Happy Reading: Hello March!

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It is hard to believe that we already finished the first trimester of this year, and starting the second one soon.  And even though spring is officially in the premises, in this part of the world, the weather is absolutely refusing to cooperate, and I must admit that I am loving it! I love rainy, grey mornings. I love the cold weather and the windy evenings. It is the perfect weather to lose yourself in a good book. And talking about good books, here is the list of books I read this month and what I think of them.

 

  1. Snow Flower and The Secrete Fan by Lisa See: Wow!! This is all I have to say! If you haven’t read this book, then what are you waiting for?! It is a novel about the life of a Chinese woman. I felt a strong connection between me and Lily; the constant battle between the heart and mind, the right and wrong. When the book was over I almost cried, and for the next few days I felt the need to pick up my kindle and just reread few pages of the book to make me go back to that wonderful story. The book came in just the right time. A time when I am focusing on the women in my life and how inspiring they all are, this book came to show me in an even bigger scale, what women are capable of. And even though this is just a novel, but I felt the striking reality and similarity in every woman’s life. The power, the wisdom, the selflessness, the willpower, the kindness, but also the selfishness, the fear, the loneliness and all the unwanted feelings.

 

  1. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: “You sit down for dinner, and life as you know it ends”. About death, illness, marriage, and life! This book is raw, and full of intense emotions. A grieving woman sharing such personal experience yet universal, almost everyone goes through it. She records her thoughts, feelings and experience in the year following her husband’s death. The book is also filled with quotes, and paragraphs from other books which is always a plus for me!

 

  1. Power vs Force by David R. Hawkins: You will have to have an open mind if you want to read this book. It is about how to determine the truth or falsehood of about anything you come across, in a pretty unusal way. Dr.Hawkins uses theoretical concepts from particle physics, nonlinear dynamics, and chaos theory to support his study of human behavior. I love delving into the unexplainable and the unseen, I also like to always keep an open mind when reading books like this one, however, this book missed something, I felt it wasn’t complete. It still is a very interesting read nonetheless.

 

  1. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine: For those interested in nutrition, health, and natural healing, this book is for you! An ancient book and one of the most important classics of Taoism. Revealing the natural laws of this holistic universe, this book offers practical advises on how to lead a healthy and happy life, while connecting with nature.

 

Enjoy!!

 

Ouiam

Stop Making Motherhood Seem So Messy!

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So few days ago, I saw a post on Facebook going viral. Thousands of shares, millions of likes, and tons of comments. It was about a mother, who was about to text her friend who was coming over, saying: “Sorry for the mess at my place, the unwashed dishes, the clothes everywhere…etc.” Just to realize that she didn’t have to give excuses to anyone. This is Motherhood. I am always a huge supportive of moms everywhere, no matter who they are, what they do, or how they decide to raise their kids. I support and encourage every single mom in the universe. However, this post didn’t feel right to me. When we talk about motherhood, we are talking about the most honorable, noble and exceptionally rewarding and satisfying job. So to undermine and narrow the very essence of motherhood to being incapable of taking care of ourselves as mothers, our houses ,or our general hygiene, does not seem right to me. To show that motherhood is messy, dirty, untidy, unorganized seems very wrong to me.

 

I won’t talk about myself here, but I know a lot of other moms, mothers to one and even more than one kid; I have been to their houses and it is always clean, tidy, and so inviting. So why is this ONE mom (from the post) having a hard time doing so too. Believe me, I get how hard it is to be a mother of a newborn, I also get how tiring it is to have more than one kid, but I –as a mother myself- always manage to find the time to take care of other things too. Yes, it is exhausting but this is what life is about right? You always push yourself to be better, to live better, to do better. We don’t settle for mediocre things just because we think we can’t do more. And what’s worrying me even more is that this picture drawn by this woman, is becoming a new trend. Living in a dirty home, dirty kitchen, the mom wearing Yoga pants, with a stained T-shirt, and unmatched socks. Since when is this normal? Generations of women have done much more than what we do now and they always looked their best. Their houses, rooms and kitchens did too! I also know lots of  working mothers, who on top of it all, they have to juggle the workforce, to make sure their kids will have a bright future, the one they deserve; yet their houses never suffer from the business of their days. They probably sleep less than anyone else in their households, but they are aware that the sacrifices they are making now, will turn into rewards in just few years from now. It is so satisfying to know that you are doing your very best for your kids, every night before you put your head on a pillow. You do your best because these are your kids, the most precious possession of yours. You do your best because you don’t want to regret anything ten years from now. You do your best because these angels that you have been blessed with deserve it!

