What Each of My Children Taught Me

The transformation that happens to a woman when she becomes a mom is something beyond words. The emotions she experiences are way beyond description, and the struggles she faces know no limits.
However, the things that a mom is not aware of are the endless lessons which she attains from her very own children.

So what has each of my five taught me?

My eldest D:
As I look back to that young mom in me, almost 13 years ago, I would smile and observe how much I have changed. I was six months pregnant with my first baby, and I was more than excited to that moment where I would finally wrap him in my arms, drinking in his scent.
I was still living in France back then, and life was not at its best. I was working as a full time teacher, I barely saw my husband due to the hectic work routine, I was homesick, and I felt bitter.
What killed me the most was the fact that I knew I had to keep my baby boy at a nursery at the age of 3 months and go back to work. I was simply not ready for that kind of separation and it tortured me to even think about him being taken care of by a complete stranger.
One night, I put my hand on my round tight belly and prayed with all the strength and faith I had, asking the Almighty to take us somewhere – just anywhere – away from the country. A month later, with happy tears streaming down my cheeks, I was packing to live in Abu Dhabi for a year – or that is what we thought would happen!
From that day on my first son has been my mentor in strengthening my faith and in believing that “To pray is to let go and let God take over.” And so He did!

Whenever I feel uncertain or worried about my big boy now, I know he has his own protectors and I humbly accept the difficult challenges I had when he was smaller.
Being a first time mom, back then, I thought that motherhood came with a manual where everything is perfectly set in place.

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First time mommy has taught me about strengths I never imagined I have. It taught me to endure physical and emotional pain. It empowered me in ways I did not imagine I would, and it made me more realistic than I have ever been.
With him, motherhood was a mysterious deep ocean filled with anxious wild rides through which I experimented all those new emotions with uncertainty. At the same time, I learned to capture unique successful moments through the tangled twists and turns which resulted in the mother I am now.

My 2nd Son R:
The arrival of our second son was a blissful moment. I was delighted to have two little buddies who were there for each other, play with one another, and take care of each other. As I knew that I would not stop at two kids, I welcomed being a mom of two boys with pride.

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Unlike the first time, I had a very smooth delivery filled with confidence and assurance. I even gave him his first bath, a few hours after delivery, knowing exactly what I was doing – not even looking at the nurse standing next to me.
Since the day he was born, I learned that a mom’s love is infinite and grows bigger and bigger with every additional child. That miraculous moment when a child breathes for the very first time and cries out, is just filled with a magical kind of love and gets repeated with every new child born.

My second son came to life with a thirst to learning and acquisition which taught me all about rationalism when it comes to parenting.
I learned that I could not force them to do what I want them to do. For children to learn to do things out naturally, they need to be convinced of its goodness and how well it serves them. It has to become a habit, a mode of living, and it is very difficult to attain. That is why, patience is the key. After all, it takes years of tears and trials for us to reap what we sowed.

I gradually learned to worry less as the frozen fears which I had, as a first time mom, slowly started to melt leaving greater space for me to enjoy them more. It was then that I quickly realized that children grow way too fast, and I wanted to make the best out of motherhood, in the finest way possible. I was more than happy to realize that I was no longer that apprehensive mommy.

My Third Son S:
I experienced the real joy of motherhood with the presence of my third boy. His addition brought me an extra mile of satisfaction. I was more confident, patient, mature, and I somehow knew more about the impulsive traps of parenting.
Being alone with him at home, while the other two went to school, he soon became my companion and my buddy. I spent such precious moments with him, and when the other two came back home, that joy was automatically transferred to them.
My Third, clarified the idea of being easy going and of not judging myself too much. He taught me of being happy for the mere fact of having them with me. His buoyant character and self confidence made me appreciate the presence of my three little boys beyond words. I was so grateful for that contentment which I truly feel to this very moment.

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Moreover, I learned to take any failure as a learning opportunity, just like them. I also became more focused on expressing my love towards them, and I deliberately attained the art of apologizing when I make mistakes or behave in a negative way.

