When Rukaya was born, I was in bliss. Though it wasn’t easy – as many of you may relate to. It was hard between the long nights, constant feeding and body aches. But I was also living in a bubble that was just us.
I wasn’t working and had made the decision not to return after maternity leave. I didn’t really have a social life, hence hardly any social obligations. I lived in NYC – where delivery is right not a privilege! I felt no pressure to care for anything but us.
I had been nervous about this change because I knew it meant stepping away from a huge passion of mine – stem cell research. But I was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t miss it. It was like Rukaya had replaced my passion.
However, nothing lasts right? It’s all a phase.
Fast forward to toddlerhood, and the terrible twos and all its glory! Toddlerhood popped the bubble of bliss. Not because of her, but because of me. Toddlerhood was a time when Rukaya no longer needed me every minute.
I had some free time, but not much to fill it with. Well, not much I was passionate about to fill it with – laundry was simply not my passion. I started to finally miss work.
As luck would have it, we moved across the country to Napa, CA. Moving from a big city to a small town was isolating itself. A lack of community to help me raise my child, was simply devastating. I truly struggled in finding my passion.
I was polishing off my second Masters and seriously contemplating going back to work. The only problem was that I lived in a small town, so there wasn’t many opportunities that fit my passion. I also didn’t want to go back to work unless I was going to love it.
Time passed, and I took up crafting as a hobby – talk about your stereotypical housewife! As I applied that to teaching Rukaya Islam, a new passion was born – Zair Zabr Play. The bubble of bliss started to reform. Rukaya needed me still, and I had something I believed in with my heart to fill my extra time.
Zair Zabr Play flourished, I saw myself learning new things, meeting new people and fulfilling a greater purpose in life. All the while being able to be there for Rukaya and feel needed as a mom.
But just like before, nothing lasts – it’s all a phase.
Rukaya enrolled in full-time school and was gone for most of the day. I slowly felt my self transitioning from Mom to supervisor. Sure, she needed me still – but it was mostly at the end of the day. She was starting to have a life that was independent from mine.
Zair Zabr Play was growing, but I couldn’t help feel like I was still missing something. That’s when I decided to look into going back to work. When I found a position in (stem cell research), I was forced to really evaluate a few things.
Why do I want to go back to work? What does that mean for all the other things I am doing in my life?
There were many reasons as to why I wanted to go back to work, but it boiled down to one fact: I wanted to be something that was independent of being a mom. Zair Zabr Play was great, but it was so entangled with my identity as a mother.
I wanted a place where I got to feel the parts of me that existed before Rukaya was born.
What does that mean for the other things in my life? Well, for now, it means I am super focused and motivated! Zair Zabr Play is alive and well! I actually have new products coming out and plans to grow it. But I am being wise about my intentions behind each project.
Zair Zabr Play is my sadqa-e-jaria. I want it to be saving grace when the dust settles. So I am making sure when I chose a new direction for it, it’s main purpose is to give back and grow our Islamic community!
2 thoughts on “Finding Me after being a Mommy”
I am so proud of you Hira. Making choices are hard, and when you are you, it means you not only have to take into consideration how it impacts your family but also how it impacts us, your followers and customers. I am glad you are doing what makes you feel most like you, and without fail, we will be here, when you pop in now and again. 🙂
awwww thank you so much!!!! that means so much to me!