How to get ready to go out with kids

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You need to leave the house for whatever reason and you are in a rush but your kids are throwing a tantrum and your heart is beating at 100 mph. You are ready to give up, scream or cry. You think to yourself, “is the outing worth all of this chaos?”

As a new mommy, the first outing is the hardest, we have to get the child ready, prepare the baby’s bag, get dressed and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. The more kids you have the more challenging it becomes. Before having kids, all we had to worry was ourselves, there wasn’t any diaper bag to be packed nor was there any necessities to carry snacks around. Obviously going from one step to 3 or more steps before leaving the house can be chaotic at first. I will share with you some tips I’ve learned along the way that I think will help with this problem.

I learned this first tip in college living with a Belorussian roommate but I didn’t practice it until becoming a mom.

  1. Limit the amount of clothe you have in your closet. I got rid of a lot a clothe and stopped buying excessively, like I used to prior to being a mother. This Belorussian roommate had literally 7 outfits. She would wake up 20 min before having to leave the house and get dressed really fast and off she went. Don’t be fooled, she always looked great because she had a couple of good pieces that she would wear continuously.
  2. De clutter the closet and your house. I try to go to one room at a time and find things that are not useful anymore and I either throw it away or donate it to a family member. Not having a tone of miscellaneous items around will help you concentrate during the times you are in a rush to leave the house.
  3. Get storage items, boxes, drawers to throw crap inside. All of us have these random items that don’t make sense but we feel like one day we might need it so we like to keep them around. The best thing is to have a drawer or any storage that we can throw these items in. This helps with quick cleaning and decluttering the mind.
  4. I am not one of those women that prepare things overnight but one thing that helped me getting out of the house quickly, is having my bag with the essentials at all times. This includes, diapers, wipes, water and quick snack where I can grab and insert into my bag.
  5. I think this tip is the most important one. Help your child become independent and take responsibility for herself. I was lucky because my first child really wanted to do pretty much everything by herself. I just had to teach her how to do it right, sometimes she didn’t even let me help her which would take a very long time to get ready but it’s now paying off. At 4 years old, she can pick all her items from her closet and get dressed all by herself. My second child was not ready to be independent as early as my first but that’s ok. As she is watching her big sister dress herself, she is eager to try out herself too.
  6. Having a uniform. What I mean about this is, sorting out your clothe by what event you have for the day. For example, I have clothe that I wear only for errand purposes,  casual sporting clothe if I am going to a sporting club or playground, dark clothe when I think I might get a little dirty mostly shopping in souqs, cotton/linen for really hot days and the most important clothe that I have when I will go out alone without the kids or frequenting a nice place.
  7. Having pieces in your closet that are seasonal friendly or that fit you. When summer comes there is no need to have your winter clothe occupying space in the closet and vise versa. Also having items that fit, whether it is too small or too big, either donate or storage it outside of your closet.
  8. I also stopped buying a lot of kids clothe. I just buy the most essential and sort them out by outings as well. If I am going to perform an errand than mostly likely they will be wearing shorts and a t-shirt and so forth.
  9. This next tip is something I just recently adapted into my routine which is wearing the same outfit more than one day and especially when it comes to kids clothing. I used to see a little stain in my daughter’s clothe and I would throw in the laundry. I seemed to have endless amount of laundry that entailed mostly children’s clothe. Now if I see one stain I make my daughters wear it again the next day.
  10. Lastly, invest in few but very good quality items. I don’t shop as much as I used to but when I need something, I will invest in good quality items. I also try to compare prizes for certain things that I need to buy, instead of purchasing at the first store. This implies for the items that I use in the daily basis such as my bag and shoes. For my kid’s shoes I try to buy a very good quality so that it can be passed around for the next child. I also buy items that can go with many things such as simple sneaker that can be dressed up or down. I usually buy one pair or sneakers and than one sandal for summer and one pair of warm shoes for winter.

These are just some tips that have worked for me but the most essential thing is to create a routine and have the children get involved. It doesn’t have to be the 10 tips I wrote above. Having things that you do every day to help you get out of the house as stress free as possible, will soon become second nature to you. I am sure we all experienced having the kids running behind us like little ducklings when we are trying to leave the house which can be a little irritable. If you include your child in the process it will make things easier for example, telling your child to turn off the tv, getting the water from the fridge and so forth.

Let me know what are some tips that helped you get out of the house as quickly and stress free as possible.

 

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20 New Jobs You Take On as a Mother

 

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Being a mother is the hardest job in the world with night shifts, no days off and a salary of LOVE. There is no prep books, no glamour and no right way of doing things. Motherhood is often not respected and admired the way it should be. The journey of motherhood brings about strengths, courage and new set of fears that one would never thought existed.

The 20 or more jobs you under take as a mother are things I wish I could put on my resume. Is the answer to golden question during a job interview, “So, what have you been doing for 1+ year of unemployment?” Unemployed? What? I was self-employed running a 24/7 hour non-profit company, where I took over 20 different positions all by myself. So, here are some skills and jobs you taken on as a mother.