The Twins:

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The birth of the twins was a simple reflection of life’s endless miracles, the faultlessness of human formation, and the perfection of how God deciphers His astuteness through us.
I confess I did not really get the chance to fully rejoice motherhood with them, as I wanted to be completely present with each one of them. Of course many are the times when that was not possible. It is then that I accepted the fact that aiming at being the ideal mom would leave me frustrated and hopeless. Slowly, I redirected myself into focusing on the present moment and dealt with what needed to be done first.
The first few months were tough on every one at home. We felt we were all moving in different directions, but the support system I had back then, reduced those worries and made me more focused.

So prioritising my duties according to what suits them best was the key for me to overcome that period.
Finally, the twins’ presence, despite the differences in character, made me aware of the precious bond these two beings have. The love and affection they feel towards one another is unimaginable. Their bond is so pure and true, and the delight they pour into our hearts is heavenly.

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It is really true that “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

With my five I learned all about the ironic feelings of motherhood ranging from hopelessness to success, from acceptance to change, and from certainty to ambiguity. I learned all about perseverance, resilience, fear, guilt, and pride. I also learned about that unconditional love that drives us crazy many times a day. That is why, I will never cease to learn from them, and try my best to exert my patience in the best way possible in order for us to enjoy this period of time together.

What has your child taught you?

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Please share this post on your social media as it helps us connect with other moms and keep the learning opportunities wider.

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Fun Facts About Us

After the twins were born and we settled into our new routine as a family of seven members, we experienced some amusing changes in our daily lives. I have included a few of them below.

1. Nail cutting:

It is funny that it didn’t take us much to realize that we had to cut and file 100 nails every few days. It happens that most of our children’s nails grow fast and tending to all of them takes time. Trust me, it is not something I enjoy doing, let alone the other many hygienic issues we need to consider and take care of!!

2. Car Driving:

We have bought a Honda Oddessy to fit us all in comfortably and easily. To be honest, I love this spacious mini-van of mine as it is practical with sliding doors on the sides and not too high for me to climb and fasten the little ones in their car seats. Still, we need around ten to fifteen minutes to have all five buckled up and seated properly before hitting the road. I still don’t understand what takes them that long to sit and fasten their seatbelts.

And once that is done, you would dream to have a calm ride around. They are either all talking at the same time, or fighting over which song they want to hear. Even the twins now make it a point in choosing their favorite hits! Enjoy the ride!

3. Shopping:

I rely a lot now on jotting down what new items each child needs. I have the tendecy to organize their closets once per month which helps me in classifying all the items needed. And with all this organization, I sometimes get confused and buy things I do not really need. The good thing is that if one of them can’t use it, there is always someone else who does. Having different sizes at home has its advantages! 😉

4. Extra Consumption:

As soon as the twins started eating solid food and I had to prepare their meals from scratch, the amount of vegetables and fruits increased drastically. In fact, we buy huge quantities which get comsumed by the end of the week. I know that with time and as the boys turn into young men, food consumption would increase even more. However, I would not mind preparing healthy choices for them no matter how tiring it will be.

On another note, the boys have been showering on their own for some time now, but they consume water and soap in huge quantities. We are still working on explaining how important it is to use them moderately. However, I think it might take more time for them to really grasp the concept.

5. Laundry:

Loads of laundry stack up every day making our washing machine twist and turn at least twice a day. We owe this luxury to William Blackstone who had invented the first washing machine that was designed for convenient use in the home. Otherwise, our lives would have been awefully drastic.

What are some of your funny realistic facts that you have experienced as a mom?

Working Mother’s Day with Chirine Ajouz

Chirine Ajouz Kabbara: Managing Partner at Est. F. Kabbara (kitchen and wardrobe supply company)


. What are some of the challenges you face as a working mom?

