Education, Parenting

In collaboration with 360Moms; Dealing with Homework Struggles!

I am sure that as a mom, like me, you have faced and struggled with homework with one or all of your children. You might have as well swore, screamed, and wished you could flunk all those books out of the window. How many times have you wished for a magic formula that could save you all those tears, breakdowns, and tantrums?!

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I am also certain that, like me, you have read a zillion article in trying to find the best teaching methods and interactive strategies that you could implement with your own child in order to smoothly finish all this perplexing school work. You might have even practiced counting till ten, left the room, or restored to meditation to be able to preserve your patience and calm attitude throughout those long and frustrating afternoons.

And of course, like me, you have blamed yourself, felt horrible and extremely guilty for being unable to provide the assistance needed or because you snapped back at your child when he was in desperate need for positive assurance! To be honest with you, from my experience as a teacher and as a mom, I realized that teaching my own children was a very tough task, as if I haven’t taught a child before, until I succeeded in hitting my targets accurately!

Yes, years back, I did all of this and more, and trust me we still do have our tough moments, but time has taught me and experience has enlightened me. I have been working on myself for the past few years, and I still try to maintain my sanity when it comes to the pressure of homework and exams.

So how can we, as parents, sidestep this drama and what can we do to help our precious children who struggle with homework?

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I have been applying the approaches below for a while now, and this is what has worked for us so far. I do hope that it will also give you an insight on what and how to react with your child when it comes to completing school work:

Mantra:

I have created my own mantra “I am the adult!” which I sometimes repeat in my head endless times as I try to understand why my child does not want to cooperate with me.  Is it due to fatigue, or lack of sleep, or even having low self-confidence about that subject matter in specific? Is my child afraid of facing a concept he does not understand? Once I realize the reason behind his non-cooperative manner, and I know that his reaction depends on me and on the way I am confronting the situation, I try to implement a more positive tactic of communication with him and encourage him to set himself to work.

Working Alternatives:

I soon discovered the importance of implementing a fixed routine because, like in every family, establishing a solid routine for multiple parenting tasks saves the parents from facing many unnecessary challenges.  In our afternoon routine, my child and I agreed on the following:

  1. He can have multiple breaks between every completed school task. The breaks could range from five to fifteen minutes depending on how much time and energy has been consumed. I provide him with the choice to exercise an outdoor or physical activity that he enjoys. You cannot imagine how successful this method is and it is mentally and physically rewarding to any child and parent alike.
  2. We also agreed on dividing the assignments for the week by creating a To-Do-List and synchronize it with his schedule. Luckily, the school provides the students with a general outline of what is expected to be done during the whole school week. That is why, on weekends, we prioritize what needs to be worked on. This method teaches the child to be systematized and learns how to be organized – and both are great credentials for their future lives.
  3. With time, I learned that my child has a pictorial memory, and everything should be visually sensed in order to be attained. That is why, we work on creating a summary that includes certain drawings or even images. That helps my child to retain the information given, and the possibility of remembering the required information will flow with more ease.
  4. The usage of stick notes has also helped in reminding him of certain duties that need to be carried out. I find these sticky notes very helpful if the child tends to forget certain tasks or obligations. Of course, at the beginning a lot of effort is required from the parents’ side, yet once the child shows a responsible attitude on his own, it is important for the parents to back off and give the child the chance to execute the planning on his own.
  5. Finally, the most effective strategy in completing homework efficiently is setting a timer for each given task. Once a child is capable of visualizing that time ends after a certain period, he would definitely work harder in order to finish the assignment given, and would be able to enjoy his free play time afterwards.

 

Get Help:

Having five children, a packed and active life, and my husband who works for long hours, we knew that it is best to find a professional tutor who would be of great help in times of loaded obligations, assessments, and in other specific situations. By doing so, I had more time to manage other duties at home and could spend more time with my other children. A tutor does not have to come every single day, but her presence gives a lot of comfort and support to the child and the parent alike.

