I am honored to feature a beautiful long-time friend this week! We had some crazy adventures as boy-crazed teenagers, and its been lovely to reunite as mamas, and watch our children play together. Dunia inspires me in more ways than one, her focus and dedication to her studies, while juggling motherhood, and raising a bilingual child as well! I’m also a big fan of her parenting style, resembles that of Respectful Parenting that I’ve come to appreciate from Janet Lansbury. See for yourself in her fantastic interview below!Let’s Raise This Mother!
- Tell me about yourself (quick snapshot version. Please include when you become a mom).
My name is Dunia and I am a mother of a 2.5 year old daughter named Delina.
I went to McMaster University and graduated with a Honors BA in Sociology. I am currently back doing a second degree in Health and Aging, trying to obtain an Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) certificate to maybe someday become a certified therapist.
- Did you always want kids? If not, when did that change?
I have always wanted to be a mother but I was always uneasy as to when would be the right time for me since I’m always on the go with work, school and life in general.
But when it did happen which was the fall of 2016, that uneasiness went away and instead I was super excited to find out I was expecting. That’s when I knew I was ready to be a mom and that everything was going to be alright.
- Tell me about the birth or infancy stage of your child?
The day I gave birth to Delina was the happiest day in a long time.
I say that because I was not a big fan of the whole pregnancy stage. I have always been independent and on the go, and as many mothers know it, its not that simple being pregnant as movies make it seem. It might of been the hormones that day, but I was definitely on cloud 9; seeing her and knowing that I was a mother to this beautiful and innocent child just made me feel like a superhero and that nothing could stop me from loving her.
- Funniest memory?
The funniest memory I have of my daughter is the fact that she brings back all the music I loved growing up and even dances to them!
I’ve always listened to old, classic Spanish songs so when I played it, I noticed that Delina loved it as well. When driving and at home, she would ask me to play her songs and there she went, full out dancing away! We came across a Zumba video on YouTube, and she LOVED it to the point where she would memorize the whole dance! I found this stage to be ironic because I’ve always loved to dance and I thought I would never do things like this after high school, but now my daughter has brought it back. She will be the next Zumba instructor, just wait and see!
- What’s something you wish people knew about your son/daughter?
What I wish people knew about my daughter is that despite her death stares that she gives off (just like her father),
she is one of the most loving, most sweetest and considerate little girls you’ll ever meet.
- What’s something you wish people knew about you?
I wish that everybody who knows me would know that I am unintentionally busy with school, work, mom life and life in general
and that although I am busy right now, I will soon be free from all of these commitments (well of school) and that I have each and everyone of them in my mind.
- What was the biggest sacrifice of motherhood to you? And how are you coping?
The biggest sacrifice would be leaving my free time behind between the time Delina was born up until 2 years old due to all my life commitments.
The sacrifice I’m dealing with now is leaving my daughter behind for a few hours, although I am thankful, she stays with her father while I go to work or school. I don’t know how some mothers do it, but I find it hard because we have been together non-stop for the past 2 years and now that I “get a little break”, I feel like I’m letting her down by not being there like I used to.
- What do you love most about being a mom? Name 3 things.
Three things I love about being a mom are:
- Sleeping/napping with her
- Feeding her because she helps me stay on top of my eating
- Being a good example to her as a human being, and seeing her apply what I teach her
- Who does your tribe consist of? (People helping you raise your kids)
My tribe consists of just the 3 sometimes 4 of us. Myself, Delina, my partner and my stepdaughter Milana.
My partner is an amazing father, words can’t explain the amount of gratitude I have for him.
And his first born, Milana, is like my own. To me, she is the perfect example of a big sister and we truly love and appreciate her.
- (b) What’s something you wish they (your tribe) knew?
Mom is tired, but she keeps it going for US <3
- What’s your favorite book and why?
C’mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark. By: Ryan Knighton
I loved this book because it gives a perspective on parenting, specifically on a Blind Dad of a baby girl whom we see adjusts and copes with his disability in order to be the best dad he could be to his little girl.
- What lessons and values do you hope to instill in your child?
Lessons and values I come across often with Delina is to be fair to not only her sister, but to everyone around her, and to use words to describe how she feels and what she wants rather than no words at all.
Although she is just 2.5, we speak to her clearly to hopefully have an open and honest relationship as she ages. Fairness is important for us because she has an older sister whom we see every other week. That being said, Delina is used to being the only child so we do not tolerate unfairness between the two, and we teach them to respect eachothers things when one is not around. Although Delina is for the most part the only child at home, we teach her that she cannot have everything she desires when she wants it. The fairness topic also comes into play when it comes to parenting. She tries to pick sides, but we remind her that mama and papa are on the same team!
- What’s the best advice you’ve received about motherhood so far?
The best advice is that we learn as we go, and that on our own, we will find what is best for us.
No mother is perfect, so do not feel like you are a bad mom whatsoever! The best movie to back this statement is the movie “Bad Moms”.
- What advice do you have for new moms?
Do not care about the opinions of others, follow your heart and do what you think is best for you and your family.
Having a child is an amazing experience, do not take it for granted and do not give up too soon just because you feel like you have no life (at the moment). Once your baby grows to be independent, life becomes smoother as long as you put your full effort into it from the start. If you teach value and morals from the get-go, life just becomes easier and less stressful as it goes.
- Can we follow you on social media
Of course you can!! Instagram: @Duniaava