Why having a Mums only holiday is good for you

Being Mum is one of the hardest yet most rewarding jobs in the world yet so little time is devoted to actually exploring what we need to achieve the potential for ourselves and our little ones.

This Summer Mums in Beirut visited Greece. This trip was different, it was a mums only holiday.  As mothers we are skilled at multi- tasking, but we are especially skilled at putting ourselves last. We prioritise our kids’ and familie’s needs ahead of our own, and we constantly look out for others, neglecting to replenish ourselves. We too often forget to fit our own oxygen masks. This holiday came on time, as I was also celebrating my birthday with my friends who are also mothers themselves. It seemed like the perfect birthday gift to me. None of this would have happened without the support of my husband, mother and sister. Having a support network around you helps, so you can take time for yourself.

Our number one rule was to stay offline as much as possible, and to enjoy the moment. It was a trip to connect and unwind.

 

Here are our top reasons why mums should take a mums only holiday

  1. You get to reconnect, reset and repair. Our lives are overcrowded and overscheduled and this means there is very little time for yourself.  Motherhood is 24/7, demanding and you are always on the go. This is your time, to take care of you.
  2. You learn  to reflect and  reconnect with yourself, set priorities on important things in your life and reassess on things that are going wrong. In our modern, fast-paced world, our mind is a busy one with so many tabs open at the same time, with no switch off button. Being on holiday offers that quiet space for reflection and self-exploration, something that is hard to do in your daily mummy routine.
  3. You get to loosen up and be the real you and get to let some steam out by just having fun and doing the things you enjoy most.
  4. Being around other like minded Mums especially if they are close friend, helps you to have more fun and most importantly in being you! Enjoying yourself, laughing and talking about anything you like (this was sometimes the kids and sometimes deeper conversation) is a fantastic feeling.
  5. Do not feel any kind of guilt, even if the society and the community around you does. It is very important for a mothers to look after herself, her wellness and her wellbeing. It is not selfish, it is a necessity.
  6. You get to sleep! No need to elaborate on this point in peace and quiet.
  7. You take leave from your parenting role. This means while on the Mums only holiday I did not, clean, cook, bribe, or brake up fights, clean dirty noses or wipe any bottoms. The only thing I enjoyed doing was capturing every moment.
  8.  You get to rediscover a new or lost hobby or sport.
  9. You get to create happy memories for yourself, and that is a wonderful thing to invest in.
  10. And last but not least, and maybe I have mentioned this before, you get to be you. Not mummy you, or wifey you, but the person that is really you!

Getting away on a mums only holiday, does wonders for you, your sanity, your equilibrium and your family. Because of course you miss your offspring – and coming home to them is always something to look forward to. I was re-energised and ready for back to school routine and chaos. One thing to remember, there is no such thing as a perfect mother, we are all doing out best. You should live to your own expectations and no one else’s

 

Have you ever gone away on your own since becoming a mum? Do you make time for yourself?

How to Prepare Yourself (and your child) for their New School!

Shiny new shoes.

How to Prepare Yourself (and your child) for their New School by Sue Atkins. UK Parenting Expert.

From the moment, you play peek-a-boo with your baby, you are preparing them for the process of moving away from you and learning about independence. Separation can be a difficult emotion not only for you as a parent but also for your child. As your child matures and gains in confidence, they grow into independent beings and it is important that you prepare them to fly the nest one day.

Even in ordinary situations, some children experience some form of worry, apprehension, fear, anxiety or distress. Feeling nervous and anxious occasionally is completely natural for a child when they are faced with an unfamiliar or new situation. From toddler to teens, life is full of challenges and sometimes a natural reaction is for your child to retreat from the situation and to look to you for more reassurance.

During infancy, a baby clings to you when a stranger approaches; in early childhood children often fear new and unfamiliar situations; and as children grow and develop they worry about social acceptance, school performance or finding a group that they can fit into.

These are all normal reactions to life, but what if your child suddenly starts to get headaches, tummy aches or has nightmares about going to school?

