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This post may shock , I do think that readers won’t like it. “If  you chose to have a baby you must sacrifice as the Lebanese love to say”, LOL.

I know all that and all the bla bla, but I felt the need to write the feelings I had for some weeks, I wanted to write this post before, but I didn’t have time and the force to do it. If I’m writing this post now, it is for me not to forget the feelings I felt the first 3 weeks…

It is not a post related to social, political or human activism. It is a personal post about my personal feelings.

for those who will be chocked, “tammano” now, at the 5th week, the first 3 weeks seems to be forgotten.Rita Chemaly

Parenthood: the very difficult and exhausting beginnings.

Waa waaa waaa, baby is crying.

You usually master what you do, and what you learned. At school, University, Work, even in your relationships.

But….

Here, hearing the waa waaaa waaa, you feel lost, and you DON’T know what to do.

You studied and prepared yourself for the upcoming phase,

You watched video’s , surf the net, did research, talked to your fellow friends who already have babies, and tons of them,

But NO.

Nothing prepares you to what you live in those first 2 weeks.

At the hospital the first days are easier, nurses take care of some of the main duties (changing diapers, giving bath) and when baby cries they come and help in calming him.

Coming back home,

EVERYTHING Changes.

all the rooms changes. Even if you have prepared a nursery!

All new born stuff are here and there, in the Kitchen, in the Library, in Your room, On your bed…

it is the first days “karkabeh” ….

But it is not the were the point is. it is more than that,

You feel tired after your delivery and can’t understand what is happening when baby cries all the time.

Diapers are clean, baby is showered , he is not “mamghouss” he is not “mchawwab”,

what is happening???

you cuddle him, you sing, you dance, nothing helps.

Yes maybe after trying all the “salaam salaam” and “fi zill himayatiki”,

the “tirachrach” song with the dance helped in calming the baby for 4 seconds!

what was the problem I understood 2 days after coming back home:

I chose to breastfeed exclusively.

I found out that THIS was the most DIFFICULT choice in this phase.

the first 2 to 3 weeks, you first feel a CRUCIFYING Pain,

yes, it is not as easy to learn the Breastfeeding positions, how to help your new born latch, and how to make him eat without falling asleep.

Moreover, the baby will need to eat ON DEMAND. the first 2 to 3 weeks it means ALL the time.

Something that I have read soo many times before, but didn’t understand, and if you hear some of the pediatricians they will tell you , “lachou el azeb” breastfeed for 15 minutes, and if you want give some formula (milk for babies), they will sleep for 4 hours at night.

Grrr…. The World Health Organisation, and the very well known book “j’eleve mon enfant”  and the other readings I Did, they all advise you to Breastfeed for at least 4 months.

this is how I made my choice.

but for me who usually got time to read, blog, watch tv, answer phone calls, work, cook, sleep or whatever other thing,

this Breastfeeding on demand MEANS I don’t have time for anything. NOT EVEN GO TO THE BATHROOM, or have a proper shower!

More than that, you usually know that communication and dialogue will help you Resolve problematic issues at work, with your peers, in your community,

with your newborn, NO. the first weeks communication is resumed to I want to eat, and please change my diapers!

You will do that EXCLUSIVELY on the first weeks.

I Wasn’t prepared to that 🙂

neither physically neither morally. especially when you don’t sleep neither at night nor day!

when baby cries “I Want to eat”, AND  for a breastfeeding mom, THIS means you will be sitting all the time for the baby to eat.

While sitting you can’t do anything, …. hmmm let me correct it: you can watch SOAP operas on TV, the Turkish one’s translated in Syrian, I know all of them now , I even watch the morning shows of most of the TV Stations. And I discovered that the French TV stations are dull also, they still have the MORICO TV SHOPPING emission! (with a different name of course Tele Shopping in the morning! ).

for those who usually enjoy multi tasking , run here and there and do many things,

with your new born on the first 3 weeks, you can’t .

I enjoyed the fact that I was able to take a mini shower one afternoon, without hearing the constant crying 🙂

On the First month birthday a change appeared,

yes, I was able to get 2 hours sleep on the morning! yes This was an achievement!

Friends, and family members coming to visit and congratulate us were shocked when I said that NO Mother ever explained her feelings of the first weeks. Moms are Heroes, this is what I understand now after those 3 weeks experience!

I repeated to all my friends, that they must be Prepared MORALLY and Physically  to the first 3 weeks,

those are the hardest. No SLEEP, no Rest.

the first 3 weeks you ask yourself…. are babies truly cute???

THE CHANGE, Begun after those 3 weeks:

now at the 5th week, yes, we enjoy parenthood ….we enjoy it.

