There are amazing, devoted, wonderful, deliberate mothers out there, and each week we’ll spotlight one of them here at The Power of Moms. Do you know a mom who deserves a little time in the spotlight? Email rachelle.price (at) powerofmoms.com. We can’t wait to meet her.
Introducing Nadia Lasi Deskins
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have three children. Ishmael is 8, Soraya is 5, and Zara Saffron is 2.
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood?
It sounds cliche, but when my child genuinely says thank you for something I have done for them, like making them a sandwich, or when my daughter tells me she loves me and that I’m the best mum in the world, that connection is my favourite part. Just spending time together on picnics, walks, feeding the ducks, catching fire flies, and when everyone is happy and content. The moments when I sit back and watch my children doing something very normal like coloring or playing nicely together and tell myself, “This is what it’s all about.”
What have been the hardest parts of motherhood for you?
There isn’t a clock in and clock out card. The shift is 24/7 and it’s utterly exhausting. The constant nature of the job is so incredibly frustrating at times, coupled with the constant physical and emotional demands of each child, the lack of privacy, and the little voice in my head that occasionally pops in and says, “You’re an educated woman, why are you doing this? You don’t even get paid!” Nothing ever seems complete and checked off. My mother-in-law quoted her mother as having said, “A man’s work is from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.” This may sound incredibly sexist, and I am lucky enough to have a husband who works just as hard with the kids, so in my case I would change the quote to “All other work is from sun to sun, but a parent’s work is never done.”
What has surprised you about motherhood?
I’m surprised by the roller coaster of emotions that come with motherhood: I love it, I need a break, I love it, I never want this to end, When will this end? I can’t wait till they’re a little more independent, Oh please don’t grow up! I want to capture this moment, I want to preserve these memories, Why did I do this? I can’t stop hugging you! If someone else touches me or calls my name…! I can’t take how cute you are! I need a break, I LOVE this job!
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
When I had just had my third child my husband had graduated from graduate school here in the D.C area. He had a very unlucky time finding employment. We were living off student loans, and had nothing coming in, and I knew that if I went out to work, I could get paid well for my language skills. I made the decision to go back to work, and as soon as I made that choice, I took one look at my baby and broke down. In a practical, logical way it made sense for me to go to work, but on another level, one that was much deeper, I knew that money would come and go, but that time away from my children would be lost forever, never to be retrieved. I learned that my children really do need me, me and me alone.
What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
Chocolate. German or British is best. Bad days are usually the result of fatigue, stress, or being over-scheduled. If the day is a particularly bad one, and I have my fair share, I remind myself that my children didn’t chose to come here and be stuck with a miserable mother. I try to change my mindset. It’s a choice everyday. I had to learn that behaviour because I was not raised that way. I have come to understand that being positive and happy isn’t a personality trait that some have and others don’t. That is a non truth. Being positive and happy is a choice; being kind to my children is a choice. Being patient is a choice.
Living in the D.C area, there is so much pressure on mothers to get their children involved in a myriad of activities. I am an advocate for enhancing experiences through arts and physical activity; however, if it causes stress, or if it takes time away from the simple, essential aspects of family life like eating together, reading books together, or family time, I scrap it. Bad days or weeks are usually the result of an overbooked schedule, so I really have to pick my kids’ activities wisely. They are not essential at this age, but being a happy mother for my children is essential to their growth and happiness. Declutter and be happy, that’s my motto!
What would you say are the most important things a mom can do?
I try to envision what type of an adult my child will be. Every time I discipline my child for something inappropriate they have done or said, I try to make them see that they are responsible for their actions. We all know an adult who is still a brat, who is difficult to please, who is unkind, who is not pleasant to be around, and who is just grumpy and negative. I believe that with the exception of a medical chemical imbalance, for the most part this negativity is learned behaviour. Teach children to respect others, respect themselves and don’t make excuses for bad behaviour, and love love love them.
What would you say are the most important things for a mom NOT to do?
Don’t raise a brat! If there is anything I can’t stand, it’s a bratty child. When my children act this way, it makes me cringe, and I threaten to take away everything they hold dear. It may sound harsh, but my belief is that food, shelter, love, spiritual and emotional well-being and warmth are all rights a child has, but anything beyond that is a privilege. (I sound like a horrible mum; I promise I love my kids!)
What are some unique and interesting aspects of your family or your approach to mothering?
I am British from Middle Eastern decent; my husband is American. I teach my children Farsi, my mother’s language, and I cook the food I was raised on. I want to make sure they have a background in these different cultures as they’re a part of their heritage. We love to make a big deal of holidays because I want to develop family rituals and traditions that the kids will remember and connect to. We have certain British traditions we implement at Christmas, like pulling Christmas crackers. For the Persian New Year, we jump over a mini fire, and have a party and eat kebabs and dance to Persian music. I try to make a big deal out of Halloween and birthdays and American holidays like July 4th! Memories bring families closer together!
We are an affectionate family so I show love by kisses and hugs and snuggle reading time. I feel it’s important to have that physical contact with my kids. Right now, while they are little, a hug from mum usually solves their problem, and if that doesn’t work, an ice cream cone does the trick.
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