Less Judging..More Supporting Please!

 

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The other day, during one of the many “Mommy & me” meet ups we organise, and while in the middle of a very interesting conversation, the mother doing the talking stopped abruptly, her face went blank, as she frowned, and asked me a question that starts like this: “Why is Adam still………. ?”  I usually don’t discuss Adam’s routine, and almost never fall for the judgmental questions every mother seems to receive.  I believe that every family does what works best for them, and should never pay attention to the comments or criticism coming their way, however other people don’t seem to agree with that. The community we live in has these strict rules and regulations, that if you don’t follow, you will be shunned, rejected, and you will be subject to a great deal of judgment. Especially when it comes to motherhood. And what is even more surprising, is that most of the judgment comes from WOMEN, other mothers, just like you and me!! This covers so many areas, from the way you choose to raise your kids, to the way you choose to dress them, feed them, educate them….and the list is long!  Anyways, and back to my story, before replying, I still found myself in a state of uncertainty, and even though the person asking didn’t mean any harm, she still managed to make the ghosts of doubt and guilt creep into my head. It was only a matter of few seconds before I got hold of myself and responded calmly, explaining that we have a certain way of doing things that works perfectly for us, and we don’t intend to change anything for now, making sure the conversation ended right there.

You see, I always considered myself as a strong passionate human being, whose actions are based on deep thinking. I always trust my guts and I am always happy with the outcome of my choices and decisions. I wear the badge of motherhood so proudly and when it comes to Adam’s life, I do nothing randomly, everything I do comes as a result of a great research and a great deal of deep thinking and reasoning! However, this person still managed to make me doubt myself, even if it was just for a few seconds. How about the millions of other women who go through this cycle of judgment, criticizing, and scrutiny, every single day from their families, friends, and environment? This was the very first time I realize that sometimes you can’t just shut your ears and pretend that you haven’t heard that stupid remark, or just change the subject with a smile on your face; sometimes their words are not whispers that get lost in the air around you, they are loud and truly disturbing, that you just can’t ignore them.

We are still very far away from cheering to what’s different and applauding what’s unique. Some people still believe that there is one set of rules that should be applied on all of us, that we all should think, act, and live the same. How can we change that? How can we convince everyone that a mother, a woman or any human being for that matter, already leads a very stressful life, so why add to their misery? I believe the only true power we have, as mothers, is to raise our kids to be different. Raise them to appreciate diversity and respect it. Raise them to become passionate, understanding and kind human beings. It is a great responsibility but the outcome is fascinating. If every mother plants the seeds of compassion, sympathy, and empathy in her kids, the world will be a better place. But for now, somebody needs to come up with some great invention, like a small device that you place on your wrist and would beep every time you say something disturbing, mean, or just an inappropriate remark that would make the other person uncomfortable! I sooo would buy this device! In fact, I would by thousands of them and distribute them for free to every single person I know!

Ouiam

What’s On Her Mind….: My New-Mom Crisis

  

  

  Welcome to a new feature series here on Chanel Mama, that will run through the next few months! “What’s On Her Mind” is a special feature just for moms, where other moms will share their good old-fashioned words of wisdom! Since I became a mother, I became so curious to know how do other mamas do it. Although I read all the books and done all the research, it never helped me as much as the advice of another fellow mama! I always find myself loving to hear about other parents’ experiences and taking ideas and inspiration from everything I hear. So why not share these bits and pieces of “Mommy wisdom” with all of you! We will be hearing all sorts of stories, from the simple to the complex, the serious to the silly… So I hope you enjoy! 
The very first featured mama, is one of my very good friends: Maria. A mom to a beautiful little girl. I always love to hear what she has to say and I was thrilled when she accepted to share with us her “Words of Wisdom!”

My New-Mom Crisis 

 

After the first weeks or months of baby oblivion, there comes a time when new moms arise from the fog and wonder, what happened!? Who am I? A mom…will it ever be about me again? Just for a day?

 

Becoming a mom is an incredible blessing that fills life with a wholehearted joy unbeknownst to former pre-mom self. However, life is forever changed in a big way.

 

Most people will tell new moms that they need to make time to take care of themselves. But how do we really do that without making sacrifices when it comes to our child’s care? Its not like you can take two hours, and boom! You have now taken care of your physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs for the next month. How can we possibly fulfill our needs when we are responsible for another human being who can’t do anything without our help (for more than a few minutes any way)? What a huge responsibility. 

 

I remember my crisis moment, when I couldn’t just focus on the baby anymore. I needed a change, a diversion, something. So I took my 8-month old daughter to the UAE so that I could explore career opportunities. We moved out of our apartment in Bahrain and into suitcases bound for a hotel in Abu Dhabi. I met with recruiters and went on job interviews. It felt great to be out alone…to wear a suit and heels and converse with professionals. However after a month or so I realized I would not find a work situation that would allow me to still give my daughter the time and attention I felt she needed and that I wanted to give her at that age. So that adventure was over. We moved back to Bahrain. 

 

Instead of thinking about jobs, I decided to start a volunteer group. I got in touch with local charities that needed volunteers and formed a group of like-minded people on social media. I could now contribute my time and talents to worthy causes on a schedule that I dictate. I was meeting other like-minded adults, addressing important issues, learning about the local culture, and helping people in need. Volunteering helped filled that void I felt by leaving the workforce. 

 

I’m still working to find better ways to get in my regular workouts and always looking for mom life hacks. I still have days when I just want to cry because I can’t take the screaming anymore. Sometimes I have doubts that I am making the right decisions and doing the right thing for my family. But no matter what we are actually doing in our lives, we will still have those days. We just make the best decisions we can for the time being. As our situation changes, we reassess and adjust. 

 

I’m very blessed to be a mom, to have the opportunity to volunteer, and the luxury to stay home with my daughter. I’m lucky to have the choice to do what I feel is best for my family, and not be forced into a situation by circumstances. 

 

I just want other moms to know that its completely normal to go through mini-crisis during motherhood, especially in the early days. There are so many new choices many of us have to make as moms, to work or to stay at home with our children, to hire a babysitter or not, and if so, how often. How much “me” time do we need to maintain our sanity, and how best to use it. No one can tell us what’s right for us and our families. It’s something we have to figure out on our own, and sometimes by trial and error. I’m sure you can think of a bunch of awesome people, who are doing great things, and who you respect. And I bet they all had very different moms and upbringings. There is no one formula for being a great mom or that guarantees a successful upbringing of your child. 

 

So what have you learned about your new-mom self? What have you incorporated into your life as mom to ensure you are meeting your needs, and how have you done that? I would love to learn from you.
Thank you!