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Materialistic Recompenses:

It has been agreed that bribes and materialistic rewards set a bad dynamic, because the child is not awarded for the learning experience but rather for the prize. That is why, I strongly believe that such rewards might not be the best alternative.  And as much as I avoid using these materialistic prizes in my parenting policy, sometimes I need to entice him by giving him the chance to get an item he has been wanting for some time. I admit it is not something I do often or enjoy doing, but sometimes I reach a point where I have no other option left. I also want him to feel pleased and proud of his effort, so if buying him a gift, every once in a while, will help in elevating his self-esteem, then why not?

Note, however, that all of my children know that there are consequences that would be taken if the rules that were set were not followed properly. For example, he would not be able to exercise something he enjoys before he actually finishes his school duties as a priority!

Emotional and Verbal Recompenses:

Sometimes a simple warm hug could actually ease the burning anger that has been ignited due to those parent child struggle. I focus a lot on how proud I feel with the process and the effort he has been exhibiting more than on the grades and outcome afterwards. Effective encouragement, where I actually verbalize the pride I feel towards the hard work my child is demonstrating, boosts his self-esteem and gives him confidence. I try my best to maintain being the empowering parent, where I tell my child that we are on the same team and we are going to succeed. I make him believe in his ability, and I show him that I understand his anxiety.

Finally, it is essential to recognize our child’s positive traits and build from there, and remember all of this requires lots and lots of patience from our sides as parents. After all, working on achieving harmony while doing homework could sometimes be nerve-wrecking and requires a lot of calmness from my side. Those guidelines have facilitated the process of studying and reviewing at home. However, if you have applied all those tips before, but your child continues to struggle every night with homework and those constant battles keep rising leading to painful meltdowns, it would be the occasion to meet with the teachers and discuss a successful plan to help your child overcome this inner and disturbing defeat. I strongly believe that a child’s emotional and mental status are far more important than scoring high grades. On the other hand, if it happens that you are blessed with a methodical and responsible child who is willingly motivated and enjoys attaining high grades, then you are one fortunate parent and may this blessing last long!

 

Disclaimer: I have been wanting to write about this subject years ago, but I still wasn’t ready to share my struggles with my audience. I wanted to communicate my moments of success because by nature I like to reflect and focus on the positive outcome any life experience brings.  Now that we are actually diverting towards the right method of tackling homework, I do hope that you find the above mentioned strategies beneficial for you and your child.

 

Check 360moms website by clicking on the link: http://www.360moms.net

 

 

 

events, Reviews, special occasions

Read With Your Child; Event Review

It is not all about the recognition or the awards which I receive, but it is that unique joy which I internally experience when I know that I have in one way or another helped someone feel better, awakened a hidden passion in them, or I have simply succeeded in transmitting a certain knowledge which is beneficial to them. That is the only and best reward which actually fulfills me and gives me a sense of productive satisfaction.

Last week, I presented my first event here in Muscat at Let’s Read where I have discussed, along with the parents, the basic steps of how to read WITH and not TO a child.

Like any skill, reading needs training, positive reinforcement and a lot of patience in order to be mastered by the child.  The best part of the workshop is the engagement I have received from the concerned and boisterous group of moms who were very eager to apply what we have covered and experienced together.

It is very important that we, as parents, find the time and the appropriate method in encouraging our children to appreciate reading and know all about the benefits that lie behind it. After all, any type of knowledge is easily acquired when the child is actually involved in the learning process; so goes the saying: ‘Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I will remember.”

 

The whole ambiance at the Let’s Read Center was filled with a positive and a captivating atmosphere. The staff and attendees have actually taken me to a world where we all felt as one – bonded together in order to implement what we believe is the best for our children.

“By doing what you passionately love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.” I would like to take a moment and thank all of those who have been part of this workshop’s success. You have also participated in my inner growth and helped me in learning something new about myself.

 

P:S: Let’s Read, located in the heart of Oman Avenues Mall, is an interactive learning niche with multiple reading literacy activities and a colorful selection of books.

