Thursday, January 24, 2013

raising children vs. chasing dreams

As much as i love being a member of "mamahood", the question keeps pressing in my head: "Is this what i really want to do for the rest of my life?"
There's a famous saying in Arabic that translates: "Know one thing about everything and everything about one thing". Somehow i've managed to do the first half to some extent, widening my interests, working on my personality, living a rich live with many dimensions and interests. BUT, i haven't really reached the point where there is this ONE thing pressing on my mind to do or to live or to take to the next level or to turn into a career... etc. It took me 9 years to finish my BA (i threw in there a diploma too). i know it's unfair to say that because my BA took the normal 4 years and another year for the diploma, but the first 4 years were a shift between two completely different university majors and searching for my true passion.

if i ask myself today what dream do i have, the answer that comes to my mind is: running a daycare center, or having my own nursery. still some days i doubt that this is really what i want to do, so instead, i encourage my friends to pursue their dreams since they seem to have a more clear idea of their dreams than i have of mine. one of them has started her own business of selling clothes, another will one day listen to me and take her cake making talent into the next level and turn it into a business instead of making these amazing cakes only for friends' kids' birthday parties, including my own children.

as for my dream, i saw an ad in the newspaper about an apartment for rent, it has a garden and can be a small daycare center in the same neighborhood of our apartment and our church. first of all i thought: "what a stupid idea and a bad timing, we hardly have enough money to survive till the end of this month and here i am contemplating renting a big place to turn it into a daycare center" but then i saw no harm in calling and asking about the rent fees. with a simple calculation it turned out that we need at least 10 kids (the maximum capacity because it's a small apartment) with a high tuition in order to cover the monthly rent without even going into details about other expenses and bills!

i can't deny that this dream tasted like heaven, even if for only a few hours. i don't want to feel that i'm stuck at home with my preschooler son and toddler daughter, even though most days seem to be like that, i hate this idea. i want to cherish every single day with them and have the most fun possible, see my house (which is an apartment actually) as my very first daycare center. but i'm lonely, sleep deprived, and exhausted most of the time. so for now, i'm not chasing any dream or careers, i'm "enjoying" or trying to enjoy being a stay at home mom whose only job is raising children. don't get me wrong, i LOVE being a mom, it was one of the multiple mini dreams i've always had, but maybe what i need is somebody to assure me or a voice and a pat on the back saying: "your'e doing a great job as a mom, this is temporary, and one day you'll do a great job at your work TOO in a few year when the kids are older." so for now, i repeat these words to myself, because if i can't believe myself then i might not believe these very same words even if they came from an outside source...

Friday, January 4, 2013

what to expect...

being a mother of two children under 4 makes me struggle to find a few minutes during the day i can call "me time". this blog was supposed to be THE place for me when i do find the time, but as you can see i rarely visit it. having another blog which is as old as this one but far more personal might be a distraction, but i'm still not brave enough to go public with my family stories, news and photos. actually no one knows about my space here, yet.

i wanted to write something for 2012 as a farewell to a year that was the best in many ways but also the worst in many more ways. so i simply had four words to address 2012 with: "good bye, thank you". As for the fresh baby-like 2013 the first thing that came to my mind was inspired by the books i got addicted to during the past 4 plus years... WHAT TO EXPECT... when you march into 2013...

my husband and i usually sit down for some reflection time at the beginning of each year to evaluate our past year's resolutions and goals... we keep a record of older years too which is embarrassing but surprisingly enough not frustrating when we see that we keep dragging some goals from one year into the other without quite managing to accomplish them...

we haven't set a time for this practice in 2013 so i still have a chance to check our family book one last time and add in some new points i'd like us to discuss at the beginning of 2013.

what do i really expect of this new year? Expecting is a risky business because unlike planning it lacks a realistic base and a "road map" but it has a nicer flavor and aroma than planning so why not plan AND expect... bake a cake AND prepare a yummy icing for it?

on a personal level i expect myself to be more disciplined, once this gets fixed then hopefully it will cause a chain reaction leading to fixing many other closely related things. i'd like to be more in control of my time, because when i don't then the hours slip between my fingers like sea water that i try to desperately hold in my palms. as much as i love mamahood, i don't want to completely disappear in the process of raising children, i still want to have my own being, color, taste, and presence for others and me to enjoy, instead of gradually being sucked into everyday (sometimes everyminute) demands and needs of my family. there's a growing list in my mind of books-to-read, i'd love to go back to playing my long-abandoned flute, and i want to live for a purpose which is bigger than me finding more meaning in my life and spreading more of God's love around as i grow more into owe of him in the gigantic as well as microscopic bits of my life.

on a global level i wish for more peace and less bloodshed in the MENA region this year, so it's more of a MENA wish than a global one, but this area is as old as history and as beautiful and rich as can be with its natural beauty, it's culture, it's people, and i have to mention its food too. the so called "Arab Spring" has brought more destruction than democracy, more hatred than hope, and more fire than freedom.

as for my small family, my wish is for us to appreciate each other more every day and cherish the time we have together celebrating our differences and the rich personalities each of us have, to grow more in love with one another never seizing to give thanks to God for the endless blessings he keeps showering us with.

p.s. in this cartoon by Habib Haddad, it's written Happy New Year in Arabic next to 2013