Working Mother’s Day with Mamazou85

Jenny Raymond: Founder of Mamazou – a non-judgmental social space for parents offering access to forums, blogs, discount codes, shop and much more.

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

I’d say that the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is mum guilt. It shows up day and night and has been an experience that I haven’t been able to shake off since day one. Time is also another huge challenge – whilst being a full time mother, I also need to balance being a wife, growing Mamazou and working my other day job.

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

Balance is key. It’s something that I’m still a long way from perfecting, but it’s so important to plan my time accordingly. I’m fortunate enough to work from home and be a full time mother when my daughter is around, but it can also be quite difficult to switch off. I make sure I go for a walk every day as well as spin at least twice a week so that I can clear my head.

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

If you dream it, you can do it. Yes, it’s hard work and exhausting but it will be worth it in the end. I’m a huge believer that doubt and fear block us from achieving what we want to… my advice would be to take that leap. Don’t be scared. If I can do it, so can you.

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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? 
NB; if you relate in any way to this article please share on your social media to reach out to as many amazing mommies out there.

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!

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…
Please share this post with as many awesome mamas as possible as a way to celebrate together their uniqueness! 

Yay! Potty Trained

Certain book titles like “How to Potty Train your Child in Just Three Days” seem to be something out of reach, but my little girl proved me wrong. Last Tuesday, she woke up with a decision in her mind; she had her intentions set on completely removing her diaper. As we were choosing her clothes for the day, she held her underwear saying, “No couche, mama! I want culotte.” I saw the determination in her eyes and her readiness to get rid and done with her nappies. So hiding my eagerness and excitement, I calmly explained to her that underwears cannot hold anything inside, and that she needs to use the potty in order to stay clean. And she agreed!

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To my surprise she had only one accident while the rest of the times she was able to inform me about her need to use the potty. On the third day, she was able to maintain her potty training even when I took them to a play date where she successfully used the regular toilet.

i can i willOf course we have been working on the concept for a year now by talking about it, reading books, and showing her and her twin brother as well, how we use the toilet. I also kept repeating that they soon will be able to remove their diapers. Her twin brother got excited about trying it as well, but he showed no signs of real interest or readiness to do so. That is why, I did not focus on the issue with him and decided to finish with his sister first.

And so our potty training came easily, smoothly, and with no stress (during the day and at night as well). The biggest gratitude goes to my little girl – 2 years and 3 months – whose decision gave me a forth cast on the type of woman she will turn into; a determined young lady who is able to take the right decision at the right time.

According to Dr. Schmitt, professor of paediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Medical director of the Encropesis-Enuresis Clinics, stress free potty training can improve a child’s self-confidence and grant him/her the independence he/she seeks later on in life.

However, if done improperly, studies show that it can lead to several long term issues which might be difficult to solve later on in life. Trauma, timidity, and fear are some of those concerns that might arise. We need to keep in mind that the child at this stage is fragile and sensitive. Being empathic, patient, and understanding the child’s needs result in having a successfull potty training.

www.livestrong.com/article/560414-long-term-effects-of-bad-potty-training

The more parents become frustrated and look disappointed by how long the process is taking, the more the child may withdraw into himself/herself and feel embarrassed and timid.

I believe that the calmer we are, the less stressful we act, and the more understanding we become, most parenting issues seem to be easier. So whether it is working on potty training or dealing with emotional concerns, we as parents need to work on our attitude first before having the impact on our beloved children.

N.B: I have written an article about potty training before where I have included a few important points as well. You can also have a look on it by clicking on the link below: www.thehelicoptermommy.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/help-its-potty-training-time/

 

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N.B: Images taken from @pinterest

 

 

 

 

Life in a Village

Our beautiful Lebanon provides children with plenty of natural and nurturing experiences that help in their growth and development. Last weekend, I took my precious five to their father’s hometown village where we decided to spend a few days – unlike the previous times when we only completed a few visits and left. Like most of the “international” children of this generation, we work hard on having them develop that sense of love and patriotism to the countries that not only nourish, feed, and support them, but also the one country that has given them their roots and carries their family history along with it.

During those three days I did not even worry about an entertaining activity to occupy their time. I made a point to leave their iPads back in Abu Dhabi and the perfect opportunity was presented to even avoid the TV screens as well.  Personally, I also enjoyed the ‘online detox’ as I eased my mind, soul, and thoughts when I decided to be disconnected and enjoy the calmness of the village. We were all experiencing the simple life which replenished our souls and allowed us to listen to our inner selves away from the chaotic and luxurious modern life.

On our way back to my parents’ house, the boys and I discussed what they enjoyed doing the most, and I felt delighted by the outcome they have experienced.

Sense of security:
The minute we arrived, I asked the boys to go on their own and knock on a few doors of relatives and friends, to inform them of our presence. I could see the surprise in their eyes so I explained to them that here they can enjoy the sense of security and explore the freedom of discovery in peace. Very early the next morning, just as they finished breakfast they directly asked if they could have a morning walk around the village. They were more than happy to discover the true freedom which every individual dreams of.

Free play:

Although my children get the opportunity to discover free play on many occasions, this time they have experienced it with other children and in a new setting. As a matter of fact, undirected free play has multiple advantages:

  • It helps children learn how to work collaboratively, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and learn self-advocacy skills. It even helps them tolerate pain, ignore the blisters and cuts, and continue enjoying their play.
  • It helps children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover areas of interest on their own, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue.
  • It develops children’s imagination and self-confidence since each one of them formulates and lives in his/her own world. It also boosts their self-image seeing themselves like grownups given the freedom to roam around their village with ease.

Sense of belonging:
They understood the real meaning of what a village is; the traditions, the hospitality, and the affection amongst its people. I was more than delighted to have served in building those memories with them. When they look back, they will live those unique moments again jumping over garden beds, running through the narrow alleys, skipping over rocks, and hiding behind trees and bushes. They might never return to live there, but at least they know they have a “home” that will last forever.

 

I believe that children who get the chance of discovering free play are fortunate and privileged. I salute all the parents who make it a point by bringing their children from far away countries, every summer, to have them live Lebanon’s beauty and uniqueness. It is true that we are dispersed all over the world and many of us might have one or two other nationalities, but we want to keep that bond, have them cherish those memories, and make them take the advantages that Lebanon still offers to the new generations.