Opening hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm

 

 

Photo credit: Fayqa Alshidi

 

About Life, Poems by me

She Lost Her Patience

She lost her patience the other day and decided to run away.

She slammed the door shut and out she went from her warm hut.

She walked in despair inhaling the fresh scent of amber.

Cool air brushed her worried face,

As she walked in a rapid pace…

Then her knees suddenly buckled underneath,

She could not even breathe.

So she came to a full stop,

And on the soft wet grounds, she fell down in a drop.

She twisted her thin fingers around her crimson curls,

And pulled on her head in spirals and twirls.

Warm tears streamed down the freckles of her face,

As she looked at herself in disgrace.

‘What kind of mother are thee?

To leave your little one with no mercy…’

She knew she loved him with all her heart

And with him she could never even part!

His presence was a bliss,

A feeling she would not want to miss…

But she was tired and consumed,

She felt lost and totally confused.

She was overwhelmed and afraid,

Of the new forced responsibility that came unpaid!

She felt clueless and terrified,

As she sobbed, cried and cried…

In desperation she tightly hugged her knees,

Holding her head up to catch a cool breeze.

She wanted to fill in her lungs

With flowers, butterflies, and shrubs…

She craved for sunlight and shine

And soft petals covering her spine!

She has been trapped for weeks,

With a fragile baby of rosy cheeks,

Curly red hair on fire,

And dark brown eyes filled with desire.

On her own night and day,

She had to carry him, feed him, love him and pray!

Bathe him, cuddle him, move and sway…

On her own, was she and could not even rest!

Her patience was out for the test…

Her belly still wobbly and soft,

That long delivery she wished she forgot…

The gnawing pain that tore around her back

Making every bone within her crack!

Her enlarged breasts filled with warm milk,

Suddenly dripped softly and ached in a blink.

She gasped for breath as her heart sank in her chest!

Like needles, goosebumps on her skin were thrown,

Making her shiver to the bone.

She turned to nature to observe

How perfect and ready it is to serve

A human, a life, and a lost soul!

So she knew she had no choice but to control,

That inner distress and pain,

And be strong for her baby’s gain!

For him she would live and die

Cross the oceans, weep and cry.

No matter how demanding or tough

She had to be brave, courageous and rough…

So she finally had the power, and up she stood,

She realized how challenging is Motherhood!

It will continue to throw her from side to side

And make her fall down an extremely steep slide,

Then wildly pull her up and let her fly,

With unconditional love and compassion to glorify.

But that is only the start…

Of an everlasting loving and aching heart!

Painting by Michael Garmash

Note for the reader:

I wrote this poem a few months back, but didn’t find the occasion to post it. With all the Love February brings along, I realized that would be the best timing for my poem to appear to the public.

It is due to that unconditional love that this tired and worn out mother could actually overcome her breakdown as she stepped into the supreme ocean of motherhood!

Love heals our souls. It mends our pain. It gives us hope. And it brings light to our life!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

About Life, Parenting

Parents of the 21st Century

Parents of the 21st century, I admire us! I admire how we survive the irony we live day by day. I admire our perseverance in attaining our goals. I admire that despite our fatigue and feebleness we continue to smile and enjoy life. I admire our creativity and the pressure we have put upon ourselves and our children in order to achieve big dreams.

And what a hefty responsibility we have forbear on our shoulders! Haven’t you realized that we are the pioneers of a humongous change which is slowly conquering the world?

We are the first generation to have such open accessibility to knowledge. A knowledge which could be overwhelmingly daunting sometimes. Whenever we are worried about any parenting or health issue, we could simply tap a button, and we get to read about anything and learn new notions while seated at the comfort of our sofa at home. It would be helpful, though, to keep in mind that not everything we read about is one hundred percent true! There is a big chance we could be easily tricked into superstitious ideas which could make us worry about unnecessary concerns.

