School

Our School System has to Change!

Amazing video that all must see.

Whats going on in schools is crazy!

I have two kids in school, with two different temperaments and two different abilities. They are expected to take the same exams at a certain age and get it right .. or what? They are .. inadequate? Special needs? Or just unworthy?

Everyone reaches goals and milestones at different times, when they are ready. That’s why we don’t expect all babies to flip by 4 months and walk by 1 year.

People don’t say things like: “he didn’t achieve the required ability” if a kid doesn’t walk by 1 year. Then why do it to an 8 or 10 year old?

Hope the world wakes up and creates “a world where fish are no longer required to climb trees.”

Till then, i will always tell my kids they are good enough, no matter what their scores on a test says.

Parenting

Am I Crazy?

The other day, we had a big family lunch at my mother’s house. My older brother and mother were casually talking about a distant relative who just graduated university.

Bro: I can’t believe how attached he is to his parents. Every time I see him he is either out with them in a coffee shop or out to dinner .. with his parents.

Mom: I find it cute. Not like you when you were his age.

Bro: Oh when I was his age I couldn’t wait to get away from you .. haha. I just wanted to go out with my friends and explore everything.

Mom: Oh don’t remind me! At that time, there were no mobile phones or anything. I had to look for you from one place to the other just to check that you were safe and ok. See these grey hairs? You’re responsible for more than half of them.

Then I started to think. And the more time I spent thinking, the more I panicked. What am I going to do when my son wants to go and “explore everything”?!

My husband also went through crazy teen years. What if its a gene? OH GOD my son must of got the strong gene from both my bro and DH! Yes now they are responsible adults but not when they were 17 .. Noooo they were anything but responsible. Oh God what am I going to do!

We reached home and DH could see there was something troubling me. He asked me what’s wrong and I told him. He looked at me like a crazy person.

DH: You do realize our son is 5 1/2 years old.

Me: Yes I do. Don’t look at me like that. My concerns are legit.

DH: (laughing) Don’t worry, I don’t think there are any drug dealers in the 1st grade.

Me: (thinking of “Bid Daddy” scene where Sandler was questioning kids in the playground)

DH: So forget about it, we will deal with it when the time comes.

But I couldn’t forget about it.

The next day, my son saw me lying down on the couch as I wasn’t feeling very well. He covered me with my favorite blanket and sat on my lap and asked: Are you ok, my love? (yes my 5 year old son melts my heart and calls me his love).

Me: Yes as long as you’re with me I’m ok.

DS: I will always be with you mama don’t worry.

Me: Always remember that. Even when you’re older and have your drivers license ..

I can see my husband staring at me like a crazy person but I ignored ..

Me: and you go out with your friends .. when you see me calling please pick up your phone and just let me know you’re ok and having fun.

DS: Of course mama! If you want me I will tell my friends to go home and take you out to a restaurant instead.

Me: (wishing that statement will still be true when he is 17) I love you so much .. you’re the best boy in the world!

My husband then hands me his phone with a Google search open. It has the numbers of all psychologists and psychiatrists in the region.

I’m not crazy .. Am I?

Life · Parenting

The Gift of Health

My son was sick for an entire month.

 He had a stubborn fever that would not go away. At the beginning, he had a bit of a cough and runny nose, but after that, he didn’t show any other symptom except for the fever.

 After the second course of antibiotics, the fever came back and his pediatrician said we should do a blood test just to make sure, so we can rule out the “big and bad” diseases.

 After the torture of taking blood from a child and tears from both of us, we went to the Doc’s office to double check everything. Throat, ears are ok .. chest ok .. bodily functions ok .. no rashes .. no inflamed nodes.

“So, Doc, why this fever without any symptoms?”

“Well, the symptoms can be inside and we can’t see them. That’s why we did a blood test so it can tell us if there is anything going on that we can’t see.”

“What are these ‘big and bad’ diseases we want to rule out?”

I regretted asking the question the moment he started to answer. After hearing a couple of big names thrown around, I felt like the room was spinning.

The Doc seeing me like that said: You know his chances of getting these things are just like any other healthy kid walking around so don’t worry.

Nope, didn’t really help. I still felt like I wanted to throw up. I think he felt sorry for me and told me to wait here for a sec he will run down to the lab and grab the first numbers, they will give us a better picture.

After what seemed like an eternity, he came back and said: I have good news. His blood count is in the normal range, white blood cells good, no sign of inflammation or bacterial infection. He’s fine, looks like it’s just a stubborn virus. The rest of the results will take at least 3 – 4 hours to come out. You can go home now and I will let you know the rest of the results later. But till now, all the results I can see are great!

