The roles we play: our true occupation

I am constantly amazed at the roles we, as individuals seem to play; both with our interaction with loved ones as well as our interactions in society. I am constantly baffled at how we end up with these ‘titles’/duties and cannot help but wonder if these roles only further reinforce our emotional roles within our family structures.

Take for example my role in my own relationship with my mum: I am the organiser, the fixer, the translator, the form filler, the corrector, the conflict resolution person, the calmer the list goes on but let’s let it t that… More and more, as my life evolves I start to realise that this role whilst in its entirety is with my mum; so many of these traits play key features in my other relationships.

In my household for example: My husband is the ‘worrier’ whilst I am the one who highlights the ease to his worry. I am the bill organiser, the planner, the contract reader. During moments of emotional upheaval I am the one who moves forward; plans, organises, calls; the shoulder to cry on; the person who bends over and picks up all their pieces and mends it/them all back together as I quietly stand beside them. I am the rock; the soft and quiet steady calm.

Today my cousin called from Doha to tell me that my uncle had passed away. He asks me to tell my mum – to make sure she is ok and gives me the necessary details: when he passed, when and where he is being buried today and why he had passed.

And then I notice how we move all that aside and talk of what needs to be organised: will my mum be heading off overseas? Will he be arranging for his mum (my mum’s now only remaining living sibling) to head over? That he is planning to organise things regarding my uncle’s kids (4 boys; 3 of which are still are very young) and his wife. We sit here in our respective countries and discuss what are the better options for a family that live in another country and I cannot help but see that this is the role my cousin and I play. Him being a man and older and more religious – he organises things; puts all the necessary things in place – arranges it all. And me being the understanding one to things in our family; I listen to his views and can actually give him input and options rather than bombard him with questions and worry.

We are the problem solvers; the calm.

I get off that call and call my mum. Explain to her the news; give her the details. Tell her again what my cousin told me. Explain the situation to her again and ask her that whatever she wants to do is up to her and that I would help arrange it. I am the calm. I listen to her barrage of fears, questions; her crying.
And I sit there silent and stoic – and I almost hate the fact that this is the way I have someone become programmed.

I go back to my desk (at work) and seemingly get back to work awash with sadness at the loss of my uncle and at the further cemented roles that my cousin and I play.

There are no tears.

There never are. They will come during a moment alone; a moment completely separate from this one where it will (probably) seem as though I am upset/crying over something else. I don’t know how else to be. This is just who I am.

Who I’ve always been.

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This time last year…

I CANNOT believe it is ALREADY October! October people… Where did the last year go? At the end of the month my lil cherub will be a year old… 1 YEAR OLD! It is maddeningly clichéd & scary how quickly time flies. It was this time last year I was having my last day at work and was nervous/hesitant/excited for the arrival of our little girl.

I remember the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy; I wasn’t that woman exclaiming “I’ve had ENOUGH, get this baby outta me!” but rather I think in the last 6 weeks I discovered that I LOVED being pregnant and having this human inside of me moving, playing, responding to my touch. I had so many melancholy moments where I wished I could keep her attached to me for ever… it was only really in the last week where I really felt huge, where going from a sitting position to standing required effort and I had to ‘hold’ the bottom of my belly if I stood up for too long.

I look at Amira now and I am amazed how fast she’s growing and am so hopeful for her and our lives together as a family. At the back of my mind there are so many fears that I have – will she realise how much I love her? Please let her be God-fearing, kind and good to her parents… will she realise the importance of education and constantly strive to better herself?

She’s 11 months now and I can already see little bits of personality shine through; how (for the most part) she is a pretty ‘cruisey’ child – she’s not fazed by much and is quite relaxed about most things; she’s not easily agitated and has always been placid. She’s an observer; when we get together for mothers group I notice how the other little girls are far more ‘rough and tumble’ – they attack toys and jump straight into ‘giving things a go’. Amira will watch them, observe then then decide from there. She’ll hold a toy and REALLY look at it; pass it from one hand to the other and then play with it. She seems to be a quiet, persistent achiever – I’ve noticed this on more than one occasion but it was never more evident than when she learned how to stand herself up against the sofa. She’s a happy baby but doesn’t laugh at everything – she makes you work for her laughter which I find so enduring.