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We are the first generation to have such awareness and encourage our children to openly discuss topics which our parents did not even dare speak of. We assist them in having the courage to criticize dogmatic rules and taboo. In fact, we help them voice their opinions and demand for a better world. At the same time, I strongly believe that we need to guide our children and raise their awareness because that is one way to protect them from such a vast openness. It is important that we are actually involved in their inquiries and arguments.

We are the first generation to be living in such an alarming dilemma. We want to catch up with all the new advanced applied science to the extent that we are even considering future steps in conquering other planets!! At the same time, we want to preserve our heritage and maintain what has been forbade to us from previous generations. We painfully wonder what are we actually offering our children! Here again, having open conversations with our children and telling them more about our antecedents would help them appreciate the past and look to the future with richness.

We are the first generation which is working unyieldingly hard in trying to save the environment as we implement recycling programs in different countries. Although we sometimes feel hopeless and angry to realize the damage which we humans have inflicted on planet Earth – throughout the past years – we try to compensate by directing our children into choosing better alternatives and reduce waste. One good way to have this concept come out naturally, is to set an example ourselves and apply what we preach about at home and in schools.

We are the first generation to be raising children who are hooked up to their iPads and smart phones – mind you so are we! We even struggle, every single day, in setting strict rules and limited timing for the usage of these devices. We try to justify its advantages and bombard our conscience with their disadvantages. We share articles with each other trying to help ourselves and others, through a constructive analysis, about how the online world is affecting all of us. Many are the times when we reach a dead end and we feel that we do not actually know if we are doing the right thing! However, setting those rules together along with our children might be a helpful way of limiting this excessive and addictive usage! As parents, for example, we should also set a good model and not use these devices while we are seated at the dinner table all together.

We are the first generation to be living away from our support systems and extended family members. We had to learn to adapt on living on our own without having the constant presence of close relatives by our side. Many of our children are capable of physically spending fun times with their grandparents only once a year! How strenuous is that! Therefore, it is essential to ask for help from dear friends and neighbors as this would lessen the hefty uncertainty we might be experiencing. Yes, it is OK to ask for help when needed!

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We are the first generation to be consuming toxic ready made food in such enormous quantities and purchasing refined and manufactured processed foods because we are not given much choice on the matter. Then, we feel anxious about how we are actually poisoning ourselves and our children’s health!! We do not actually know what the best choices are because every year a new research highlights the dangers of consuming a certain type of food. Here comes the importance of preparing homemade meals and desserts where we could at least control the amounts of sugar and fat used in our food intake.

We are the first generation to be aiming on achieving multiple goals in a short period of time. Hence, we find ourselves participating in any given plans and activities. We find ourselves drowning because we are loading ourselves with a lot of weight.  As much as setting goals is essential in achieving success, trying to accomplish one after the other makes us more focused and more efficient.

We are the first generation to be witnessing a major technical revolution where we exist in two worlds; the real one and the virtual one. Along the way, humanity has become scarce and functioning mechanically like robots has become a ‘mode de vie’. In doing so, we realize that we are losing human traits which are essential for our survival. It is here that we come to appreciate Nature and the serenity it brings to one’s soul. After all, it it is in the arms of Mother Nature, where we genuinely get the chance to explore ourselves and minds.

We are the first generation to have our children register in structured play and professional training skills. We pay fortunes of money to have them efficiently learn specific competencies. Very soon, we come to realize that bombarding our children with more than two activities per week is definitely strenuous for them and us alike.

We are the first generation to be spending most of our time driving back forth, commuting on a daily basis and exposing ourselves to high risks because we need to tend to our endless parenting chores. So let us please be safe on the roads and try not to text and drive as thousands and thousands of us do!

Finally, we are the first generation to undergo surgeries and plastic restoration for cosmetic purposes as we try to defy age. We are actually accepting all sorts of ideas that would make us feel good about ourselves, even if we had to inject a few toxins into our veins. I think that we should consider our sometimes hasty decisions and simply accept the beauty of how our bodies change by time.

