Monday, June 22, 2015

Moments you experience after being a parent

1) Your friends will make plans to see you at home on Sundays. Never on Saturdays. And you're always just a little bit surprised because you honestly think:

2) The "why couldn't you get things done? You were home all day" remark is only said by your partner once. Never again.

3)  It is an unexplainable, weird sensation walking up and down your stairs after having just removed the baby proof gates.

4) And this's astonishing the number of times it happens to one parent alone

5) You are more interested in the parents role of your favourite teen shows like the O.C and Gossip Girl.

6) You have calculated what your age will be when:
 - your child turns 13
 - your child turns 20
 - when your youngest child moves out

and you convince yourself that you will still be young and hip.

7) You regret so much the certain muscle movements you made transferring your child from your arm to the cot; and when they wake up, you can't believe you risked it.

8) Sometimes you are stuck in the middle of the staircase because your kid cries-stops-cries-stops.

9)  Even though you 99 percent sure your child is feeling better, you avoid contact with his daycare carers and RUN.

10) You have to pee as soon as your baby wakes up.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Real Conversations.

Why do I do this?

Mother in law: You can give your son grapes now
Me: Oh, that's a great idea. 
MiL: But you will have to peel the grape, take the seeds out and give him little pieces at a time.
Me: Oh. Yeah, I'll probably just stick to other fruits...
MiL: Haaa??? But grapes have a lot of antioxidants that would be really good for Hasouni
Me: Aaugh ya but Goddd the whole peeling...and the time...
Husband: You should really keep some of your thoughts to yourself.

Ah, I really didn't want to crush her hopes and dreams but someone had to

A mom pushing her newborn in a pram around my neighbourhood:
Hi! How old you is your son?
Me: 4 months
Mom: Does he still wake you up at night?!
Me: Yeah..sorry!
Her face drops and walks away


A new mommy feeding her newborn in the mall's parents room: Hi! How old is your son?
Me: 6 months
Mom: Do you still give him milk?
Me: Do you mean breast milk or formula?
Mom: Any
Me: Yes, of course I still give him milk?
Mom: Oh, I thought they only get water after 6 months

I just don't understand 

Doctor: Since Hasan is allergic to milk, you cannot have any products that contain whole milk either.
Me: What about chocolate
Doctor: You can't have chocolate
Me: But what about dairy milk chocolate
Doctor: No, you can't have that
Me: But it's chocolate. It's not a glass of milk
Doctor: It has milk in it. You can't have chocolate
Me: What about cake?

Well, that could have gone better....

Me: I'm pregnant!!!
Friend: Omg! Congrats! Are you going to be one of those mom's that's all about her baby?
Me: Um...

Nothing better than hearing the two words: baby sitter.

Amar, Hasouni andI were walking across an intersection when a couple passed by us looking very nice, dressed up for the night. They were practically skipping, when the girl shouted to us:
I cheered her on, heart full of content.

It's just mommy politics

Friend: God, I wish people would just stop giving me advice. Like the other day, bub didn't have socks on because it was really hot. I didn't think she needed any but these people they just kept telling me to put socks on her. But, like, I know what I am doing. If I tell you that I don't think my kid needs socks, they should just drop it. You know?

Me: Yeah, it's annoying when people push their advice
Friend: ....yeah...but okay, listen. She did end up getting a cold at night. But that's not the point!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The letter we should all get.

To my dear pregnant friend,

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I know that you have been trying to get pregnant and I am so happy that it happened for you. You are going to be a great mother.

I heard that you have not been feeling very well and it seems like a distant memory when you had that rush of happiness from seeing the two line strips on your pregnancy test. I heard that you are feeling nauseated and weak.  So here is my little advice to you:

Please do not be so hard on yourself and ask for help. There is nothing you can do about the nausea. Yes, you can take nausea pills but they will probably just make you drowsy, and you can only drink so much fuzzy drinks before the sugar rush becomes a bit too much. Take this time to tell your loved ones that the smell of raw chicken is too much for you so you can't cook and ask for help. Little things such as a friend bringing you a hot meal will make a world of difference. Tell yourself that for the next 4 months, you are going to be weak and that's OK. One day, you will wake up and you will feel a hundred times better and you will be able resume back to your normal routine. 