Just like any mother out there, I face the usual daily challenges that come with raising children in addition to the challenges that come with your outside job. The biggest challenges have been to find the right balance to make both worlds work in harmony. And in all honesty, the toughest challenge is finding time for yourself. But I have learnt that regardless of what’s going on, a mother needs time on her own to be able to give back to her family and work.

. How do you manage to maintain work and your daily life as a mom?

My family is always my number one priority. I am lucky that I work for myself so it’s easier managing my home and work. I plan my work day and meetings in accordance to what I have going on at home. For example, I try not to take meetings after 3:00 in the afternoon during the school year as I choose to be at home with my children at that time. But that doesn’t always work out. My kids have learnt to rely on themselves more since a lot of the time I have to be out working. Basically you become a master at planning and juggling.

. What message would you send to other moms to encourage them in pursuing their dreams?

For the first 3 years I had children. I was a stay at home mom and it was wonderful, but as my boys grew older and didn’t need me as much I felt I needed to go back to work. It was tough at first but my boys were so supportive. They started appreciating me more and they actually became more independent. It also helped me realize that it’s not the quantity of time we spend with our kids that matters but rather the quality. Going back to work has helped me fulfill myself as a woman. I am not just a mother at the end of the day, I am a woman, a person that needs fulfillment and self-actualization on all levels. It’s tougher out there for mothers because we are expected to balance it all and do great at it all. We do end up working on a somewhat even equilibrium between home and work but most of the days it’s not perfect and that’s OK. So yes I encourage every woman and mother especially to go after what she wants. It’s not going to be pretty all the time, but you can have both worlds.

Working Mother’s Day with dxbmommysjourney

Nilufar (dxbmommysjourney): Admin/HR executive and I blog/vlog as a hobby
. What are some of the challenges you face as a working mom?

I forget my meal times and don’t get enough sleep, but I am happy with the first challenge though 🙂
. How do you manage to maintain work and your daily life as a mom?

I do follow my strict plan and try my best to stick to it. Every minute plays a role for me, that’s why great time management and schedule are important. Weekdays are for work (for me) and education (for my son). Weekends are for partying around, not the actual party, but we have a rule of taking the most of the weekend to make up for the week. I do my house chores after 8 p.m. when my son is asleep, daily, in portions.
. What message would you send to other moms to encourage them in pursuing their dreams?

Honestly, children are not meant to stop us, they are here to learn from us. As much they see hard working and dedicated parents that much they learn to set their own goals and dreams. I believe being a working mom is part of nurturing the child too. My mom was a working mom and I’ve seen her climbing the career ladder from being the teacher of the school and reaching the school director position, that gave me the belief of how strong and dedicated can one woman be, this is also a base for my independent and persuasive character. I always tell that my parents are the reason of my achievements, as a daughter I understand that my mom has nurtured my dedication and I thank her forever. Life is tough, we never know where we might end up, we need to be ready for all, if I wasn’t a working mom I would never survive after all I went through. That’s why we should never drop our dreams in favor of “raising children” because setting an example of achieving our own goals is part of nurturing our children. After all, time flies and kids end up being busy at schools with their own tough schedule of activities and friends living their own life.

Working Mother’s Day with Mamas Garden

Rouba Dbouk Sleiman: Managing Director and owner of plant-based, healthy alternative food and medicinal products, Mammas Garden.

. What are some of the challenges you face as a working mom?

The biggest challenge any working woman would face is the “mommy guilt” feeling, managing your working hours and taking into consideration your kids wants and needs at the same time without one affecting the other. Especially at start-up time, things get easier once the business starts to pick up.

To work with the “mommy guilt” feeling, I started to train and involve my children in as many activities as I can. So instead of separating my work from my home, knowing that I believe in what I’m establishing, I decided to make it a family activity. My first market ever, I had my children give me ideas for wrapping and presentation of the products. The beautiful surprise was to see my children talking about a healthy lifestyle during and after the markets. In short, turn your most feared element into your biggest asset.