Parents of the 21 st century, I admire us because we are the first generation to be experiencing this contradiction, yet we are making our best to handle it well.  We have such a solid will that helps us move forward. Despite all that uncertainty and the overwhelming obligations we have the will to survive such a challenge and move on.

At the same time, I cannot stress enough the importance of  spreading the righteous awareness to our kids and teach them how to be responsible for the actions they take. We are in charge of directing them into knowing about all those contradictory life issues. We are here to guide them, and have them learn from what life brings their way. Unlike us, their every action taken and every word noted is now recorded forever.

Parents of the 21st century, I encourage you to give yourself a tap on the back because none of the previous generations has been subjected to such an impressive demanding parenting experience! And that is why I admire us!

About Life, events

LOVE

No matter what sort of year you have had, this is the time when you feel the need to sit with oneself and ponder about the past events, assess the current situation, and hope for a better future. Some of us work on changing certain habits, while others create a list of a new year’s resolution. Personally, I have decided to work more on my inner status as a first step in making the best out of my life in this period of time. And this is what I will share with you:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you!”

Last year, I thanked 2017 for all the boundless experiences it has entrusted me with, and the life lessons it taught me from the painful losses which have abducted my inner happiness. Despite that, I held no grudge against it, and for 2018 I prayed for Love!  I realized, back then, that the more Love I give to the outside world, the more peaceful I felt in my inner terrene! I learned to reflect intense Love and only Love towards my soul and others, regardless of a few bitter and negative consequences I have faced a couple of times during the year. So for that mighty LOVE I have asked!

Throughout 2018, Love bounced back at me with abundance. I was baffled by the loving support and ardent loyalty I have received this past year! I did not only feel it, but I have also sensed it on many occasions. Whether it was at home, or at school, or by the society, it was expressed in one way or the other. People sometimes surprised me by sending messages or emails expressing the Love they feel for my work, and all the inspiration I have provided them with.  The Love I have asked for was manifested in many ways, and I am so grateful for those ardent emotions I have shared with so many of you.

That radiant Love was specifically tangible when family and friends knew about our departure and the fact that we will be leaving Abu Dhabi for good. I received phone calls almost on a daily basis, words of encouragement, and support from so many caring people. I felt I owe each and every one of them and promised myself to always make the effort to be there for them too and provide them with my endless Love and warmth.

That same unique Love accompanied me all the way to Oman where we were fervently welcomed by very kind people and with whom we instantly felt connected. Their love and courtesy fell upon me and my family like confetti. I could literary feel their enthusiasm and consideration in wanting to help us and make us feel at home. It was a bit surprising for me at first to realize that so much goodness still prevails itself in this unbalanced world. At the same time, I thought to myself, ‘How awesome is that!!?’

Despite all the difficult changes I have experienced and the unstable mind status I passed through, I could sense the loving vibes of my entourage. That same Love has helped me overcome the complications of settling in a new place and quickly adapting to the current environment.

It is true that there are only a few days left before I bid goodbye to another number set in a sequence. Only a few days to benefit from what is still hidden for me in 2018, yet the impact this year had on me is endless and immortal. The new me who graduated from the ‘School of Life’ as per my precious Grandmother, may God bless her soul, is remarkable. Yes, I will continue to offer more and more of my Love to everyone and everything that surrounds me. Yes, I will be projecting my positive sentiments for the dear people who have been part of this growth! That Love will be my eternal guide!

So what would I ask for in 2019? I only want to be immersed in gratefulness!

N:B In the picture above, Mother Earth has offered me this  heart shaped rock which I coincidentally found on our second week in Muscat, and I knew that Love will continue to guide me in the years to come.

About Life, Parenting

Expats; This is for You!

This is not the first time I experience the life of an expat. In fact, my life started as one. First, I was born in Saudi Arabia, in a remote area which was foreign to my parents. In it, I experienced a unique childhood where I grew up appreciating the beauty of the desert with all its charming crimson and pale colors emerged in one painting.

