Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Celebrity Nonsense

I was watching an interview with a celebrity who just had her baby 3 months ago. She was telling the reporter that she "has never felt as pretty as she has since becoming a mom." Automatically, my response was:"ya right, you probably had a personal trainer before, during and after. A live-in make up artist and hair stylist who made sure you looked naturally gorgeous, and the best day and night nannies who made sure you got all the sleep in the world!" I might sound bitter, but comments like hers make most of us mamas feel like a total mess. The weight gain, stretch marks, pregnancy acne, swollen hands and feet, and enlarged noses, to name a few are what us normal, non-celebrity, mamas have to deal with.

Although I have managed to keep my weight gain under control during my last phases of pregnancy, I still can't wait to go back to my old self. There are 3 kilos (out of 22) that I didn't manage to shed off after I had Yousef and I think after this baby, I will need to lose a total of 12 kilos.

I already bought top of the line running shoes, training suits (all in small size to force myself to fit into them) and downloaded an application on my phone that teaches you all sorts of exercises. I even told my husband that the only post baby gifts I want from him are personal training sessions and a year long gym membership.

Until then, I cannot help but binge on all sorts of junk like fast food, chips, cookies, chocolate (which I never liked before), and stuff with butter!

God help us mamas for what we have to put our bodies through for the sake of having children.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Flavour of The Day With Noora

What A Kid!

Today, we had my step daughter's friend over after school. This is the second time she comes over and I am so impressed by her manners. 

She must have said thank you a 100 times, asked for permission to take her shoes off in the house, waited for me to sit at the table before sitting down herself, asked me politely and quietly for an ice-pack after banging her nose, insisted that they (her and Layla) clean up after themselves, and got ready in less that a minute when she knew her father was at the door.

When her dad picked her up, I couldn't help but praise her over and over again and then I thought to myself, "it must be really great to have people compliment your child that way!"

How do you raise kids to turn out like that?! Is it discipline or is it part of their personality? I have been spending so much time around children lately and I am realising that manners are the last thing on their minds!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flavour of The Day With Noora

Testing, Testing

Today, I took Yousef to a "test visit" to the preschool he is supposed to attend in September. His separation anxiety is at an all time high and the school principal and I thought it might be helpful to take him for brief visits every now and then to get him used to the idea and more familiar with the place and faces he will be seeing.

The school was lovely, a music class was in process, the kids were singing and jumping, there was another class pretending to be in the supermarket and the kids were exchanging cereal boxes, weighing fruit and vegetables and everyone, including me was having a great time. Where was Yousef? Glued to my leg, grabbing on to my jeans like his life depended on it, which in his mind, I'm sure was the case! It took him about 20 minutes to feel safe and walk around, as long I was three steps behind.

Anyways, it is clear that getting him to go there in September will not be an easy task. Can anyone share any tips on how I can make him more comfortable with the idea?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Flavour of The Day with Noora

A New Baby at Home

In about a month and a half, I will be having my baby girl. Every time it hits me just how fast this pregnancy has moved along, I get a panic attack. To make it worse, my husband seems to enjoy seeing me worry and so throws a "funny" comment every now and then about how hard it will be.

When the baby, yet to be named, comes, Yousef will be about a year and a half old and Layla will be 8. Over the past three years, I went from being a bachelorette to being married with 3 kids, scary stuff!

Anyways, nothing is ready yet. Not the nursery, bed set, PJs or outfits, nothing! But the bigger issue is that I am looking for someone to help. I heard that there are nurses who can come for day or night shifts and I am having mixed feelings about hiring one. I feel guilty that with Yousef I did every single thing for him while with this baby, I'm considering not to. Then again, with Yousef, it was only Yousef. Now, it's Yousef, Layla and the baby. And, even though I like to think of myself as superwoman, I know I am not. Something will have to give.

So, if there are any mamas out there with more than one baby who ended up getting help, I would really appreciate some advice! I'll take anything I can get.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flavour of The Day with Noora

Pregnancy Brain

I have truly become a dumber person since I became pregnant. I forget almost everything, have zero attention span, and do really weird things.

The other day, I decided to move the clothes hanger from inside the bedroom to the dressing room to make more space. Anyways, I left the room and five minutes later walked inside the dressing room again. In those five minutes, I forgot all about the clothes hanger and so jumped in my place in total fear and yelled at the clothes hanger, "Maha, what are you doing here!". Maha is my sister who was at work at the time.

Don't ask me why, how or in any world I thought my sister looks like a clothes hanger, I just truly thought it was her!

I had never felt as dumb or ridiculous. Of course, all my husband could do was laugh hysterically.

