I need “help” and that’s ok @WMB

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As far back as I can remember I always had a clear idea of what a strong woman is and how she should behave. A strong woman would do whatever she could to have all situations under control, would not need help and would not ask for it either, would manage on her own and would succeed alone.

This was before. Before what?

Before I had no other choice than say “I need help”. I need help to go through the day. I need help to wake up, stand up and live. I need help to overcome my fears, doubts. I need help to love my child. I need help to face past memories. I need help to rebuild my life. I need help to forgive. I need help to love myself.

And my idea of what a strong woman is changed.

We often think that asking for help is a proof of our inability to face life and its challenges.

If you ask mums, friends, people around you, I bet that the answer you’ll hear most of the time will be something like this “I don’t want to ask for help. I’m fine. I’ll deal with it like a big girl”.

Why can’t “being a big girl” and “asking for help” go together? Why do we, women, mums, think that if we ask for help, people will consider us failures?

Read HERE

 

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You want to criticize my parenting – so what! @WMB

Last weekend I was away visiting some friends in the South of France. While we were talking about how hard it can be to raise kids, we realized that whatever we do, we’ll always have to face criticism, whether it is from family members, friends with kids or other parents around. People have an idea about everything. And when it comes to parenting or motherhood, they think that they must share what they think about this or that. Without even being asked to do so.

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When it happens, we tend to feel like we are the worst mums ever. We’re not doing things the way we should do them. Others seem to know better. It’s very easy to get depressed, to cry and go straight to the first doctor we know to empty our hearts full of negativity and stress.

What if the others weren’t wrong, just different?

We all have our ideas on how we wish to raise our kids, what values we wish to pass on to them, on how well it feels for us to deliver a specific message. There are no rules, except the ones everybody knows, that say we have to take care of our kids and respect their needs, respect who they are and help them grow. The way we do it belongs to us. And most of the time we do the best we can with what we have… Keep Reading on WMB

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Mess around (or the tale of a crazy weekend)

It was the kind of weekend you wish you can take a plane ticket and fly straight to the other side of the world. ON YOUR OWN.

Do you know this kind of weekend?

It starts with a sick child and ends with a sick child.

In between, the child gets high fever and then wakes up at four in the morning, feeling full of energy again, after asking you twenty times “can I have some water? I want to pee”. He gets out of bed and is ready to party. When the only thing you are dreaming of is get one more hour sleep.

Deprived of sleep, you do feel like a zombie. And your long time best friend “patience” has decided to take some holidays. You are on your own to face the storm – a whining, crying, tearing and shouting little guy. Outside it’s raining, bad luck!

Your mum can’t take it anymore. And your dad seems to enjoy making you feel like the worst mum ever. Stop shouting, YOU are the cause of this kid sad little life. Thanks Dad!

In between, it’s Mother’s Day! You won’t be able to hang around in your pyjamas all day. Unfortunate.

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As you are getting ready, you look at the clock, it’s already noon and nothing’s ready. You wonder how mums do with more than one kid. You start thinking that your dad is maybe right – you’re a failure!

Everybody’s there and everybody love your hummus. It looks like you did get something right, after all. You are getting better at cooking. Your ex is a smuck.

You decided long before this family meeting that this time you will not get involved in highly controversial discussion. You’d rather listen than talk. Till it’s too much for you and you open your mouth. Some people still think that money is more important than Human Beings. You can’t get it. You have to let the words flow out. Silence is a killer. Bad idea. Again. A ride to the kitchen might help – washing is relaxing.

In the meantime, your little one decides that he won’t have a nap. Perfect. He is looking around at all the naughty things he can do, so instead of enjoying your guests, you’ll stay with him and play. Remember, he IS the center of the world. You end up shouting and telling him that YOU exist too (even if everybody thinks that you are a mum before being a woman. Stop being childish and take care of him – you come last.)

Outside, it’s sunny again; time to get some fresh air. You need it, more than anything else. Your last cup of coffee did not help that much but at least your headache is gone. You can’t have it all.

You are this kind of woman who thinks that TV is bullshit. You remember that before having kids, you were the first one saying “no TV at home”. It was before. Now you know that you’ll enjoy 30 minutes rest, as your little one is watching for the 50th time his favorite Disney movie. You are also getting ready for daddy’s call at 6pm. What will he come up with this time?

