Brunch with a Purpose

Brunch, the art of having breakfast and lunch together while discussing goals, challenges and growth with women is an important part of my self-care. Finding time to do things you enjoy may help reduce stress and anxiety, which can lead to adverse health effects. Brunch menus often have options that can accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions such as vegetarian, halal, and no pork.

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My latest brunch adventure took place at The Apparatus Room, housed in an old fire station that was turned into the Detroit Foundation Hotel. The space has cozy leather seats and benches with a country homey feel, mixed with a modern touch. The restaurant’s website describes the space as a place to, “Step away from the Downtown bustle, enjoy a fine meal and the easy taste of an Old Foundation, and relax to the homely chatter of new friends.”

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Indeed Carmen McIntosh, Chyrisha Rucker and I celebrated friendship and womanhood.

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Here are five things we discussed while having brunch:

  1. You matter. Women are often overwhelmed with commitments. We have to intentionally step outside, schedule and  engage in lighthearted activities. Make time for yourself and those who matter to you, or what Chyrisha calls being, “pleasantly selfish.
  2. Explore new places. Part of our brunch adventures is seeking out different places to eat and visit. Carmen says, “Re-explore the gems of your city.” We had our first group brunch at Folk Detroit, a women and minority owned restaurant on small business Saturday. Folk specializes in serving seasonal foods with culturally diverse menu items such as Turmeric Milk, the Vegan Bowl, or the Warm Rice Bowl. Naturally, we ordered almost everything and shared.FolkDetroit2.JPG
  3. Let toxic people go. We all go through fall-outs with people we care for – friends or relationships – which can feel challenging and heartbreaking. Hold onto relationships that honor you and help you grow. Carmen said her dad often reminds her that, “Not everyone is like you.” Carmen said, “If people treat you like you are their acquaintance (after a long friendship), maybe they ought to be just acquaintances.”
  4. Be open to new friendships. If you’re open to change, you may meet people who share your ideals and passions. Chyrisha was recently introduced to a person through a mutual friend, who she hit it off with due to their similarities. She said, sometimes you meet people and it feels like you’re old friends reuniting, while creating a new friendship. Cherish these moments which feel, “good for your soul.”
  5. Celebrate your changes: Every phase of life doesn’t have to be great. Appreciate where you came from, hug the old you, and let go. Move into the spaces that nurture and flourish your talents and aspirations.

Whether you brunch just for fun, or with a purpose, spending time for yourself can go a long way. You may even learn tools to navigate life over coffee, pancakes and berries.

Snow Days Are For Family Time

It’s been a rigid freezing week with wind chills making it feel like -27 degrees on some days. People have been warned that being outside for more than 10 minutes could cause frost bite or hypothermia. Everything from federal offices to hospital clinics were closed due to the weather conditions in Michigan. The kids had four consecutive snow days off.

While we have gloom of the days off from school and a detour in our schedules, there was also an opportunity to make time for each other in the moments present.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some of my reflections this week:

  1. Life is all curves. Challenges and opportunities don’t come from a straight path to your goal. Embrace the moments.
  2. Take a step back to reflect on where you’ve come from. I was a stay-at-home mom who worked from home by the time I had my last kid. Last year I went back to work full-time and everything has changed since. This week reminded me of those times when I struggled to find meaning and purpose beyond those moments.
  3. Hug your kids longer. This is a no-brainer but the daily hustle and bustle can make the small moments whiz by.
  4. Enjoy the little things in life. This week we spent more time tapping into our spiritual activities such as praying together as a family.
  5. Keep up with your self care. Mothers often wear so many hats that it’s hard to keep up. With house work, child work, work work, the long hours and mental exhaustion can quickly catch up. Therefore don’t forget to put the kids to bed and enjoy a few moments to yourself. Everyday. Even for just a few minutes. (Set a time that works best for you.) Hang in there!

What are some of your reflections on winter days which put a pause on your plans?

10 Reflections from 2018

This year has flown by and there are a ton of things I’ve learned about myself as a writer in 2018. Here are the top 10.

