding. It’s the best thing I’ve done for him, and I’ve committed myself wholeheartedly to keeping it up as long as possible. Though I will express my sincerest disappointment that I am not one of those women who loses weight while breastfeeding. Oh they didn’t tell you there were two kinds of us did they? Ya I found out the hard way, too. There are women (I hate you guys) that lose weight like crazy while breastfeeding, and then there are women who hold ON to weight while breastfeeding as like…some weird fuel source for the production of milk. UGH! THE PROMISES OF EASY WEIGHT LOSS ELUDE ME EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

 

This post has gotten rambly and long so I’ll wrap up this portion with this: to all the mamas reading this, devote as much time as possible to your children. I try to even with my work schedule, and I very rarely have him with anyone other than family. I am the main caretaker, and having a nanny should be VERY secondary. It should be your backup. Not the dependent. This rise of using maids to hold your newborn while you and four family members have coffee and she isn’t supporting his head and is busy on her phone BECAUSE IT’S NOT HER CHILD TO BE WORRIED ABOUT (sorry, I saw this yesterday while shopping and was so livid…I had to let it out) is shameful. Our generation needs to step up and I’m doing my best to balance a lot…but I’m there for feedings, I’m there for bath time, I’m there even when I’m tired and even when I need time alone..and I wait until he’s asleep to go out for work, or have some semblance of me time. I traveled, finally, because I felt I could be there even MORE, and even BETTER if I reconnected with my husband and we formed a better unit again. Do that for yourself! You earn that me time! Log those mama hours! You need that “we” time. But know the difference between doing that sometimes, and doing it all the time and feeling NOTHING. Feeling no guilt. The guilt is part of mommyhood…at least I think so.

 

NOW! Here’s a quick list of some of my favorite mamas online who really inspire me to do better, be better, and be thankful:

 

1. Kirstin of XO, Mrs. Measom

Love this woman! She’s the mama to a little man named DC, she’s a modest dresser, and a hands on mother who tells it like it is about mommyhood. I check her Instagram almost daily! She inspires me to gives thanks to God daily, and find love in the little things.

 

 

2. Naomi of Love, Taza

Mama to three littles, I have followed Naomi since before I ever started a blog, and before she even had her first child! She inspires me to be a better, more hands on mother without the need to use iPads, and iThings. She looks like such a patient, kind mother! I aspire to be that way. Here is her Instagram.

 

3. Leigh, VP at Sakura Bloom

It’s no secret that I’m a huge babywearing advocate, and Leigh has had such an influence on that. I had the pleasure of meeting her while I was in New York, and she brought her youngest, Hazel, with her. She’s a strong mama, with amazing views and takes a stance when it comes to breastfeeding. I stance I really admire. She inspires me to keep going, and stand firm in my parenting beliefs. Her Instagram is here.

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4. Grace of Camp Patton

This woman’s humor SLAYS me. Her captions on Instagram make me laugh out loud in public spaces. It’s craziness. I admire that she’s a stay at home mama to four little ones (all YOUNG little ones might I add!). She inspires me to find the humor in things, even if they can be a bit chaotic at times.

 

5. Elle of SollyBaby

I stumbled onto her by chance, and though she’s not really a blogger, she’s a business owner who chronicles her babywearing life while running her baby wrap business! Her wrap, found here, was my preferred wrap when Adam was first born because it felt so snug but was still lightweight. I believe in her product, but more so than that she inspires me to keep juggling working for myself and having a family! Her Instagram is here.

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6. Laura of A Little Bit of Lacquer

A current Harvard Med School student and mama to little Liv, I found Laura while I was still pregnant. She’s smart as a whip, manages to study, work, and raise a beautiful little one. Her photos always uplift me, and she’s got a great eye for photos of Liv (most of em are iPhone photos! So cool!). She inspires me to constantly learn, that education doesn’t stop when a child comes along!

 

 

 

Well, that concludes this random blog post! I have so many more Instagram mama accounts so I’ll do this kind of post again soon!

 

All my love,

Ascia

The One with the Basics Riyadh Event

I had the pleasure of attending and co-hosting an event for Basics in Riyadh (they have another branch in Jeddah for any of my readers that live there!) with the lovely stylist Aram. I’m so incredibly honored to have been able to have met her! She did a great job styling the models (as you can see! The gowns were lover-ly).

Basics is such a quaint boutique. It has lazer-sharp vision for the kind of lady they’re buying for when they choose their brands. I found most of their RTW pieces well curated, but particularly loved that they carried Dorothee Schumacher. Schumacher is such an accessible brand for the more modest dresser, so I highly recommend checking it out should you have the chance! The outfit I’m wearing in the photo is all Schumacher.

You’ll also notice that Basics carries jewelry designer Dima Rashid, a Cairo based brand known for their beautiful craftsmanship and attention to detail. I’m wearing a hammered gold coin necklace from her!

Now on to the photos! They were all taken by the very talented Basmah (thanks for saving me by sending ‘em, B!)

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