My Fourth Son…

It is indeed incredibly amazing how each and every child has a special place in a mom’s heart. When I had my first boy, I thought I could never love any other being as much as I loved him. 

I was wrong!

Soon enough, came our second one, and that love increased doubling with more joy and pride. I could feel my heart swelling up with attachment and affection towards both of them. I was delighted to have given my first boy a lifetime buddy to hang out with, play with, fight with, and do whatever boys do together. Then sooner than expecting, the third one proudly arrived bringing much charm with his captivating smile and easy going character to our family. He quickly formed a special bond with his brothers, and soon they constituted a clan.

What a bless, I would tell myself!
AND I thought it ended there; a satisfied mom of three adorable boys.

Again I was wrong!

As our fourth boy and little girl were born, I was deeply concerned about him being ignored by everyone. After all everybody was waiting for the girl – even us as parents!

I was afraid of failing between them, focusing more on her needs, and losing it with all of the responsibilities I suddenly had. It is true that we have always wished for a girl, but I did not want him to be treated any differently than his brothers or her for the matter.

To ease my worries, I read books and articles related to twins, sibling rivalry, and whatever came across my way. I also had a full supportive team at home where we discussed our worries and concerns. 

However, what really helped me the most was my fourth boy himself.  I will never forget his looks at the age of 32 weeks, only a few days after they were born. Just by looking at him peeking at me through the incubator, I could easily tell that he has come with a unique character, just like the others, and was more than ready to prove himself. It kind of soothed me seeing his determination at a very young stage in his extremely early life.

An independent little fellow who insists on doing things on his own is the main characteristic of our little Mr. R. As I observe him at play, I enjoy his jubilant attitude and carefree spirit. He not only enjoys kisses and cuddles, but asks for them as well whenever he feels like it. I also love his thirst to knowledge and learning where he asks me to work together on different age related activities. I adore his attachment towards his sister and brothers, and his comic side when he enjoys a joke with them. 

It does not really matter if you have an only child or five of them. It does not matter if they are all girls or all boys. It does not matter the order they come in. What matters is the love, the innocence, the purity, and transparency they bring. Our way of reacting to these needs and our approval form the basics of a child’s character in the future. This reminds me of what my dearest grandmother used to tell us, ‘Raise your children with love and affection.’

So how much can a mom’s heart equally love? Well I would say definitely infinite!

A Mom’s Kinda Vacation 

“How did you spend the spring vacation?” is the first question people ask on your first day back to work. We usually travel and spend the vacation at my parent’s house or they come over to spend some time together.

Unfortunately, this spring break we could not meet, and I realized that in fact I did not have a break in the real sense of the word!
I mean how could I when I have five to keep entertained and busy for two complete weeks? To add on top of that I have different ages with somehow different interests.
As a result, I found myself juggling between play dates, meeting friends, and arranging activities for them. It was mostly fun and we have really enjoyed those moments, but I haven’t really had the ‘me time’ pause! Those few moments where I wished I could just recharge my batteries to keep going with the same zest and tranquilty.
I somehow took a break from physically going to school very early every morning. However, I had to pass a few nights preparing lesson plans and working on some corrections. Unlike other professions, a teacher brings piles and piles of schoolwork along. You do not just leave your office and forget about all those obligations. That is why as a working mom I had a semi interlude.
On the other hand, we all agree that being a mother is a 24/7 job with no vacations or real downtime unless the grandparents are around – which is exactly what I missed having this Spring.
During this short vacation, I found myself reminiscing over my young age when I had no worries or responsibilities. When I could drink my coffee and enjoy its warmth till the last drop. Or when I used to relish eating my food, savoring the taste of each and every bite. Not to mention sleeping until I got tired of being in bed!
At the same time, having my beloved children around me fills my heart and soul with life. They are my joy and pride. Despite the fatigue and exhaustion motherhood brings, I would not have imagined my days without them.  They are a blessing and I am lucky to be bestowed with such a bliss.
Like every other mother, I would wish to have a break and escape from my duties every once in a while. Nevertheless, once alone I would find myself thinking of them, feeling them, and longing to be with them again. Those never ending ironic notions every mom experiences where she has to balance her sanity and rejoice in being a mom as much as she can.
So how was my kind of vacation? Well it was filled with happy special moments, some arguments, laughter, a passing by sickness, lots of chores, silliness, game playing, partying with the kiddos, homework, and tons of action! Just to mention a few of any other day in a diary of a mom, and to that I am always and forever grateful!
So mommies how was your spring break? 
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That’s To You, My Child!

