Ayesha Nasir began working as an Assistant Editor for a renowned publication when she was just 15. Since then, it was one by-line after another which helped her progress onto television and radio from print. However, when motherhood happened, she found herself in a bind. “I was able to juggle my older two (Keyaan and Aahil) but when I got pregnant with Ranya and had three children under the ages of three, something snapped. I just felt like it was impossible to even brush my hair or take a shower and the idea of managing a full-fledged career was impossible. I took a break but throughout the time off, I was constantly doing one small project after another and was eager to get back. That’s when ‘Scaryammi’ happened. I was desperate to get back into the world of journalism and thought this was the ideal way to combine journalism and motherhood,” shares Ayesha. ‘Scaryammi’ is a mothering blog that aims women to be the best version of themselves, which is sparking conversations and setting off trends everywhere. This week You! talks to the ‘Original Scaryammi’ to find out more about her platform…
You! Why do you refer to yourself as the ‘Scaryammi’?
Ayesha Nasir: The world of mommy bloggers, both in Pakistan and abroad, is filled with mommies who are overwhelmed with the job they are doing. Being a mother can be the easiest or the hardest job you have ever done. It all depends on how much you want to give of yourself to your children. In my case, my way of giving to my brood is to expose them as much as possible.
You! What defines your mothering strategy?
AN: I don’t know if I have a set strategy. Since there is no guidebook or syllabus that mothers can follow, I figure it out as I go along. However, I make an effort to give as much of me to my children as possible in things like picking and dropping from school, hugging and cuddling, reading and doing school work among others. I also don’t depend on maids too much. I am very hands on with the kids. In addition to this, I am always on the sidelines of their sports activities, cheering and screaming alternatively.
You! Do you feel writing about children is an invasion of their privacy?
AN: This is a constant conflict for mommy bloggers. I don’t per say write about my children; I write about my experience of mothering them and by default, my children make an appearance in my posts. I do feel that we have become way too obsessed with the idea of privacy. Neighbours no longer just walk into each other’s houses to greet and meet. I like sharing, both online and offline. While I am mindful that the stories I share belong to, both my children and myself, I don’t believe in over censorship. Although, having said that, I would never share their pictures naked or bathing.
You! Why do you feel there has been a recent mushrooming of mommy bloggers?
AN: I wouldn’t say that there is a mushrooming but many women writers and journalists have now turned to blogging; because it’s easy to upload content. Also, it helps you reach readers directly instead of going through editors and copy-editors. Moreover, a lot of mothers have started opting for stay-at-home and blogging setup as it is something one can do easily from the house.
You! Do you think blogging is turning into a full-fledged business?
AN: I have not monetised ‘Scaryammi’ so far it’s a labour of love only. But I do think that turning a passion into a business is a great way of making it sustainable and enabling its growth. My eventual aim is to monetise ‘Scaryammi’ but for now I am happy to invest in it and fuel its growth. I see a number of mommy bloggers running paid content and working with brands and I feel that is fantastic. It is great that consumer brands are reaching out and partnering with mommy bloggers and I am delighted to see some blogs growing beyond just one person’s voice to becoming online magazines.
You! What’s your personal favourite part about Scaryammi?
AN: I love having this community of mothers to reach out to. Everything just seems so much easier be it planning Ranya’s unicorn birthday or finding a soccer club. I am always amazed at how happy and eager the ‘Scaryammi’ mothers are to give of themselves.
You! What’s the hardest part of being ‘The Original Scaryammi’?
AN: Constantly putting myself out there to be judged, scrutinised and wondered about. I want to encourage others to share but for that I need to first share myself. This can lead to judgements and more from the women reading my posts. Thankfully, more often than not, it’s support rather than judgement.
You! How do you manage your time vis-a-vis mothering and ‘Scaryammi’?
AN: Time management has become my greatest challenge. ‘Scaryammi’ is nonstop and there is always something going on; it is generally most active at night though. I feel a lot of pressure to be present on the page, voice my opinion and have my say. That can be exhausting and eat up a lot of time. But I love it and am not complaining.
You! What’s on the agenda for ‘Scaryammi’ for 2019?
AN: Scaryammi is so new that sometimes discussing future plans makes me feel like I may jinx it. But, behind the obsessive and strict ammi facade lies an ambitious journalist. I am eager to see ‘Scaryammi’ grow beyond being a blog and a community group to becoming the one and only resource for women all over the country and beyond.