What Kind of Mother Are You?

When I first became a mother, I was the first friend in my gang who had a child. Most of my other friends weren’t even married or even in a serious relationship. I was also in a foreign country, with no family to lean on for help and support. In that glorious haze of continuous feeding, burping, changing, and putting baby to sleep kind of cycle, I was a complete zombie…  I was trying to figure out what kind of mother I am. I didn’t know how things were “supposed” to be done, and even though I read a lot of parenting books, articles, blogs, I still wasn’t sure how I will mother my baby! 

I was lucky enough to meet two very inspiring ladies whom I am incredibly lucky to call my friends, and to whom I would be forever grateful. Through them, and without them ever intending to teach me, I learnt so much –I still do everyday! –  They both are completely different and both use completely different approaches when it comes to parenting, and that’s the beauty of it all! They do it almost effortlessly and most importantly they do it shamelessly. They tend to their babies the way they feel comfortable and safe, without caring about how society will label them – Helicopter mom vs. chilled mom- 

Being a mom is a never-ending, perfect mixture of guilt and second-guessing yourself constantly, and when you throw society in this already not so pleasurable mix, you get a recipe for disaster! Being seen and judged for overdoing it –as a mom, or underdoing it for that matter, isn’t cool at all. My absolute favorite mantra of all times is: You do you, and I do me, and we all win! 

Throughout my motherhood journey I can safely say that I have been both! I have been a helicopter mom, as well as a super chilled one, depending of the situation. And I am so damn proud of it! If I decide that I am going to stick around in the park and tell off that annoying kid trying to violently push my son on the slide, then Hell YEAH! And if I decide that we are going to walk barefoot today and connect with nature, or just the concrete … then Yes I will! Again I do me, and you do you! -and before the internet patrol jumps on me, there is nothing wrong with any of the examples above, they are JUST examples, K?! 

Society takes pleasure in labeling every single thing, whether you like it or not, and people enjoy throwing unwanted, and unsolicited comments/advices whenever they get a chance. This is just how things are, it doesn’t make anything right or wrong, it just exists… kind of like wrapping paper lol, you wrap the gift just so that the person receiving it unwraps it!   

You don’t have to be this or that, it is a matter of “pick and choose”, lots of trial and error, and when you finally find what works for you, don’t be apologetic about it. Whether you are a helicopter mom or not, this is what works for you, and your family, who gives a hoot what others might think! 

Ouiam

5 Better Ways to Procrastinate with Netflix

 

 

You aren’t part of the mom club if you don’t cram your life solemnly into the hour and a half (or maybe two) after your child goes to bed. You plan on how to spend that precious time meticulously. You can fold the laundry, you can prepare the kids’ lunch boxes, you can be extra efficient and cook next day’s dinner, or you can always plan to watch an episode of your favourite series. However when the time comes, you let yourself go on the sofa, scroll aimlessly on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, then back again to Instagram. The TV is on and even if your eyes are wide open and your gaze is fixed on the screen, you still have no clue what’s going on! What you need is something that will shamelessly catch your attention and help you get away from the hectic life, the endless planning, and the never-ending chores.

 

I hardly watch TV, but some days I just feel the need to collapse on the sofa, and watch something that will take my mind off everything! So I made this list of series to watch on Netflix and thought I should share!

 

You: I heard many people talk about it, so I decided to look it up. The first thing I found was: “You, is a trashy thriller you won’t be able to stop watching” now that is a catchy line! Adapted by a book with the same name written by Caroline Kepnes. A story about a bookstore manager who is fascinated by a girl, soon this fascination turns into obsession. Nothing stops him, and he is willing to do anything to secure the future he envisions with his girl.

 

Sinner: A drama that starts with a woman (Jessica Biel), inexplicably attacking a stranger on the beach. The series keeps viewers guessing, with a twisty story that constantly surprises but holds together all the way to the end. Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman are both terrific as broken people trying to find a way out.

 

Blacklist: One of my personal favorites (The only one I had watched). A new FB profiler, Elizabeth keen, has her entire life uprooted when a mysterious criminal, Raymond Reddington, who has eluded capture for decades, turns himself in, and insists on speaking only to her. While he has his own agenda, Raymond collaborates with the FBI in solving the weirdest, most ravaging crimes.