I hate seeing women being so hard on themselves because they become weak. It is not a weakness! You have a human growing inside you that needs your energy to survive. Sacrifice your power for their heart to continue to beat, for their bones to become stronger, and for their eyes to learn how to blink. 

Don't be so hard on your weight gain. Yes, some women gain more weight than they need to for pregnancy but you have all the time in the world to bring your body to its normal weight gain. No, you are not going to look like a glowing pregnant women from the movies.  We all learned now that that was a complete lie. You will also not look like your college years with the perfect hair, high heels and size 4 dress. So, just let it go and focus on you and your baby's health. If you are concerned about what you are eating (because let's face it, sometimes the junk food is the only thing we seem to digest in the beginning), express your  concern to your doctor. Nothing beats that relief when your doctor tells you "that's okay. That's normal." It is also a relief to let your doctor know early on, in case you can hurt yourself. You will all of the sudden have this sense of power to change your eating habits for the good. I promise. I also promise that you are beautiful.

When the time comes to go to the hospital, take a deep breath. If you are doing a natural birth, God bless you.  If you are going to take the epidural,  God bless you. If you are going to do a c-section, God bless you. 

When you see your baby, you will want to go through this all over again. 

and it will be worth it; a thousand times over.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

How to get your baby to sleep through the night

This is the hardest stage to go through. Especially if you were like me who did not "train" your child to sleep through the night until after 1 year but I have accepted it and I am thankful now that it has been achieved. Some days.

Before you begin, make sure every single issue has been resolved:

Your child is having a balanced diet throughout the day.
Your child is ...
not hot
or cold
or needs a diaper change
not overly exhausted from not having a good nap during the day
wearing comfortable clothes
eczema is not flared up
actually tired to go to sleep.


I know, you probably get that prickly annoying feeling when someone says to you "yeah, my son is on a strict schedule because like, that's the only way I get things done. I am like a very organised person. It's the only way I-like- function."


 I know, it is super annoying to hear that but there is truth to it but no need for an over exaggeration.  I always thought that the"routine" meant this very strict schedule and sounded very intimidating, but it's not. The idea is to generally do the same thing every day so that your child body clock starts working and understands what the time is for and what's happening next.

It would be best if your husband/partner does the night time routine  so that your child doesn't think it's time for another feed with you. My son was only able to sleep through the night when I switched to fresh milk from a bottle  and Amar gave him the night time bottle feed. However, if you are still breastfeeding, make sure your child is still awake before you place him or her in the cot. You don't want to associate sleep with the feed. Or else, they will continue to wake up during the night. 
Before you give baby the last bottle, read him or her a bed time story, dim the lights and whisper to them. Mention every once in a while that it is sleep time. Associate a word like "nom" (arabic for sleep) or "nigh nigh"   as if ya3ni you are trying to hypnotise them. Just say it every once in a while and subconsciously it will click.  Then give him the bottle and a cuddle and sing a song to help them fall asleep ( you can ditch all that except for the bottle once your child learns its time for bed) 
Afterwards, gently put baby in the cot. Don't get too excited an run out of the room.

Tap baby gently on the back and tell them its nom time and whisper. DO NOT pick baby up after that. If baby is still crying, leave the room and return after 10 minutes. Tell your baby that you are leaving the room and make sure they see you leave. You don't want to freak your baby out by leaving as soon as they turn their head.
When  you return, gently tap their back and and tell them that it's nom time (gently). Then leave the room. Come back after 20 minutes if baby is not settled and then eventually 40 minutes, etc... Eventually baby will understand and sleep through the night. It takes some people 2 days for it to happen and for others around 2 weeks. It is recommended that you stay home during those days so that you put your baby to bed at the exact same time.

