8 things you should never ask one mother

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1. You are breastfeeding, right?

One of the most sensitive things you can say to one mother is about her breastfeeding. It is something she can’t fully control. Yes, she should be careful about her diet, she should be consistent but sometimes it’s not enough. Some moms are staying long time awake first few weeks, and it’s hard to have good sleep with new babies. And you need to have good sleep if you want to be able to breastfeed. Some moms are more sensitive and in first few weeks they are quitting, because they’re exhausted and they can’t take it anymore. But some of them are consistent and trying their best, but baby just doesn’t want to suck. Baby wants bottle, because mother was breast pumping for a while, and now baby just wants bottle. Also, some babies are lactose intolerant and drinking mothers milk is causing pain, they’re all the time fuzzy, always crying. And mom stops breastfeeding because it’s best for her baby. So, when you see some mother giving formula instead of breastfeeding, don’t ask why! You don’t know what they’ve been through. You don’t know their story. We all know that mothers milk is the healthiest option, but why some mothers stop breastfeed is something private. And most of them feel bad because they can’t breastfeed, so when you ask you’re just making them feel even more sad and upset. Which makes them even feel like they failed like a mother. Even without you asking, society is already making big pressure on moms when it’s about breastfeeding. Please, you don’t be another drop in already full glass.

 

2. Why is your child (not) eating that?

I got asked this one a lot. I am still not giving any sweets to my sixteen-months- old baby. It is my decision, and I don’t want to give it for a few reasons. First, it’s not healthy, then her body doesn’t need it, her teeth are healthier. And she’s not asking for it, because she doesn’t know what chocolate or pudding is. She eats better healthy food. She is overjoyed when I give her banana or dates (which contains natural healthy sugars). And there are so much more reasons. But it is something I decided. And everyone should respect that. But when one mom decides not to give meat or bread, or some fruit. It is their decision, it’s their baby. Or opposite, if they give everything. We all try to be the best mom we could, and we are doing mistakes. We’re not perfect. But all of us are trying. So, when you see that someone is giving or not giving some food to their child, be quiet! Don’t ask!  Maybe baby needs to eat gluten free food, or baby is allergic. You don’t know. Or mother believes that if she gives everything baby will not be picky eater. We are all having different views and ideas.

 

3. You look tired/are you sick?

Being mother of a baby, toddler is hard. It takes lots of time, energy and sacrifices. First few months, even a year I was constantly tired. I didn’t sleep well. My baby was waking up few times during a night even when she turned one year. And during a day, she would have just small naps. If I could sleep full 3 days and nights it wouldn’t be enough to take away tiredness. And like that I go outside, without make up, with the first clothes I found, and one is saying me – you look so tired. What’s going on, are you fine, you’re not sick, right? This questions are not helping. Of course I am tired, I have a baby for a God sake.

4. Why you’re not sleeping when baby sleeps?

This one is connected with previous one. When they see you’re tired, and you say you’re not sleeping well. They say, why you’re not sleeping when baby is sleeping. If I would do that, there would be mess in the house everything. I could never do all the housework, there wouldn’t be meal ready anytime, I wouldn’t have time to write this. When my baby sleeps, that’s the only time I can do some stuff in the house. And when she us awake, she is not calm until she make mess everywhere again. And I wait another nap time to do everything all over again.

 

IMG_26845. Do you work?

Mothers who are working, when their baby is small with pride are saying they are working. As if it’s something to be proud of. Well I wouldn’t be proud if I do work right now. For children first three years are the most important one, and why would I give my small baby, in most sensitive years to daycare or someone else to take care of her, so I could earn money just to pay the same care. I understand there are moms, they need to turn back to work, or they’ll lose their job but it’s not something you should be proud of. When you ask do I work I am saying – yes, I do work. I actually don’t have one job but few of them. I am mother, wife, cook, servant, maid…and more. The trick is just that I don’t get paid with money for the work I do, but with hugs and kisses. And if you think this is not real job. You’re right. It is much harder than real job. And when you answer, oh you’re at home. Don’t think for a second that I have nothing to do. I have even more than I can do in a day. And you, everyone, should be more respectful towards house-staying moms. We’re caring more on our back than those who are working and being payed with money.

6. When is another one coming?

Our girl was not even one year old, and everyone started asking when will you have another child. Why are people so curious about this issue? They want to know how many children you want to have, how big difference you’re going to make. Than giving advices how it’s better if they are close in age. You may be right but you don’t know few stuff. Maybe that mother can’t have any more babies, maybe they decided to have just one, or they have two and they don’t’ want to have more. Maybe they are moving to some other place so they want to get baby but sometime after. Again, I am saying, you don’t know someone’s story. So, don’t be so curious and ask stuff that are not in your concern.

