“What I Have Learned” Series – Featured Mommy: Neelam Bains

This month’s feature mommy is beyond someone special. Not only is she one of my closest and dearest friends, she is someone I personally seek mothering advice from often.  She is a special soul with ummph amounts of positivity and always with the biggest smile. You would never tell she has bad days, but she is as real as they get.
I am so excited to share this interview, and for you all to get to know, if you don’t already, my friend, Neelam Bains.
Neelam is proud mom to Sunam (8) and Anaiya (6).  She is a very hands-on mom, participating in school items, exposing them to various extracurricular activities, organizing new adventures for her and her family, and finding fun things to do with the girls, such as making crafts etc. That is when she isn’t pinning away on Pinterest, going on walks in her neighbourhood, doing yoga or exploring the newest coffee shops in the community. She says when she finds a new gem of a shop, she likes to open up the 24 paper, skip all sections and go straight to the crossword. Simple pleasures is what it’s all about to this mommy.
Neelam is an avid fundraiser for Breast Cancer.  While battling and fighting this disease herself,  Neelam and her family started the charitable organization, “Punch C in the Face.” Here they have an annual dinner and silent auction, to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer. They participate in the CIBC Run for the Cure, yearly as a group and are amongst the top fundraisers for this event. She is always seeking ways to be an advocate for those fighting cancer and has also participated the the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Through her tenacity for the fight, and her love for people, and especially her family, Neelam is just an amazing person.

Here is my interview with Neelam…

Did you always know you wanted to be a mom?
I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I wish I could elaborate here, but simply I just knew.
What would you say is your biggest learning since being a mom?
That patience is an attribute I will never attain!
What was the hardest thing about transitioning to mommyhood?
Just coming to terms with the fact that there is no real schedule. You have to be ready to be flexible when you are a mom. Your schedule revolves around them now!
What is your favourite thing to do with your children?
Morning and evening cuddles! Who can say no to waking up that way?  Our bedtime routine has become a favourite. The days are so hectic that our downtime has become “our” time. Daddy and I both read a book and then he will say goodnight, then I will sing “skinnamarankidinkidoo, I love you” and a goodnight tune that I came up with.
Any particular funny or insightful stories?
It felt like I was always rushing and in a hurry to get someplace, to run errands, meet people, doctors appointments, etc. etc. When one day, while walking up the block to my parents house, I, of course on full charge, was walking in front of Anaiya when she suddenly says, “Mama, let’s just stop, I want to stop and smell the roses.” I had an epiphany at that moment.  My, then, 4 year old just had the most insightful thing to say without even knowing it!
How do you balance everything, family, hobbies, etc?
I don’t. I just run around like a mad woman! I wish I could say I have balance…it’s difficult to achieve, but I’m still working on it.

What advice would you give to new moms?
Take advice, but you know yourself and your child best. Do what works for you.

Is there any item, or anything in general, you would say is a must-have or a must-do for parents? and why?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We have all been there!! It’s OKAY to accept the help.

Any other comments, stories or tidbits to share?
I just want moms out there to know that it’s okay if you can’t make the cupcakes for the birthday party, attend the PAC meeting, take them to swimming, help them with their homework, pick up the groceries, do your threading, yoga, have playtime, bath-time and read a book…everyday. If you have to cut something out, it’s okay! I learned that the hard way. On my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten, I thought I could drop her off, run some errands, go grocery shopping and be back in tie to see the look on her face as she came out of the classroom. Stupid me, I thought I could accomplish all that in an hour and a half! Well, I made it to Superstore, got my threading done, and got a speeding ticket! Yup, that’s right, mother of the year. I got the speeding ticket, because I was rushing to get back to pick up my baby from her first day of elementary school. So take it from me, it is okay not to get everything done always.  
Being a mom is definitely busy, and life can be unpredictably crazy. Neelam shows us that it is just fine to do what you can, when you can; that sometimes we try to do it all…but we all need a reminder to stop and enjoy what is in front of us.  Stop and smell the roses…if you will (what a smart girl she has).
Turning Mommy - Mom interview Neelam Bains
Neelam with her beautiful girls, Anaiya (left) and Sunam (right)

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