For Just Being There

In July last year, Maher bought me an iPhone for our anniversary. My frist ever Smartphone. Of course, I didn’t even open it for a few months. Now I’m hooked.

And then my brother introduced me to WhatsApp while complaining about how people don’t just pick up the phone and call for a few minutes. Instead they chat on this thing for hours on end.

Then last month one of my friends suggested I get it. So here I am now, chatting with my friends around the world, anytime of day or night – and yes, sometimes it’s more of a monologue than dialogue. But they understand, they know I’ve lived on the moon for the last ten years.

I was chatting with some of my friends while my kids were in hospital last week. Sending emails too.

A couple of weeks into the NICU experience in Nov and Dec of 2009, one of the nurses organised a Parent Support Group. After some hesitation, it being our first “support group” and all, Maher and I went. We were only two couples in the English speaking section, and the woman leading the group showed us a day-by-day photo album of her twin boys born there, at 26 weeks gestation. Actually, one of her 6-year-old sons was taking us through the pics himself. His mum openly discussed the challenges her family faced at the NICU and over the following years. Of course, she encouraged us to talk. What struck me was that the other couple had shared their baby’s photos on Facebook. Their naked baby with a ventilator, feeding tubes, bandages, IV’s, the works.

They found love, support, and strength through their network of family and friends.

I, however, was unable to call my own brothers. I almost dialed my closest childhood friend’s number a few times. Even did once, a few days after Rahul was already home. Chatted for a few minutes.

A couple of friends of mine dropped everything that was going on for them in Chengdu and came to see me in HK. I barely even spoke to the one who stayed two weeks. She got to know my mum amd mother-in-law a bit better though.

That’s the way I used to deal with things, and during the NICU time and later, this reflex kicked in more strongly than ever before. I felt that no one could help anyway, and isolating myself was the most efficient way to deal with what was in front of me. It made sense at the time because only parents were allowed into the NICU, and I wanted to savor every moment I had alone with my babies. I was too fragile to handle criticism and questions, stress from others, and least of all pity. And there was no way I would break down. Not then.

But then a few months later, both babies out of the NICU, and home in Chengdu, I relaxed. I started to comment on blogs. (Big step!) Then I started my own. I got a VPN in China, to access Facebook again, right after Zambia won the Africa cup. I couldn’t join the celebrations, not even over FB. That was too much for me to handle!

I tried to create a network of my mum friends via Multicultural Mothering.

When one of my friend’s twins were in the NICU a year ago, I felt the need to be present. He had no problem communicating with me, explaining, and even listening to me. I was impressed. And now while my kids were in the hospital last week that same friend along with others all listened, and shared their own experiences. It made everything more bearable. Others read my endless WhatsApp monologues.

Thanks for the support over the last couple of weeks, for the brainstorming sessions, the connection. For just being there.

When I saw this talk for the first time a couple of years ago, it was perfectly timed then. I immediately forwarded it to an exhaustive list of friends. A few days ago my cousin shared it with me again. It was just what I needed to hear. Again. For my friends – old and new.

Brene Brown on Vulnerability

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Reintroducing Myself

I’m Mum of Twins (MoT) Leila and Rahul (L and R), who turned 3 on the 1st of November. They started pre-school a couple of months before their 3rd birthday.

I’ve gone back to teaching some yoga classes.

I’ve never been busier – with figuring out how to get the kids out of the house and to school in the morning, teaching my classes, doing the groceries, cooking, trying to find time for my practice, and then getting them to brush their teeth. Seriously, what’s up with brushing teeth?!

And then there’s  the events now that they’re in school. We need outfits for Halloween, photos for “student of the week”. And then there’s the birthday party.

But. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I think of a couple of mums I’ve met in the last few weeks. One is a full-time working mum of a five-year old and three-year old triplets. The other is also working full-time, with a part-time job on the side, mum of a four-year old and one-and-a-half year old twins.

Wow.

One random, but very important thought for me – I can’t thank the people who are helping me day in and day out.

My post frequency has reduced to “extremely infrequent”. I pondered dropping the blog altogether, but it’s something I have enjoyed. It made me think and express myself. And it connected me to family, old friends, and I’ve new friends I’m sure to keep regardless of the blog.

I’m hoping this is a temporary low.

Why you should Guest Post: A Guest Post by Debra Johnson

Debra is a blogger, editor & an experience holder of nanny housekeeper.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: – jdebra84 @ gmail.com

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Why you should Guest Post

As a blogger you may already have a hard time keeping up with your own personal blog, so suggesting that you guest post for a another blog sounds silly. But before you throw the idea out, consider a few of the many benefits to guest posting:

Practice: It’s like that old saying, practice makes perfect and with blogging that can be very true. The more you write the better you get. Not only does your grammar and punctuation get better but also the way you form your ideas and link words together. Guest posting allows you to practice elsewhere than on your personal page.

New ideas: The great thing about guest posting is that you can guest post for whatever blog you want to. If you have a passion for cooking, you could guest post for a cooking blog. In addition to fun new ideas, each blog has a different set up and writing style. Most blogs you guest post for will have rules and guidelines that they want you to follow. Some of them will request a certain format, style, word count and font. You may gather some ideas on the look of your blog too.

Get your name out there: The more you put yourself out there the more coverage you will get. When you guest post your name and link are listed. A reader can click and go straight to your blog, instant new reader! The more blogs you post on the more readers you can gain in return. Make sure your guest post content is full of great information so that it entices the reader to visit your blog.

There are many more benefits to writing guest posts than these three. Take the time to guest post and guest post often. Find sites that are similar to yours as well as ones that intrigue and interest you. Have fun with it and explore!

 


Zamsick

I’m posting at Multicultural Mothering today about finally going home. It’s been 9 years since I returned to Zambia. I can’t believe I can say that, and I know it’s mainly due to my complacency. Now that Leila and Rahul are in the picture, I’m motivated to get us all over there. Soon.

I’ve wanted to write about my feelings of nostalgia for a long time, but didn’t know how to tackle the subject. Heidi sent me an article 2 weeks ago, The New Globalist is Homesick, and suggested I share it at MM. I thought I’d be able to whip up a post that very day.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The idea that we can and should feel at home anyplace on the globe is based on a worldview that celebrates the solitary, mobile individual and envisions men and women as easily separated from family,from home and from the past. But this vision doesn’t square with our emotions, for our ties to home, although often underestimated, are strong and enduring.

The Montreal Stories Continue…

Our one week trip to Montreal last September continues to inspire my blog posts. The most recent is a story, “Jet-Lagged in Montreal”, of our adventures in and around the city’s night spots.
It’s hosted at “Momma Be Thy Name”; my first ever Guest Post, and it features a drawing by Liu Yan! I hope you can drop by when you have the chance.

http://mommabethyname.com/2011/11/03/jet-lagged-in-montreal-a-guest-post-by-nat-devalia-at-our-little-yogis/

(Chinese internet police have still got WordPress. I continue to access my dashboard via a proxy server; hence the typed out link.)