School is a place away from home where your child will have some of their greatest successes, challenges, failures and embarrassments. It is at school that your child learns about how the world works and meets and interacts with people from outside your family, perhaps for the first time.

School is a place beyond your control so of course it can appear stressful and unfamiliar to your child regardless of their age.

It is also where children learn about themselves: their strengths, weaknesses, interests and how they relate to others socially. Children learn to perform in a way they never have to at home and they learn that they are unique, different and separate from you. So, school can appear fun and exciting but also rather daunting and stressful. There are new expectations placed on them whether it is starting school for the very first time or starting secondary school.

Starting school can be an exciting new adventure or a terrifying nerve-racking, nail-biting experience. This may depend on a number of factors.

A child who has attended a playgroup, or a mother and toddler group may feel more at ease with the new situation as they are used to and more comfortable with, the daily ritual of separation. I remember my son Will walking up the path to his nursery on the first day and striding in confidently to play with the jigsaws. It was me who had to fight back the tears and the strange feeling of rejection, as he didn’t seem that bothered to see me go!!! (But we had been going to the Mother and Toddler afternoons throughout the summer to get him used to the BIG DAY!!)

It can also depend on your child’s character, their ability to handle change or whether their friends are going to be joining them.

I really believe your attitude is of vital importance to this “Big Day” moment. If you appear nervous, anxious, worried, over-protective or guilty your child notices your tension and will react to it with anxiety, reluctance and hesitancy.

So, prepare yourself for the “Big Day” by being interested, supportive, and encouraging

Here are some positive parenting pointers.

Talk to your child about what to expect – the activities (if it is nursery or reception – the snacks, milk-time, story time or quiet time, the routines, the toys and the noise of other children) if it is starting Secondary school, the anxiety of finding their way around the maze of a larger building, the new homework expectations, the new friend issues, the new timetable or the new route home on the bus.

Take your child to the nursery, school, or secondary school to get the feel of the place and to get used to the lay out or the journey. With younger children, the place where they go to the toilet or hang their coat is of great importance to them and can really help them relax during their early days in a new environment.

Let your younger child know that it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous and worried about being away from you for a little while and get them to think of a familiar object or toy they could bring in with them for a short while until they get used to the changes.

I remember when I first taught in Reception a Mum taking her daughter’s hand and kissing the back of it and saying “Now you have my kiss so pop it into your pocket and when you miss me you can take it out again and give yourself a kiss from Mummy all over again” I saw her doing that only twice over by the sandpit during the morning!!

Think of some of your own personal ideas to diminish your child’s anxiety.

Find a “buddy” or special friend who your child could go in with or pal around with during the new experience. I remember the Mums at my children’s school got together in the summer holidays in one their gardens to have a BBQ where the kids chatted, played and got used to being with each other. It was in a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere where it was safe and familiar so it was a really positive and fun experience for everyone. It helped the transition into the school environment later that month.

Make the school ritual relaxed by laying out the school clothes or making the sandwiches the night before and getting your child involved in helping with the process. It helps take away some of the anxiety and is an opportunity for listening and chatting through little or big niggles

 What to do if your child has difficulties

Stay for a little while for the first day or two but always talk to your child’s teacher first about this, as some Reception teachers don’t always like this idea. As your child feels more comfortable, make your stay shorter and shorter and then just stay long enough to say goodbye properly.

I found children’s tears dried up within minutes once they got stuck into the Playdoh or toy cars while poor old Mum or Dad went home or to work feeling awful all day when really their child forgot all about feeling blue very quickly.

Be firm about attending school and don’t “give in” to staying at home. That sends the wrong message and really is making a rod for your own back!

Always come back on time so your child can feel secure and safe knowing you are waiting for them with a smile and a lovely greeting. With older children, don’t always bombard them with questions like “Well, how was it?” Let them relax and talk about it in their own time and just greet them with a smile and an “It’s good to see you”.

Always reassure and be accepting of your child’s worries and concerns. Always acknowledge your child’s feelings as it shows respect to their genuine emotions and it gives you an opportunity to help them learn to cope with new experiences positively.

