My Mom Hacks (Fails)

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No matter how much books you read about parenting, or even listening to other mothers advises … You’ll still go through few fails that I consider achievements, I mean at least I tried. I originally saw Geek Mama’s blog post which I really enjoyed and I’ve been thinking to post my own mom fails/achievements.

  • Sleeping – I think any mother would beg for a 6 hour sleep time with no interruptions so we try to make our children learn to sleep on their own. I did that … But for some reason he started waking up randomly at night and won’t sleep unless it’s with me and my husband. I tried giving him his favorite toys to lay down and sleep with him if that makes sense, it worked for about a week then he went back to his old habit. Recently, I’ve put a mattress on the floor with a pillow and a blanket. To my surprise, he tucks himself in that blanket and tells me “Mom, close the lights” and HE  SLEEPS. I’m not sure if he hates his crib that much or just want more of an open bed with no bars to hold him but he’s been sleeping well lately and that what matters to me I guess.
  • Potty Training – I hate it .. I REALLY HATE IT. Again I’m going to refer to Geek Mom’s post because it was hilarious, but let me talk about my experience. My son is confused why all the sudden I’m trying to get him to the toilet, he just gives me that confused look asking “What is this” “What am I supposed to do here” “You made me stop watching Minions for this ?” We stay in the bathroom for almost half an hour, singing all the nursery rhymes he memorizes and then read books. I sometimes get his toys to make him stay longer but nothing happens and he would look in the toilet bowl to see his invisible achievement. I would let him stay without a diaper so we would try again later, 5 minutes after that he pees his pants. It’s frustrating and it takes a long time to do but I can say there’s progress for sure, can’t wait for this to be done hopefully before giving birth.
  • TV Time – I love reading about all those researchers that advises against letting children have an extended tv watch time but at the same time I’ve seen so many parents let their kids watch tv for long time because it keeps them silent? Also I’ve seen so many parents give their children phones and pads to watch videos on YouTube to keep them calm while they finish shopping peacefully or just sit in the restaurant. I’m guilty for few of these incidents, honestly my son is obsessed with Minions so I let him watch the movie along with Despicable Me movies probably everyday. I also let him watch some videos on YouTube if we go to a restaurant and I just want him to sit and wait till the food arrives, I feel my son isn’t that loud or noisy so I don’t always use this method.
  • Broken Language – You might know that I’m Arab, so my son speaks Arabic but also English and he switches because some words in Arabic are hard for him to pronounce so he says them in English. Of course I constantly get judged by this because … I don’t think there’s a reason to justify that part, I wish I can just tell them shut up at least he knows two languages at a young age. I just think it gives a child a good base to start with bilingual background before going to school. It gets uncomfortable when my son for example says Hi or Hello to older people instead of السلام عليكم  (A’ssalam A’laykum) which is more of an appropriate greeting we have.

Okay I didn’t expect this post to be this lengthy, I guess I have plenty of fails to redeem with my second child.  signature

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4 New-Mom Problems

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I recently had a short conversation with my friend Yuna whom inspired me to write this post. My son is almost two years old and I think I’ve grasped the whole new mom lifestyle and I thought of listing problems I personally faced during those two years.

  • Buy everything you may or may not need

The whole motherhood concept is a bit overwhelming from the pregnancy phase and for that obviously I was completely clueless on what I may need when the baby is here so I bought plenty of things that I didn’t really need. If I had a second child, at least I would learn from this mistake.

  • Possessive Love

Most of the new moms I talked to, admits this problem specifically. We get super possessive with our children and I would say selfish as well. This child is mine not anyone else and only mine, I don’t want to leave my child with someone for more than 2 hours.

  • Aggressive to nosy advice givers

Parental advises are the sworn enemy to any new parent, there’s a limit where you can handle those advises but it gets irritating when those nosy advice givers don’t really stop forcing it in your face.

  • Over-protective

When your child gets sick or hurt, you always wish it’s your pain to handle not your child. Obviously you’ll be over-protective from anything that could harm him, sometimes even from socializing with other kids because you’ll be afraid they might push or hit him/her.

These are mostly the problems I faced and other moms talked about, I guess I could say you learn as you grasp motherhood everyday and it gets better.

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Parental Guilt

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I recently came across an interesting post by 16-bit Dad about this topic and I honestly can relate to that post, I highly recommend checking his blog. I do feel guilty from time to time mostly because I don’t sit with my son as much as I’m supposed to.

There are times when I get frustrated when he refuses to eat even though I know he’s hungry, the solution was honestly too simple which is let him try to hold the spoon or fork on his own and encourage him. I feel guilty for all the times I was frustrated because of that and didn’t understand that he just wanted to depend on himself, I’m taking my time realizing that children grow up fast specially in that age.

I recently noticed that I stopped going out with friends and have fun, even going to a beauty salon to pamper myself and have my me time. I guess it stems from the guilt that I should be sitting with my son more during weekends since I’m not away at work. I’m always thankful that my husband helps, I always find myself appreciating him more whenever I hear others complain about their spouses.

I know this is a messy unorganized post, what I wanted to say is … Parental guilt is a common issue we all go through since we want to be the best parent for our children and not let them down, and in some cases call ourselves a bad mom or a bad dad. Also appreciate what you have in your life, it’s not always greener on the other side.

What makes it all worth it, the moment I open the door when I’m back from work. My son would run to me and hug me while saying “I love you mommy”

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Flying with a Toddler

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Being a mom is exhausting, not only we got to endure the sudden tantrums in public but also how others would look at us when it happens. Some would probably start judging your parenting methods as well and that’s already irritating to deal with. However, when you are on a plane it’s hard to run away from those judging looks when your child decides to scream his/her lungs out.

