I live in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia and I am from there as well. I lived in London twice in my life, 4 years before I got married, studying graphic design, and 2 years after marriage while my husband was getting his masters (and I was attempting to finish my bachelors degree. It didn’t quite work out though). Both my husband and I dream of one day owning a house in Primrose Hill and living half the time here in Riyadh and the other half in London. How exactly we are going to do that still eludes us but we know one day it will happen.
What language(s) do you speak?
Arabic, English and I understand French but have failed to speak it fluently despite my mothers best efforts throughout our childhood and young adulthood to get us to speak it (she is fluent). I am, however, taking a few intensive French courses this summer where I will beg the tutor not to focus so much on spelling and writing French and more on speaking it!
When did you first become a mother?
10 months after I got married I had my first son S (now 8 years old). 3 years after that I had my daughter J (5 now) and 3 and half years after that I had my youngest, Baby B (1.5 now) so I am due in another year and a half I guess lol.
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?
I am technically a stay at home mom. But between being a mother, volunteer work, and dealing with social and familial obligations I feel like I am doing a hell of a lot of work but not getting paid for it.
Why do you blog/write?
I have always loved writing. I used to write poetry when I was younger. I then got married and grew up (in that order) and life was less desperately depressing and I was less desperately dramatic and much more about family and babies and so the poetry flow ebbed. Then about a year and a half ago I started a blog not so much about me but more about what I thought people would want to hear and that lasted all of a week. Last September I started another blog about me and my family and all that comes with it and I enjoy it so much so that I am still going strong now. I have a group of regular readers who comment often and like my writing and that is enough to keep me going for years!
How would you say that you are different from other mothers?
I am not sure how to answer this question. I can tell you how my blog and writing is different from other mom bloggers. I am writing from the point of view of a young mother who comes from a country shrouded in secrecy and controversy so I have a unique opportunity to show people that all of us mothers basically want the same thing for our children. We may have different religious beliefs, maybe different priorities but we all strive to raise healthy happy confident children that will contribute something to this world.
I am a Muslim woman living in a Muslim country, Educated both here and in the west with friends from many cultures and background who are mothers as well. And when our children are having a tantrum we all want to pull our hair out or when they are sick with a cold and fever we all freak out the same and when they go to school we all want them to excel and be productive and happy and responsible. I think, through me and other Saudi or Muslim mothers, people can see that even though I expect my son to wash and pray 5 times a day he still goes off and plays football with his friends and is a huge fan of John Cena and wants to dance like Michael Jackson one day.
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
Today’s world is insane! My biggest challenge is trying to raise level-headed, well grounded children in a world of increasing consumerism and in a culture where people give so much to children and expect so little from them. It’s finding a balance between not giving my 8-year-old a blackberry (although some of his friends have had one for a year now) and not making him feel like he is being punished. Basically getting my children to understand why I do the things I do.
Another challenge I face is raising my children to be proud of their heritage and to follow their religion and respect other’s cultures and beliefs in an increasingly intolerant world. I never expected to have conversations about Christianity and Islam and the differences between them and never thought I would be talking about terrorism with my son from the age of 5. But this is the reality we are living in and might just be the future he will have to live.
How did you find World Moms Blog?
I found it through Karyn Van DerZwet of the amazing “Kloppenmum” blog (seems Karyn is doing well to promote this site!). It is one of my daily reads and I do not miss a post!
I am so excited to be one of the World Moms Blog writers and happy to be part of this new family.
Do you have any questions for Mama B.?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Mama B from Saudi Arabia. She can be found writing at her blog, Ya Maamaa.
Photo credit to the author.