For someone we called ” Mother”

Motherhood : All love begins and ends there….

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I long for my mother's bread,
My Mother's coffee
Her touch
Childhood memories grow up in me
Day after day
I must be worth in my life...
A One and Only Mother
Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of lambs in the sunny weather.
Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the world-wide over... 

This is excerpt from Mahmoud Darwish in his  1964 panegyric to his mother, A Palestinian poet and a short poem that I can accentuate how I view Motherhood ever since I become a mother.

It’s Mother’s day this month and it’s just timely that we look back with thanksgiving & gratitude from whence we came.There is so much poetry about Motherhood but it cannot really immortalize the actual feeling you have when you become one yourself. I wouldn’t even knew the deep essence of Mothers Day before, but now that I become a mother, I understand and have great respect for all Mothers around the world.

When I was about to give birth to my daughter  Natalie, I was in the hospital for almost 3 days being induced for labor. Now for someone who doesn’t know what Induction of Labor   means, it is literally the process of forcing you to go on labor through various medical interventions. I tell you, It’s  nerve-wrecking, exhausting, pain-filled time  of my life and yet it was also the most wonderful time knowing I would finally meet my child. I could recall all the time I just lie down in pain between contractions and  I thought a lot about my Mother. I was alone there and all I could think of is wishing She was just beside me.She gave birth for 6 humans, all natural at home and without any medical interventions.How on earth did she do that?

Are mothers superheroes in disguise?

She is one amazing, strong, resilient person that I ever known in my life. For the past year, I have found out so many surprises in Motherhood that I asked myself; Why did no one ever told me about this? let alone my own Mother?

Here’s some surprises to name a few :

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Before I was a Mother –
Definition of “Real Sleep “. I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I lounge in the bed during weekends until my back aches from sleeping and oftentimes I would dozed off & had naps in the afternoon after watching some movies. Since I gave birth to Natalie, If there’s anything that I really missed, it is : Sleep.

I thought I knew what “Tired “meant before I had a baby. I once heard my mother said her back hurts..now I see myself uttering these words to my husband.Now I knew why.

Before I was a Mother –

I would see babies as cute, cuddly, but bothersome. Why are they  crying so loud? and makes so many messes. I would never know ( or want to know) as much about another human being’s poop and pee schedule as I did in those early years.It becomes an obsession in checking too much, too little, and loads of graphic considerations that I wouldn’t dream of discussing in public now.It is a clichè ,but true that many of the baby “essentials” that magazines & celebrities promotes for new Mums are just bunch of waste of money! The walker? Only after 2 weeks of use, she was already climbing out and she is dangling when I saw her. A total waste.

Before I was a Mother –
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put it down. I never felt my heart-break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mother. How many times I just lie beside my daughter and just kissed her. Many times. When she sleeps, I found myself randomly poking her just to check if she was breathing–Insane but true. My mother never told me about this,but I am sure, She did the same.

Before I was a Mother –
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important.The love & hate relationship that Me & my daughter have when she is soooo clingy. She literally live in between my legs.She likes it there, dangling, swinging around wherever I go. The space between my skinny legs fits perfectly with her small cuddly frame.

Before I was a Mother –
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache,the physical pain & numb arms. The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mother. Why on earth my mother never told me about her struggles raising 6 children, without maid, without any hired help, even without an iPad to entertain the crazy toddlers?

Before I was a Mother –
I had never been puked on – Pooped on – Spit on – Chewed on, or Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts. I slept all night.How did I managed to not bother about make up & fancy clothes when you have a baby pulling out your sleeves? I have gone out with a pants with cookie stains and I don’t see any problem with that. I don’t even wanna wear white right now because I know there will be shoeprints there within seconds, and bling- bling? I can’t afford for a necklace & dangling earrings to be pulled out painless!  I could spent countless hours in a mall but I was too busy buying baby stuff and little clothes.This is the new retail therapy for me. My mother would absolutely agree.
Before I was a Mother –
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests…or give the vaccination shots. I was there in every appointment & Doctor’s visits. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.Motherhood have taught me to become prepared to go to very strange and random lengths just to appease my crying child. Did I mentioned that I broke my iPhone screen 3 times already just to get into that Bob the Train nursery rhymes the minute she start to squirm?