Now, this whole read your baby a story, give them the bottle, sing a song, cuddle, etc...etc...etc...was wayyyy to long for me. I remember when people told me this routine,  I was just like, oh my God...say wallah you think I am going to do this every single day???
Eventually when Hasouni learned that 830 pm meant bed time and that going to his room, dimming the light and giving him a bottle meant sleep time, I ditched the book and singing. I gave him a cuddle bes ya3ni that's as far as I took it. Half the time I use to forget to go to the bathroom before I started the freagin routine so I kept trying to hurry up. And honestly, the idea is to get your baby to realise it's bed time. You don't need to make it this long ass story for them to understand. Just do the same thing every day and khalas. BUT, you will need to do the long version in the beginning because it is a huge change for them and these stories and songs and blah blah blah help them transition. You can read him a book during the day.

But none of these will work if you do not make sure your child has a good nutritious diet throughout the day. Or else, you will be trying to put a hungry baby to sleep. There are many  guidelines that you can follow online or perhaps consult a dietitian. Dinner time is usually the most difficult meal because your baby is probably already full from all the fruits, dairy, and veggies that you gave so stock up on carbs to help them be full through the night.

If all else fails,  you can always go to a sleep clinic with your baby. They are a great help for that moment when you think you are doing everything wrong and they reassure you that the process is normal. 

Good luck to you all! Let me know what you have done to settle your baby to sleep. Would love to hear about your experience.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Travelling with a baby

Sorry, I know. I took forever with this post. But, the experience was so traumatising, I needed a few months to recuperate.

I'm okay now.

Here are my top 10 tips on traveling with a baby on flights but even so, gooood luck buddy.

NUMBER 1 - LIMIT YOUR CARRY ONs!!! I was allowed to take one carry on, a diaper bag, and a purse or backpack. I decided to ditch the purse and take the backpack since it would be easier to carry through terminals. But, taking a diaper bag and a carry on as well was just a disaster. Next time, I will try to just take a carry on and MAYBE a small bag.

2 - If your baby is under the age of 9 months, take advantage of baby jar food. Some people told me that they freeze meat dishes and by the time they get to the plane it will be good enough to eat. I am just like, oh my Goddd just relax. Your baby can be vegetarian for just one day and they will survive by not having a home cooked meal for just a couple of hours. My God. There are meaty baby jar food as well for the carnivores who just can't resist. But I was all like, ummmm it aint Halal.

3 - Put all of your food into one or two bags max so that when you get to customs, you just pull the bags out quickly to declare.  They will appreciate your organisation skills  as it speeds up the process.

4 - Put wet wipes, spoons, few nappy bags, disposable or cloth bibs in each bag that you have your foodin. I had one smaller bag that had enough for each plane ride as well which I tucked into the little pockets in front of my seat (where they put the magazines) so that I didn't have to keep carrying that one massive bag of food. I recommend using disposable bibs because you don't want to be stuck with wet bibs throughout the flight. Use your bibs to keep him from wetting his shirt from drooling if he is teething. You want to limit the number of times you need to change his clothes.

5- Make sure you get the bulkhead seat so that you get a bassinet on the long haul plane rides. The bassinets was useless for Hasan because all he wanted to do was crawl or walk, but it was great for me to chuck in his toys, wipes and food without all of it being on my lap. Call the airline a couple of times to make sure they secured your seat and check in 24 hours before your flight. Once you check in, your seat is secured.

6 - Let your child crawl or walk across the aisles. It might seem weird at first since everyone is looking at you and your baby walking back and forth but it is way better then them crying and disturbing everyone. The show off flight attendants might get annoyed so just avoid eye contact. Hasan was much quieter when he was walking and eventually he got tired and was more willing to sit later on and then eventually by the grace of God, fall asleep.

