Do You Love Yourself Enough?

How many times have you skipped lunch/ dinner, because you are too busy or too tired to eat? How many times have you deprived yourself from something you really wanted, because of your child? How many times have you pressed the pause button in your life, in order to be a good mother?How many times have smuggled food into the bathroom, so you can eat peacefully? How many times have you left the house with no make up or perfume on, because instead, you chose to wipe butts and have long conversations with tiny horrible bosses. How many times have you cried alone in the middle of the night because your kid just wouldn’t sleep?  I personally have done so much of the above and I am sure you have too.  Someone once described motherhood to me like the oxygen masks in airplanes. Always in the safety demonstration they say that you should put on your OWN mask first, then put your child’s, because if you are not alive you will not be able to save your child; and I couldn’t agree more.   

 

In order to put that mask tightly, you need to know yourself well. You need to speak to yourself with love and love only, you need to value yourself even if no one else does, you need to respect and cherish who you are. To love yourself doesn’t mean to be self-absorbed or narcissistic, it just means that you treat yourself like you want to be treated, that you don’t doubt yourself. It means to forget about any form of self-loathing, and to be able to put yourself as a priority in your own life and not always on the bottom of the list.

 

To love yourself is to know what makes you happy and go for it, be it an hour alone, or a cup of tea with friends, or a relaxing bath. To love yourself is to take care of yourself, exercise, eat healthy, be creative, laugh, and make sure you are living and not just being. You need to know how to satisfy your own needs before you tend to anyone else’s.  At times this might sound like a luxury that you can’t afford, and that’s when you need to practice your fundamental right in this life! ASK FOR HELP! I learnt in the last couple of years that some people are always there for you and are ready to help you whenever you need help. I also learnt that if someone says NO to you, it is not the end of the world, that is probably just the beginning of the journey, and that the amount of NOs that you will hear in your life does not and will not define who you are. So yes honor and respect yourself, don’t wait for anyone else to do it for you! Don’t be the first one to wake up and the last one to sleep EVERYDAY, don’t cancel your plans because the house is messy and needs to be cleaned, don’t allow anyone to treat you as a possession or take you for granted. Love yourself when you wake up in the morning and when you see yourself in the mirror. Love yourself when you allow yourself to breath no matter how hectic the day gets. Just remember:  To survive, you need to put YOUR oxygen mask on first!

 

Ouiam

The Wisdom Of White Papers

Do you remember when you were little? Do you remember how much you knew, how much you trusted, how much you loved, how much you laughed and how much you cried? Of course you do!  Because those were the days you were still close to the doors of knowing… The doors of miracles and mystery.

Everyone says children are born like white papers, and it is our duty as parents to fill those papers with whatever they need to grow up. We teach them to talk, read, write, and to become successful in life; But did anyone try to learn things from those little minds instead of teaching them?

As a kid I believed in clouds and rainbows, I believed I was brave enough to conquer the world, to fly and to be free.  I also seriously believed that I had a hidden talent in understanding animal’s language.. Yes I did. I stayed hours with cats having conversations about life and death. I believed there was always a secrete door, I just needed to look for it harder, I believed I was strong enough to face the world. Suddenly all this believing stopped .. and I grew up! I learned to be afraid of tomorrow, and to never trust strangers, to doubt my own capabilities and skills and to stop asking questions. Yet they say growing up is the best part of life! We grow up and forget the best things we ever knew. We grow up to become boring and scared. We lose our simple selves and become a complicated work in progress. And even though we all secretly know this and long for the days we ran barefoot and laughed at silly jokes, we never  really admit it. We even help our kids grow up and we take them far, far away from that door of knowing and of miracles!

 

Why can’t we let our kids guide us, and show us the way again? Why can’t we learn from them to love and believe in each other again? Why don’t we let them teach us to laugh when we feel like it and to cry when we are sad? Why don’t we stop and look at the stars when they do? Why don’t we look at simple things and be amazed by them again?

 

I think we will learn greatly if we did!

 

Ouiam

 

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

An Afternoon With An Old Friend…. And More! 

 A couple of days ago, we paid a special visit to an old friend of mine! A friend from the fifth grade, we haven’t seen each other though for over a decade. So this year, we finally decided to meet. She invited us (Adam, my sister and I) over for the afternoon, and we were very happy to oblige! Seeing her was so heartwarming, she was the same cheerful, kind and very humble little girl i once knew! And it honestly felt like we just saw each other yesterday. The only thing that has changed, was that we both now, have embarked in this amazing journey of motherhood! It is exceptionally neat to see an old friend becoming a mother! A friend with whom I held hands and played hopscotch! A friend with whom I met daily, had lunches and dinners together and shared my very first secrets with! A friend with whom I made my first trip to the Sunday market and bought my first mirror! A friend with whom I put a small chair in the kitchen and washed dishes for the first time! Seeing her brought a flood of such beautiful memories and made the past seem so very real! 

What was even neater, is seeing her mother! A woman i once thought was extremely beautiful and very kind! There she was, beautiful as ever and still very kind! While i stood there holding my son and giving her the warmest hugs, she took me back to when i was ten years old, the energetic yet very shy little girl i once was! 
We had big plans for the afternoon: sit in the sofa, reminisce about the past, present and future, while  having tea and some Moroccan treats! There we were, reunited again! Both mothers now, with different parenting styles, yet the same! Loving, caring, attentive, happy little mamas, we were! 
There i sat, watching my friend being a mother, holding her little baby so tight, and showering him with gentle little kisses, this brought the biggest smiles to my face! It made me think of all the young mamas i know, and how we all have decided to opt for the old fashioned way and be stay-at-home mamas! Even though we all went to universities and studied the hardest we could, we have decided to press the pause button, and dedicate all our time and energy to the most precious human beings in our lives! We have decided to become our grandmothers! And chose carefully to do what was once the norm! What is even more strange, is that the generation before us, our mothers, have worked so hard to bring gender equality to the work fields! However we decided to ignore all the hard work our mothers have put together to consider a “working mama” a normal thing! And go back to the natural child birth, breastfeeding and all the other traditional stuff! There is absolutely no right and wrong in this, it is just two completely different ways of living! It just seems that despite all the progress women have made throughout the years, young mamas (of my age), are choosing to go back to the old ways of living! It is fascinating and amazing how principles and values change over the years! 
Let’s go back to my visit now, the weather that day was absolutely perfect, sunny and a bit breezy. I wouldn’t think of a better day to visit such beautiful people! I have always wished my friends and I, lived in the same place, but for now i will settle for visits like this one! It was truly a beautiful afternoon spent with beautiful people! 
Ouiam