Years later, my parents, like every Lebanese at that time, decided to go back to their hometown, and try to compensate for the lost years of living abroad. Seeking a better opportunity to provide us with an excellent level of education, they conceded to settle in Beirut during the weekdays, and headed to the mountains every weekend.

As children, we quickly learned to adapt and fit into two different cultures; the urban and rural life each with its own disperse traditions and contradictory lifestyles .

The first real cultural shock, though, hit me when I got married and moved to live in France. It was not only about learning to adapt and fit into a completely new culture, but I also needed to improve my French speaking, reading, and writing skills which I have acquired as a third language.

I left my family, my teaching career, my social life, and my home to create a new home for me and my dear husband. And what a shock it was to realize that I was all of a sudden fully responsible for the tiniest decisions I made.

Not too long after that, my husband and I embarked on a new journey to Abu Dhabi! Again settling in and creating our own circle took some time, but we soon managed to establish our solid grounds and deal with the daily challenges of parenting, work, and whatever life brought us. Of course, we had our ups and downs. Our moments of complete surrender and defeat. Instants of loneliness and uncertainty. At the same time, we encountered amazing moments and built particular memories with amazing people whom we will cherish forever.

All those years, have actually taught me how to adapt to change. They provided me with the courage of embracing modification and diversity. They have paved the road for me to make me accept the consequences of living the expat life!

So this is how I am now acknowledging our new move in Muscat:
Learn about the culture before hand:

Before moving to any country, I learned to read about the culture and the country traditions we are moving to. It is essential to know what is expected and accepted in the society. What is normal in one place could be against the law in another. That is how having an idea of what to expect makes things smoother for us.
Listen to the local radio:

Listening to the local radio gives me an insight about major events and programs taking place in town. It not only entertains me, as I drive back and forth a many times a day, but it also helps me select specific plans to carry out along with my family. These highlights open new opportunities for us to fit better into the new society.
Socialize:

To socialize is an innate human need. By nature, we are social beings and having like minded people who share similar experiences is vital. Relationships create a psychological space and a safe niche which help us explore and learn about others and about ourselves. That is why, being around people makes us happier. Although it might be difficult at first, but it will soon open new doors and slowly one’s social circle builds up. Moreover, I personally love having people over, and hosting play dates, dinners, and gatherings for children and parents alike is something I find great pleasure in. That is how I quickly get in touch with people coming from all walks of life in the community.
Get involved in local activities:

Participating in local events and activities help me in accommodating into the new country with ease and awareness. It is not always comfortable to go and about introducing myself to a new society. At the same time, I do find great pleasure in doing so which gives me a good reason to get out of my comfort zone and explore those popular and cultural occurrences that are happening in the city. So far, I have attended a few events which have helped me in building a clearer idea on how life functions here.

Explore the surroundings:

Acting like tourists, even in our own country, serves us well. It not only makes us appreciate the country’s culture and heritage, but it also opens great opportunities of learning and knowledge. In every country I have been to, I always make it a point to visit museums, historical sites, galleries, and exhibitions. I love to explore new areas and cities. I have never felt intimidated by the unknown and maybe that is what motivates me unfold any uncertainties I face.
Keep in touch with family and friends:

Keeping the bond with family members and dear friends whom I have met along those past years, is essential. That connection is healthy for both parties. After all, they are the ones who understand my feelings and help me overcome any obstacle at hand. No one knows me better than they do, and because I am aware of the fact that it is not shameful to discuss any weaknesses I encounter, I actually get the support I seek. That is how I succeed in pulling myself up whenever I feel broken on the inside.
Keeping busy:

It is essential for me to keep myself occupied with educational and recreational activities other than just maintaining my family and home. It is true that I have five children to look after, and it is true I need to support my husband. It is also true that I have certain obligations which I need to tend to, no matter how boring they might sometimes be. However, it is essential that I do not forget myself and my needs as well. Here is why, I always seek endeavors which keep my mind alert and my knowledge escalating. Currently, the great pleasure I am experiencing as a result of my piano and photography lessons is simply fascinating.