 

Outlander: Adapted from the novels by Diana Gabaldon. The Series Outlander is many things. A time-travelling historical romance, fantasy-sci-fi-historical-fiction aimed at women. It is a love story. It is a story of rebellion in an occupied country – Scotland in 1743. Apart from being a romance and a thriller, it lends itself to extensive, intense study of its layers of meaning about women, and power.

 

 

The crown: The rise of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) is chronicled from her wedding to Prince Phillip (Matt Smith) in 1947 to present day in the series planned to air over six seasons. The show, created and written by Peter Morgan of “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon,” is thoroughly engaging, gorgeously shot, beautifully acted, rich in the historical events of postwar England, and designed with a sharp eye to psychological nuance.

 

Do let me know if you have watched any of these, and what you think of them! And if you haven’t, Well I hope you enjoy them while you procrastinate the 100 other things you also have to do 🙂

 

 

With much love.. Ouiam!

 

 

 

 

“We Will Be There”

 

 

“We will be there!” I have never thought deeply about these 4 words, ever before! Until today! Sitting here, watching my son at his swimming class, lost in the background noise: Instructors shouting commends, kids cheering, and of course the echo of an indoor pool. Too lazy to pick up my kindle and read, I start thinking…. You know that thing all moms do, just let their brain wonder, while sitting quietly, enjoying not being pulled, touched, yelled at, or even talked to, without really thinking of anything specific… just thinking… and that’s when it hit me! I have an “I will be there group!”!

You see, I have been planning my son’s FIFTH Birthday party- It is a huge deal for my son -and us, his parents- and I have no idea how did we even get here, so fast! Part of the planning is inviting the chosen ones, who would be spending a couple of hours with Adam, having fun – hopefully-, playing, laughing, and eating cake (which is what birthdays are all about!). This year Adam had a big list of the friends he wanted to invite, and so I obliged. I wrote a message, copied it, pasted it, 25 times, for each friend’s mom, pressed sent… and … waited! I sent the messages and I started staring at my phone. At the huge list of people that I have now, right in front of my eyes, and……. I waited. I saw few “typing” (If you use WhatsApp you will know what I mean, if you don’t then what planet do you live in?).

8 out of 25 people, started writing their reply, just few seconds after I had sent the message, and few seconds later I had a reply : “ WE WILL BE THERE!”

These people didn’t wait to check their schedule, they didn’t wait to check with their hubbies, they didn’t wait to confirm with their families… they just read my invite and said: “We will be there”!

I know this must sound silly and even stupid, but I had tears in my eyes, and as I thought about it more and more, I realized that when these exact 8 special people have texted me to invite us for their kids’ special day, I had replied in few seconds saying those exact same words: “We will be there”!

Even though we don’t see some of those 8 precious people very often, but we all make this tight circle called: “ We will be there”, we know that no matter what “We will be there”. Life can get busy and hectic and we can easily get lost in all the things we all have to do, but knowing that I have a group that will always be there, without taking time to even blink or think makes my heart swell with joy!

I am not saying that the rest of those 25 people aren’t as important. No far from that, they are still showing up, and coming to spend their precious time with me and my family, on my son’s special day. They are showing us love and appreciation and we are so grateful for that.  I get how busy life can be with little ones. Between football practice, swimming classes, art classes, and all kind of activities, mothers (and I am one of them) can’t plan a thing without getting back to their calendars, and checking how and when they are available. I get it, this is life with kids, we can’t do much about it. We, parents, just understand, we know how it is!

This wasn’t my first time inviting people to one of Adam’s birthdays (he had FOUR of them already!), but I guess this is the the time that the meaning of “we will be there” really resonated with me! Such a strong and powerful sentence, that you should consider yourself very lucky if you have ever heard it –or read it!

 

 

Ouiam

 

What’s Your Nighttime Routine…?