I felt like a huge rock was lifted from my chest and I could finally breathe. At that second, I thought about the moms who were in my place and didn’t get the results they wanted to hear. Those moms who couldn’t breathe a sigh of relief and I prayed for them. I still pray for them every day.

I hugged my son so tight and left the hospital.

 Sometimes we forget the important things in life. We worry about grades and homework, money and bills, work and so on and we forget the one most important blessing God gave us: good health.

So thank you God for giving me three healthy babies. Thank you for giving me the strength to raise them. Thank you God for giving me the chance of watching them grow. And thank you God, a million thank you, for making it just a virus and nothing else. You have blessed me with so much already, and I am forever grateful for you love, kindness, and generosity.

I’ll just end this with a prayer to all mom’s out there. Hope whatever is worrying you is just the never ending laundry baskets and bills, and nothing else.

God bless.

Parenting

Why I don’t Read Parenting Books

My eldest was born in 2009. I was terrified. But I was determined to not fail my baby. I prepared myself mentally for the sleep deprivation, constant crying, and even lack of outings.

 What I wasn’t prepared for though was the constant judgement and what I like to call “bullying using fear.”

After going through a scary emergency C-section (my baby’s heartrate went dangerously down), trying to work through the guilt of that, and having hormones all over the place, I wasn’t ready at all to face these constant criticisms. And they started straight away.

  • Why isn’t she latching properly? Are you sure you are holding her right?
  • She lost a lot of weight, are you sure she is getting enough?
  • She is choking! The milk is coming out of her nose! You are not burping her correctly. You should hold her upright after a feed.
  • Don’t leave her in her crib by herself, you won’t know when it will happen again, and she won’t be able to breathe.
  • Don’t hold her long while she sleeps, her bones will grow out crooked.
  • Don’t pick her up every time she cries, she is just manipulating you and you’ll give her the wrong message.
  • She is one year old and still not walking?
  • OMG, you taught her how to suck her thumb?
  • Are you sure you want to keep breastfeeding your daughter while pregnant? You do realize that all the nutrients will go to your milk, and none will be left for your unborn child?
  • Don’t you think it’s gross that your breastfeeding your daughter and she can walk and talk? Will you do that to your son also? Don’t you think he will remember? And forever have an unhealthy relationship with breasts, or women in general?

And it goes on and on and on. It’s like every decision I made was not only second guessed, but I was told, unintentionally (I hope), that I am doomed to mess up my kids forever.

So here is my story.

My dear daughter (DD) did not latch for the first three weeks. I was devastated! I had a lot of milk but I can’t even give it to my own baby. I must be a terrible mom! I pumped and gave it to her in a bottle. Before every bottle, I would try unsuccessfully to latch her onto my breast. I HATED pumping (still do and cringe every time I see a pump). After three very long weeks, and no sleep at all, I gave up. I sent my dear husband (DH) to buy formula. He quickly came back with the wrong one. DH, it clearly says stage 2 on the front how can you not see that?! But before he went to return it, by the grace of God, DD finally latched. And we didn’t stop until she was 2 ½ years old.

The reason I love breastfeeding (you’d think I will say because of its nutrients and all these things) is that it is easy for me. Personal preference as I am a germ freak when it comes to my newborns and always scared things are not clean enough. No washing bottles, no sterilizing, no heating water, no waiting for the right temperature, no fumbling with measuring spoons and cups in the middle of the night. It was always there, always sterile, always the right temperature.

Now if a mom chose not to breastfeed, if she chose bottle instead, who am I to judge?

 I hate crying. I can’t stand to listen to it (funny coming from a mom of 3). Do you know how people cringe when someone runs their nails on a blackboard? Yeah that’s exactly how I feel about crying. Maybe that’s why I snap at my older kids and ask them as nice as I can to use their words and not their tears. That is the exact reason why I could not and did not use the cry it out method. The economist in me will say there is always an opportunity cost to every decision. You have to decide: sleep deprivation vs. baby crying. I choose sleep deprivation.

 But if a mom chooses to use the cry it out method or any baby sleeping methods for many a reason, who am I to judge?

never judge

I like routine, a flexible one. I can’t follow a rigid schedule or timeframe for the life of me. The other day I had to attend a function at my DS’ school at 10 a.m. sharp, I was already in full panic mode at 8 a.m. so I can’t really follow a strict hourly routine with my kids. We do have a normal flow to our day, though we mostly go with the flow.

But if a mom chooses to have a neat schedule for herself and her kids, who am I to judge?