Here’s some things that helped me ease the whole flight process with my son.

  • Be prepared. Before the flight, be sure to put everything you need in the baby bag. I’ve kept a list of things that I may or may not need but better safe than sorry.
  • Bring any form of entertainment. I’m not a fan of children behind iPad screens but it was my last resort when my son was bored from the toys I brought for him for that flight. I downloaded those 1 hour nursery rhymes videos that he always watch before bed and it kept him occupied for awhile.

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  • Snacks. Because plane snacks aren’t enough to distract a toddler, I brought juice and biscuits with me in the baby bag. Of course you have to be careful not to spill anything, can’t handle more of the embarrassment of a crying child plus messy seating.

My advice to moms, just have some patience. If you could book a flight during your child bedtime, it would help a lot and time will pass easily.

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Hope you enjoyed reading this small post and have a nice day.

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Sleepless Nights

Sleeping … It’s a human activity I said goodbye to on the day I gave birth. I love being a mother, I honestly feel like I found my purpose in life when I look into my son’s eyes. At some point my son was sleeping perfectly throughout the night but sometimes wakes up and it wasn’t tiring for me because he sleeps fast when hug him and return him to his crib.

Lately he’s been waking up at 3 or 4 am and doesn’t sleep unless he’s on my arms, if I returned him to his bed he’ll wake up and cry till I hold him again. At some nights I would get too exhausted and make him sleep next to me, between me and my husband but it wouldn’t be comfortable with me so I would stay awake till it’s time to go to work. For two weeks I’ve been sleep deprived and always tired, I would sleep in the afternoon if I found someone to babysit my son.

Me and husband decided to break the sleep time rule and keep him awake till he’s tired and wants to sleep, and from there start teaching him to sleep on his own in his crib. It made me sad I’m not going to lie, I like hugging him to sleep.

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By night, I would let him watch few of his favorite shows till he tells me it’s sleep time and points at his milk bottle. In the first night, he was very upset that I left him in his crib to drink the bottle alone and not me holding him as usual. I had to come near him few times to show him I’m still here and I didn’t leave him. Now comes the hard part, trying to get him to sleep on his own. He cried and tried to hold me to get him off his crib, repeating my actual name. It was nerve-wrecking and I really wanted to cry with him, it was very hard hearing him cry that much and calling for me. Finally after an hour of trying, he slept but woke up at 4 am and wouldn’t return to sleep in his crib so I said I’ll let him sleep next to me because I felt he just wanted to be with me and obviously it’ll take time to teach him to sleep on his own.

The second night he was more understanding when I left him in his crib with his bottle, of course he took time to sleep on his own but didn’t cry as much as before. He slept throughout the night which is a great progress and I finally got my deserved sleeping hours. By the third and forth night, he was fine sleeping on his own and didn’t require me to be in the room with him anymore.

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This whole thing was mentally exhausting to me, he’s growing up too fast and it’s making me emotional.

Next step is potty training and it will definitely take a while …

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Things I Wish I Can Tell My Mom

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I recently came across a spoken word poetry by Sabrina Benaim called Explaining My Depression to My Mother and it inspired me to write this post. It’s hard confessing feelings and emotions to someone close but in my case … My mother. I don’t want to be like my mom, I’m not her and I’m not planning to be. I want to be different, I don’t want to raise my children same way I was raised. It sounds bad as I’m typing this but I don’t agree with some parenting ways my mother used on me and my siblings, and that’s okay because I don’t think we are wired to grow up exactly like our parents.

Mom doesn’t believe in depression and anxiety, or most of the mental health issues. She believes its related to religion, if you are close to god then you won’t be depressed and I don’t agree with that. I don’t blame her, I mean they’ve been raised this way and their era has been nurturing such closed mind mentality. When I was going through postpartum depression, I didn’t talk about it with my family but more with my friends who has same mentality as me and understands these struggles.

I want to be as understanding as I wished my mother to be. I had a long super dark hair till I reached college because my mother didn’t allow me to dye or cut it, let alone just a small trim. I hated it because it was really hard to maintain, it was so long that it reached under my butt. I started trimming it on my own without telling her obviously but I did get caught few times until one day I chopped off all of my hair, and she gave me a look I’ll never forget, like she’s disappointed in me and it made me feel horrible. It didn’t really last long as I tried to make her understand that it’s who I am, I don’t like having dark long hair. She still gives me those looks whenever I dye my hair and repeats about how my hair was so beautiful and long, now it’s ruined and it’s too damaged.

God Knows how much I love my mother and I know I can’t live without her but I don’t want to be like her, I am who I am.

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I Listen to Barney and Elmo Songs Everyday

Such a lengthy title and it basically sums up this whole post. My son started to favorite things, foods and music, and as a mother you should share these found-favorites. Recently he started liking Barney and enjoys the songs, now he makes me open YouTube everyday to watch Barney dancing around and singing with children.

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Along with Barney, he got obsessed with Elmo from Sesame Street. He loves watching episodes that includes this furry red creature and sings along with him, it’s cute but also gets frustrating after awhile because I can’t watch anything till he sleeps or not around TV.

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Since I’ve been driving around with him sitting in his seat, I had to make a playlist on Spotify that is solely for Elmo and Barney songs, and of course I have to listen to these songs everytime I go out with him. Funny thing, I memorize these songs that I started singing them more often and then I question my sanity.

I decided to start potty training him since he’ll be 18 months soon and I think he’s ready for it, this is going to be challenging but since when motherhood was easy ?

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