Hippo Hop Kingdom

Once upon a time there lived two happily married couple with an adventurous, active, and lively little princess. Summer days were perfect days for the family; they went on many adventures and travelled to new parts of the land. Out of all activities, the little princess loved running, playing and exploring the world around her. Then winter came and it became difficult for the family to keep their little princess entertained.

Until one day they discovered a magical kingdom that catered for both adults and children alike. No, it is not a fast food place with a kids play area; it was the Hippo Hop Kingdom. It is a magical kingdom filled with inflatable bouncy houses, obstacle courses, a designated area for mothers who breast feed, a cafeteria with seating for adults, and free WI-FI. Oh! And did I mention that adults are free and it is in-door so the parents did not worry about their kids running off?

And so, Hippo Hop has become the family’s favorite destination because it is the one place where their kids can play while the parents enjoy some alone time over coffee or a tuna melt sandwich. If you ask the parents, they couldn’t be more thankful for such an outing, since going on any kind of outing/date alone is not as easy to accomplish now that there are 3 kids under 3.

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Sharing is NOT Always Caring!

We were always told as kids that sharing is caring, at home and in school, from our parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, basically every grownup that crossed our path. And as a parent people start talking to you about the importance of teaching your kids to share. Here is what I have to say about this, sharing is not always caring. And here is why:

When you have a toddler teaching him/her concepts like sharing are hard because they can’t understand or make sense of everything. Some things they get but there are others that just pass over their heads and as they hear you instructing them it is like they are listening to a foreign language.

When it comes to toddlers and sharing they just don’t know when, with who and how to share. Take my eldest for example, like all mothers I would always tell her to share and encourage it, but what I failed to mention was how. So when her siblings arrived she wanted to share certain things with them, but there was little problem they were always in their crib, now her solution was to throw what ever it is she wanted to share with them into the crib for them to play with. The thought was nice but the action not so and at times depending on what it is she wanted to share may even be deadly. So parents be sure to tell your kids how to share and with who and not just tell them share with your sibling.

Ladies’ Friday Brunch

Being stay at home moms we constantly need something to look forward to, like a dinner or an outing with friends. Personally I came to love planning dinners and having people over because it means that I will get to have some adult fun and interactions. Since coming to Atlanta, I slowly got to know other stay at home wives/moms through Ali. As our group got bigger it became a little harder to have family dinners where everyone is there, since all the husbands are doctors or working to become doctors and their schedules are never the same.

Once in awhile we would have a ladies get together but that was mostly when there were occasions to celebrate. And we always wanted to meet more but we all just get busy and never do anything. Until last Friday when we had our first Friday brunch and although not everyone was there but we decided that from that point on we will make it a point to meet every Friday for brunch either at someone’s house or outdoors (weather permitting).

I am loving these gatherings because they are stress free we just get together to get out of our homes and enjoy each other’s company. We decided that we will have the brunch every Friday regardless of the number of people. We intend to have a walking club during that time too when we have the brunch outside so we can get some physical activity. Insha’Allah this will be something that will continue on and not die down.

Noah’s Flood

So it has been proven time and time again that kids love water. To my daughter playing in the water is her most favorite activity, until she sees that her fingers have gotten wrinkly at which point she demands to be taken out immediately. She even attempted to have Noah’s flood in our bathroom, although I have not told her the story since she is not at the age where she will be able to understand it. But she attempted and here is how;

It was close to the end of a very stressful, tiresome day, I decided to have my daughter take a bath before her dad came home and that way when it is time to go to bed, she will hopefully sleep soundly, or as the elder women always said. Like always I filled the tub turned off the water and gave her toys and went out to check on the twins who were about 4 weeks old at that point. My son was up crying and wanted to eat so I sat and fed him, during which I could hear her playing happily in the water.

Once he was done I put him down and made my way towards the bathroom to check on her and see if she is ready to come out. And that was when I stepped in it. Walking through the laundry room to get to the bathroom I suddenly stepped in a pool of water. Surprised and not knowing where it came from, my first thought was the washing machine because I had a load running and it did leak once before. When I went to check I noticed that the water did not reach the area where the machine was. Instead the water was coming from the bathroom…I rush in to see what happened and I find that my precious daughter did not feel like the tub was full enough and decided to turn the water on herself and let it run. The idea of an over flowing tub was a novel one for her and she found it fascinating, the water was just leaving the tub on its own and she did not have to use her jug.