Even as I type all that I can see her so clearly in my mind’s eye; as though I am in my living room and am watching her play with her toy Dora kitchen (and not sitting in my TV room while she’s sleeping for the night), I get all teary just thinking about how much I love her (I know, SO LAME!).

 

Vanity post baby – A Changed Body

It’s now 9 weeks since the birth of my lil girl and whilst I’m trying not to think about it I cannot help but notice the changes that no one ever mentioned may happen! Don’t get me wrong – I knew I’d gain weight and I KNEW I’d have to put in work to get my stomach back into the shape it once was but there are other parts I am surprised about…

My ribcage… Strange huh but I SWEAR this has gotten bigger/wider; I tried on more than a few of my dresses & whilst the zipper got up halfway up my back there was no way it was budging around the rib area… And it’s not about fat as far as I can see! It makes me wonder if that means that even though I may lose my post baby belly I’ll now be a little “wider” in my dimensions!

My hips & ass… Now I knew my hips would get wider but I didn’t realize so too would my ass! The two things I AM grateful for about the increase in hip & ass size is that: (1) hubby actually likes the “hippy-er” me (go figure!) and (2) when I was going Zumba+gym+raw food crazy leading up to my wedding I’d actually lost quite a bit of “butt plump-ege” so now having it back ain’t SO bad!

But I don’t want to be that person who only laments and focuses on the negative… I KNOW that I’m only this way about my body because I AM my own worst critic and I was rather slim pre-baby, so this really is going to take some getting used to (with the changed shape) whilst I TRY to work it off! Anyway, as I said, there are other things that I am VERY grateful for; I literally slathered on the Bio Oil all through my pregnancy from 7weeks to 1 month after the birth all over my bust, stomach, thighs and butt (husband would constantly make fun of the post shower “oil slick”) and now, thank goodness I have not one stretch mark! And I did take my mums advice with not wearing heels (except for 1 dinner function and 1 engagement party) to avoid varicose veins – whilst I HATED not wearing heels to work (it was reeeaaalllyyy hard in the beginning before I looked obviously pregnant – I do so enjoy wearing heels) I am grateful to report that at no point did I experience seriously swollen feet or hands & I didn’t get any varicose veins!

And let’s not forget the most absolutely amazing gift of all that I now have: my beautiful Amira! She amazes me and humbles me on SO many levels… I love her beyond words, she is my soul – I truly feel my heart beats for her…

Hello Baby!

Well here I am… A mum; on the 31st of October I had our little girl! No one could have prepared me for the huge overwhelming feeling that would change things.

It was amazing; there is SO much that happens to a woman’s body that they don’t seem to tell you or prepare you for in those antenatal classes – like you know it’s going to hurt & you realize that labor may take “awhile” but nothing & no one seemed to prepare you me for the other stuff…

They say you’ll look at your baby & you’ll love then straight away; I was SO unprepared by how moved your soul is the moment they placed her on my chest; in that moment (and I KNOW it’s going to sound pathetically cheesy) I knew that I was made to be this little ones mum… I looked at my husband & could not believe that we had been given this glorious gift from Allah! And as athan was read to her I realized everything that every other mother had gone through to bring their child into this world.

Bur it’s not all sweet smelling roses; let’s back it up for a bit: you don’t quite realise how much pain the child birth is going to be. That the epidural is brilliant but that the first parts of labor are surreal & so scary because if they hurt that much already what happens when they’re longer & MORE intense?

Then there’s the pain after; this strange sensation when you go to toilet & realize that you’ve lost your bladder control… What the? Why did NO ONE tell me that???? Hmm?? And when I mention it to my doctor she says that it’s “normal” and that I’ll be able to get it back (she also mentioned that i should be grateful that I made it to toilet in time as she’d had other patients that had lost all control – is that meant to make me feel better?)… That’s not the point – no one told me that this was going to happen!

