Friday, March 30, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Housekeeper Madness

I have had the worst luck trying to find a housekeeper for the past 8 moths. Anyone who has thought of getting some help knows how impossible it has been lately. First, I went to a recruitment office that took me around in circles for 4 months. They changed my order around 3 times without telling me and I ended up cancelling it all together. Then, I thought I lucked out with this sweet, friendly looking woman who seemed to be happy with us as well. We went clothes shopping, bought her all sorts of personal items and everything seemed to go smoothly. Two weeks later, I wake up to find out that she had run away during the night. How? Where? With who? It all remains a mystery.

My third attempt was with an office that promised me a maximum waiting duration of two weeks. Surprise, surprise, they cancelled my order in less than 5 days as the woman we had agreed on getting turned out to be pregnant! Attempt number four was with a relative's housekeeper who had promised to come back and work with us as soon as she finishes from her holiday. Again, we went clothes shopping, bought presents for her family and agreed on a raise even before she worked with us. End result? She travelled and never returned.

Now, I am at my fifth try, dealing with a new recruitment office who suddenly stopped answering my calls! It's been two weeks and no word what so ever.

My baby is due in 2 months and with the house and three kids in total (two of them under 2 years-old), I'm dying for someone to help out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Is it Just a Phase?

It is becoming almost impossible to get anything done around the house with Yousef. When I'm cooking, he is on the ground, pulling my pants and crying his eyes out. When I am loading the laundry into the washing machine, he is fighting his way to sit inside it. And when I am on my laptop trying to work for just 5 minutes, he is throwing a tantrum because he wants to sit in my lap and type on the computer.

I am not exaggerating, if my attention is not on him 100%, then his solution is to cry and yell. And if he is not doing that, then he is up to something evil like throwing my lotion, shoes, remote controls or anything else he can reach down the garbage.

The question is, do I ignore him until he learns that sometimes mama is busy and you have to wait or does ignoring him only feed his anxiety?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Mama x 28

I decided to count how many times a day Yousef calls "mama". We woke up at 8:30am and by the time it was 10:30, the count reached 29 times and I am sure I missed a few.

Six months pregnant, zero help and two kids, makes 29 times in 2 hours a bit too much for me to handle. As a result, I let him eat cookies (lots of them), watch an episode of his favourite show twice in a row and I hate to admit this, but I even let him tear apart a shopping catalogue, all to keep him distracted.

I thought I would be the kind of mother who would read a lot to my baby, spend a lot of one on one time playing with him like I used to do with my nieces and nephews and definitely have a lot more patience.

I don't know if this is the pregnancy talking but I often I find myself just trying to get through the day and so looking forward to 9pm when I can put him to sleep and just chill out alone. I feel guilty though, like I am not giving him the attention he deserves. And the strange thing is that it doesn't seem to affect his love or attachment to me, 29 times in 2 hours is quite impressive! God give all mamas the strength to finally see their children all grown up, I wish I can fast forward our lives to 10 years from now. I'm sure I will be on a vacation somewhere alone with my husband!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Mama vs. Baba

Do you ever feel like you and your husband are on completely different pages when it comes to
disciplining your children? Even if you agree on the end goal, the methods are exactly the opposite?

I am a bit old school. I like to teach my child that no is sometimes just no. Without debate, asking more than once, trying to convince my child to listen to me and most importantly without argument. "You cannot do this thing because I said so." I remember when my dad said no about something I would feel a knot in my throat but wouldn't dare to say another word.

My husband however grew up with a father who took his time in explaining everything. As a child, my husband was "convinced" to do the things his parents were asking.

Lately, and as our kids are getting older, we are both trying to apply our own ways which we believe are in the best interest of our children. I believe that my way teaches our children respect and good manners that will definitely be reflected on the way they deal with other children and especially other parents. He believes that his way "encourages a child's creativity". And to be totally honest, I sometimes admire his patience even though hearing the discussion can drive me crazy!

While the rule of thumb in parenting is that there is no one right way, we cannot seem to find common ground. As if parenting is not hard enough, how are we supposed to work around this?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Itching, Itching, and More Itching!

I have developed one of the most annoying side effects of pregnancy, an uncontrollable need to itch my ears, eyes and neck!

I am willing to trade this for morning sickness again. As it turns out, some women start to itch their arms, legs, backs or bellies during the second and third trimesters. Me, I got it on my ears and face. All day and all night I am on fire, and the worst part is, there is nothing I can do about it. My doctor prescribed an antihistamine ointment that is supposed to relieve some of the itching but mostly, it stays until the delivery or in some cases, even after for a few months.

It is very embarrassing when I am in public as I can control it for a while but then lose control. The expression on people's faces is always the same, SHOCK!

The things a mama puts up with for her kids are never ending, are they?! When God promised us heaven, it was well deserved.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

The Burning Sight of Poverty

I was driving to the mall and thought that I had found a short-cut. I drove through an unpaved road and worried how the tiny rocks and unexpected holes might damage my car. Straight ahead was a tent camped in the middle of an empty piece of land. I had driven by many before and never bothered to look inside. Today, I did.

I saw emptiness, raggedy pieces of cloth that are a tiered excuse for a ceiling and not a single piece of furniture. In my head, I felt relief, "good, no one is living in such conditions." A few seconds later, I saw a mother, holding her daughter who was barely dressed. They both looked like the beggars I often see on a traffic light, the people I refuse to open my windows for. Then, I saw two tiny lambs, drinking water out of an old aluminium tray. That was it, that was their life.

