How I’ve Changed this Summer

It is always healthy for a mom to look at herself not only as a mother, but as a woman with ambition, needs, and aspiration.

Back in June, I arrived to Beirut feeling drained and more than excited for the summer break to start. Once at my mama’s house, I felt the burden of my responsibilities take a toll on me. As much as I wanted to relax and simply do nothing, I also wanted to enjoy my time along with my children, family, and myself.

I had a plan in mind and I can say I am satisfied with the outcome I have gained in changing into a better me!

1. Inner Growth:

At the beginning of our summer break, I had a fruitful conversation with a woman who has succeeded in applying apprehensive lessons in her daily life. Being the person who is always eager on improving oneself, I was captivated by one of her significant wise advice; ‘To accept others and their opinions as they are.’

Once you realize how a person perceives something, and you understand that her perception is different from yours, then you have inner peace. There won’t be a place for criticism or judgment. It simply helps anyone to accept whatever consequences and incidents that come along.

2. Sports:

As much as I needed that physical relaxation, I knew that through exercise I can resume whatever energy has been sucked out of me. I always wonder how I accept the fact that I don’t exercise on a regular basis. The feeling a person gets after a sports session is simply amazing. Not to boast, but I am glad and proud that I have completed 24 hours of exercise with a private coach.

Those sessions made feel healthier, lighter, and happier. Although during the sessions, some exercises were really tough, but when there is a will there is always a way to get it done! Now that we are back into our loaded routine, I do hope that I will be able to find the time and energy to continue exercising.

3. Nature:

There is no greater comfort than the arms of mothernature. I was delighted to participate in many outdoor activities. Yet, the best two where when we first had a Full Moon Hike up in the mountains. Once at the top we had a small fire to warm oursleves and enjoyed watching the flames twist and turn in a warm dance. The second one was when we had another night hike in the dark with our torches on just to reach the top, lay on our backs, and watch the dazzling shooting stars right above us.

The stillness and quietness of those two nights brought me comfort and peacefulness where I could connect with my own self with no interruptions. Trust me it was much needed!

In summary, that is how I have evolved this summer, and I am grateful for all the tiny insights I have gained.

How about you dear mamas? Where you able to find some me time for yourself and work on attaining any change?

PS: shooting star image from internet

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Working Mother’s Day with Racha Hallak

Racha Hallak: Freelance Photographer

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

Being a freelancer might sound so easy but in fact it’s very challenging. Your office is at home. You find yourself constantly working. The time you dedicate to your kids, to your husband, to your home and yourself seems very limited. Working is not only time consuming but also energy consuming. Freelancing is stressful because your monthly income is not regular, depends on how many sessions I get booked a month, or how many projects I am able to take. It’s non stop work.

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

Many times I fail at finding the right balance, or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, or daily routine. I try my best to be available for my daughter and involved in everything she does no matter what. There is no perfect way, and no recipe for success, but with my husband’s support I am able to keep my daily life balanced even when overloaded with work.

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

There is nothing more satisfying than achieving your personal goals without feeling selfish about it. Your children will be proud of you one day. They will admire you and take you as an example. Dreams do come true, not by miracle, but with hard work and dedication. My daughter inspires me and motivates me. She is my source of strength when I feel like giving up.

Grateful…

Three years ago, I was in an ambulance  heading on a 40 minute hospital ride to deliver my twins! With my urgent case, my local obstetrician did not have the developed medical equipment to save my preemies!

I still remember my shocked reaction as we have planned all the details and reviewed the steps we needed to follow, but what happens in reality is mostly completelty different than what we imagine! As the warm and caring midwife tried to comfort me, I couldn’t but think about my babies’ secure birth praying in pain that all will pass smoothly… My water broke at 32 weeks and I knew there was no turning back. I had to move forward and what the future hid for us was completely obscure. 

Luckily, the minute I was pulled inside on the wheelchair and headed to the delivery section I directly knew we were in safe hands. 