As you skype your ex for the “son-dad chat” of the week, you wonder why the men of your life enjoy so much messing up with you and treating you like shit. What’s wrong with you? It seems to you that you start treating yourself better than the past years. Are you still missing something?

Monday morning, it’s pouring rain, time to get the boots out again. Your child is still sick, still crying for nothing, still behaving like a dictator. You need two coffees to wake up. Your mum thinks “what’s wrong with that child?”. Your dad thinks “I can’t stand this anymore”.

You feel like crap but don’t forget that chaos is part of life (too)!

Two “crazy” girls!

So, what about these two crazy girls?

I call them “the girls” or “my girls”

They were 3 & 5 years old when I met them for the first time. I was leaving France to be an Au Pair in Ireland.

The first months were terrible. They could not stop begging for the previous Au Pair to come back. I was left on the side.

I remember this year as one of the most challenging yet the most fabulous one.

It was challenging to look after two little girls, to get used to a new kind of education, to understand and speak a new language, to find my place in a family and outside.

It was fabulous, cause with time, the girls and I, got used to each other and had much fun. I met sweet and lovely boys and girls. I did party more than I ever used to. I felt in love. I let love go. I travelled and enjoyed every day.

It was challenging when one of my best friend lost her dad, challenging when my grandad passed away.

It was fabulous to be able to express myself in a new language and be free, free and safe, free and at peace, free and dancing.

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I stayed Au Pair one year. And I lived in Ireland five more years after this introduction year. I was part of their everyday lives. I was blessed to see them growing up. I was there every time a new Au Pair would show up in their lives. We were sharing something special. I was there for first day class in September and for Holy Communions, for Birthday and Pyjama Parties.

I spent my last days in Ireland with them. Their smiling faces got rid of the tears on mine. They are “my princesses”, “my girls”.

Two weeks ago, I took the plane again, back to Dublin. All the sad years are nothing compared to the love for this place, compared to friends & these two girls, now in their teenage years.

I arrived late and the keys were in the flower pot outside. This is my family across the sea. When I arrive in their place, I feel at home. In the morning, I woke up early and when I went down the stairs, I heard their footsteps. They rushed into my arms. I felt blessed.

Credit Image – Eleanor Bridge

Parenting…

Silent breath

Under the skin

Looking for some peace

In the busy days

Not so cold outside

Too warm inside

Looking for some happiness

Under the white sky

***

Saying NO all day long

Endurance and Patience

Parenting can be tough

Setting limits

Boundaries with a smile

Trying to stay calm

And feeling crap when anger strikes

***

Needing time to unwind

Time alone

Focusing on the good things

On the love shared

Away from tensions

Time for compassion

Towards ourselves

Towards life

Its constant ups and downs

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Blessed Time

I am back

And you know what?

For the first time, I took the time

No deadline

No “I have to do”

I enjoyed the moment

Right in the morning, when taking my breakfast looking at the sea

When walking on the beach

Or taking a pause to enter a church and say a prayer

Even watching my little one playing with old toys, found in the attic

No book

No paper

No camera

Just be

I tend to think that I do this all the time

I don’t

I am just good at persuading myself that I do it

That I excel in it

When I just struggle to be in the present.

Long talks with friends

And laughing

Laughing a lot

And realising that life does not have to be so hard

I don’t have to be so perfect

Best friends are the best to remind you that you are just perfect the way you are

You don’t have to fake with them

You don’t have to pretend

You just have to take a chocolate bar, a piece of bread and eat it under the sun, feeling you are invincible

And gorgeous too!

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A bit of time for myself too

Go for a walk, a bicycle ride

Meet new babies

Enjoy kids playing together

Looking at little ones growing up

So fast

Too fast

And yet thinking it’s life and all is just perfect this way

Watching them learning on their own and be ready to let go of your hand a bit more every day

Seeing them be free and at peace and ready for the next step and running towards you for a hug when you least expect it

Hard days too

When you feel you can’t handle tantrums anymore

And finally being able to relax and enjoy the evening story.

Being

Feeling

In harmony with nature, the sun, the rain, little birds, the sand, the clouds

Looking at life with different eyes

And feeling really blessed for the first time in a long time…

 

And you, tell me all about your holiday?