A few days later, I opened the fridge to find the salt and pepper shakers neatly arranged on one of the shelves, again, with no recollection what so ever on when I did that.

I also put batteries in one of Yousef's toys to make sure that it played music and when it did, I started to look around wondering," where is that music sound coming from?"

I wonder if this is reversible or are my brain cells lost forever!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Flavour of The Day with Noora

A Frightful Yousef

Yousef (17 months) is going through a a weird phase, or at least, I'm hoping it's a phase. He is scared to death of every sound he hears. If his dad comes home from work and calls him from the other room, he runs to me immediately and holds my pants! In a terrified manner.

If the door bell or phone rings, if a car makes a loud noise, if someone in a different room makes any noise what so ever, Yousef runs to me in fear.

I don't know if it is because some kids in the family kept on playing with him by hiding from him and then jumping out of nowhere or if it is because he is becoming more aware of things. Whatever it is, it is keeping him stuck to me at all times.

I don't know if I should address it by carrying him and soothing him every time or if I should just tell him in a normal voice that there is nothing to be scared of. I don't want to feed this habit and have him turn out scared of everything.

Any tips?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

I look at some mamas and envy how amazing their children turned out to be. Very well-balanced kids with great manners, excelling in one form or the other, or simply, just happy and friendly children.

Initially, I never really understood the extent to which a mama made that happen; as if it happened purely because the child was talented or had a good personality. Now of course, I realise that it's more what the mama or baba put in, rather than the child alone.

Yet, I am also realising what a sacrifice it is. Your child doesn't just turn out to be a talented pianist or athletic or loveable or compassionate. You have to invest your time, energy and effort to spot it and then build on it. All the mamas I know who have amazing kids, dedicated years and years for their children and families alone. They made decisions about their marriage or careers based on what was good for the kids and not what was good for them.

My husband is always telling me that when push came to shove, I did exactly that by quitting my job and staying home with Yousef. I chose the family.

But why am I finding this decision to be so difficult? I am always questioning myself and wondering, when will it be my time again? Will I be hurting my kids if I decide to go back to work soon? Am I a bad mama for thinking of myself?

I got so used to the fact that my husband and I personally do everything for our kids, without a nanny, helper or housekeeper, that the idea of finding someone to help with the kids while I go back to work is killing me.

What is right and what is wrong?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Under Control or Total Chaos

It's amazing how motherhood can sometimes make me feel like I have everything under total control one second and that I am just a complete mess the next.

I usually feel so content and very proud of what I achieved when I am done cooking and cleaning, have managed to convince Yousef to take his allergy medication without a struggle, or managed to do anything for my family without feeling so exhausted.

On the other hand, which is most cases, I just feel like I cannot do anything right. Yousef won't take his nap which in turn means I cannot finish my work, I haven't managed to cook and end up ordering take out, or just feel so exhausted by 8pm that I am begging Yousef to go to sleep before I do.

It seems like all mamas feel the same way too. My friend says she feels like she is living with a stop watch ticking over her head. Life has become so crazy and hectic for women, especially working mamas, that they seem to feel like they are in a lose-lose situation. They are not able to perfect either one of their roles, professional or mama-related.

So, what's the solution? Must a working mama always feel that something has to suffer in order to get a little bit of all? It just seems totally unfair to always have to choose either or.

I still haven't managed to find the right balance that will suit my family and I am beginning to wonder if there is such a thing as balance in the first place

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Flavour of the Day with Noora

The Career Talk

Today, my husband and I had a talk about my career. I have always been very work-oriented. Whenever I would think about where I want to be in 5, 10, or even 15 years, I always imagine myself with a job and not just a mama and wife.

That said, when I had Yousef, I decided to take time off work for two reasons:
a) I didn't want anyone to take care of MY baby.
b) I had no one to take care of him, even if that was what I wanted.

Yet, after doing this whole mama thing for a year and a half now, I realise that I need more, I need a career.

My husband has been trying to convince me to go into teaching "for the good of the family", he says. "You get long vacations, appropriate working hours, and most importantly, you make a difference in people's lives". To me, the thought of going into anything other than advertising or marketing is out of the question.

However, when I think of my dream job, I know exactly how demanding it is and right away a million questions pop in my mind: "who will watch the kids after school? Will I have time to do homework with them? Who will do the cooking? Will I have to send them to their after school activities with the nanny?". But again, does this mean that I have to put my own dreams on hold for the next 10 years and hope to god that I still have the energy to pursue them after the kids are grown up?

Nothing about being a mama is fair, every body knows that. But, where does the line between "good mama" end and "selfish mama" begin? Is there any way to choose between mama-land and work without guilt or consequences?