by Ibtisam Alwardi | Aug 6, 2015 | 2015, Motherhood, World Moms Blog, World Motherhood
As a child, I’ve always loved being around younger children. I’d take care of them and moms in my family where always happy to leave their children with me to babysit.
As I studied to become a speech and language therapist, my love for children continued. I had this great empathy for them and I wanted to specialize in pediatrics in order to work closely with them, and so I did.
As I had my three children, the love just increased, but also the stress that comes with it. The stress that you don’t feel with other children when you have a stress-free young life. The stress that you manage to control when you work with other children at work, but it can easily appear the moment you enter your home.
This is the dangerous part of parenthood. It is when you are too stressed that you tend to take it out on the little ones, the most vulnerable ones, the children.
I admit I lost my temper hundreds of times, I failed them another hundreds of times, I wasn’t the pleasant mom always. I would go to bed at night feeling guilty for whatever happened on different occasions and for whatever went wrong.
Life teaches us, and as we strive to be better people, we also tend to accept that we are allowed to make mistakes, even as adults. I didn’t realize that, as a mom initially. I believed I have to be perfect. I couldn’t understand how you can be so good and competent with other children, while you keep losing yourself with your own children.
Things do change with learning.
I learned to stop blaming myself, and realized that it is fine to make mistakes. I believe that the more I remember myself within my hectic life, the more I become a better person and hence a better mom. It can only be possible by managing myself well. It can be through realizing that, as mothers when we do tend to lose ourselves into our daily routine we forget who we are, what makes us happy and what cheers us up. We lose our hobbies, we forget to indulge ourselves in what brings us joy. We stop reading, going out with friends, going to the gym, laughing, getting a pretty haircut, having a cup of hot chocolate while thinking of nothing.
That time spent for me as a person, lets me to resume my mom role happier, more content and I can give more and more. Life is about giving and receiving.
We do not eat our hearts for what we did, but we learn to forgive ourselves, work on improving ourselves and giving ourselves some quality time in order to be able to give to others part of our beautiful self.
This is an original post from our #WorldMom, Ibtisam from Oman for World Moms Blog.
Picture Credit to the author.
You can find more of her wonderful perspective on her blog: ibtisammusings.com.
Ibtisam (at Ibtisam's musings) is an Omani Mom of three, living in the capital city of Oman ,Muscat.
After working for ten years as a speech and language therapist in a public hospital, she finally had the courage to resign and start her own business. She had a dream of owning a place where she can integrate fun, play and 'books', thus the iPlay Smart centre (@iplaysmart) was born.
Currently she is focusing on raising awareness through social media about parenting, childhood, language acquisition. She started raising awareness on (the importance of reading) and (sexual harassment) targeting school-aged children.
Ibtisam enjoys writing, both in Arabic and English, reading and working closely with children.
She plans to write children books (in Arabic) one day.
Contact Ibtisam at ibtisamblogging(at)gmail.com.
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by Purnima Ramakrishnan | Apr 9, 2015 | 2015, Awareness, Childhood, Humanity, India, Inspirational, International, Purnima, Relationships, The Alchemist, World Moms Blog, World Motherhood
“Be like children in the kingdom of God,” said Christ.
As a child, I always wondered what this saying meant—sometimes I still do—though I have heard a really meaningful explanation which goes like this:
A personality trait in adults, akin to that in children, which is: to have unconditional love, perennial joy, unshakeable faith in ones parents, strong spirit and a “Go get it!” feeling which can never be explained. In short, to have the heart of a child – strong and soft, at the same time.
Observe a child for even a short period of time. And anyone would know what that biblical phrase means. So, I did too.
A few months ago, I was so worried about my son, that he did not exhibit an interest in outdoor activities and that his bicycle was rusting away. And then, suddenly one day, he got this urge to ride his bicycle.
We helped him, ran behind the bike, he fell down a little bit. His best friend was with him constantly, who had already mastered the art. His grandfather was there too. And then his father. It was a big moment! Yes, it was.
And I saw all the stages with my own eyes. Trying to ride, balancing, joy, falling, pouting, getting-back-on, smiling, balancing, riding-joy, smiling, more riding-joy, riding-fast-joy, exhilaration-joy, racing-joy, controlled-riding-joy, showing off-joy, being-a-pro-joy, and so on …
These were all different stages of joy. There was no disappointment even in falling. There was not an iota of doubt that he could not master it. I marveled at the heart of a child. Yes, I was that too, once, long ago; a few decades ago. He never doubted his joy, he never doubted his ability to master it. As adults, we have regressed a long way.
I wondered, “where is that beautiful joy in me now?”
Yes, I am very happy in my life. And I am joyful now and then for many of life’s blessings. But why isn’t that joy, that zest for life, always there, 24/7, 365 days a year? I am not really sure, I guess “life happens” as they say.