Before I was a Mother I had no idea that Motherhood would be the hardest , the most tiring,the most rewarding, the most precious gift in my life.Now I knew why my Mother never told me these surprises..She wanted me to discover & experience these all by myself. All through out this journey, I got to know more of her, I got to know her “world “when the time that I never fully understand her. I got to know her completely, more than I could ever write about her.And guess what, even if I had known early all of the above,I wouldn’t swap a second of it for anything in the world!

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The first years really go fast. Before I knew it, she climbs up into the table by herself within seconds, throws all her toys with one hand in seconds.Before I knew it, it will be her first day in school.These fleeting moments can never be replaced.Remember the first tooth, the first step, the first time you can have her hair into ponytail? The time she said “Mama”…They are truly precious.

For someone we called “Mothers” …They are precious.

 

How does this post made you feel? Do you feel special that you are a mother?

When was the last time you called your mother just to say Hello?

I want to wish a Happy Special Mothers Day to all my lovely, strong mothers & women that I knew. Great respect to all of you. X

 

Sacrifice

Should you splurge on your kid’s birthday party?

What’s your plan for your child’s first birthday celebration ? Are you going to throw a big party or not ?

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Natalie’s Hungry caterpillar cake

My daughter just turned the Big 1 (ONE)  and just like you, I was in the same boat of this dilemma. I was looking forward to it …months away !! I have everything thought of . I have it all in my mind . But this post is not about party planning. This is actually the post-birthday lessons. Very important lessons that  I wanna share with you especially for the first time & eager mamas. Her 1st Birthday was an awesome experience for all of us  but I have thing or two to ponder. Maybe your parenting style is different, or your preferences are totally not same as mine.It’s Okay.  But I know in the end, you, as the parent will eventually  reflect on how swift the childhood days went off and evaluate your own actions on parenthood.

Here are the 5 things I have learned about my Daughter’s 1st Birthday Party :

1.Take it Easy 

I have learned to Really Take it Easy .

With the ever present social media  trends nowadays , parents always faced this dilemma. Everyone knows that we  we always want the best for our children . If you check Pinterest you will see these  jaw-dropping , almost perfect birthday party ideas that could leave you in a trance . You will hear yourself saying “I want this for my child “or “How much would it cost to throw a party as good as this ?” It’s very common to see parents nowadays  doing the ever merry-go-round hustle and bustle of giving a lavish party for their kids, especially for their child’s 1st Birthday . It is so special that starting  from your child’s themed party invitations & outfits , children’s snacks,  party favors, giant cakes, balloons & confettis, Venue and decors, plus the sound systems, games,  photoshoots, clowns & programs and things such as these could leave parents totally exhausted &  overwhelmed.  Even stressed out completely. I knew this feeling. I was feeling like this.

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My daughter’s Hungry Caterpillar Smash Cake

But Hey guys , Take it Easy ! Slow down , this is not a wedding! I mean , your one year old doesn’t even know  if you scored it all from a Bargain shop or that her cake is made with white fondant  with marzipan filling and that her smash cake is sugar-free! My daughter doesn’t care about it! She was too busy playing with the ceramic frog in the garden and splashing herself in the fountain to notice how pretty she look in her Tutu dress. She just fiddling on it,playing, eating it. She kinda love the feel of it her mouth. Who feels the satisfaction ? Isn’t it you Mama ?

I wanted to have a great “Smash Cake moment ” captured on video.

The sugar-free pink cake is scattered all over her, on her hair, on her face. Her nose is almost full of it that she screamed and get cranky. Did I have a nice video out of it ?The answer is NO. I was constantly wiping her nose. She doesn’t want to sit in her high chair  anymore. Maybe she was overwhelmed by the size of the smash cake in front of her …or we haven’t taught her how to smash the cake eh ? Who ate the rest of the smash cake ? It was hibernating in our fridge for 2 weeks .