I never gave my kids pacifiers, mainly because of my germ phobia. I don’t know if its clean enough or how many times I have to sterilize it. But if a mom uses pacifiers, even at an “unacceptable pacifier age”, who am I to judge?

Who are you to judge? Or Mr. Fancy Doctor? Or Ms. Parenting Expert? Or Mr. Parenting Author? Who are you all to judge?

 Moms, I can only say this now because I have three kids and heard it all.

Breastfeeding? Congratulations! Here is a study that proves breastfeeding increases intelligence. Both breast and bottle? Congratulations! Here is a study that shows breastfed babies need a bottle of formula for the vitamin D. Formula? Congratulations! Here is a study showing that the benefits of breastfeeding are exaggerated.

stats

 Co-sleeping? Congratulations! Here is a study that shows co-sleeping reduces stress and anxiety, and increases quiet sleep. Choose not to co sleep? Congratulations! Here is a study that suggests the dangers of co-sleeping.

 Sleep training? Congratulations! Here is a study that proves it is safe and effective, improves baby’s sleep, and reduces maternal depression. Not sleep training? Congratulations! Any book on attachment parenting will show you are on the right track.

And just like the list of mommy criticisms can go on and on, so can the list of scientific studies that prove one point is correct, or the other.

So moms, it doesn’t matter what the parenting book you read is saying. It doesn’t matter what the “put together mom” on social media is doing. It doesn’t matter what your best friend or sister are doing. What really matters is you, your baby, and your family.

You are the only one who knows your mental state and your needs. You are the only one who knows your husband/partner’s needs and schedule. You are the only one who knows your baby and your other kid’s needs if you have any. And YOU are the only one who can best balance all these needs. No one else knows the entire picture.

 Even if it feels like a juggling act, even if a ball or two slips from time to time, trust your judgement, trust your heart, and confidently move forward.

 And always remember to “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” We are all trying our best. And at the end of the day, who are we to judge?

Parenting

Book Update + a ‘George’ Dilemma

The book Middlemarch is not as bad as I thought it would be. It is structured in a way that makes it a bit less intimidating. It is segmented into 8 books, each one has around 100 pages give or take.

I am already almost done with book one and surprisingly, it wasn’t as hard a read as I thought. I thought because it was written a long long time ago (when was it written really?) it will be a boring read in the beginning and will take a long time for the story to really pick up. But no, Dorothea, the main character, had two suitors within the first 30 pages. Good for her.

This got me thinking. There are many things said in the book that still stands today and makes so much sense about the way society works. When was the book written? According to google, the book was first published in 1871-2. I knew it was written a long time ago just didn’t think it was that long. Thought it was in the 1900’s. But good for him for writing a book in the 1800’s that still resonates in the 2000’s. So the article goes on to say “…It is now widely regarded as her best works and one of the greatest novels written in English.”

Her?

Turns out George is not a George, but a Mary Ann Evans. George Eliot is just her pen name as she wanted her writings to be taken seriously, so she published them under a male pen name.

Speaking of George, here is one of the scenes that took place one very fine morning in our household that really tested my patience and sanity:

Me: This will be a great morning. Weather is amazing not too cold, come on let’s all go out and enjoy the weather. Wear your shoes and let’s go!

DD: Ufff there is something wrong with my socks. I hate socks! I wish they never invented socks! UFFF!

Dear son (DS): You’re George! HAHAHA

DD: I am not George! Stop it!

Me: Who’s George?

DS: Yes you are! Nanana you’re Geeoooorrggggeeee!

DD: I AM NOT GEOOORGEEEE!

Me: (Deep Breath) Please calm down for a second and explain to me who George is.

DS: George is Peppa Pig’s baby brother and she is just like him haha!

DD: I AM NOT GEORGE!!

Me: (Deep deep breath). You know George is the next King of England. So being a George is good. He is going to be King.

DD: I don’t care I am NOT George!

Me: Ok you’re not George now can you please just calm down and put your shoes on so we can leave.

DD: No! I want him to apologize and I want him to tell me I am not George.

Me: (Dear God give me strength). Dear dear son, can you please tell DD she is not George so we can go out already?

DS: Ok, you are not George.

Me: Thank you…

DS: But your baby Alexander wahahaha you’re a babbbyyy just like baby Alexander.

DD: This is the worst day of my life! (throwing away her shoes and stomping off to her room)

Shoot me. Shoot me now. The image that popped into my head is the picture I saw on Instagram the other day of a mom starting her day as Mary Poppins, and ending it as Cruella De Ville. The worst thing is, it was just 11 am!