So it made me wonder: “wouldn’t it be great if we all had that kind of childish joy always? Looking at the sky, filled with clouds, making out shapes, dragons and dinosaurs; licking an ice cream like a wild child; stopping to smell flowers; looking at a starry sky at night. Are these the things which give me joy?
Cuddling with my son; seeing him fulfill his aspirations; seeing him successful; seeing him joyful and happy and content. Is this what gives me joy as a mother?
“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.”
~Hafiz of Persia
So what gives me joy? All of the above, and this too:
Bringing silence into my life, even when it is noisy and filled with all the activities of being a mother, a wife, a woman.
Acceptance, forgiveness, and being content with life, even while striving for my own personal sense of perfection.
Reconnecting to my own heart, my own inner self, seeking it in the stillness of my heart.
Will these bring me joy?
Being like a child, enjoying this beautiful journey of life, at the same time, not losing focus, and still loving, and accepting and trying, and being joyful all through!
Oh be still, little heart… the wonders of a joyful heart! Stillness gives me joy!
What gives you joy? Has any simple life event helped you introspect, reconnect with your Higher Inner Self and brought back focus to your life?
This is an original post from our World Mom and Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan.
Her contributions to World Moms Blog can be found here. She also rambles at The Alchemist’s Blog.
Photo credit to the author.
by Michelle Pannell | Apr 7, 2015 | Gratefulness, Happiness, Life Lesson, UK
I love reading other people’s blogs and sometimes a post just stays with me and I go back to it a number of times because it is worth reading over and over again. Last August I read a post by Glennon at Momastery and she summed up my stance on life in such a fabulous post, one that quickly went viral.
Go and have a read if you like and then come back, or alternatively, here is the low-down. Glennon starts by saying she posted a picture of herself in her kitchen on Facebook and very quickly people started to comment on her status with offers of help. Help to update her kitchen, pictures for inspiration and advice of how she might move away from her kitchen of clutter, mismatched appliances and 80’s style work surfaces.
Guess what happened? Within minutes Glennon had moved from her place of contentment and was converting a shiny new kitchen, one that did not make her look lazy and dated. She then talks of going to bed that night and remembering a quote from Thoreau’s Walden: “I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes and not a new wearer of the clothes.”
In her words “Walden reminds me that when I feel lacking – I don’t need new things, I need new eyes with which to see the things I already have.” Of course the next morning as she walked into her kitchen her eyes were aligned very differently and instead of a craft covered refrigerator and overflowing sink she saw plenty of chilled food that could sustain her family and easy access to clean drinking water, things that much of the world cannot take for granted.
I can’t urge you enough, dear friends, to choose to be grateful for what you have in life. Of course your life is not perfect, no-one’s is but there is always joy to be had in every day. Around the same time as I started to write my personal blog seven years ago I adopted the stance that we all choose how our day would go. I had baby twins and a toddler and life was full-on, I could feel myself spiralling into late-onset post-natal depression and I knew I had to make some changes to help me.
The big change was to choose to be happy, happy with what I had in life, happy that I had been blessed with three small demanding children and happy that my life lay ahead of me and that I had the freedom to choose how it might look.
This choice, combined with continual talking about how I felt, led to me feeling so much better, and the depression started lifting. I know I was lucky, it is not always that easy to rise out of the blackness, but my faith and belief in God’s goodness really helped me.
In 2011 I started a new series on my blog called Reasons to be Cheerful and this is an excerpt from the launch page – “Do you know what I believe are two of the fundamental keys to happiness? One, is to choose to be happy and the other is to want what you already have! Endless seeking of things, money, status, time or anything else will never fulfil you! This is where the gratitude comes in….“ And over time I just felt my contentment grow.
For me as a Christian it is important that I express my gratitude as the bible tells me ‘to give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever’ (Psalm 106:1) but you do not have to share my faith to believe in the power and necessity of practising the principle of gratitude. I am living proof that gratitude makes a massive difference in your life. With practise when you choose to look for the good and see where you can be thankful rather than focusing on the bad you will find your mood, your health, your outlook on life and your contentment lift. It is a precious gift indeed to feel content.
So I urge you next time you see someone else’s shiny new kitchen and you start to think that yours needs an update, try and delve a little deeper and see what it is you are really missing, as its unlikely to be kitchen units. What has caused this dissatisfaction? Then once you have pondered this, turn it around and share your #3GoodThings for that day and watch the low feeling disappear as you revel in all the goodness and beauty you already have in your life.
As my lovely friend Karin always says “Not every day is good but there is good in every day.”
What are you grateful for? How do you seek happiness when things are not going well?
This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Michelle Pannell of Mummy from the Heart. Photo credit to the author.
Michelle’s tales of everyday life and imperfect parenting of a 13-year-old boy and 9-year-old twin girls and her positive Christian outlook on life have made her name known in the UK parenting blogosphere. Her blog, Mummy from the Heart, has struck a chord with and is read by thousands of women across the world.