My dear child that’s to you, so you know what life might do!
You might meet those who nag
And others that might carry your bag…
Some are cross and make you dare
Others would simply show that they care.
A group might lie
And could even leave you to die,
While honest ones will still appear
To help make the pain disappear…
Yet true friends are hard to find
So choose well and don’t be blind…
Be aware of pits and walls
Make sure you avoid the falls.
But don’t forget that mistakes are good
If they are well taken and understood.
After all life is a game
As you grow, it won’t be the same…
Play it well, do your part
But reserve your golden heart!
Everyday there is something new
A lesson, a truth, a reality to view
I promise to help you with all my might,
But it is God who will open your inner sight.
Laugh, create, imagine and dream
Play, dance, run and scream
Be polite, help those in need
Seek the truth, learn and read!
I love you, you are my child
And I’ll always be your guide
To help you when in need or in pain
To happily share your triumphs and gain….
I can write a million word
To assure you’ll successfully face that extraordinary world…
Before one day you depart and leave to explore,
Taking my aching heart with you out of the door!
But that is life,
With its beauty and its hardship which cuts like a knife…
These are my words before we part,
But for now I’ll enjoy you with all my heart….
So that’s to her to him and to you
That’s to all the five of you!

Rania HUSSANT

 

Motherhood 

You suffer a lot of pain yet you embrace it with a smile,

You conquer defeat yet you hold your head up high.

You sacrifice your youth yet you are more than content,

You spend all night awake yet you find pleasure in it in the end.

But the marvelous thing about you is the ability to forget;

The pain, the labor, the tears, and the defeat,

While you joyfully embrace and shield significant memories of your most cherished  ones.

Then they grow and your worries increase,

Your anxieties inflate, swelling painfully in your chest,

Your dreams get shattered, 

And you wonder if you are doing it right!

Motherhood, you drive me crazy.

You make high,

You make me low.

You hit me hard,

Then you caress me ever so gently

Stroking into my hair, 

Giving me sweet attention and endless care.

Motherhood, you twist me and turn me around

You harshly crush my hopes, then pin me arrogantly to the ground.

Motherhood, you ignite in me flames of happiness and distress.

You teach me about love and forgiveness presented in a neat mess.

You unveil truths I dare not face,

You make me experience a sweet torture I never even thought I could bear…

And yet you have blessed me with the miracle of being that mom…

A mom with unlimited ardency, 

A mom with a strong will to move on,

A mom whose force and power could move mountians,

A mom who does a lot of mishaps and mistakes as she fights against fatigue and distress,

A mom whose responsibility sometimes exceeds her limits, yet she insists on reaching that far realm.

Motherhood, thank you for all this unique beauty, the incomprehensible pain, the bewitching sorrow, and the fascinating delight you bring along this journey…

May we do it right!

What Would I Tell Myself If? 

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGBeing surrounded by a few new moms and hearing the various struggles they are going through with their little ones took me back twelve years ago. I was able to relate to a lot of the difficulties they are currently facing and was assuring them that this too shall pass. Listening to them also gave me the chance to reflect on the path that I have been on and was wondering what message would I have sent myself if I was able to go back in time?

Avoid perfection:

First,  I would lower my expectations to be the perfect mom with a perfect baby. At that time I thought I could maintain an organized routine the way I have always done.  So instead of napping when he did,  I continued to tidy up the house,  cook, and do the never ending laundry. Moreover, he wasn’t the type of babies who slept through the night. I used to spend my days and nights indulged in feeding,  diaper changing, and more of those inexplicable heartbreaking cries!  The result;  I was drained due to the excessive pressure I have put on myself by aiming to seek perfection.

Learn to accept reality :

I learned through my experience that I needed to be more patient and to happily accept the sudden changes that quickly became our daily routine.
I also learned that those long nights and endless cries will come to an end.  It is only a stage before you move on to maybe yet another more complicated one.

Learn to accept advice:

I learned that advice coming from experienced people could be taken into consideration. For example,  I completely refused to give my boy a pacifier thinking only of its disadvantages. I was also afraid that he might get attached to it, leaving me unable to control it later on. Instead, I would nurse him every time he started crying, wondering if I had enough milk supply!

Be less anxious:

I admit with my first,  I was kind of worried about small  and unimportant details,  despite the fact that he was a healthy baby. By experience, I learned how these worries and anxieties can be felt by my babies.  So why would I reflect negative feelings when I can supply them with excessive positive love?

Give some time for myself:

If I look back at how I neglected myself and my appearance at that time,  I would be surprised.  A friend once told me how important it was for me to go for a walk alone,  have a Mani-padi every once in a while.  Of course, I did not as I thought I would be that bad and egoistic mummy if I don’t sacrifice every single minute for him.