Always stay positive and try to relax even if your child reverts to thumb sucking, clinginess, and bedwetting or having nightmares. These behaviours are usually only temporary setbacks and remember that you are creating a blueprint for how your child handles change throughout their lives.

Encourage your older child to ask for help if they get lost, or don’t understand their homework – encourage them to realise everyone is in the same boat and is only too keen to help.

Encourage your child to see Secondary School as a “Human Zoo” and not necessarily as a “Wild Jungle” – a place with lots of interesting animals and where the zookeepers are there to help them – not just to contain them!!!!

I hope you and your child grow, change and laugh together through the exciting but sometimes scary time of starting school and with your patience, understanding and love you find it a rewarding and positive experience for both of you.

About Sue Atkins 

Sue Atkins is an internationally recognised Parenting Expert, Broadcaster, Speaker and Author of the Amazon best-selling books “Parenting Made Easy – How to Raise Happy Children” & “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the famous black and yellow series as well as author of the highly-acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs, Apps and resources. She has just launched her new ‘Can Do Kid’ Journal to give children the gift of self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as ‘The Divorce Journal for Children.’

Sue produces ‘The Sue Atkins Parenting Show’ a weekly podcast which is bursting with Sue’s practical ideas, techniques and down to earth strategies for raising happy, confident, resilient children with strong self esteem.

Sue offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children from toddler to teen.

She specialises in supporting families through divorce. Sue has created a series of Divorce Cards to help start the difficult conversations about the changes that families face when they are going through divorce.  These simple cards help children and parents explore, express and prepare for the changes and challenges ahead.

She regularly appears on the award winning flagship ITV show “This Morning” and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and is the parenting expert for many BBC Radio Stations around the UK as well as the parenting expert on SKY News. She has a regular monthly parenting phone- in on BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

 To receive her free eBooks bursting with practical tips and helpful advice from toddler to teen log on to www.theSueAtkins.com and download them instantly today.

 

What is dry drowning?

4-year-old dies 1 week after swimming in pool – all parents should read this warning

This tragic story hit me straight in the heart.

As a parent, I try to protect my kids from danger whenever I see it.

But what if the problem is triggered by something imperceptible and the symptoms don’t come until hours or days later? How would you know that the two are connected before tragedy struck?

All parents should read this.

Summer is finally here, and with it comes family trips to the beach, picnics at the lake, and swimming lessons at the town pool.

Perhaps no one enjoys the swimming season more than children. Their parents, on the other hand, have to balance the fun with making sure their children safe.

Whether children are playing in the ocean waves or taking a dip in a kiddie pool, their parents are usually on alert when their children are in the water. Because all you have to do is turn your head for a second and tragedy can strike.

But even if you have full control over your children, the unthinkable can still happen. On May 29, four-year-old Frankie, or Francisco Delgado III, went swimming at pool with his family. Everyone had a fun time. Frankie’s parents kept an eye on him the whole time and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

But over the following days, Frankie started experiencing flu-like symptoms, before feeling a bit better.

Then almost a week after Frankie went swimming, the four-year-old woke up in extreme pain and screamed out loud. Seconds later, he took his last breath.

Frankie’s dad was with him when it happened. He immediately called emergency services and an ambulance promptly showed up and rushed the boy’s lifeless body to the hospital.

The doctors and nurses did everything they could, remembers Tara, Frankie’s mom, who watched them try to save her son’s life.

After a while, two doctors came to Tara and told her that they were unable to save little Frankie.

The boy’s lungs were filled with water and he had fallen victim to so-called dry drowning.

Dry drowning has symptoms, and if they’re noticed soon enough and parents seek medical attention in time, the victim’s life can be saved. Doctors recommend that parents keep an eye on three symptoms in their children, each of which might indicate that the brain isn’t getting enough oxygen.