No one told me quite how possessive I’d be over my baby – that I’d want others to just let her sleep & to stop fawning at her or constantly picking her up or just standing there staring at her or passing her along to every other set of arms… Or how this lil human would affect my relationship with my mum; so tgat I seem to now have even mire patience with her; that her madness is slightly more understood now… That she went through all this to have me… And then it makes me want to call my sister in law and tell her that she NEEDS to be nicer to her mum & that its NOT her life!

And even though I went to a “class” on breast feeding & settling NO ONE seemed to prepare me about just how hard breast feeding is! It’s SO much harder than you think & that when she won’t “latch on” you’ll blame yourself & think YOU’RE the failure!

I’ve thought this so often already; that I’ve failed her already… She’s just a baby & I’m trying the best I can but she’ll take SO long to settle now; or she’ll cry for aggggeess and she’s fed, changed etc so why is she crying this much?

Let’s not even get me started on the lack of sleep! Of the midnight feeds then the 3am feeds then the 6/7am feeds…. Not to mention the settling after…

But I love her SO much it scares me… I look at her & could cry the worlds ocean in tears by how much I love & want to protect her… And it scares me; this massive journey of parenthood & being a mummy scares me as we’re both just winging this….

And through all of this (the pregnancy, birth & first few days after) I had always thought that the labor would be the scary, daunting part… But what comes after is clearly the real tough stuff!

xx

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When thoughts just won’t leave…

It’s been awhile since I wrote and it’s not that nothing’s been happening but rather that when I do get a minute to stop and reflect I’m away from the possibility to blog…. In saying that though you; the blogsphere have been on my mind a lot! I hope you’re all well, I hope that you don’t think I don’t care….

I’ve been feeling a little “odd” of late. On the outside I’m seemingly my normal, serene and patient self. Happily working, cooking fir the family and trying desperately to find more tine to get to the gym whilst also balancing done time with mum. But on the inside something seems amiss… I feel that since my sister in law arrived (she’s moved back home from being in Melbourne for the last 6years) and the changing dynamic that I can feel my patience slipping. Don’t take that the wrong way; I love her and we actually get a long very well but I sorta feel like I’ve become slightly less visible… Does that make sense? Add to that that I feel angry with myself for feeling this way but also I am more annoyed with my body… Because I’m still not pregnant! And it seems that everyone else around me is…

I know the sayings; “it’ll happen, these things take time…” and “just enjoy yourself – you’ll have a baby soon enough and you won’t even have time to think!”

Yep ok… Whatever – the frustration of it all is that whilst I wanna scream through it all, I am giving Mr A the exact same cliches – I don’t want or need him to worry aswell. He tends to be a worrier by nature & with him, when he worries it takes over every other thought and prevents him from function. Not with me – I’ve spent so long of my life worrying that usually its a long lingering thought that washes over me so that I suffocate it with something else… Shopping, cooking, making something, reading, studying… But today in the bustle of a cafe as I sit here enjoying my ice coffee while I wait for my wheel alignment I feel so maddeningly detached and saddened by these thoughts that just won’t stop haunting me.

xx

Showing Signs of Age: Shorts & Stockings

Remember when we were school kids we never realised how annoying  loud we were when we were in a group – we may not have realised just how “annoying” we were… cue 5 – 1 years later and you’re either mid-way through uni or working full-time when one day; whilst on the train something strikes you… the gaggle of girls chatting about nothing really interesting are SERIOUSLY annoying! And that’s when you ask yourself; have they always been like that and is it only NOW you notice? And if so…. why?

Then over the next couple years you notice more and more; you get annoyed when school kids don’t get up for the aged, people with children or pregnant woman. You start to dislike school holidays… and you start to wonder about certain things you see in store(s).

Which brings me to the reason of this post – i LOVE fashion; i visually devour my Shop magazine each month and LOVE when next stock comes into stores… I love colour and shopping centres and new season items and Sale signs…. but there is something things i don’t get!

I understand the concept of a ‘perennial’ clothing item – I used to work in retail and I “get” that some items can be worn in summer, winter, autumn and spring… but then there are items that are NOT perennials; items that are CLEARLY either winter or summer…. like a bikini – clearly summer right? like stockings are for colder climates – it’s not really something you would wear at the height of summer weather.