Today, I want to thank again @alrahba hospital for their exceptional care and professional medical services which not only saved my twins’ lives, but they have played a major role in their healthy well being and growth.

Can’t be more grateful!

That is how special today is 💙💖 

Al Ain Safari Trip

Planning family outings with our five children during their short breaks from school is very enjoyable since we look forward to spending time together and making new and lasting memories! For this short break we decided to go on an adventure and learn more about the grand new opening of the first man made safari in Al Ain Zoo. I was dumbfounded by our children’s resilience to the heat, but I think it was their eagerness to learn more that made them move forward. As for the little ones they simply loved seeing the different animals and were perfectly fine exploring.

Due to the high temperature on that day, we made a quick tour around the zoo; saw a few monkeys, cheetahs, rhinos, tortoises, different kinds of reptiles, and birds. Then off to the safari we went.

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After receiving a phone call to know where our location was, our guide came and took us in a mini cart to the safari section. The tour was well organized and our guide was well informed. Very friendly and welcoming we were greeted by another guide who made sure the four by four jeep was ready with cold water bottles, and cool enough to have us escape the hotness outside. Since it has been recently launched, our guide told us that the African safari area needs more time to be able to reflect the actual real life one. The future plans to be carried out are impressively amazing like constructing an Asian safari along with a resort for people to stay there.

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Even though the variety of the animals is still limited, but the knowledge we left with was immense and interesting. After we finished with our tour which extended for almost an hour, I asked the boys what they have learned from this experience and out came their answers:

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  • One ostrich egg makes 72 omelettes. The ostrich is also the biggest and fastest bird.
  •  The horns of the Oryx were used to make the Arabian sword. Once cut these horns do not grow back and the Oryx dies losing its only and best defense mechanism.

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  •  A zebra has a black body with white stripes! I did not know that! Did you? Moreover, zebras walk side by side as they move in herds, so from a distance its predators think it is a huge animal. Smart!

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  • A lion, which sleeps around 18 hours a day, is known as the King of the lion because of the mane around its head and looks like a golden crown.

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  • A giraffe has only seven vertebrae just like us humans! It is a very strong animal because of its hoofs, but can become an easy prey once it goes down to drink water from below. Finally, a giraffe’s tongue reaches up to 45 centimeters. The way the boys’ eyes opened in surprise at this bit information made me laugh in admiration!

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  • Birds in the African safari make a number of tiny holes in the stones to lay their eggs. They use however only one, but they try to trick snakes in order to save their offsprings from the fangs of the serpent.
  • To escape the vicious claws of a cheetah which darts in a straight line, a gazelle runs fast shifting from left to right trying to lose its enemy.

After the Safari we watched a 15 minute movie in Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center, where we learned all about the ways people endured and survived the toughness and roughness of the desert’s nature. For instance, the desert sand which might feel coarse, scratchy, and painful when rubbed on the skin, also has a soft cooling aspect. What an ironic magnificent combination!

That short movie not only made us as grownups appreciate people’s resilience and great adaptation to such harsh environmental conditions, but it also made our children value the luxury they have now. The details shown in the movie marvellously reflect the daily living and change of season from complete dryness to refreshing showers and cold nights of the desert. The center, which has won international and local prizes, by itself, is a great learning resource about Al Ain and its exquisite natural attractions.

After a quick lunch at the ‘Zarafa Restaurant’ we took the little ones to ‘The Children’s Zoo’ where they were able to feed the animals like sheep, goats, horses, ducks, and camels. It is also enjoyable to have your children go inside the bird cage and feed the beautiful birds of different colours.

I would like to take the opportunity and thank all the employees at Al Ain Zoo for their hospitality, knowledge, and friendly attitude. It takes a lot of hard work, patience, and fervency to successfully run such a place.

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Hope you all had a nice weekend with your little ones. I would love to know how you spent it and if you recommend us trying it…