Symptoms:
• Difficulty breathing after swimming
• Drowsiness or sleepiness
• Forgetfulness or a change in behavior

Frankie’s parents wish they’d known this earlier. If they had, their son would be alive today. Now, they hope that Frankie’s death can at least serve as a warning to others. Read more about dry drowning, or secondary drowning as it is also called, here.

Watch Frankie’s mother tell her son’s story on this news report:

Please share this article with all the parents you know. Together we can help spread this important message so that no more children die from dry drowning!

 

Article reproduced from Newsner.com

The Joy of Ramadan Giving

Thank you all for all those who supported us in our Ramadan Campaign. Social media is to connect people together and we want that to make a difference in people’s lives. Thanks to all of you, our active followers and readers we managed to distribute all the collections from the 5 drop off centres a few days ago, with some amazing volunteers and the team behind Ahla Fawda and the passionate work of Nimat Farhat from Social Support Society.

We had some amazing volunteers on the day to help us give away all the boxes away. They came from international countries  including Brazil, Netherlands, Italy, Wales, and Portugal just to name a few. It was amazing experience, emotional and full of love. Children, students, working mums and grand mothers came united for this great experience: a time to give.

 

 

Over the last few weeks we have received many donations of clothing and shoes, which were sorted and packed for delivery. Special thanks to Nimat Farhat for partnering with us for this distribution and huge thanks to all our supporters and to our drop off centres for collaborating with us Totally Kids, Learn and Play, Dent de Lait, Play Town and Fox and Frog. A big thanks goes to all parents, and children who donated their shoes, toys, books and clothes to give them a new home.

 

 

 

Pre-loved means giving them a new home.

All that we are doing is a drop in the ocean for those families and children in need, but what matters is that we do our best and we do it from the bottom of our heart thats.

A special thanks to Ziad Assaf for his editing of the video and music. We managed to put a few smiles on those innocent faces.

We want to wish you all a Blessed Eid with your family and loved ones. Here is a short video to showcase all the work we put into making sure all your donations received a warm home just in time for Eid.

Enjoy watching it, without your support none of this could have happened.

Thank you!

Make sure you are subscribed to our YouTube Channel, to stay in the loop with the local scoop.

 

Pictures and Video by: Dina Maktabi
Video Editing and Music: Ziad Assaf

The wall of Kindness

We love the community Spirit by the wall of kindness recently launched in Beirut.

A group of anonymous individuals from diverse backgrounds, plan to bring a little Kindness to Beirut. Equal parts social experiment and charity; all parts Kind! For the people, by the people. The Kindness Wall is a simple structure inviting the public to donate items they no longer need and take only items they do need.  It is a means to de-institutionalize charity and reignite our faith in humanity.

The first Kindness Wall will be located in Sodeco along the historic Green Line of Beirut city. An ode to our prevailing unity and strength as Lebanese and a nod to our turbulent history, so that we may never forget it.

Clothing, shoes, toys, and non-perishable canned foods can be packed in bags and hung on the Kindness Wall. The wall will have a logo in Arabic and few simple instructions. The idea is to give what you do not need and take only what you need.

Join the Kindness Movement.

How you can help us:

We need to reach as many people from as many diverse backgrounds as possible. Those who will give, those who will take and those who will give and take at the same time. We would appreciate any and all social media coverage, but above all, as an influencer, we ask you to join our Kindness Movement and document your experience. We hope this will be a great success and a testament to the overwhelming empathy and kindness that the Lebanese people have.

Origins of The Kindness Wall:

From Tehran to Lahore, Chengdu to Hyderabad, Kuwait to Dubai, the Kindness Wall has succeeded in one city after another. Usually set up by anonymous individuals, many of these walls have developed into community hubs. Individuals meet to exchange not only goods but also support. In some cases, the walls have extended to free medical assistance and even public fridges filled with food and drinks.

حيط الخير:

قامت مجموعة من الأفراد المجهولين من شتّى الخلفيات بالتخطيط من أجل نشر “الخير” في أرجاء مدينة بيروت. أجزاءمتساوية تشمل تجارب إجتماعية وأعمال خيرية. للشّعب ومن الشعب. إنّ “حيط الخير” بناء بسيط يدعو الناس الىالتبرّع بما لا يحتاجونه وأخذ ما يحتاجونه. إنها وسيلة لإلغاء الطابع المؤسسي للجمعيات الخيرية وإعادة إحياء إيماننابالإنسانية.