2.Family First 

I have learned that 1st Birthdays should be Family  thing.

I am not against Birthday party celebrations, in fact,  I LOVE Birthday parties. When I had my daughter, I appreciate it even more. Birthdays are all time Family First thing. It should be like that . It should be an occasion that family bonds, and celebrate. The time when your child turns one becomes an important milestone , both for your child & you as the parent .It’s like, Yeeeaahh !!! we survive the first year!  With all the sacrifices & hardwork involved. This is the time you reflect on the past year as a swift ride where in you managed to adjust from sleep deprivation, work, career, family life and parenthood. It’s about you, your child’s happiness & your spouse that really matters in the end.

If you are an Expat parent like me, then it would be crazy to throw a big party. We live in Kuwait & I don’t have much family or friends living in the same area as we are . You can still enjoy this day with the people that really matters with you and wants to share the memories with your child .You don’t need to invite your whole neighborhood .

3.Image and Perception is really Nothing

I have learned that Thinking about what others think about you is a total waste of time.

Parents should be very careful not to be driven with the sole purpose of throwing a party because of what we perceived as Show- Off Syndrome . This is so true . It’s the  underlying factor that led parents to throw a “Better “or ” More Grand “party  to create an impression of being ” well-off,”  or “ living the good life” image . This is one of the reasons why children have the notion of anticipating that they can have the same  as others. They tend to ask for more from their parents based on  what they have seen from  their friends , classmates , and media influences . Its so easy to succumb to the consumer mentality of our society . For parents, we should make sure not to neglect this. Other than your child’s happiness , you should not even do things just to impress others . Remember ,every penny that you spent splurging on your child’s birthday party is spent only for yourself & pleasing your guests , your one-year old child doesn’t know anything nor she will  remember it .

4.Lifestyle Check

I have learned to Live within your means and be wise .

If you have the money to spend on a lavish birthday party for your child , Yeah Ok , You go Mama! Some parents think that their child will only turn 1 once, so splurging is never a problem .Sky is the limit. I think then its fine , I don’t see any problem on this .It’s your own personal choice. But on  lifestyle check,  would you rather splurge on a grand Birthday party knowing you have debts to pay ? or that your other kid’s tuition fees are due, or worse , you have arrears from your credit card bill ?  Does it really make sense to have a loan just to impress your whole clan & your guests ? Really , nobody cares ! At the end of the day , your child ‘s well being will be your priority . Had she been stressed out from that hours of noisy party , or that she was too exhausted to smile on photo shoots with her cute tutu dress that you wore her ? Parents should be  very careful in how they go about these birthday bashes , especially on the expenses involved . We should be thinking of alternative and cheaper ways to celebrate birthdays without smashing our  budget . A growing child is expensive and we need to be practical and save more for bigger things  like her Education , Travel etc . These savings can then be used to reward your child further down the track, when they are able to enjoy it.

5.Get over the guilt 

Finally , I have learned to just let go of guilt feelings .

Get over the guilt and try to have FUN even without a big party . As parents , remind yourself that you are not ruining your child’s life  and the memories for years to come with the decision you have made. Stick to the best choices for your family and in the end, everything else will fall into place. Provide your child with the best gift you could ever give  that nobody could ever question you ,let alone your conscience.

What makes a 1st Birthday a day to remember ? If you ask any child about her memories of a birthday party ,what’s the first thing she could recall ?

For me , I should say  :  Stress-free and happy parents , lots of Love , and of course , A CAKE !!! because Hey , It’s a cake !

I wish you all the best on your child’s  1st birthday .

 I am hoping that through this post you got some inspiration. To learn to become wise parents that sets as a good example to your child .

Have fun & don’t forget to smile in the camera !

How about you, how do you celebrate Birthdays in your country?