The journey of happiness with jumana
The joy that motherhood has brought to my life knows no bounds. I had no idea what to expect when my daughter Ayla was born, on a beautiful summer’s day in Montreal, Canada. I had been dreaming of having a child for years by then – it felt like motherhood was the only thing missing from my life. I was married to my best friend, my husband Suhail whom I have loved as a young teenager and whom I am lucky to get to walk hand in hand through life with. I was in a career I loved and believed I was good at, utilizing my skills as a philanthropist, strategist and fundraiser in my role of Head of Corporate Planning and Development at Dubai Cares. I lived in the beautiful, vibrant city of Dubai, in a home I had designed with precision and care, so it would become mine and my husband’s haven away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. I had friends all over the world, and travelled extensively in my tireless need to explore cultures and lands far and near. Life was full of blessings, and with the arrival of my daughter, I at first felt that life was perfectly complete.
But simply being a mother, without actively working towards being the kind of mother I wanted to be, was not enough. Considering all my blessings, and the ultimate blessing of becoming a mother to my beautiful, special girl Ayla, made it seem that on paper, I had it all, and had no excuse to feel like something was missing. But something definitely was.
It is through questioning these emotions and these thoughts, and my feelings that I had not yet become the mother that I knew I could be, that The Happy Box was conceived. I co-founded the business with my sister-in-law, who is herself a best friend to me as well as a second mother. We were the perfect team together, working with one goal in mind: bringing happiness to our own families, and to any family who craved the happiness we wanted to share.
Overnight, it seems, The Happy Box was born. It required – and still does – an endless stream of sleepless nights, of tears and toil, of frustrations and challenges, but it’s the most wonderful, satisfying, pride-inducing, inspirational thing I have ever done and has become my pride and joy – right after my beloved daughter, of course!
It’s completely a family endeavor: my sister-in-law and I are the co-founders, my daughter Ayla is our Happiness Ambassador and the tester of all our products and activities, my husband is my priceless sounding board, and my dream of making family a priority and finding ways of creating quality time for myself with my daughter and with my loved ones is finally coming true.
The Happy Box allows adults to engage with children through activities that are both fun and educational. Every month, for each box, Linda and I design a minimum of eight activities around a certain theme, such as the seasons or special occasions. We include an age-appropriate book and send off the personalized box to a child, knowing that it will provide hours of fun – quality family time at its finest. We’ve also introduced a CSR arm of the company entitled “ Happy Hearts” last July 2015, of which for every happy box purchased, we donate a happy box to a child in need.
Considering that these are the things I care about – family, health, quality time, and the absolute best for my daughter – it was a natural progression for me to partner with Nestlé and Mommy’s Corner by NAN®3.When I hear Nestlé , I think “healthy, nutritious and the best for a child”. When parents hear “The Happy Box”, I want them to think “education, developing creativity and motor skills,” as well as “fun”. The two go hand in hand: the end product is a well developed, healthy, imaginative child.
It made complete sense for me as a mother, as a conscientious entrepreneur and as someone adamant about providing the best for my child – whether in terms of nutrition or in terms or mental stimulation – to partner with a company that shares my values.
I look forward to sharing with you the trials and tribulations of motherhood, the ups and downs, and the secret little tricks I’ve been employing to juggle it all!
Motherhood continues to be a series of uphill’s and downhills, especially now that I’ve taken on the role of “mumpreneur”, but here’s the thing: lately, the good days far, far outnumber the bad ones, and at the end of each day, I am content.