يقع “حيط الخير” الأوّل في منطقة السوديكو على طول الخط الأخضر التاريخي لمدينة بيروت. يجسّد الجدار وحدتناوقوتنا السائدتين كلبنانيين كذلك تاريخنا المضطرب الذي لا يُنتسى.

تُعبّأ الملابس، الأحذية، الألعاب والأطعمة المعلّبة غير القابلة للتلف وتُعلّق على “حيط الخير”. أما هذا الأخير، فيتميّزبشعاره باللّغة العربية وببعض التعليمات البسيطة. فكرة الحائط تكمن في التبرّع بما لا تحتاجه وأخذ ما أنت بحاجةاليه.

إنضمّوا الى “حركة الخير”.

كيفية مساعدتنا:

نحن بحاجة للوصول إلى أكبر عدد ممكن من الناس من شتّى الخلفيات. أولئك الذين يتبرّعون، الذين يأخذون، الذينيتبرّعون ويأخذون في الوقت نفسه. ونقدّر أي تغطية على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، ونسألكم الانضمام الى “حركةالخير” ومشاركتنا تجربتكم. كما نتمنّى النجاح لهذا المشروع الذي يدلّ على تعاطف وكرم الشعب اللبناني.

أصل حيط الخير:

من طهران إلى لاهور، تشنغدو الى حيدر باد، الكويت إلى دبي، لاقى “حيط الخير” نجاحاً من مدينة الى أخرى. يتولّىأفراد مجهولون تحضير الجدار، وقد تطوّرت العديد من هذه الجدران لتتحوّل الى مجتمع بحدّ ذاته. تلتقي الأفراد لتبادلالسلع وتقديم المساعدة. وفي بعض الحالات، يمتدّ هدف الجدران ليشمل المساعدة الطبية المجانية كذلك ثلاجات عامةمليئة بالطعام والمشروبات.

#wallofkindnessbeirut #bekindbeirut

إنستغرام: @wallofkindnesslebanon

Family Day Out at AUB Outdoors 2017

AUB Outdoors is an annual 2-day festival that takes place at the AUB upper campus during May. AUB clubs and societies participate with their games, food services, music concerts, and many other various performances!

Mums in Beirut attended the Alien Invasion this year despite the rain. It was fun packed family day out, with lots of fun for the whole family to enjoy. Make sure you get your face painted and get alienated.

Follow us more on Snapchat and Instagram to stay in the loop with the local scoop.

 

P1070215 P1070217

 

THE BABY SHOWER COLLECTION FOR ASSAMEH, BIRTH & BEYOND

JOIN US FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE BABY SHOWER COLLECTION FOR ASSAMEH, BIRTH & BEYOND
 
6:00 – 10:00 PM – FRIDAY MAY 26TH 2017
AT FOREANDAFT – MAR MIKHAEL
PHARAON STREET – ACROSS BARON
 
ASSAMEH Birth and Beyond is an NGO that rehabilitates pediatrics centers in public hospitals across Lebanon.
It aims at providing first class medical care to premature babies and children for a fraction of the cost. We have been part of their 1st annual street food dinner.
 
To date, ASSAMEH has helped save hundreds of children’s lives at their first care facility:
The Carlos Slim Pediatrics Center in the Governmental Hospital of Karantina.
It hopes to grow and extend this opportunity to many more families who are much in need of such services.
 
ASSAMEH Birth and Beyond is an NGO that rehabilitates pediatric centers in public hospitals across Lebanon.
It aims at providing first class medical care to premature babies and children for a fraction of the cost.
To date, ASSAMEH has helped save hundreds of children’s lives at their first care facility:
The Carlos Slim Pediatrics Center in the Governmental Hospital of Karantina. It hopes to grow and extend this opportunity to many more families who are much in need of such services.
 