Michelle loves life and enjoys keeping it simple. Time with her family, friends and God are what make her happiest, along with a spot of blogging and tweeting, too! Michelle readily left behind the corporate arena but draws on her 25 years of career experience from the fields of hotel, recruitment and HR management in her current voluntary roles at a school, Christian conference centre, night shelter and food bank.
As a ONE ambassador, in 2012 Michelle was selected to travel on a delegation to Ethiopia with the organisation to report on global poverty and health. Then in 2014 she was invited to Washington, DC, where she attended the AYA Summit for girls and women worldwide. When asked about her ambassadorship with the ONE Campaign, she stated, "I feel humbled to be able to act as an advocate and campaigner for those living in poverty."
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by Mirjam | Jan 12, 2015 | Childhood, Kids, Life Lesson, Motherhood, Netherlands, Uncategorized
I had a little ritual with my son when he used to be little.
Sometimes when snuggling I would sit him down and tell him a little story.
I would tell him about the biggest most precious gift I ever received.
It has been ages since I told him that little story, but I still remember my son’s eyes turning big in anticipation as I got to the end of the story, revealing what the gift was.
“The gift was you,” I said.
And I proceeded to tell him how happy the gift made me and how loved he was.
No matter how many times I told him the same story, he never got tired of hearing it.
And I never got tired of telling him the same story.
I had promised myself very early on in life that if I ever had children, I would make sure they knew they were loved. As far as I was concerned, they would never have to deal with low self esteem or feel unwanted.
For most of my childhood, I spent time excusing myself for being me.
I tried to change myself, copy others, or suppress things that were typically me.
I apologized a lot. When you spend that much time being aware of what you are not supposed to be, you’re under a lot of pressure.
I used to bite my nails almost to the point of bleeding and I was shy and clumsy.
I broke things, I fell a lot, I bumped into things. It was a hard task, trying not to be me.
Today when I look at my middle child, who is almost like a copy-print of me, I laugh at my attempts.
That kid is so present, so alive, so wild, so loud, so emotional, so outspoken, so amazing.
There is no way to tone that down. And what a waste would it be to do so.
My kids have taught me that it is okay to be exactly who you are and that the flaws and the twitches are what makes a person unique.
My kids have helped me accept myself. I see myself when my daughter is persistent. I see myself when my oldest child gets emotional, I see myself when my kids do silly dances and I see myself when one of them nestles on the couch and disappears in a book.
It doesn’t bother me that my daughter feels too shy to speak around strangers, or that my son is difficult when he feels overwhelmed. Nor does it bother me that my daughter is chaotic and would forget to bring her own head to school, if it wasn’t attached to her body.
I see me.
Whenever I look at my kids, really look at them, my heart bursts with love.
I have always promised myself that whenever I had kids, I would give them the space to be themselves.
What I never expected was that through my love for them, I would learn to love and accept myself more.
And that is truly a gift.
What gift have your kids added to your life?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Mirjam of The Netherlands. Photo credit to the author.
Mirjam was born in warm, sunny Surinam, but raised in the cold, rainy Netherlands.
She´s the mom of three rambunctious beauties and has been married for over two decades to the love of her life.
Every day she´s challenged by combining the best and worst of two cultures at home.
She used to be an elementary school teacher but is now a stay at home Mom. In her free time she loves to pick up her photo camera.
Mirjam has had a life long battle with depression and is not afraid to talk about it.
She enjoys being a blogger, an amateur photographer, and loves being creative in many ways.
But most of all she loves live and laughter, even though sometimes she is the joke herself.
You can find Mirjam (sporadically) at her blog Apples and Roses where she blogs about her battle with depression and finding beauty in the simplest of things. You can also find Mirjam on Twitter and Instagram.
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by Tara Bergman (USA) | Jan 10, 2014 | 2013, 2014, Body Image, Health, Life Lesson, Maternal Health, New Year's Resolutions, Stress, Tara B., World Motherhood
I don’t make resolutions for the new year. December is so full of celebrations and commitments, and I find the idea of sitting down to think through the ways I need to improve myself and make the world a better place overwhelming. I’m a change-as-it-strikes-me-anytime-during-the-year kind of gal. When I can help someone or donate my time and resources somewhere, I do it. As for my personal development, I take stock often. So as I am writing this, with 2013 coming to a close, I’m not focusing on who I will be in 2014. Instead, I’m celebrating on a few key changes I made this past year. (more…)
Tara is a native Pennsylvanian who moved to the Seattle area in 1998 (sight unseen) with her husband to start their grand life adventure together. Despite the difficult fact that their family is a plane ride away, the couple fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and have put down roots. They have 2 super charged little boys and recently moved out of the Seattle suburbs further east into the country, trading in a Starbucks on every corner for coyotes in the backyard. Tara loves the outdoors (hiking, biking, camping). And, when her family isn't out in nature, they are hunkered down at home with friends, sharing a meal, playing games, and generally having fun. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and sharing her experiences on World Moms Network!