Zeina, tell us about you, your family and what excites you in life.
I am blessed to be married to my husband Shawn and for our two little boys, Kaden (4.5) and Kareem (3 in Nov). I am an attorney licensed in California and Hawaii, and have been practicing since 2007. With a decade of litigation and transactional experience, I founded my own law firm two years ago in Newport Beach. In addition to my law firm, I work as a freelance attorney for the Montage Legal Group, where I serve as independent, outside counsel to law firms and business clients on litigation and transactional matters. Prior to moving to California, I commuted from Japan to Hawaii, where I held a senior litigation and appeals position at a prominent Hawaii firm. Currently, I am on the Board of Directors for the Glass Slipper Guild for CHOC’s Children’s Hospital. CHOC’s Children’s is the only private, not-for-profit hospital in Orange County devoted exclusively to the health and wellbeing of children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. The Glass Slipper Guild is one of the largest fundraising arms of CHOC Children’s comprised completely of volunteers, many of whom are mothers- approximately 100 philanthropic women of Coastal Orange County with a common purpose of supporting the work of CHOC Children’s. I absolutely love to workout, play golf with my boys, go to the beach, teach belly dancing, and sing!
What do you do to stay a) healthy b) active c) practice self love?
a) Sushi b) Running c) Working Out
How are you balancing motherhood, a high-powered profession, volunteer work as well as writing your own book (no-nonsense guide on balancing motherhood) ?
It all began with my dichotomic views of motherhood versus career. It’s the quintessential, self-inflicted (at times) battle so many women in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have waged. Balancing a career with unavoidable societal “obligations” to take care of the home, husband, and to bear and raise children. Seventy percent of mothers today have a career, compared to only thirty percent fifty years ago. Domestic responsibilities, such as assuming primary responsibility of the home, managing and executing household chores, meal preparation, and maintaining their relationships with family, friends, children, and significant others can be overwhelming when you have a job, newborn, and toddler running around. Having not found any relevant or impactful books on parenting when I first became pregnant, I decided to take my personal experiences and put them to use in a modern day no-nonsense guide on balancing motherhood, love, a career, health and happiness with style and grace. My book is entitled Haute Mama and represents the modern, globalized, power house mamas (whether stay-at-home, part-time, or full-time career moms) who are doing it all and making it look effortless and chic. The book has a good balance of realism and optimism with a splash of humor. It is uplifting, confidence building, and filled with just the right information. My personal stories add a layer of depth and meaning to all the information. I lead the reader in a how to and what to expect format. Haute Mama is not just a book, it is a brand; a unique lifestyle that redefines motherhood and defies mommy norms. Moms can follow along @HauteMamaBook on Instagram where I provide weekly health, fitness, lifestyle, and mommy tips. This book will take over the mommy/lifestyle/parenting world by storm. Haute Mama is for everyone; it is not just for fancy moms, but rather for all types of mothers, fathers, and soon-to-be parents. It targets organic moms, fit moms, military moms, career moms, fashionable moms, and moms that are simply trying to stay afloat and make it work. Haute Mama appeals to more than just females. It provides great insight for significant others struggling to adjust cohesively with the new mom. My male readers have found the book very interesting and captivating. The anticipated release date for Haute Mama is tentatively set for Summer 2018 (Winter 2018 for the South African reader).
What advice do you have for new moms or moms in general based on your experience?
As if balancing a career and baby aren’t enough, our lives are magnified under the high powered microscope of social media, where there are an endless number of critics eagerly waiting to comment on the manner in which we parent. With rules like “do not say no,” “do not discipline,” “tell them you love them, but not too much,” and more, being a parent can be incredibly tough in this day and age. We have to create a loving environment that is egalitarian yet authoritative. We have to ensure our children’s emotional, psychological, nutritional and social needs are met without over-stimulating or under-stimulating them. These factors make for a rocky transition to parenting and can severely strain your relationship with your significant other. Other books in this genre can be overwhelming, outdated, or written from a perspective not entirely relevant to your own. I realized that these books were not resonating with my lifestyle. I could not find books written by modern mamas striving for balance in all facets of their lives. I was terrified that there was no child-rearing manual that I could memorize and apply once my baby arrived. We have to study and take an exam before we may operate a car, yet we are handed a baby in the delivery room and sent on our way without so much as a pamphlet or cheat sheet. Moreover, present day parenting is not what it used to be. For starters, our generation has naturally shifted from full-time motherhood to balancing a career and baby. Additionally, the globalized nature of today’s workforce means that parents are less likely to live close to extended families. This means our relatives are not readily available to give us a couple of hours off. I have been very fortunate in my life to experience several different perspectives of being a mother. I have been a full-time working mother, the sole breadwinner of the family, a stay-at-home full-time mother (wow this was hard!), a working-from-home mother, a working and traveling mother, a military mother, and now a part-time working mother. My experiences and diverse background experience allow me to provide a comprehensive guide for new parents. With information on how to train your baby to sleep on their own, to how much milk they need, Haute Mama strives to provide the basic need-to-know building blocks for fostering confidence in your new role as a parent without all the superfluous stuff. The information in my book goes beyond Lamaze class and addresses the breakdowns in the romantic relationship with your significant other, the personal relationship you have with yourself, your health, fitness regime, and appearance. Put simply, this book is designed to empower you with the knowledge you need to make the rocky transition to parenthood more smooth and enjoyable. Haute Mama is intended to be used as a quick and condensed resource guide on how to operate your new baby and balance it all with style and grace. This book raises the bar, fills the gap, and leaps over any similar books in this genre.
Are there any quotes you love?
There is no such thing as a perfect mom, so focus on being a real, present, and Haute Mama.
Any final words, beautiful?
At the end of the day, all mamas worry that doing their best is still not good enough. You will feel guilt about every single thing and struggle to maintain a healthy balance to please all members of your family. You will not always be the perfect mother and wife; you will raise your voice and lose your cool; you will be late to everything; you will experience tantrums in the middle of a crowded store; and you will fail miserably. It is how you handle these situations, how you pick yourself up, and how you persevere that will teach your children about life and growth.
Where can our readers find you online?
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