I drove away, and now, I cannot stop thinking about them. I cannot forget that little girl in the middle of this freezing weather. Her mother was cuddling her the exact same way I cuddle Yousef, in her lap with her arms tight around her.

Of course, I tired to think of a million excuses to make myself feel better:" they should try to find a job, they should go to a governmental institution and ask for help, they should this and they should that..." Bottom line is, I was wrong for not stopping and helping in any way I could. I have to do something about it, even if it is just by donating blankets and warms clothes.

If it hurt seeing them in that condition, imagine how painful it is for them to live that way.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Nosy People, Wrong Comments

My husband and I were invited to an event at one of the hotels. As I was waiting for him to park the car and meet me at the lobby, the female security guard started playing with Yousef, my 15-month-old baby.

He was especially fussy that day (teething again) and kept on whining every time she got close. After spending an entire day with him in that mood, I had already reached my limit, and the lady sensed it. "Are you pregnant?" she asked. I nodded yes, trying to avoid any small talk. "Why would you do that to yourself when you still have such a young baby?"Again I smiled and looked away. "If you think he is giving you a hard time now, which it seems he is, wait until the jealousy kicks in, you will pull your hair out!"

In my head, I am shocked at what is going on but I am trying to keep cool, after all, she did pull out a chair for me to sit while I was waiting.

Again she starts, "oh man, you really dug yourself in deep. You will drive your mom crazy, won't you little boy! If you are like this now, wait until you have to share the attention, you are really going to lose it," she talks to Yousef and tries to hold him in a way that only annoyed him and me more.

She hit a sore spot with me as I have been worrying about how life will two very young babies will be in just three months from now. I spent the rest of the night with Yousef crying and pulling at my pants, and me totally lost in my thoughts.

Why would a person intentionally try to make another, a complete stranger, feel bad about a decision she has made. While her intentions might not have been cruel but rather an attempt to be funny, no one was laughing. I hate nosy people. I hope I have a happy, non-colic, non-demanding, baby who doesn't whine at all. If that even exists.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Scheduling Time for a Life

I realised today that when I was pregnant with Yousef, I used to say that I am not able to do things (whatever it was I wanted to do) because I didn't have time. Between work, preparing for the baby and taking care of the family, it felt like time was running away from me.

Now that I have experienced what it is like to have a baby, I say to myself "silly me, I didn't realise what not having time is really like". And I have a feeling that if I look back at my days a year from now when I have two very young babies (I am due in June), that I will be saying the same thing.

Therefore, and to avoid excuses of any sort, I planned out my entire week. I scheduled laundry days, cooking days, working days, exercising days, socialising days and family days. The reason I never did this before is that I was always worried that spending time away from the kids meant neglect.

But, as the days went by, spending all my time with the kids and for other responsibilities only with total disregard to myself got to me. I reached a point of total boredom, annoyance at even the littlest things, and set very high expectations for my husband to do the same. Bottom line, it was not good for anyone.

So, starting Saturday, I will be putting my new "life" schedule to the test. I have three more months to reconnect with myself, wish me luck!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Sharing a Room

When would it be ok to put two kids, one 8-years-old and one 2-years old, in the same room?
Since I'm due in June, it just hit me that we do not have an extra room in the house for the baby. And I have a "no kids sleeping in the master bedroom" policy that is posing somewhat of a problem!

So far, Layla and Yousef each had their own room and since Yousef still wakes up up to 3 times at night, that was the only way things would work out. But now, I'm thinking of having them share a room to make some space for the baby. Does that make sense or is Yousef still too young and will pose an inconvenience for his sister?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Second Pregnancy

It'a funny how different the first pregnancy is from the second. In my first, I was so spoiled. I took naps whenever I wanted, slept in late during the mornings, did Prenatal Yoga on a daily basis, took things really easy, read all sorts of articles about pregnancy and having a baby and just really enjoyed every second of it.

Now, with Yousef barely 16 months old, I cannot believe that I am already 6 months through my second pregnancy! No breaks, no naps, and definitely no taking it easy.

I kind of feel sorry for our unborn baby for not giving my pregnancy the same attention. I heard that this goes on even after delivery. A friend told me that it will be natural for me to continue focusing on Yousef since he will be older and more aware while the baby will mostly need physical attention at the beginning. I can totally see that happening with Yousef's demanding personality!

What is having a second baby really like? Is it harder because they are two or easier because of the experience? Help me set my expectations!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Salvation in a Book

I consider myself to be a strong woman. I never shied away from a challenge, accepted very demanding jobs and usually made choices in my personal life that I knew will need so much commitment.

That said, motherhood for the past 15 months has completely thrown me off balance. I felt so depressed and unfulfilled with the new demands of my life. In theory, I believed that what I was doing (having a baby and staying at home) were the right things to do. In reality, I felt trapped; I lost sense of who I was.

The problem didn't stop there, whenever I tried talking about it, it was like I was speaking nonsense. Everyone around me expected me to live in "happy motherhood land" and have only happy and loving thoughts towards my new life. That made it all worse.

My salvation came a week ago when I picked up a book called "I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids" by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile. It talks about the exact feelings of anxiety and doubt a mother feels with regards to her personal and professional decisions.

If you are a mama who is struggling to find peace and balance in your life. Get it!