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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Ramadan is over but here is a post I wrote right when my computer crashed again.
I’ve been trying to be more self-conscious of what I put in and on my body and for that reason, I had to make some adaptable changes in my daily routine. Here are some things I’ve stopped using or eating;
- Shampoo and conditioner I can’t believe this one actually works! I recently discovered that you can use baking soda and apple vinegar for shampoo substitute. In addition to that our hair does not need conditioner. In my recent trip to Cape Verde a couple of months ago my family bluntly told me, how disgusting my hair looked. I didn’t know what was causing my hair to look so bland and dull. I have to tell you that this replacement is the best think. I immediately seen a difference in both my kid’s hair and I.
- Cleaning products I’ve stopped buying cleaning products for the obvious reasons, for their harmful chemicals. This one, I am dearly thankful to my mother who thought me that I can use apple cider vinegar to clean my entire home. Apple cider vinegar is a staple in my pantry, I used it for cleaning, drinking, seasoning, facial and hair uses and much more. My runs to the grocery story evolves on whether or not I need to restock this magical liquid.
- Skin and hair moisturizer– I no longer buy store products to moisturize my hair or skin. I simply make a fuze of coconut, almond and a bit of castor oil and use it every day on my skin and hair.
- Sunscreen- Almond oil is a natural replacement for chemical sunblock. In addition to that staying out of the sun for a long time and covering the skin that can easily get sunburn such as shoulder, nose and backs..
- Junk foodEgypt is notorious for their junk food options. You can see people of all ages munching one chips, chocolate and fry food for breakfast. I admit that I have not stopped my kids for occasionally enjoying some ice cream, chocolate and cookies. However, I don’t bring these things to my house. Often time, the kids enjoy these treats when they are surrounded by other kids who are eating the junk food or when a family member/friend offers my kids these treats.
- Product based facial and hair masks– There is absolutely no need to go out and buy facial masks that are filled with chemicals and just dry out the skin. You can just go to your refrigerator and you will find some many options for a home-made mask. From eggs, to yogurt, honey, fruits, sugar, baking soda and much more. You know that half banana that your kid left behind, well you can smash it and use it as a face mask as it is. Or the yogurt your kid did not finish and make my favor mask; yogurt, turmeric spices, lemon or apple cider vinegar and honey(optional) and place in on my face and neck. You can leave this mask for up to an hour, it will drastically give you a glow and remove your pores. For dry scalp and dandruff, I like to use turmeric spices, olive oil or almond oil as a mask before washing my hair. Immediately after washing you will notice that your hair feels lighter, brighter and with more volume.
Moving to a whole new country, sounds very exciting and adventurous but it has real challenges that have physical and mental effects. Homesickness is most definitely an inevitable phase of moving to a new country, it is a step for adapting to a new culture and environment.
I remember while working in an international school having a friend who had just moved to Egypt and she was very sad and had a difficult time coping with it all. I would always try to reassure her that it was just a phase and it will get better. My first advise to someone who is at this pivotal moment of feeling sad and alone I would say;
- Loneliness is very normal when moving to a whole new country, it is not a way towards depression even though the feeling is very real. It will get better with time and hopefully my next advises will help you get out of this phase faster.
- Fell proud of yourself, know that you are a strong person for getting out of your convert and moving to a whole new world. Not anyone can do it and you did!
- Try to keep in touch with your family back home. One thing I did that triggered the loneliness is that I cut communication with my whole family because I didn’t want them to know how sad I was, so that they would not worry about me. However, not having communication with the people that I loved made me feel even more alone and sad.
- Make a new routine. Somehow and I am pretty sure there are a lot of scientific research out there that states that routine is part of a health state of mind. Having something you do everyday will ensure familiarity and security in your life. Weather it’s going out for walks or finding a hobby. do something that makes you feel good everyday.
- Be familiar with your surroundings. Moving to a new country will make you feel like a little ant in a massive land but knowing where to buy your groceries, where to take public transport and shop, etc, will make feel less small in an unknown country.
- Try to learn the language. Part of the loneliness is caused by not being able to communicate with people. If you know some of the language than you are at least able to express to some extent your feelings. Just take a toddler for example and their tantrums, it’s all do the fact that they don’t know yet how to communicate their feelings.
- Make friends! Having a friend is so important in life. It doesn’t matter if that person doesn’t speak your language fluently having someone that shares the same perspective in life will help a lot through your journey.
This is all that my fried pregnant brain can come up with but I really hope that this will help someone, somehow.
If you are someone who has moved to a new country, please, please, please share where you have moved to and what were some things you did to cope with loneliness.