PLEASE explain to me the concept of shorts… with stockings?? I do NOT understand how this is meant to be “in” now – how this meets the conceptual requirements of winter attire? HOW? I mean, let’s think about it – shorts are summer attire… stockings are not… my logic is this: if it IS too cold to wear shorts then HERE is a novel idea… wear PANTS! Especially when you see said wearer wearing maddeningly shot shorts + thick stocking + thick jacket/cardigan + umbrella (as its raining)… i don’t care if its in; it does NOT look right – i think perhaps if i must allow the possibility of the shorts and stockings combo it would be with fishnets – only because fishnet stockings aren’t really stockings are they? They don’t actually provide any warmth… but then unless your a burlesque dancer; shorts + fishnets + heels are generally not what one wears out… well; unless your Brittany Spears and you’re off to shoot your new video clip!

Am I the only one who thinks this? is it a sign of my age that I look at this and think – WTF?

Any thoughts?

Anything in the fashion world lately that you’re left thinking – “what the??”

Mr A Gets Promoted!

At First I didn’t actually see it this way – a promotion. It took Susi and I chatting about the situation and chuckling of at the madness of it all to realise that it is, indeed some kind of a promotion i guess!

Remember how aaaagggeeesss ago i mentioned how a male family member came to Perth to visit? Remember how I mentioned how mum has high hopes for said guy and then all hopes were dashed when both people’s personalities conflicted? Well; when he left Australia he had left some of his luggage here and had asked that we send it back to him. “We” became ‘MY’ job and my mum cut all sort of responsibility on grounds that since they had had an argument that clearly the responsibility would be mine. And so (yet again) i sucked it up and dealt with it.

I told him that I would more than happy to send his (22kg of) luggage once he had transferred me some money – I mean, didn’t get me wrong here; I have no problems sending 1, 2, 5, or even up to 10kg worth of luggage but aft3er a few quick quotes online I discovered that sending 22kg worth of luggage was hardly cheap… plus i have a house to pay for (does anyone realise that porcelain slab tiles are NOT cheap?)

So after nearly a YEAR later – yes, nearly a year the guy transfers me some money – far be it for me to tell him that since the start of financial year that the cost of sending said items would be increased. Whatever; I was just happy to have it off my hands (and not have to hear anymore about it from my mum… again and again… and again!).

Everything was organised through Discount Excess Luggage – yes it is some shameless advertising but the man was really great (for more details head to http://www.discountexcessbaggage.com.au/) and the prices were really competitive! The plan was that he would pick up said item from my mum’s place; weigh item, call me and I would give him my credit card details. What actually happened was that he went to pick up said item and mum would not take any of the paperwork from him?

The poor guy had no idea what to do – i spoke to my mum later and apparently the rationale in her mind was that as NONE of it was her responsibility that she would not take ANY of the paperwork. That this man HAD to give me the paperwork – she told the poor guy where i worked and said that he should drop it off to me!

When the guy (his name was Laurie by the way) said “you can give it to your daughter when you see her” apparently she said a few things – mum told me that she had told him that i do not always come home and that sometimes i sleep at my friends house!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I told her that she KNEW that I most definitely was not staying with a “friend” and that I am staying with my in-laws and my husband she went onto say “no – I tell him you sometimes stay with your friend; what for I make bad my daughter’s name? I not want to tell him that you won’t come home to see your mother”

I mean let’s just be serious here for a second – as IF the Caucasian man is seriously caring what I do with my life and where I am living! I mean – WHO would he gossip this ‘vital’ tid-bit of information to??? If anything, her behaviour has probably made him go “yep, I’d be living with my friend too sweetie!!!”

Anyway; although at first I was a little frustrated, annoyed and flabbergasted by her incessant denial Susi and I realised that in some twisted way she had finally acknowledged Mr A’s existence as being something more than (how she affectionately refers to him as) ‘Satan’.

And it only took us this long!

Another 3 years and he’ll be my boyfriend/fiancé!

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