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.

 

The Third Time is Harder…

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If you think being pregnant is hard, tiring and a toll on your body than you are 100% right. If you think that’s hard then you can easily sympathize with someone who is pregnant with toddlers, ok scratch that. Someone who is pregnant with toddlers and no car. Wait! Double scratch that! Someone who is pregnant with toddlers, no car in a chaotic city of Cairo and no husband around.

O M G..Who is that? You might ask..

Well, it’s me!!

I really try my hardest to be passed as a “strong” person and maybe I am but damn am I exhausted. I don’t even swear, so that in it self tell you something.

I am tired of people asking me, “So, how do you feel?”

Well, how to do you think I feel?? Ergh, just thinking about this question is making mad!!!! Why don’t you ask instead, “Do you need help?” or “can I take your kids for a couple of hours so you can rest?

Why? I ask, why you don’t ask me those questions? Off course, I am going to say, I’m fine because coincidentally you only ask me how I am feeling, when I am feeling fine not when it’s 1 o’clock in the morning and your back is hurting and your VG is burning.

However, if you want to insist on how I am doing than continue on reading this post because right now I am in range and cannot keep my emotions in tact.

I am not fine..thank you very much…my feet has swollen and that never happened with my two pregnancies.

I am tired of bending over for picking up shit from the floor, cleaning a house constantly that has the ability to always look a mess, sleep deprived due to pregnancy insomnia, sharp back pains that keep me awake when I finally want to sleep and screaming at my children to stop the heck they doing, to the point where I feel like the baby might pop right there and then.

On top of things, everything in Egypt is a chore and complicated. If I step out of my house which I do everyday, I come home exhausted as if I ran a marathon. Then, I can’t sit because if I do, I have toddlers jumping all over me and don’t give a damn if I am carrying another human being who happens to be their sister in my belly.

If I sound pessimistic, negative and even crazy, well it’s because I have kept this feeling deeply inside and I can no longer bare it for my own sake.

On one hand, I can’t complain to my family because after all, I choose to get pregnant which is totally not true. I didn’t want to be pregnant but just never did anything to stop it which in their eyes it’s like a sin to have a lot of kids or something like that. But DAMN, CAN A WOMAN JUST COMPLAIN WHEN SHE IS TIRED WITHOUT BEING JUDGED ALL THE TIME!!!!!???????

On my husband side of the family, it’s completely normal to have a big family and in fact most people in Egypt have a big family, so complaining to them feels like I am being a brat and spoiled teenager. In their perspective this aint suffering, it’s normal.

So, this why I sound crazy cuz literally I have no one to talk about my true feelings and it’s really affecting my mood and making me very stressed all the time.

I want to end this post with a little fact about me…

When I was 9 years old, I came home from school and told my mom a joke I had learned that day. My mom was laughing her eyes out and I just thought, “man, I got my mom laughing at my jokes!!” One day at a family gathering, everyone was telling jokes and laughing when all the sudden my mom said, “hey, Andrea has a really good joke but you have to put aside her age and just listen to the joke as if an adult is telling it.” At this point everyone is engaged and eager to hear the joke. When I finished telling the joke that no one laughed at, I can never forget the prolonged  angry look that my dad mad at my mom and I. He screamed and was furious at us in front of everyone and that is something that my dad never did before so I was really scared at that point. His range was all due to the fact that the whole joke was full of cussing words, actually the joke was about these words.

That was a pivotal moment and after that I just never dared to say a swear in my childhood moments. With that said, if I ever swear either on writing or speaking, it’s because I am in complete range!!!!!!!!!

On another note, if you have read so far, well thank you a million for sticking around and rest assure I am not a crazy person. Just a prego woman with extra feelings boiling inside and just having wrote this is feeling much better, even my back pain has subsided.

Goodnight,

Andrea

How to Cope With Homesickness

home-is-where-the-heart-is-e1379124220521Moving 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.

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