The second you walk into Samira Nasr's Brooklyn home, a feeling of calm instantly washes over you, which is both surprising and impressive given that an almost-three year-old lives there. As the Fashion Director for Elle magazine, she seems to skillfully manage her time between traveling around the world styling photo shoots and being a devoted, hands-on mama. Which begs the question: How does she do it? The down-to-earth mom is the first to admit that she wishes she "knew the secret." While the work/motherhood balance is a daily challenge, she has learned to manage her screen time, which in turn allows her to be fully present with her son from the second she walks in the door until the moment his head hits the pillow. Nasr always knew she wanted to be a mother, and, she describes getting to a place in her life where she "felt ready but was still waiting to find my partner. Was I supposed to give up on being a mom because I couldn't find that person? I decided to build the life I have always wanted." The rest, as they say, is history. When asked to share the best part of motherhood, her answer is simple: "I get to be Lex Nasr's mom and it is the greatest gift."
Bob Marley CD's (because Lex is obsessed.)
A good glass of wine after Lex goes to sleep.
And Mr Clean Eraser sponges to remove all the marks from my once pristine white walls.
"I think as women we are told that things should come into your life in a particular order. I don't believe that is true. I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I got to a place in my life where I felt ready but was still waiting to find my partner. Was I supposed to give up on being a mom because I couldn't find that person? I decided to build the life I have always wanted. To all the women out there who are patiently waiting, I would say don't give up on your desire to meet someone but don't press pause on any of your dreams. Build the life you want. Create your own story."
"I am just starting to figure out how to fit in exercise and time for myself, and Lex is almost three! I am trying to work out twice a week and then get that to three times. I have a sitter come on Saturday mornings so I can workout, and then I try to find time either before or after work but it is so difficult. I do think that this time for myself makes me a better mom. I also have one night out with friends a week."
"I want to raise my son with a strong moral compass. I want him to be curious about the world and the people in it. I want him to be kind, and accepting of all people. I want him to know that his differences are his gifts. I also want him to be a feminist!"
"For me, the judgement still surprises me. Not everyone agrees with single motherhood. A lot of people feel the need to offer unsolicited parenting advice."
"I wish I knew the secret [to creating balance between work and motherhood]. I really try to manage my screen time when I am with my son. I am offline when I come home and and am not back online until he is asleep. I try to be present when I am with him because my time with him is my priority. I am very blessed to work with a group of people who value family, and are extremely supportive of me and mine."
The hardest thing about being a mom: "Leaving every morning. I wish I had more time with him."
The best thing about being a mom: "His name is Lex. I get to be Lex Nasr's mom and it is the greatest gift."
"I think my biggest challenges [in early motherhood] were just learning how to balance work and motherhood. Most people don't realize but NY State Law only gives adoptive parents a week paid maternity leave. I had a little more time than that but our laws do not reflect the reality of modern-day families. We, as a society, do not support all families equally and it makes these challenges even more difficult to overcome."
"There is no short cut unfortunately. If anyone has one, please share it with me. It all takes too long but I just get up extra early in the morning."
The most treasured piece of motherhood advice you've ever received: "Breakfast for dinner is not the end of the world."
"I wish I was more patient. And I wish I could get him to eat more veggies."
"The most surprising of all [about motherhood] would just be the amount of love I feel for my son. It reminds me that every decision I ever made that felt wrong at the time was actually worth it because it kept me on a path that lead me to Lex. There is nothing greater than being his mom."