  1. Diaper Expert-this mean you can change a diaper anywhere, at any time and in any position. You can now train your friends on how to put on a diaper successfully.
  2. Lactation Consultant– After breastfeeding one or more children, consider yourself a lactation expert. You are able to advise your friends for best feeding positions. You can give tips on how to wean your child. As well as tips for breastfeeding in public and best clothe to wear.
  3. Waste Collector a.k.a garbage woman- you will be collecting lot’s of trash around the house. As well as your children will give you their waste for you to throw it out.
  4. Driver-putting your child back on and off the car seat can serve as a great cardio exercise. You’ll be constantly on the road to your child’s Dr. appointment, drop off and pick up from school, lesson classes, friend’s birthday party, etc. You basically run a “Uber” company!
  5. Personal Assistant-This job is when you make Dr. appointments for your children.Make errands such as buying diapers, wipes and kids stuff.
  6. Hair Dresser- If you have a girl than you most likely have a house equipped with hair products such as, brushes, oils, hair ties, bows, you name it. Boys also have their fair share of hair products such as, gels, brushes and scissors for a quick trim.
  7. DIYer- If you are a stay home mom, you can relate to this. You want to take over a project in the house but you don’t have enough money to buy a new furniture. What do you do? Mother’s never settle, we go to a thrift store or you pick up a piece you’ve been wanting forever from someone’s trash and you make the biggest DIY makeover. What was once an old thing is now an one of a kind piece of art.
  8. Advocate- When people are always judging your child for his behavior, for example, “your child should be talking now” or “your child is too skinny”. Often times you find yourself being your child’s advocate.
  9. Chef- It doesn’t matter if you hate cooking like me, you’ll be cooking day in and day out. Sometimes you’ll be surprised how delicious your food will turn out.
  10. Entertainer- Don’t want your child to watch t.v all day than you have to entertain them, their is no escape. Children don’t want to just play with toys, they want the parents to take part of the fun.
  11. Personal Stylist- Your child will look much better than you, well, that’s because we put more time and effort into their outfits. I wouldn’t dare to go out looking like a million bucks while my child looks like she just rolled out of bed. I would much rather prefer the other way around.
  12. Administrative Specialist- Multitasking becomes our middle name. It’s impossible to do just one thing at a time. After a while our brains don’t function without multitasking.
  13. Nurse- This is the time when our children are sick and we have to cater to them. Whether we are nurturing them or keeping track of the time of their medication, we switch off to a nurse’s mode.
  14. Nutritionist- we have to make sure our children are eating a proper diet. Are they getting enough calcium and protein? Are they eating their fruits and veggies and so forth.
  15. Researcher-when kids go to sleep we tend to browse on the internet for homemade products, cooking recipes and DIY projects.
  16. Thrift shop Expert- We know all the thrift stores around us, when those stores restock their items and the best deals in town.
  17. Diplomat-This will test your negotiation skills; how do you make your child do something that you want him/her to do. How do you settle a fight between siblings and ect.
  18. Housekeeper- You’ll find us always cleaning, yet our houses will never look clean. It’s like having a full time housekeeping service in our house where you will be both the boss and the customer.
  19. Educator- First person to educate children are the parents. Whether it’s teaching kids how to respect others, tie their shoes, ABC’s and 123’s. We take a huge contribute on our child’s education.
  20. Laundry Keeper- This deserves an extra job position apart from housekeeper because it can be literally a full time job. Ask those who run a laundry mat business. Your child will change her outfit and pajamas’s every single day leaving a pile of clothe to do all the time. Don’t even think about taking a day off, it will take a toll on you later.

I would love to hear what you think are other jobs worthy to put on this list and if you could, what skills would you add unto your resume that you learned from being a mother?

A Day in a Life of a Mother in Cairo

I thought it would be insightful and fun to share what a day in a life of mother looks like living in Cairo. I always say, that I am a foreigner in Egypt who speaks broken Arabic and lives a very much of an Egyptian life. When I say Egyptian life, I mean I have to do everything any ordinary Egyptian woman would do in her daily life. I have to go to the souq(open market that sells everything that a supermarket would but at a cheaper prize) to do by my groceries, I have to take the many types of public transportation (taxi, minibus,tuctuc,train, ect), often times you will see me bargaining in my broken Arabic. Oh, and did I mention I am here with two toddlers without my husband! Try to picture all of this without laughing or maybe you think I’m crazy like most my family does.

So yesterday (or today, depends where you are in the world, it’s only 4:00 AM  here), I decided to end my hibernation and do some errands with the kids. I always have to pack a team with me when I leave the house with both my kids. I carry one child on one hand and hold the other child on the other and usually I have one of the nieces come with me to carry the umbrella stroller. So this time we are a team of 4, everything looks great at this point, we hop unto a micro bus which is a mini bus that have small routes (see picture bellow) and arrive in our destination without a problem (well minus the crazy driver, who’s screaming at the cars and honking like there’s no tomorrow).

Image result for microbus in egyptNot my picture taken from google image.

Off course doing errands in Egypt is never an ABC, 123 type of thing, its more like a Geometry equation. You gotta go up and down, left and right and at the end you didn’t achieve anything besides a headache an a deep urge of never leaving the house again. Ok, well I am exaggerating a bit here, so I did manage to do my errand but my kids now are impatient and I gotta give them something to eat immediately before one jumps out their stroller. We go for ice cream and one decides to throw a tantrum so mommy has to hurry up and gulp her ice cream down her throat. At this point being out for a half an hour, am already thinking,”I want to go home”. After a half an hour or so we had home and the fun begins..

Now I am heading home with a very apprehensive child who needs a nap and is on a sugar high. Because we are a team of four we have to occupy only 2 seats on the mini bus and have a juggle a purse, stroller and the two kids in our laps. My oldest who is only 3 1/2 years old wants a seat to herself, there is no rationalizing with her so I have to let her nag the whole ride back and my youngest is now fidget and kicking on lady in the front. Since most Egyptian do not have tolerance towards tolerance of course she “politely” and I say that lightly, to move to an empty seat which I “politely” did not.

Phew, I finally arrived home. Oh yey it’s Thursdays which means that my in-laws that live bellow my apartment made food for the family. I get to my in-laws enjoy a homemade Egyptian deliciousness and all is good! I call this a successful day!

I made this post to take it lightly and have fun with it. You defiantly have to have a sense of humor living in Cairo because life is nothing but unpredictable and the people here are very good at coping with unexpected events. I am trying to head towards that direction but taking it day by day.