. How do you manage to maintain work and your daily life as a mom?

At the beginning it was hard to manage both, but once your kids are bought into the benefit of your dream, everything will flow because you live who you are and they start to live the life you dream for them at a young age! How could this not bring happiness to any mum? … its symbiotic!

One thing you definitely need is your partner’s support, assistance at home, and the power and the will to manage it all.

. What message would you send to other moms to encourage them in pursuing their dreams?

Sacrifice is what we do best as mothers….make it worthwhile by sacrificing for the right things. Raising a family has never been an issue in a woman’s career if you know how to manage and make your family buy in to your dreams… they are your first customers.

With love from a happy working mother,

Rouba (@Mammasgarden).

Working Mother’s Day with Rania Merchak

Rania Merchak Andraos: Managing Director at TransPremium. Sworn Translator and Interpreter

. What are some of the challenges you face as a working mom?

Juggling between being a full time freelancer and a mom to 2 super energetic boys isn’t always easy. It is challenging to commit to spending hours at my desk while at the same time giving my children full attention. It is also difficult sometimes when I have urgent projects to deliver and I have to finish my work before they come back from daycare/school, so I find myself overworked often times. One more thing that is challenging is when I get remote interpretation assignments and I have to travel and spend several days away from home.

. How do you manage to maintain work and your daily life as a mom?

Thank God I Freelance! Being a freelancer means I have flexible working hours as well as the liberty and ability to work from the comfort of my own home. This means I spend every single second of the day with my children. So no matter how hectic my schedule gets, I still manage because at least I don’t have to spend several hours a day stuck at traffic! Haha.

. What message would you send to other moms to encourage them in pursuing their dreams?

The road to success is not easy. It will get harder as your children grow older. It is inevitably challenging, but the rewards are oh-so-many. Self-fulfillment is the best thing ever. Never stop dreaming, and never stop chasing your dreams! Be a role model for your children. Do it for you. Do it for them. Count your blessings, stay positive and always look at the glass half full!

Working Mother’s Day with working_mother_of_ 2

Haneen A Khzam: Senior Project Assistant & Small Business Owner

.What are some of the challenges you face as a working mom?

Challenges are everywhere. You can’t be a working mom without challenges and everything else you hear is not true. The biggest challenge you’ll face is balancing your life as a mom/wife and as a business woman (no matter what business you’re in). Finding the time to do all is difficult and you’ll never say again “yes, that would be a convenient time” as you’re always tied up.

. How do you manage to maintain work and your daily life as a mom?

What I try to do is achieve quality time with my family rather than quantity time (not that I have the quantity option though 🙂 ). Whenever I’m at home, I’m totally at home trying to use every single minute with my kids: playing, watching things they like, having picnics in the kitchen together, even when I need to cook for next day or bake them some brownies or cupcakes, they’ll be around helping. Also when I have deliveries for my small business, I take them along to try and squeeze every minute I can with them.
And then when I’m at work, I’m totally at work, doing what I’m good at and delivering my best.

. What message would you send to other moms to encourage them in pursuing their dreams?

I can’t promise it’s easy! It’s going to be tough! You will have the mommy guilt forever! And you’ll always go to bed tired! But it’s all worth it.
If you’re able to manage a household and kids on your own, you’ll be able to manage a career/dream as well.
When you’re a working mom, you’re doing your kids a great favor.
You’re pursuing a role model to your little girl, that she can have it all in her future, she is strong and she can follow and achieve her dreams. That she is capable and unstoppable!
You are also being a role model to your son. You’re showing him that it’s okay for a woman to have it all. It’s okay for a woman to build a career/business and still manage her family. You’re showing him how strong women are! You’re making his future life with his wife and daughter smoother.
Not to mention, you’re doing it for them, to grant them a better life, education and peace of mind.
And guess what, they are both proud of you and look up to you. And no matter how many sad looks you get every morning you leave the house, they still love you to bits.

haneen working motherof 2

Working Mother of 2

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