YES 🙂 Finally, we begin to play to mom and dad roles with a broad smile,

baby hears you, watch your face if you are close, and a beginning of communication begins.

you will still feel like a “Lurpack” but, you will do it with more pleasure.

at the End, a big thanks to those who helped those first weeks:

my hameto, my cousins and my close friends with whom I talked day and night on the JN growing up group on whats up, my old comrade from school lama, and a group of people I don’t know on the real world, just on the virtual one, but they were a big help “the breastfeeding in Lebanon” mothers group on Facebook.

I can’t forget the role of the husband…. mine is a sweetheart, and the one who pushed me to continue and not to stop. Yes his constant support  and encouragement helped a LOT, and here we are, sitting together, him having diner and me having time to share this story with you, with a sweet lovely baby sleeping in his crib…. Peacefully 🙂 for half an hour I presume before his number 24 Snack of milk again 🙂

Rita, em JN for now….

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I just got a call from dodo my friend who has been living in Canada.

The law there entitles her to see her children grow, watch their first steps, see how their first tooth grow….

the law there gives a women 50 weeks and for the Paternity 5 week that the dad can choose to take the moment he wants!

plus the dad is entitled for a 2 days for the delivery!!!!!!

and we in Lebanon are struggling to have 70 days for maternity leave!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you know that all moms and dads in Lebanon have to think what to do after 49 days??? do they put their new born in Kindergarden, do they ask their “hametos” “mother in laws” or any relative to watch over, do they bring a Domestic worker to watch for the new born!??!?!

Do you think dear MPs that these solutions are Safe???? is it how you want Lebanese families to raise the future citizens of Lebanon????!!!!

GRRRR!!!!!

We have to act!!!

Rita Chemaly

Canadian maternity leave versus lebanon maternity leave

some sources about Canadian law http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/pregnancy.php

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Lebanese Mothers: Missing Their Babies

Lebanon currently has one of the shortest maternity leave periods in the world, offering only 49 days off work for new mothers. (Photo: Marwan Bu Haidar)

By: Chloe Benoist

Published Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A draft law addressing maternity leave is set to be presented in the upcoming fall Parliamentary session, aiming to lengthen time off work for new mothers. However, mothers, doctors and activists are saying it’s still not enough.

Lebanon currently has one of the shortest maternity leave periods in the world, offering only 49 days off work for new mothers. This embarrassing record is beaten only by Bahrain and the UAE, who both allow 45 days of recuperation after childbirth. A current draft law to increase the maternity leave to ten weeks is set to be presented in front of the Parliament in the upcoming months. However, it still falls short of the minimum 14 weeks recommended by the International Labor Organization.

The proposal, presented by MPs Gilberte Zwein of the Free Patriotic Movement and Michel Moussa of the Amal Movement Parliamentary Bloc, has already been approved by the Women and Children Committee, the Public Health, Labor and Social Affairs Committee and the Justice and Administration Commission. The proposal was also given the green light by Prime Minister Najib Mikati in April. For Moussa, the draft law represents “an acceptable step forward for both mothers and employers.”

But what might seem an acceptable compromise for politicians is far from sufficient for those directly affected by the law. For Jinane Khashouf, a 31-year-old human resources consultant and creator of a blog entitled Lebanese Working Moms, it was a struggle to conciliate work with the responsibility of caring for a newborn.

 

 

Khashouf said she was “lucky” that her now five-year old daughter was born in the summer while she was working as a teacher, hence giving her two and a half months off. However, she only had the seven-week long maternity leave after the birth of her son two years ago.

“It was not enough,” she said. “You want to go back to your daily life, but you are not ready: you are still breastfeeding, the baby is awake most of the time, but the show must go on.” Khashouf added that if it hadn’t been for her mother being able to take care of her youngest child while she was in the office, she would simply have chosen not to have a second child.

The pressure of balancing a career with motherhood is heightened by the fear of many women that they will be replaced at work, and this despite the existing law which prohibits the firing or women who are pregnant or on maternity leaves. “The law might say many things, but it is not always respected,” Khashouf said, noting that she knows of several women who were unlawfully dismissed from their jobs during or right after their pregnancy.

While hailing the draft proposal as progress, obstetrician Souha Nasreddine emphasized the need to aim higher, citing the negative health concerns a short maternity leave might entail.

“Having time off work to care for your newborn is not a benefit, it’s a need,” she stressed. She recommended a minimum of three months off, while noting that it is highly preferable for mothers to breastfeed until the age of six months. Unfortunately, working hours and a persistent taboo concerning breast pumps at work has meant that many mothers have had to stop breastfeeding their children much earlier than they would have liked.