Acceptance:

As expats, we know for a fact that we will experience living in certain places for only a couple of years. It will not last forever! Some expat experiences could be more challenging than the others, especially if we were localized in countries which do not provide the accustomed facilities and services we used to have. However, once we gratefully accept what we have signed up for, we could actually enjoy those years no matter where we live.

In conclusion, no one said that the expat life is easy, and behind all the amazing facilities we are blessed with, there are many issues that come along. While it is normal to experience some challenges and frustrations when living abroad, applying the above tips have helped us ensure that our stay here could be yet another adventure which we will include in our diary.

That is why, with a positive attitude, we could actually build a new strong network no matter what the circumstances are. After all, it depends on how we decide to perceive the life we have chosen for ourselves and for our children.

So if you relate to a similar situation, let me know how you have adapted to the changes you witnessed as an expat!

About Life

Change

Change is part of life. Change cannot be escaped. Change is everlasting. And change is good no matter how challenging it might be! With change comes the positive side where a fresh embarkation is founded, clutter from previous years is removed, and growth is achieved. At the same time, different responsibilities arise, that unfamiliar beginning needs to be well established, and fitting in a new society calls for patience and observation.

Embracing any kind of change, especially those which we have taken upon ourselves, could be daunting as, by human nature, we feel helpless when we try to decipher how that change will affect our future. Questions like, ‘Have we done the right decision? Do our children feel secure and satisfied? Are we heading in the right direction?’ tumble on our heads making us feel the heaviness of our actions.

With our move to Muscat and the humongous change we have implemented on ourselves, came waves of unhappiness, stress, delight, relief, responsibilities, and solitude. Such tides have been inducing in us a variety of emotions and reactions. Some were high and comforting, and others were low and crashing. Psychologically speaking, that unhappiness results due to the fact that we are aware that we need to adjust to everything about this new life, yet the inability to manage our old habitual social activities, and fit in the new daily pattern leave a gap where only time knows how to seal.

As much as I knew that it is very important for me to sacrifice my career life and be present with my family to help them settle down easily, I also realized that I need to live for myself as well. I won’t deny that I terribly miss my profession and the time I have given in socially connecting with people in Abu Dhabi and Dubai through my blogging journey. But life goes on! That is why, recently, I have been listing all the benefits we have gained in our move, and in a way I am overlooking what I have left behind. Not that I want to forget, but I want to hold on to that period of time as beautiful memories which will soon become stories we lived and appreciated once upon a time.

By nature, and if you have been following me for some time now you might know very well, how positive I am – to the extent that sometimes I doubt my perception of things. However, this positivism has helped me before, and will continue to serve me when I feel alone – without the presence of my dearest persons around me. I am also aware that it takes a simple decision to lead a happy life, and that was my compromise!

For the sake of my husband and children, I wanted to reflect happiness as much as I could. Despite all the fatigue, the new responsibilities, and the house chores which I am still doing mostly on my own, I am trying hard to maintain my anticipation and cheerfulness. To do that, I knew I had to indulge in activities that would interest me and add up to my learning development. That is when I decided to take piano lessons. Oh how I love it! In fact, every week, I would eagerly wait for my classes, as I continue to practice playing the notes on a daily basis.

We arrived to Muscat, almost two months ago, and I cannot ignore the fact that there were some shocking realizations which we have experienced. At the same time, the warm and welcoming attitude we have encountered so far is unique. People, who do not even know you, would offer help in any possible way, making you feel supported and appreciated.

Yes, change is tough, and for some it might take more time to adapt to the new distortion. However, in my case, I knew that the sooner I make a constructive decision, the easier and more delightful our adaptation will prevail.

So dear Muscat; dear Oman, I am so ready to explore your beauty and explore whatever you have planned for us in this new settlement.

How many of you believe that change is beneficial despite its challenges?