 

The season of little clothes, little feet and little hands passes by so quickly. They grow up in the blink of an eye. And soon you will get to sleep in, you will get to go for those lunches and dinners that you have been postponing for the last ten years, your house will be spotless clean and will stay so for the rest of the day if not the week, and believe me, you will miss all the mess, the noises and all that hard work you have done every single day when your little ones were growing up, but you will be happy, you will be satisfied and proud of yourself. You did it, you managed to keep your house clean your food on the table, your kids well taken care of. You will not be the first one, and probably not the last. Your mother did it before you, and your grandmother did it before her. It is OK to have a messy house, it is OK to have dishes in the sink waiting to be washed, it is OK to have piles of dirty laundry greeting you every morning; what is not OK is to link all that to MOTHERHOOD.

 

I know this post will be subject to so much disagreement and maybe even disappointment, but this will never stop me from being honest with myself. It happens that I always have an opinion about everything that goes around me, and it also happens that I always like to share these opinions and thoughts over here. So Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing what you guys think!

 

Ouiam

I Am A Horrible Feminist And Proud Of IT

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I always loved to cook. I always took joy in cleaning and doing chores. I eagerly learnt how to sew and knit from my mother long time ago. I love make up, dresses, shoes, bags and anything to do with fashion. Taking care of my husband gives me an immense pleasure. Putting clean, fresh clothes in cupboards fulfills my senses. Staying at home, taking care of my son is a blessing that I am forever thankful for. So in other words: I am a horrible feminist and I am proud of it!

 

Yes, I am educated, and aware that we are in the 21st century. I realize that in a way I am no different than my mother or grandmother, and this doesn’t bother me, because I know I also spend a lot  of time reading, writing, taking courses, listening to podcasts, and doing lots of early morning Taichi and Qigong. I work hard to expend my creativity and productivity, and cooking or cleaning does no harm to this process! To me being a great wife, mother, daughter, and friend, goes hand in hand with being a feminist! I am strong enough to be building the next generation on great values and raising my kids to be kind, smart, and to become productive members in their community. I am strong enough to hold my family together and make sure everyone is fed, dressed, and well rested! I am strong enough to witness the blossoming of the girl/woman in me. I am strong enough to not want to be equal to a man! Yes, you read it correctly! I am not equal to a man! I admit it and I actually enjoy it! I gave birth to a soon-to be man, whom I hope to be a great one just like his father. My mother gave birth to two amazing sons who grew up to be successful, smart and very kind men! We are half of the population and we give birth to the other half, so do the math! Can we ever be equal? And why should it matter anyway?? I never do anything without taking my husband’s advice, does that make me any less of a woman? I don’t think so! He is my other half and I trust him and his wise judgment. He does the same too, does it make him any less of a man? Of course not! I am also aware that there are tasks that I can’t perform so I leave them to him, and I am so grateful that he is always happy to help. I would probably go crazy if on top of all the things I have to do, I had to change the light bulbs, or take my car for the annual service, or any of the other MANLY tasks. In our household we both believe that some things are meant to be done by men and others by women, and it works amazingly!

 

Pink is not my favorite color, but I have no problem with girls/women who like pink, or take tons of selfies, or never leave the house without make-up and heals, or go for manicures and pedicures every other day. I am one of them, and to me they are enjoying themselves, they are being feminine, and enjoying their FEMINISM!

 

Why do we always link feminism to men? Or to being the worst version of ourselves? Why destroy the beautiful image that our mothers and grandmothers built through out the years? Why can’t we enjoy being who we are; it most definitely doesn’t stop us from being smart, educated, wise, strong, ……. etc.

 

My grandmother asked for a divorce when she was 25,  in a time when this wasn’t acceptable in her community. She did so because her husband wanted to take a second wife. She took the pressure and all the hardships that followed her decision with an open heart. She went through it all, while cooking for her daughters, cleaning her house, sewing clothes for her kids…. etc. So you see, you can be a great feminist while still being feminine. The two go in parallel together. You don’t have to drop your feminine side to be a feminist, you don’t have to stop shaving or start showing up naked, or fight with everyone who says breastfeeding is too much nudity! You can be exactly who you are, who you were destined to be, a pretty girl (and when I say pretty I don’t mean the face, but also the mind!).

 

So yes, I am a proud horrible feminist, and I intend to be this way for the rest of my life.

 

Ouiam

 

Where Did The Time Go….

  

Last month we celebrated Adam’s second birthday, yes he is already two! It seems just like yesterday when we came back from the hospital, and we thought: “Oh my god! It just got real!”. We had no clue what to expect. When I got pregnant, we read tons of parenting books, and checked many parenting blogs. By the time the baby was ready to pop out of my stomach, we thought “we’ve got this”. You know….. easy stuff: always keep the baby fed, clean, rested, and that’s it! The parents of the year! So right then after we returned home no longer two, but three! A tiny baby in my arms, a tiny little human being, so delicate and fragile, we realized that none of those books, blogs, information we got from friends and family, will ever be of any help! This is real! My husband and I were totally in charge of another human being’s fate! Just me and him! No one else! We were to make decisions concerning the life of this little angel we were carrying. The responsibility that laid on our shoulders seemed endless and almost overbearing! So we decided to take it day by day, step by step… and I am glad we did!
 