It Takes a Village @World Moms Blog

Since my baby boy was born, I’ve been living with my parents (or it’s the other way around – they are living with me). We all live together in a two-room flat. I share the bedroom with my boy, and my parents sleep on the bed couch in the living room. I know that in some parts of the world, it’s normal. It’s not that usual in my part of the world. Family don’t live together for too long. Parents don’t come back to live with their children when they are getting old. But more and more often, children come back to live with their parents, after leaving home to study. They even come back with their kids or spouse. This is due to unemployment, real estate prices, life getting more and more expensive.

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I was not ready for this. I was not ready to sign for it. But I was not alone. I had a little one to take care of. And I was on my own, separated from the father of my son. I had an entire life to rebuild. I needed help. I could have asked other people for this help. But they’re my parents and at the time I came back home, they were the only ones who could offer me the support I needed. My parents don’t care much about travelling or enjoying time together. They are family people, and they were delighted to be there to help me raise my little man.

So we started a new life together, sharing each moment, each joy and nearly each moment of pain, doubt, worry. Read more HERE

I talk about the Terrible Twos @ Muslim Mummy!

Before becoming a mum, I thought that the Terrible Twos was a myth, something put into place to frighten parents. We don’t need this. 

Then I became a mum. And I learnt how to deal with cries and crisis. I looked at my little boy with delight, thinking “how can this lovely little man can be one day named terrible”.

And then I became the mum of a 2 year old child. And I realized the Terrible Twos was not a mere myth but a true reality. 

He started saying no months back. I never thought that one day he would nearly only say NO to every single thing. No for eating, no for dressing up, no for bath or no for stopping to play. My little angel became a living nightmare. Many times I would catch myself thinking “Thanks God I am working outside home”!

To be true it’s not that horrible. It just happened overnight…Read the end @ Muslim Mummy  “What’s up with the Terrible Twos?”

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The Best Blogs on the Rocks – The Family Trees!

Today, it’s time to introduce you to the mums who inspire me, who show me that life is not perfect, but that we can build together a house full of peace and serenity. We just need to be two and both involved in making it work.

They are from different backgrounds but they share the same love for life and for their families.

Faith is important for each one of them; it guides them on the road. And you can see God’s love shining through every one of their actions.

Let’s start with Foz @Muslim Mummy. If you stop by her blog, you’ll see review, photos and a fabulous series of posts around forced marriage. And lots of chocolate treats, which we all need when times get rough!

Crossing the ocean, on the other side of the world, we find Olivia and her tribe. When I read Olivia @ Soul Singing Liv, I feel surrounded by light and harmony. She makes me believe that this family I am dreaming of exists and that men can also be good men. She helps me to deal with my imperfections. When I see my basket of dirty clothes, thinking I will never be able to handle it, I think of her and let go. There are more important things than dirty clothes and washing machine. It can wait an hour or two, or even a day. What counts is the time that we give to our family, the love we share with them, the joy we experienced together.

To finish this series, I’d like to introduce you to Salma day home and playschool @Small Wonders. I am following Salma for some time now and I have to say she is a living inspiration. She seems to turn everything into a lesson, into something positive to teach kids about. She got incredible talent to make others believe they are worth it, to instil confidence and before all she is a luminous lady and a true friend.

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Lost Christmas

I wish I could tell you we had a fabulous Christmas. It would be a lie. Not a fair one even.

Christmas was rough, tough.

Christmas was full of silence and loud words, too loud to be good.

No miracle. No shining stars.

The charm got lost in the middle of couple crisis.

My parents couple crisis.

It’s not that new. It’s been on for months.

They have issues. Many issues

They don’t really deal with them.

They are good at saying “this is your fault”, “this is his / her fault”

Or even worse “we stay for you, for our grandchild, for our mums”

***

And in between, I need to find my place

And in between, I need to breath, to not let their words cause me too much pain

And in between, I need to protect myself and my son

 

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Crédit Photo – The Little Ermitage Tumblr

The good thing is I don’t feel guilty, I am gentle with myself, I cope till I can’t anymore and I write for hours to let the pain go away

Christmas was rough, tough.

Not the Christmas I dreamt of.

Wish your Christmas was a lot better (it should not be that difficult!). Tell me about it…