7. How much weight you gained?

Yes, most of us mothers gained few pounds, or even more than few. And it’s really hard for us when we can’t fit our old clothes, when our stomach is so saggy and yes, we don’t fell attractive at all. And on top of it, you’re coming and asking this. For me, it was really hard. Especially because I was always having problems with weight. But with lots of determination and will I lost all that post pregnancy weight, and I have not even less then I had before I become pregnant. But in period when I didn’t have any hope that I will ever lose that weight it was one of the hardest questions. And I’m sure most of us mothers are feeling the same. So, please don’t make comments on weight with newly mom, you can just make them less confident.

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8. Why you are doing like that? I would do differently!

We all have those friends, they still don’t have children but they will in every situation say how they would do differently. How their children would never cry or would never have tantrums, because they will always have so much patience and understanding. Well that’s what I thought too. I was thinking I will have the best-behaved child, she will be listening everything I say, she will never cry in public, she will not be spoiled. Because I will behave her the best way possible.  But all these things are happening. And I am going crazy sometimes, I am losing it, and I am not behaving as perfect mother in most of the situations. But, let me tell you something. Children are not robots, you can’t program them the way you want. There are days they will be like angels, but the other ones they will make your life miserable. And that’s ok. That’s what they’re spouse to do. And you are there just to make balance between them being angels and being naughty. So, when you say to me you would do differently, I am just saying wait and we’ll see. And whenever you say I would never, trust me, it will come to you and you will. All those NEVER you’re going to do. So, don’t say this one to one mother, because we are all doing best we can. But all children are different, they have different personality, and one same method is not going to work on all children.IMG_2685

Our international neighborhood

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It’s been almost three year since I came to States. Before coming here, I had lots of different and confusing thoughts about this country. From one side, everyone was saying how this is dream country, all the dreams you have, you can easily realize it here. Whatever you want to have, you can easily get here. And there was other, totally opposite side, saying that it’s the worst country for Muslims to live in. You can’t go outside, but if they see you with hijab they’re going to attack you, say bad words to you. You have to be always careful and watch your back. I was even warned not to go outside alone, without my husband. Because someone might do something bad to me. So, I came here with fear, thinking about all the stuff people told me. I was scared to even look at people faces thinking they might say something bad. But then I started realizing my neighbors are always first saying: “Good morning!”; “Have a good day!”; “How are you today?” Little by little I was getting used to their greetings. But then I realized it’s not just my neighbors. Its everyone, on the street, in market, in park. Everyone and everywhere. It’s just a way of being polite. And people here are like that. After a few months, I got used to this people, this country. I met few of Americans and they changed me. I wasn’t afraid anymore. I started feeling totally free and comfortable, just like in my own country. I started going to park, grocery shop alone. And I truly love it here. And now even more after all this events about banning issue. People were getting curious about Muslims. I was so happy when a girl in Starbucks said: “I like your scarf. It’s called hijab, right?” Or the other one on the street: “I love how you make that hijab.” These situations are happening often lately. Now people know what hijab is. And before they didn’t. I see how people here are fighting for us, being with us when we need them the most. At least it’s like this in Texas. I’ve been in other states too, having incredible moments everywhere, meeting great people in each place, but Texas will always be my number one.

But on the other hand, I can’t say also its dream country, like someone else once told me. You can’t do everything easily. You have to work hard to get something. But yes, truth is that here work pays off. But if you think you can come here, do nothing and have everything, forget about it. There is no such place in this world. Except Jannah(Heaven).

But the thing I like the most about USA, is variety of cultures. It’s whole earth in one country. You can find people from each corner of this beautiful Earth. I was lucky enough to live in neighborhood where we have families from different countries. Few months ago, we decided to have Play groups. We are gathering every Friday in someone else’s house. Our children are playing with each other. And we are sitting and talking. Those talks are always interesting, because we are all curious to learn something about our different cultures, food, countries.

And our children maybe don’t know how to talk to each other, but they are playing and communicating in their own way. Just by looking at them, I am wishing we are all children. There wouldn’t be as much hate and fights as there is everywhere in the world. Each child loves other child, their main goal is to play with each other. If they got into fight, they’re getting over it easily, and continue to play. Like nothing ever happened. Because, that’s important. To be happy and have a friend is important. Not your pride, ego and wish for success.

With our children we, adults are learning true values, learning that we can be friends with everyone, that small things can make us happy. That there is no space for hate or pride in friendship.
So the main goal of this play group is not just for children to learn and play something new but also for us to discover new friendships and learn new things about our neighbors and our selves too.

Until next time, Amila