Those first days of “Newborn” phase, do you remember them? If you are a parent, then you will know what I mean when I call it the newborn haze. That never-ending cycle of feeding, changing, sleeping, and mostly not sleeping. Slow feeling when you are in it, and suddenly your baby is one month, two months, three months……… ONE YEAR! And you’ll always be wondering where did the time go!

 

Now those days seem so far away, yet I always remember them and long for them. Those days of Adam and me, me and Adam every day, every hour and every minute! Him cozied up to my chest in the baby carrier. We ran errands together, we visited friends together, we went for lunches and early-dinners together. We drove and listened to music, we sang and clapped all the way! We sat on the floor and read stories, stacked blocks, crawled and cuddled. We played every morning and every afternoon! He sat in the kitchen while I cooked, in the bathroom while I showered and got ready. Sometimes those days seemed so long, some nights I cried while trying to rock, pat and sing lullabies to put him back to sleep. Sometimes I wondered if there will ever be an easy day in this parenting journey. My husband, my rock, always lifted me up and reassured me that soon we will be able to sleep again! The first year was though, but was also sweet and full of baby laughter, cooing and giggles! Kisses and cuddles, that make us forget every sleepless night we had and every tear we dropped. Lots of first-times, lots of milestones, lots of new things that we learnt!

 

When we celebrated Adam’s first birthday, what we were celebrating more than anything was US! We did it! We were proud of ourselves and what we have accomplished, alone with no help from anyone! We made it! We survived! We also wondered where did the time go! And wished for time to go back to that baby smell that filled our house and our days!

 

The second year was much easier and we somehow got the hang of it (most days). After focusing all the time on a helpless baby, completely depending on us-his parents, we finally got time for ourselves. We got our life back. We had time to go out for date-nights, to socialize and spend time with grown-ups! It felt so good that we were finally able to do all that, it also felt weird and bittersweet! The little baby wasn’t so little anymore! Here he is now, TWO! He seems so old to me! A handsome little man! So independent, adventurous, curious, and always looking for new things to explore! Those baby-days went by so fast that it hurts. You always hear it: “The days will go by so quickly…… you’ll blink and he’ll be 18……..time flies!!” and you think you are aware of all of it…… but you really don’t know until you are there!

 

So to all the mamas out there, struggling right now like we did a year or two ago, I say hang in there, soak every minute in, time will fly, and things will get easier and smoother. You will get time to do all the things you are longing for right now; you will get there, I promise you! But you will always miss those baby-days!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Kid, Wanna Get Bored..? 

  

Growing up I always hated Sundays, because there weren’t much for me to do! We only had a one-day  weekend (Saturday was a school day too). I would wander aimlessly around the house, complaining about how bored I was. My mom would try to come up with cool things for me to do, but you know how it is at that age, nothing our parents can suggest would ever seem cool enough for us, so of course I would brush away whatever suggestion she had for me, and start brainstorming till my ” Eureka” moment comes and saves the day. Now when I look back at these -then- boring Sundays, I see nothing that suggests boredom at all, everything about my childhood Sundays scream creativity and originality! In those Sundays, I learnt how to knit, how to cook (at a relatively young age), how to sew, how to enjoy and admire the skies and clouds, how to keep a journal…. And the list is very long! 

I talk about this now, because recently I have been thinking about how busy our lives are getting. How every single day we have to have something planned for the day to keep ourselves busy! I run a mommy group, and I plan playdates weekly, I also try to plan meet-ups with friends who have kids Adam’s age, so we can all have fun together. We go for walks and to the beach to collect rocks and work with them later. We work on our Montessori activites an hour a day everyday. We read books and stories. So basically we are never bored! Which is exciting and so much fun, however it kind of scares me a little. You see when I was a kid, and I was bored, I had NOTHING to keep me busy, nothing at all! So I had to come up with ideas myself! Yet now, even if we are doing nothing, we have boxes of toys and tons of things around us that we can use and get out of our misery. 

Adam is probably still too young for boredom, these are my thoughts for the future mainly. I am in a crossroads of weather we should let the boredom creep into our life later on, or not! I definitely want Adam to get a chance to explore his creative side through boredom. To be able to engage with himself and the world, to creat, invent and imagine! I want boredom to help him find his passions and respond to the stirrings of his own heart. I was always against filling kids’ time with structured activities and always felt so sorry for the kids whose parents made sure they took piano classes, language classes, math classes and all the other classes they could lay hands on! Because obviously the child has no time to engage with the raw stuff that life is made of.

I guess there is always that safe space in between, where the kids have time to explore their inner and outer selves, while still engage in all these structured activities. The challenge here is to find this space without struggling so much. Our choices as parents are all we can give our kids, they need to be smart and serve the purpose! They all come from the same place, which is pure love, certainly, yet sometimes we tend to take them based on what works for us as parents and not what would work for our kids. Oh yeah parenting is crazy…! 

I would love to hear from all the mamas out there, what do you think? Please share your experience! Thank you! 

Ouiam