 
The even is crafted with love by a group of talented Lebanese designers to help build awareness about this NGO and raise funds for this initiative.
 
A Whole Lotta Love Janis Sarraf Photography LC stories Karoline Lang L’atelier Nawbar Joanna Dahdah’s Jewellery Store HASSIDRISS Little Bluffers Mellow Nadeen Khatoun SARA MELKI SECOND st Smac by sandra macaron THYM Vanina MIRAHAYEK ForeandAft Menswear Johnny Farah
 
Proceeds of your purchase will go towards the ASSAMEH, Birth and Beyond: an NGO dedicated to saving children’s lives!
 
Thank you to all the designers and volunteers for their support, to Joumana Ibrahim for the collection identity, to Wissam Eid for the Illustrations, and to Beirut Design Week and ForeandAft for hosting our pop up shop.
 
If you wish to donate:
BANKMED – ACCOUNT# 0240046381600
IBAN# LB08.0022 0000 0000 2400 4638 1600
TEL: +961-3-201 455
More information can be found on Birth and Beyond Facebook Page and Website

 

 

Vote for our sister site Kensington Mums as London’s Top Mummy Blogger 2017

As some of you may know, Mums is Beirut is the sister site to Kensington Mums in London, UK. An online Blog / magazine supporting mums through their Motherhood Journey founded 6 years ago by Dina Maktabi.

The story behind Kensington Mums is one of a Mother who went through a traumatic time after the birth of her first child and found herself struggling with postnatal depression alone in a country with no family around.

As her second child was born, she turned that pain into a passion to make a change and encourage other mums to reach out during hard times and support each other. Kensington Mums has become a growing success thanks to the love of many mothers from all walks of live.


Kensington Mums is overjoyed to have been nominated as London’s Mummy Blogger 2017 by The Motherhood London. We are running alongside some incredible and inspiring fellow mums and bloggers who we admire and therefore just a nomination is overwhelming to be the least…. To win would be indescribable.

Voting is now open (it ends on 25th of March 2017) and therefore we would like to ask you to take a few moments of your time and get Kensington Mums to the top!

Vote for Kensington Mums as London’s Mummy Blogger 2017.

Beirut from up above

Mums in Beirut was delighted to spend a beautiful morning overlooking Beirut at Staybridge Suites Beirut.

In collaboration with Soul Spa – Yoga Center, Staybridge Suites Beirut kicked off the summer season with a relaxing Yoga session at the infinity rooftop pool overlooking the beautiful city of Beirut. This gathering was a great mingling opportunity between top media and bloggers in Lebanon.

Staybridge Suites Beirut, in the heart of Verdun, is a 5 star hotel part of Intercontinental Hotels Group. It consists of 121 suites including Studio Suites, One-Bedroom Suites, Two-Bedroom Suites and one Panoramic Suite. The hotel’s facilities include complimentary buffet breakfast, free WiFi, a rooftop pool, a fitness room, laundry, service as well as a meeting room to host any of your work-shops and conferences. 

It is important for us mums to make the time for ourselves, to reconnect and enjoy the little things we enjoy best in life. After all, you need to nurture yourself to be able to take care of your little ones.

Check out the pictures of our morning retreat with the stunning views!

 

 

Flower Power at Spinneys Lebanon

We love the community spirit and even more when it comes to flowers ( for those who follow me on social media might have guessed its become an obsession for me and its somehow what makes me happy).

While Spinneys Lebanon had the Flower Festival happening, a group of us including mothers were invited for a flower workshop organised by Masaha Design at Spinneys in Hazmiyeh. They really spoiled us all.

Food was on a beautiful display by Eat like Nicole. The workshop started with a brief introduction by Traccs Lebanon. The set up was amazingly arranged just out of a Pinterest board. We all got to make our own arrangement of flowers to take home. Now that is what fun is the sun is all about. Thank you Spinneys Lebanon for brightening our days with the beautiful flowers and plants you had on display.

 

Here is Flower Power!