Thanks to social media I have come across unlimited useful things, whether be it in the parenting field, or the beauty and fashion one, and of course hands down to the food and recipes world (Thank goodness for Pinterest!). Recently I have been seeing everywhere fashionistas sharing their “nighttime beauty routines”, and each and every time I see those videos, I am blown away with the amount of time one needs to wash their face, apply the 3 different creams, the 2 serums, the masks and I don’t know what else!! I always have ONE question in my head: How the hell do they have time (or energy) for this?!

Anything that exceeds putting on my pajamas is unlikely to happen at any given night! Because between making breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, kissing boubous, homeschooling my only child, stalking people on Instagram (because hello! Who doesn’t!), looking presentable for when we go out (because we all know, the one time I won’t, I will probably meet all my friends, ex colleagues, acquaintance, and every single person I might have met somewhere in the past 12 years!), making small talk with the cashier, the security guy and random people, pretending to be all kinds of cartoon characters (because my child thinks I am also 4), calling my mother every single day (because after losing my father, my mind always goes to the darkest places, ALWAYS), going to the gym (because Yeah I wanna be fit and look good too), answering my child’s 345268974830 daily questions……. Well between all these things I HAVE NO TIME OR ENERGY FOR A NIGHTTIME ANYTHING! By the time my kid is asleep, I am probably seeing double, a bit dizzy and definitely so out of breath! I always need a superhuman force to take me from the couch where I collapse right after I put him to sleep, and get me to my bed! So it really amazes me that other women have the time, the energy and the patience to to have a nighttime beauty routine, every single night! And some of these women HAVE CHILDREN too!

Please don’t get me wrong, if you are one of these superwomen, who go the extra mile and take super good care of themselves, then good for you, here I am clapping and cheering for you, but please do share your secrete with us helpless, super tired and absolutely unaware of this world of nighttime stuff , mamas,  who barely make it past 7:30pm, and some of us even skip the “putting on my pajamas” part because their crazy tired bodies are just incapable of anything other than passing out hoping and praying for a little more than 5 hours of sleep! Just to wake up again with panda eyes, wild hair, a new pimple sending greetings, and a little hope to have an interrupted trip to the bathroom!

So yeah .. Cheers to nighttime beauty routines…while I excuse myself now that I still have one eye half open, so I can rock MY nighttime routine and put on my PJs 😉

Ouiam

“Hello! Come in!”

 

 

Last week, I ordered something from a home owned business. Few days later it was ready and my son and I passed by to collect it. We rang the bell and the person whom we ordered the piece from opened the door, and we were told to wait at the door step, to collect our order. To me there was nothing alarming about this, nor did I even think twice about the whole “waiting at the doorstep thing”, but my 3 years old little boy did. He immediately asked me: “Mama, why we weren’t invited to go inside”. I must admit that I had no answer to that, I mean people are free to invite whoever they like and this isn’t even someone we know, but nothing came out of my mouth, all I could think of is how my 3 years old little angel knows that doors should always be opened for guests, and guests should always come in. This must have been something he has learned in our home. He must have seen that we always invite anyone and everyone to our home!! Wooooha! My husband and I must have been doing it RIGHT! At that moment I couldn’t be happier or prouder of my son and myself too!

 

Being kind is something I always focus on, in our day to day life, with my son. Because to me, being kind is more important than how you look, how much money you make, what’s your race, religion or color! Being kind is what I pray my son will be known for. So I work hard on that, each and every day to instill this incredible quality in his soul.

When he asked me why we were not invited to come in, he was seriously confused, as if it was the most natural and common thing to do, whenever you open your door, and that’s what melted my heart then and every single minute after! The innocence with which he asked was absolutely precious, something that I sure miss in our world nowadays. We were all born innocent as my little man is now, yet somehow along the years, the experiences that shaped who we have become, the people with whom we crossed paths, the scars that our destiny made us carry, and the voice inside of us that fades with every passing day, all this and more made us become the people who can’t trust and who are sometimes unkind today.

I still have no answer for my little one, but I have loved his question more than I have cared to find the answer, his question made me realize that some things as simple as saying “Come in please” meant so much more that what they really are, it made me realize that I want to see the world through the eyes of a child, always and forever.

 

May he always open his door to everyone and anyone, may he keep trusting people even if they are unkind to him, may his eyes, soul, and heart stay forever young.

 

 

Ouiam

She Did IT, And So Can You!!