 

 

According to Nasreddine, forcing mothers to get back to work so quickly also has a psychological effect on the newborn child. “The bonding during the first six months of a baby’s life is important for personality building,” she said, estimating that children separated too early from their mothers have a tendency to be more agitated, anxious and insecure.

The slow pace of reform also has some activists worried that Lebanon will continue to lag behind on international rights standards for decades. The former president of the League for Lebanese Women’s Rights, Linda Matar, recalled the last time the maternity leave law was updated twelve years ago, when private sector employees were granted nine extra days, finally on par with their public sector counterparts’ 49 days off. “It made no sense,” Matar said, referring to the old status quo. “Childbirth is the same, regardless of your place of employment.”

Additionally, while employers could previously legally fire women before their fifth month of pregnancy, women have been fully protected from termination of employment during the entire duration of their pregnancy and subsequent time off since 2000 – at least, according to the law.

Although they recognize the limitations of the current draft law, those who contributed to it highlighted the fact that this proposal represents the best possible outcome of negotiations between the feminist movement and economic actors. Rita Chemaly, a blogger and activist who also works at the National Commission for Lebanese Women, noted that while the commission initially hoped for a 12-week maternity leave, there was resistance from employers against extending the leave so dramatically.

 

 

However, Chemaly said she was hopeful. “I feel pretty confident that this law will pass,” she said. “This is not a polarizing subject. It transcends communitarianism and will benefit all women.” The fact that the proposal has already been approved by three parliamentary commissions strengthened her belief.

While Moussa shared Chemaly’s optimism about the proposal’s potential to pass, he did have a word of caution. “There is a chance that the current political tensions could negatively affect the outcome of the vote,” he noted. “We will have to see how the discussions go.”

For Matar, the relegation of this law to the backburner wouldn’t be anything new. She has been advocating for around sixty years trying to improve conditions for women in the country, and said that time and time again, progress is stifled by political paralysis.

“We are always told ‘now is not the time,’ whether we are at peace or at war,” she said. “Well, if not now, when? Women’s issues are always forgotten because they are not supported by the government.”

But more importantly than legal change, many agreed that Lebanon needs a drastic change in mentality regarding its perception of working mothers. For many women, being a stay-at-home mom is no longer an option the way it was a generation or two ago.

 

 

“Many women work because they have to work – otherwise they would simply switch to part-time jobs,” Khashouf said. “Quitting your job also means losing a huge part of your identity. We need to find options that work for everyone.”

Zeina Ibrahim, an office manager, agreed. “Working mothers have a lot of pressure in our society,” she said. “There is that expectation that you should give up your job, and that you are a bad mother if you don’t.”

Ibrahim changed jobs after giving birth to her son because of the long hours at her previous place of work, which made it impossible for her to be there for her child. Yet, she never considered giving up working altogether, knowing it would be very hard to find work again.

Another factor often cited as making life more difficult for working mothers is the lack of involvement of fathers in day-to-day childcare. For Chemaly, a paternity leave would be a great step for families to bond, “but there must be a change of mentality. People need to stop thinking it is a shame for a man to change a diaper before we can even think of passing a law.”

Nasreddine summarized the imperative to keep aiming higher and not relegate mothers’ rights as “simply” a women’s issue: “Working mothers need real support, and it’s not only for them, it’s for the whole society. Everybody needs to remember that they are not doing this simply for their own benefit; they are raising the country’s next generation.”

soruce: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/lebanese-mothers-missing-their-babies

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My friends work in the wedding planning field, I am impressed with their work, and the way they do research to prepare each theme minutiously, with all the details, and the very small details;

I think as a first assumption that such weddings will cost millions … And I am right; after doing a first search I discovered that to do a wedding with 300 invitees, a couple in Lebanon needs to pay at least 40 000 $ the location is very important, I suggest to all those who are willing to make their dream become true to try to do it in a Garden ,  or in a Hotel, without forgetting the fireworks ( as the responsible of a garden told me: the Taous… the fountain, ….) , the generator, the Valets Parkings, with one to each 7 cars, the same with the hostesses 1 for each 7 persons, the lighting, the chocolate, the flower decoration, the food, the zaffeh, the singers, the entertainments, the dress, and costume, and ah… last but not least, the “coiffeurs” the hairdressers I met ask for a 800$ for the bride hairdressing, without her mom or her bridemaids; you have the cinderella style, the extensions, the veil…..I forgot the make up … remake of the bride :-)),

bref, the weddings in Lebanon are one of the most extravagant and working field ( de”o 3al khachab) (touch wood)

here is an article by the daily star of ideas that might be less expensive than the Big Fat Lebanese wedding style, in my opinion, those ideas are as expensive as the others…. anyhow … let us wish to everybody a Happy ever after…w liliiiiii

rita

 

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