Sunday, December 29, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

When your kids are young, leaving them to do anything is really tough. Yet as mamas who want to pursue a career, we often have to remind ourselves of the harsh reality that the competitiveness in our field of work, will not wait for our kids to grow up. If we want a career, we must act fast.

It is often the case that mamas who choose to go back to work have to make the decision knowing that something has to give. And, the tough part is that it might not only stop at work. In my case, I have made a decision to travel a few days for a training course; something I have been planning for a little over a year.

While it has been completely my decision to leave, my heart sinks at the thought of leaving my son whom I know will be affected the most! "It's only 3 nights and 4 days, and he is with his favourite person in the world, his father" I keep telling myself, yet I have had nightmares about my son crying, getting lost, or something preventing me from coming back, ever since I made the decision to go.

Does it ever get easier, making decisions that you know will affect the entire family? When is it ok and when isn't it? Why are the answers so difficult to find?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Becoming Dependent

When a woman has children, it is extremely easy to get sucked into a world that revolves around diaper changes, feedings, naps , activities, play dates and lots of other mama-like things. And if this new mama doesn't have other mama friends, she will almost surely lose her connections with her non-mama friends.

In his book "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus", John Gray states: "it puts too much pressure on a man to make him the only source of love and support." And while Gray wasn't referring to this pressure as an outcome of having children, I felt it applied here as much as it did in his context.

We, mamas I mean, get hooked on taking care of everything and everyone that we almost always lost touch with the outside world for a while. During that time, our partner might become our everything, and men, don't like that. Even if a man appreciates and understands the reasons behind his wife's temporary state of dependence, he will still feel pressured.

One way to snap out of this phase is to divide responsibilities to buy yourself more alone time where you can reconnect with your life outside the duties of motherhood. And while we mamas like to believe that our houses will collapse without our presence, the collapse might not be as dramatic as we thought if any!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Being Truly Happy 

In a meditation course I attended, the instructor explained one of his secrets behind "being truly happy", and it was to: "never postpone your happiness until something specific happens, rather, to live for the moment!"

If you sit and analyse your life just now, you will realise that you have set some typical goals: perhaps buying a certain car, moving to a bigger home, placing your children in a better school and so on. You will also realise that you wake up everyday, work extremely hard, and go back to doing the same thing the next day, just to be able to reach that goal, the one over there, the one that surely comes with happiness.

However, you might end up chasing something bigger for the rest of your life, never being truly happy! Is it true that people who are truly happy are the ones who live in the moment, confidently make decisions that feel right at that certain time and who never worry so much about tomorrow?

I wouldn't know, I come from a family that thrives on calculated decisions, plans for the future like today never existed, and worries about things that never happen.

I also believe that living in the moment is a talent, however, can it also come with practice?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

How We Look at Our Parents as Adults

You often hear people say: "you will never appreciate your parents until you become a parent yourself," and when you become a parent, you realise how true that statement is. 

At some point, just like that, the tables turn, and your parents start needing you like you needed them. You become their sense of security, their support system, and their facilitator. 

This snow storm, my mother was in danger; and I as I heard the news, I felt my heart sink and my brain think a million thoughts: "How do I get her out of there? When can I reach her? Is she safe and catered to? and the worries kept rolling in. When things finally cleared up and we reached her, I realised how "helpless" she must have felt and how it is now our responsibility to care for her. 

It is something I was brought up on; I remember when as a child I used to stand behind the door and watch my mother bathe her own mother. I remember my father preparing his own father's meals as early as 5am. And thinking back, it is a grand thing for a child to grow up watching. 

As parents ourselves, we must not get so involved in our own lives that we miss out on enjoying our parents as adults; to get to know them past their parenting responsibilities that had consumed them for years and to know them when they are relaxed and free to be themselves. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Our Most Important Value Yet...

Whoever said that each child (even though they are siblings with the same parents who have grown up with each other all their lives) is different, was not kidding.

My 3 year-old son might disagree or obey, but never questions my authority. He never takes risks, always goes for the safest option, and likes to play by the rules.

My 1.5 year old daughter is a wild and crazy creature, always goes for the dangerous scenario, is not afraid of getting hurt, and could't care less about what I tell her.

People are always telling me that my daughter will not struggle in her life and will probably be happier than my son in the difficult and sometimes cruel life we live in. I felt very distraught for my son. Then one day, I came across a quote that took all that away:

"It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless." - L.R Knost

Empathy, in my opinion, is one of the most important values you can teach your child.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Binging Like Crazy

For the past month or so, things have been crazy hectic. Settling into my relatively new job, my husband working two jobs and me having ZERO time to go to the gym, I have shamefully found my comfort in food!

I used to blame women who did that but somehow, in the middle of chaos, screaming kids, tantrums and sleep-training, I find myself counting the minutes until it is 9:30pm, when my kids are asleep and I can sit alone on my warm comfy chair, and binge on all kinds of comfort food. I plan my treats throughout the day and they increase as the hours pass.

Beside me just now, is an empty chocolate wrapper and an empty bag of chips. I hate it!  I can seriously feel myself crave junk, fast food, chocolates and everything else that is bad for me.

What do I do? I seriously need to find a way to de-stress, something that I can do within the walls of my house.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Favour of the Day with Noora

Helping Students Reach Their Full Potential with the International Learning Community school

On our cover this month, The International Learning Community school in Amman gives us an in depth look into their Reggio Emelia approach which is based on the philosophy that learning is the outcome of collective efforts.

In other words, as dedicated parents I am sure we all realise that the education of our children does not rest solely on the child or school. It is a collective effort where everyone is involved: staff, parents, families and students each play their part. And knowing that a school actually implements such a practice in its daily curriculum is fresh and inspiring.

I have personally visited the school and I must say the amount of attention each child is given is admirable. As mothers and fathers, one of our main concerns is always the idea of how our child will be treated by the teacher, and these students were getting their share of care.

For more info on the International Learning Community- Amman and their "Reggio Emilia Approach to Education; Experience in Dialogue" conference, visit

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Celebrating People With Disabilities

December 3rd is the International Day for People with Disabilities. This topic is especially important to me as I have a family member who has had a disability his entire life.

Through the acceptance, strength and enormous support his mother and father gave him, he has flourished to become one of the best people you will meet in your life. A person who inspires whoever comes in contact with him. A person who is loved for who he is.

Every single effort a parent does counts, especially for children with disabilities. Go to the link below for a great article on the topic.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

When Our Children Are Not Ready

Today, I dropped my son off at a play date where he was invited alone, no mama to tag along. While he cried at the beginning, he ended up really enjoying himself, came running to me laughing and holding hands with his friend at the time of pick up.

Thirty minutes later however, he cried and cried. Asked me to never drop him off alone and gave me a dose of fussiness like no other.

We sometimes underestimate the things that so greatly affect our children. We put our children through situations that as adults, we believe are totally normal, completely ignoring their perspectives.

I hated myself for it, I hated that I made him feel left behind thinking that he would forget about it and have fun. Why are we always rushing to push our children into things when the signs say they might not ready for it?