  1. Find your Niche: As a journalist and mother, I struggled to find the “right way” to write news. I learned to pave my own path and write about parenting and the struggles of women.
  2. Care about your Cause: This year I wrote about domestic violence, which affects 1:3 women at least once in their lifetime in the U.S. I also wrote about how to speak with children about domestic violence here.
  3. Be Brave: This year I connected with people who like me, see a void in the coverage of people of color. Therefore I have attempted to write more about ideas and topics through my lenses such as raising my Bangladeshi family in the U.S.
  4. Dare to Dream: This year was a “Year of Yes” for me. Like Shonda Rhimes, I took a chance to say yes to opportunities. This year I took a leap of faith when I applied for the Feet in Two World and WDET 101.9 FM food journalism fellowship. I was accepted with three other women of color to write about food and immigration.  #representationmatters IMG_7168
  5. Embrace Radio Journalism: Radio journalism wasn’t the beginning, nor will it be the end to my writing journey. It has however given me a chance to tell stories in a different light. My first piece aired on WDET’s CultureShiftIMG_8612.JPG
  6. Commit to Yourself: This year I launched my website nargishrahman.com and my Instagram and Facebook page, Nargis The Writer, to showcase my work and inspiration.
  7. “Why Not Me?”: This year I applied for a few positions in various roles to see whether my voice would add depth to these spaces. I was chosen as one of the Muslim representatives for Wayne State University’s marketing pictures and a commercial. As a mother, I often second-guessed the spaces I “should” or “should not” be in.
  8. Lift Others Up: One of my personal goals is to showcase that women across the board go through similar struggles. I wrote articles about mompreneurs and the top 10 American Muslim women in 2018 to follow. 
  9. Keep Calm and Carry On: The most important lesson I learned this year, is not to look back. Every step you take is one step closer to your goals.
  10. Take Time to Reflect: With every important task in life, it is essential to examine, evaluate and adjust your efforts to match your goals. For me, that includes spending time with my family and close friends to recharge and become a better version of myself. 

I am grateful for 2018. I am hopeful for a momentous year ahead.

Happy New Years!

Parenting With a Purpose

Take a moment to congratulate a new mother, to share some wisdom with a struggling mother, to share tea with one who’s feeling lonely, bring food over to one who’s busy, to send a nice note to one who’s sad.

My youngest child just received two stitches from falling and hitting the corner of a rectangular coffee table. This time around when one of my kids had to get stitches, I didn’t freak out as much. I’ve learned this is as “normal” as it gets in the parenting world.

Earlier this month my oldest child turned nine. I remember the first time looking at him and realizing, this was it, I have become a mother now. There is no turning back.

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(Photo: Safina’s Photography)

The journey of parenthood has been a work-in-progress. I am always going back to the sketching board, planner and iPhone calendar to schedule in activities as I ponder on the greater purpose and lessons I hope to teach my children. I am always racing against the clock to figure out what makes sense for my family’s needs. So far, we have Quran classes, swimming classes, karate classes. We attempted soccer this summer with our local mosque youth group.

What I’ve learned over the past nine years, and three kids later, is that there is not one way to be a mother or parent. There are multiple factors in how you parent, such as whether your home is a dual-parent working home, single mother home, extended family home. Are you raising your kids with a particular religious background, culture, and/or lifestyle?

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Recently I interviewed six mompreneurs, mothers who are entrepreneurs for Haute Hijab to learn about their journies as mothers and career women. I have also written about things mothers wish to share about parenting with their friends and family.

I encourage people to come together and be that village that raises well-rounded individuals in society.

Take a moment to congratulate a new mother, to share some wisdom with a struggling mother, to share tea with one who’s feeling lonely, bring food over to one who’s busy, to send a nice note to one who’s sad. Connect with others, reach out and be present. Join a Mommy & Me group, like this one. Our individual journeys will come crashing together to affect the future society of tomorrow.

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Let’s stick together and work toward a better today!

Follow me on my writing journey: @nargisthewriter