Give some time to my hubby:

In the same talking,  I indirectly neglected our relationship focusing mainly on our baby, his needs, and then I would be too tired to even consider an outing or to spend some fun time with my hubby.

The good thing behind this, is that I have drastically changed throughout the years.  I learned from my mistakes, as I matured into motherhood. Thankfully, I succeeded in avoiding these inconsistencies with my other children, and I learned to enjoy being a mom of five. After all nothing is worth all the stress, the guilt, the pain, and even the physical fatigue. What really matters is the loving positive message we can provide our precious children with, right from day one.

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How My Mom Inspired Me

Whether we like it or not, every girl takes after her mom. Even if we think we do not, but by time we see ourselves becoming more and more like her. Some of us, if not most, feel proud about it. Even if we know that she, like us has done mistakes while raising her children, she still is our idol. No matter whether we feel that we resemble our moms or not, they have definitely inspired us in one way or the other.

Not because she is my mother, but as a person I came to admire her even more the day I got married and left to live in France. I used to tell her that I could see myself through her as I faced the challenges and responsibilities this new stage in life gave me.
She was and still is my guide, my support, the base behind my patience, my ambition, my strength,  and the first person who taught me what unconditional love is. I was not aware of these remarkable attributes when I was young and thought I owned the world. She has seen in me that passion towards writing and she kept encouraging me to write.

Her words still echo in my mind as she endlessly urged me to write about my experiences, insisting how joyful and satisfied I’d feel once I do that. She was more that right!

To encourage me even more towards my literacy education, she used to proudly say that I am the flower of the house amongst the mathematicians and doctors around me. She never mentioned how bad I was in Maths, and how illogical Physics was to me! Let alone Chemistry ….

My mama inspired me in many ways, and encouraging me to write is only a minor part of all that she has given me. But look how significant that has been on my life!

Through writing she has helped me reflect upon my problems, release my tension, experience happiness, be connected to the given moment, and mostly find the real me inside me!

We cannot thank our moms enough for what they did, what they do, and what they will do for us…  I am grateful for every second of my life for having her as my mom!

Looking forward to hearing how your wonderful moms have inspired you…
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Off To School We Go!

Going back to school this year was peculiar. Not only I returned to my professional career as an Elementary School teacher, but my twins started nursery as well. 

As the summer days slowly approached the end of the vacation, the heaviness in my chest tightened. I had crazy thoughts piercing into my mind bleeding my heart with worries. I felt overwhelmed with all the duties I have added up onto my plate. But I mainly dreaded the separation of the twins from me and mostly from each other. That bitter separation which I have experienced before and knew too well. I will never forget the day I left the hospital three days after delivery leaving my treasured twins alone in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) I still remember how my postpartum body slowly and painfully moved towards the hospital’s sliding doors with empty hands and a lump in my throat. 

I admit I was worried about the whole back to school situation. Anxiousness engulfed me with questions popping abruptly into my mind; how will they react as they see me go, leaving them with a complete stranger? What kind of impact does this separation have on them? How will they manage their stress? Unlike the first time, when they were in the hospital, here they are both aware of what is happening. To add to my apprehension, my eldest son is also moving to a new stage in his life. Despite my pride and joy that he started Middle School, I couldn’t help but wonder about him growing and moving into adolescence with all its effects on his personality, character, and growth. Similarly my other two boys are also growing and diverting into new junctures in their lives.
It is unbelievable how time flies. They were just born yesterday. Each and every one of them has his and her own unique moments. That second when I heard them cry for the first time. When I first held them close to my heart, and inhaled their perfection into my soul. 

Nevertheless, once school started a week ago, I set my worries aside and managed to control that malice which was throbbing heavily in my veins. I decided to live the present with them. I casted my fears aside and I focused on the moment given. Naturally, with such a decision in mind things come into place, just like a puzzle! 

The twins’ teachers turned out to be caring, loving, and supportive. Whereas the boys’ teachers are passionate about their work, well focused on the children’s needs, and up to date with the material given. What else could I ask for! 

Last but not least, being back in my class as I tutor, aid, discuss, and guide my students is a rewarding experience by all means. That feeling of being overwhelmed disappeared into thin air , just like sand, making room for creativity, pleasure, and happiness. 

I concluded once again that a person cannot ponder on the past. After all it has passed, it finished! And of course one cannot speculate the future as it gives nothing but uncertainties and heaviness. 

For this school year, I promised myself to enjoy all those challenges. Take them, dissect them, and learn from them. That is how I will help not only my own growth but my children’s development as well.

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