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It’s about time we break those dogmas, sisters. Let’s be a little bit kinder on ourselves and work with what we have. All you need will be some re-styling here and there. That’s it. What do we get if we mix Amina Rizk, Angelina Jolie, Martha Stewart and Princess Diana? You. That should be your target and focus. Stay home or not, we all love our kids, husbands and homes. We all agree too that a well-rounded personalities who come back home with new achievements, fresh ideas and a joke or higher with their men and society as a whole. No one can tell you whether to work or stay at home. That’s so 1960’s. Why pick in the first place, when you can do both and enjoy the best of the two worlds? Achievable? Of course! It just demands a little organization, high spirit and A LOT of confidence.
Let’s assume that a steady job isn’t your cup of tea. You’re one of the many women who can’t wake up every morning to go to the same place; and are not eligible to stay with a boss under one roof. Staying home can’t be more appealing for you. Then suddenly alarm bells ring at one department of your life after the other. You’re bored. Hours are empty and dull. Most of your friends seem busier than you are; and they don’t go out as much as you’d like. You start questioning yourself why shopping on Tuesday is met with smears from your girlfriends. You lost track of the "hit" hangouts. Keeping up with fashion is surprisingly getting harder and harder. Then, there explodes the most detestable of all bombs: you don’t have anything worthwhile to tell your husband on your dinner chit chat.
What you need is to re-arrange your life in a way that suits your current status. Being a stay home mom should only change some petty logistics, not turn your character up-side down. Always remind yourself that this smart chick that used to be there before your pregnancy is still in control. Add to her a brush of allure now she has a charming living accessory clung to her arm. And yes, motherhood is the new black! It gives you a sense of responsibility and cuteness. It screams out, "I’m not that available; I’m too busy!"
Once you’ve fixed your inner concerns, let’s move outwards. Make five different scrapbooks: one for the mom, one for the wife, one for the queen- of-the-house, one for the mate, and finally another one for the employee. Each scrapbook is to be flooded with "to do" lists, ideas you heard or read, inspiring clipings or pictures. Rotate around your scrapbooks everyday or week (it depends on the idea you’re implementing). Make it a habit to wake up everyday with an objective and a plan of action.
The most important part of this strategy is to be active and productive. Use your free time and take parenting courses for example. Try out home-improvement projects. Be the first to volunteer and help a friend in her wedding/ labour/ or moving out preparations. Bond more with young moms like you. Hire yourself the arts teacher of kids in your neighborhood or family. And for God’s sake, limit your interaction with TV and phone for half an hour each a day. It’s much worse than 5 Blueberry Cheese Cakes every night.
On the other hand there are women who are workaholics. They can’t wait for their maternal leave to be over. It’s not that they’re bad mothers. It’s their addiction to their offices and passion for volcanoes of faxes, reports and memos. They feel naked without their laptops and absolutely lost without their filofax and post-it packs. Once they dive again into their conventional pond, matters might get out of control. Their kids start to detach emotionally and habitually from them, to be replaced with their grandmas or nannies. Floods of dust and laundry take over their homes. All the extra cash they earned and thought “would help” is spent on home deliveries. Not to mention that they get too drained to talk with those poor lads they married. Their one common activity gets to be sleeping in front of theTV.
Typically you’d think that life is too unfair. Girl, it’s not. You’re only short of the Amina Rizk and Martha Stewart souls. Make sure you have a daily routine with your child as soon as you reach home. Something as basic as telling each other about your day while changing your clothes. Your kid will love it when you mimic how you answer your annoying clients over the phone, making faces and all. Try to make up for the time you spend away from him, by indulging him in all your activities. Keep him busy with a saucer and a spoon while you prepare dinner. Kids also admire messing up piles of clothes while you sort out laundry. Not only this will be fun for both of you, but it’ll also be a great chance to teach your toddler all about colours, numbers and vegetables.
Mark Fridays to be your National Family Day. Don’t settle for lunch and that’s it. Do something interesting, new and memorable every weekend like local site seeing or a private dance party at home for the three of you. Put your kid early in bed and allow your man a lads’ night out to do some boy stuff like chilling out at the coffee-shop or a Playstation tournament. He’ll worship you for it and his pals are going to award you the wife of the year. But the most important privilege is that you’ll have the house for yourself. Starting onwards, you can prepare food for the rest of the week, ready to be fried or heated in 15 minutes after you come home from work everyday. Note that you only have to cook four main dishes, as you’ll exclude Fridays, your parents’ day and your in-laws’ day.
After spending Saturdays at one of the grandparents’ places, let Saturday night be your husband’s. Leave your child with his arms-extended willing parents and run for your life. Go back to the days when you were dating. It doesn’t have to be romantic; a fun night is nutrient enough. Watch a ball game together or spend the evening at the opera. Chat and giggle like the old times.
Sit back and ask yourself again if you want to work or stay home. Let your decision revolve around you and your desires; nothing else because all the rest is amendable according to your preferences. That’s not selfishness. If you’re fair and pleasant with yourself, it’ll reflect on your relation as a mother, a wife and a woman in general. Who said motherhood is not fun, working or not?