7 -  As soon as your baby falls asleep it would be a great time to go to the bathroom, clean up around your area as I am sure you are covered with biscuits and plastic cups and all that jazz, and have your meal. You will feel so much better when you clean up and much more patient when the little devil wakes up again ( <3 )

8 - Don't give your baby all the toys that you took with you at once. Give him a few at a time so that he doesn't get sick of it by the first couple of hours.

9 - Reading books helped me keep Hasouni in his seat while the seatbelt sign was on. He was also so fasincated by the plastic cups that the flight attendants gave us. I don't know why but it didn't matter to me. He loved it and I loved it.

10 - Only take with you small toys and books but make sure they are no smaller than the size of your hand.  The last thing you want to do is find the little car that he dropped which you know is underneath the man sitting beside you who just had enough.

I hope that helped!! On my flight to Canada, these tips saved me. On the flight back, Hasan decided that he no longer liked baby jar food, was definitely way too big for the bassinets, and chucked every book I gave him. It was much harder because we had 3 stop overs and the first two were right in the beginning so by the time we went on our 14 hour flight back to Sydney, he just had enough.

I will try to write more often! Sorry we also had to learn how to get Hasouni to sleep through the night and that has been quite the experience. Maybe I will write about that one day !


Oum Hasan.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Blog Tour

My dear friend Idil invited me to join the blog tour. She writes a hilarious and smart blog called So Many Tangents  about her life as a teacher. She is absolutely wonderful. You will love this blog and will likely be inspired to become a teacher.

So, anyway, I thought, this is it. This is where I become famous. Then I started getting really nervous because she included me whilst I was in transit from Australia to Canada and I knew settling in was going to take a long time and millions of bloggers are probably on the edge of their seat in anticipation but if I took too long, surely it would all fade. I like to go into la la land to procrastinate.

OK, so here is how the blog tour works. You answer a couple of questions about "the writing process" and tag 1-3 bloggers who you like to read and then they would have to do the same.

At last, here we go!

What am I working on?

My next blog is going to be about travelling with infants on long flights. I am in Canada with Hasouni at the moment visiting my family. It took me 23 hours to arrive and weeks of preparation.
I am excited about this new post but to be honest, I am not sure when I will be able to write it as I did not bring my computer with me and it feels so strange to use my parent's. It feels like I am too old to be invading their personal things. Honestly, within two minutes of arriving to Canada, I ditched my new aussie clothes, immediately wore my old bulky sweaters, settled into my old purple bedroom, and texted my friends. Exactly like how I was when I use to live there except there is a tiny lil person in his play pen beside me.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I definitely compromise my image with this blog. Instead of using this blog to make myself seem like a super mom, who found answers to this difficult task, I show my struggle and I don't care. I find it more helpful to not sugar coat.

Why do I write what I do?

It was my sister Nadia and my friends (esp Hoda) that encouraged me to write. I would be on the phone with them and tell them about the funny scenarios that happen to me and they always tell me that I need to write these down and start a blog. Every blog entry has made me a nervous wreck but every response has been so positive that I just can't stop now. It makes me happy and I hope it makes you happy too!

What am I reading now?

Nothing... is that bad?

How does my writing process work?

Whenever I write a blog, I get really excited so I write really fast and put all my thoughts down even though they do not make any sense. I then save, shut the computer off, go to sleep and resume back the next day. I end up deleting half of what I wrote because it was just rubbish. I edit and re edit, then eventually I get frustrated, abruptly end my post and publish. Sometimes, that is just how it has to be. Especially if you are someone who procrastinate. You need to just bite the bullet.

Oh, thank God. The questions are now over. That wasn't too bad!! ;)

Now, I will be tagging Batoul Hussain's blog, abcreatives. Batoul picked up her bags and went off to tour the middle east with her husband, Ali. This dynamic and sweet duo kept us all in touch with breathtaking photographs and witty posts that I am sure you will love.

Okay Batoul, pressure is officially off. Now it's your turn!

You know you love me,
Xoxo. Oum Hasan.

Past participants

Idil Abdulkadir