 

 

Today’s post is a little different, it is something that I have been planning to do for a while, but life has so many ways of distracting you, I guess….

 

PS: This is NOT  a sponsored post!!!

 

As part of my efforts to support and encourage women who own, operate, and manage their small businesses, I have decided to pick a business each month and introduce the steel woman behind it. This month I have chosen a business that I have personally dealt with. When Adam turned one, it was something that needed to be celebrated! Not only because of the major milestone Adam just achieved, but also because of all what we have accomplished as parents, me and my husband. We felt so proud of all the things we have done the previous year, even though many many times throughout the journey, we were not even sure that we will ever get there. So a big birthday party was called for. Technically I love organising and taking care of all parties we host, but I was already a walking zombie, operating on too much caffeine and very little sleep. My plate was too full to take any more tasks. I came a cross DE PARTY DESIGNS on Facebook (aka google for moms), I contacted Dilu, who has replied promptly, with all the needed details, she also came over to discuss with me how I wanted this party to be like. After explaining to her what I envisaged for my son’s first birthday party,  I just waited anxiously for the final product. The party was a total success, without me going bankrupt, if you are wondering. The fees were very reasonable and totally worth it.


2 years later, I really want to introduce this very motivated, strong and successful woman to every mama reading my blog. To be an example and to also be a reference if you ever need a fabulous party but you have no time or energy to plan it 😉

 

Here is a little chat Dilu and I, had and we would like to share it with you:

Dilu: “I am a mother of 3 beautiful kids who are aged 16, 12 and 9 years. I moved to Bahrain 10 years ago, with my husband’s new job assignment; leaving behind my family and my career which I have been doing for 12 long years. I always believed that family should always stick together, wherever you go or whatever challenges you face in life, so of course I had to follow my husband.

Me: What did you do before Departydesigns?

I used to work in a garment / fabric buying office as a merchandiser and freelance Interior Designer.

How did you start Departydesigns?

After moving to Bahrain I used to work as a freelance Interior Designer, and I started my own page called: D Decor Homes, while writing articles for Interior Design websites like: Look4Design and Amazing Interior Design. With the passion for designing I knew I needed to do something more, something new and not very common in Bahrain. With this idea, I started De Party Designs, and started introducing Candy Table concept, with personalisation, for all the parties, mainly birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers …etc, going out of the box to create something new every time.

 

 What motivates you to do better every time?

Each and everyday I learn something new from my mistakes, and I want to make it better the next time. The recognition and appreciation towards my work, from people of Bahrain, make me do better and better every time.

 

Was it easy to start a business in Bahrain?

From the beginning I didn’t have any idea of how to start or from where to begin. But as always Bahrain and its people have been amazing to us, and have helped me by providing all the details on how to start up as a home based business, and then make it legalised as another step forward.

 

How do you balance work and family?

I’ve got three amazing independent kids whom have learnt to do most of their work on their own, and always help me to take my work stress out. Also my husband has been immensely helpful in both house-work and my work. He has been the fundamental help, for me to come this far. Even though I am a workaholic, I always make sure we both have plenty of time for our kids, specially towards their education. I also always make sure that I do not go beyond my limits, accepting events due to two reasons, One is : if it interferes with my personal life and my time with my family and kids. Second: I strongly believe whatever I do, I have to do it right and I should not accept many events just for the sake of money. If I can’t have enough time to prepare and deliver something great then there is no way I will commit.

 

What are your plans for the next 5-10 years?

I would love to explore and learn more about different areas and fields of events in Bahrain, as well as in the GCC. At the moment I am looking for more options for expanding my business. At the same time, I love studying about event management in different categories and I will be spending more time on that in the coming years.

 

 What will your advice be for women who would like to start their own business.

I believe if you have a passion for anything you should not hold it back. You need to come out and seek for possibilities of making it work. After living in Bahrain for many years, I have learnt that this is a beautiful country with beautiful people, who are always willing to help and lend you a hand to stand on your own feet. Go out and explore….!!!

 

 

Thank you Dilu for your time and for all the insights and advice!




Facebook: Departydesigns Dpd

Instagram @departydesigns.bh

 

 

 

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