What surprised me more than the over flowing tub was how calm I was, I did not yell or start punching the pillow I just walked over turned off the water and unplugged the tub and then started placing towels on the floor to absorb all the water. There are a couple of factors, which I think resulted in my reaction or lack there of; the most important one is exhaustion. I was simply too tired to feel anything.

The little moments

If you ask me or any other woman with children out there we will tell you that being a mother is the hardest job anyone could do. A job with no benefits, break, vacation, set hours, or any kind of salary, and it is Exhausting! I am the type of person who loves kids, who consciously chose to be a mother and was always looking forward to the day when I would have a family of my own.

There are things in being a mother that no one can ever prepare you for, things that no matter how many books you might have read or classes you may attend you will just not know until you are in it. For example no one tells you that babies like all normal human beings have independent personalities, likes and dislikes, and that is from day 1. But you are hit by it the hardest with your fist child, because when that baby comes home with you it suddenly becomes very real. “I am a mother! OMA! I am a mother!” and then slowly but surly there is some anxiety and panic. And it is not because I don’t know what to do, well part of it is. But my main thought is “I am responsible for another human being, her future is in my hands. Whatever I choose to do with her will shape her personality.”

Being responsible for oneself is one thing and yes it is difficult to choose what major to pursue in college, or what internships to do because that will determine the rest of my future. But in the end it is my own future not someone else’s. The load is a heavy one, Alhamdulillah I have a supportive husband, still the main responsibility falls on me. I am the one who spends 100% of the time with them.

There are days when I just think about how my life was in college and all the things I wanted to do and then look at myself now and the person I have become and can’t help but wish that things were different. There are those moments when all the kids are crying and demanding to be fed, changed, or to read with me when I say, “I can’t do this anymore! I can’t keep up! I am just horrible at this.”

Despite all the crazy moments and the hardship involved there are those moments when something happens that make me feel that it is all worth it. Like when my daughter comes and wakes me up with a kiss, or when one of the twins cries in the middle of the night because they are hungry, then when I go to them half awake and just not liking the whole situation. Then at that moment when they see me and I see that precious little smile that just melts my heart (then it goes back to just being crazy again).

Little moments of pure love and appreciation from the kids are what I live for. They are the moments that make it all worth it. When my daughter surprises me and repeats after me Surat Al-Ikhlas and shows me that she was actually listening and not just jumping around. Those moments tell me that I am making a difference and that what I do matters.

Hurricane Yufiba

Having children means always having some sort of natural disaster pass though your house. From hurricanes to earthquakes and tsunamis to flash floods. All of which are caused by those little tiny inhabitants. Do they mean it? Yes! Every bit of it. But to be fair it is how they learn, or at least that is what the childless experts say. According to some, you should let your kid dump all their toys, books, crayons and whatever other object there is in their room that can me dumped because that is how they develop their senses and feed their curiosity.

Well I have one thing to say to those people, let us see you clean after your kids 10+ times a day then come and tell moms to allow their kids to do that. Yes there is some truth and logic to some of their arguments, but as a mom I already do a lot of cleaning. My day consists of wiping butts, doing laundry, sweeping, doing the dishes, picking up toys and so on. These aren’t just one time events. It’s something I end up doing multiple times a day until I come to sleep, by which time the house some how manages to get dirty again and I am just too tired to care.

With multiple kids in the house the mess just gets bigger. As moms we can, for the most part, keep our kids in check and their mess under some kind of control. Until they get together with a friend, at that point all rules are just thrown out the window and in my case hurricane Yufiba happens. Don’t think for a second that as moms when we get together we just forget about our kids-on the contrary. Despite what our husbands believe, there is no such thing as a hang out among moms of toddlers. The hangout we have is more like a 2 minute duty change where one of us takes a little break (by looking after the infants, cooking or attempts to tidy up, while the other keeps an eye on the toddlers).

In my house when hurricane Yufiba hits it doesn’t just hit the kids’ room, instead it is every room in the house. For now what we can do is stay on top of them and just pray that someday they will learn that having fun doesn’t mean causing a natural disaster in the process.