Your life priorities and people’s judgments

Tonight I’m going out with my girls from work. I award myself every month to go out with my girls, sometimes twice a months, and once a month I go out alone with my hubby. Sometimes I also go out for a short coffee with my friends after the work – so it’s not like I don’t go out without my daughter, but still when I look at my friends it seems like I go out very rare.

Usually when I go out I’m very excited because it’s fun-time for me, without having to worry if my girl will fall or embarrass me somehow. But, tonight I’m not so excited.   Usually I go out with the ones I feel comfortable with, whereas tonight there are also friends I really don’t enjoy being around. In other cases I wouldn’t go out, but tonight I decided I will because I don’t wanna be the party-breaker.

I don’t know how it is in your country but in Kosovo going out means you HAVE to look astonishing. Trust me, girls pay special make-up artists and hair-dressers just to look pretty. Appearance is one of the most important things in here – everything should be fashionable and amazing.

I personally finished my grad-studies in Slovenia, where people are simple (like in most part of the world – at least the ones I travelled to – including some states in USA). They look clean, fresh and that’s it. So somehow that is how I became. To me feeling fresh, clean and comfortable is the most important thing. But as I said that’s not how people value you in Kosovo, so I often get judged because of this attribute. My friends accepted me the way I am but I now not everybody does, so tonight I’ll go out with girls who firstly will look goddess, and second will judge me for my appearance.

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I’m not a very rich person. I’m not complaining because my life is above the average life of the people living in Kosovo, but I don’t have money to through away. Spending money on unnecessary and expensive cloths is not something I can afford. I can if I want to, but then I have to give up on something else like going out on weekends with my family, and this is something I would NEVER give up for cloths. I’m not saying I’m right, it is just the way I prioritize my things.

Sometimes I try not to worry about people’s opinion and live my life carefree just like I am, but some other times I can’t close my eyes, because when people stare at you it just doesn’t feel good.  Tonight is one of these night (although they are very rare) when I don’t feel good, and yet I chose to go out. I will always chose feeling bad over giving up because I want to let the others know that I am happy the way I am, I have a healthy and happy family and to me that is the most precious thing in life.

How music affect fetal development

In fact this is not yet scientifically proven, and there are pro and cons arguments. Some studies, such the book I just read “Do chocolate lovers have sweeter babies: The surprising science of pregnancy”, indicate that fetuses can hear, react to music and even further they influence their development. Although no studies and/or book defined the idea that playing the music to your baby in the womb makes them smarter, some studies I have read support the idea that based on what kind of music you play and/or your baby in your womb reacts to –it depends his personality type.

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I personally can’t really tell for my baby, as he is very active baby and as such he kicks almost all the time I assume he is awake, so I can’t make any difference. Yet my taste for music during this pregnancy is totally different from my first pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my babygirl 4 years ago – I was more into relaxing music: Mozart, Love songs, and similar, whereas now I’m fully into energetic music, it doesn’t matter if its R&B, Pop or Rock – it just has to be energetic. I don’t know if this effects their personality, and since there are always people arguing pro and cons I can’t say for sure. Neither can I say anything based on my babygirl as she contrary to the music I loved to listen during my pregnancy if very stubborn, not so emotionally expressive, but surely it is very smart. I don’t know how my angel will be, but one thing is for sure his astrological sign will be similar to his sister (which means his personality might be similar to her), as my due-date is exactly the same with my babygirl’s. One thing is for sure –  as long as the  music I love listening to makes me feel happy, powerful, and it makes me dance around and have fun  – I’ll keep listening to it.

What to read when expecting

Expecting a baby is one of the most mixed feelings in the world. You feel very happy (especially if you are expecting for the first time) and in love with your unborn baby, but at the same time fatigue, food aversions or cravings, nausea with(out) vomiting, frequent urination, heartburn, up to uncomfortable baby kicks and moves by the third trimester make you feel tired, unhappy and sometimes depressed.

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Reading books while pregnant has helped me overcome some of the negative aspects of pregnancy, because first of all you will understand you’re not the only one who doesn’t feel all the time comfy and happy for having a baby in your tommy.  Most woman read book such as general guidelines and/or roadmap to a healthy delivery, healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding. But there are also other amazing book to be read especially if you belong to the world of problems with pregnancy. Some of the books I would suggest are:

  • Pregnancy Sucks: What to do when your miracle makes you miserable by Joanne Kimes, and Leslie Young
  • The Panic-Free Pregnancy: An OB-GYN Separates Fact from Fiction on Food, Exercise, Travel, Pets, Coffee, Medications, and Concerns You Have When You Are Expecting by Michael Broder
  • Let’s Panic About Babies!: How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant Who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain, … Turn You into a Worthwhile Human Being by and Eden M. Kennedy
  • Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy

The latest book I read was ‘Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy’ by Jena Pincot, an amazing book full of interesting facts I would say. No matter how funny and not serious its title it might sound, in fact the book is full of fact and science. It helps you understand some issues much better such as: Why pregnancy woman see more vivid dreams, How exercising during pregnancy makes babies much smarter (also listening to Mozart), How our emotions (happiness and stress) are transmitted to our babies – and How our emotions effect girl vs. boy fetuses, It also explains that Having more sex with the baby’s father before and during pregnancy may prevent preeclampsia, How chocolate consumption during pregnancy is associated with babies with better temperament, Etc.

There are tons of great pregnancy books, but there are also many worthless ones, however what is interesting for me might not be interesting for you, and sometimes it depends on your mood, so if you feel like not reading a book while pregnant don’t do it. But, also never forget that reading always makes you feel more prepared and not alone.

Friends over years

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The most common definition of friendship defines friendship as a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Nonetheless over time or better say with age meaning of friendship and/or of the ‘mutual affection’ changes.

When you are a child – a friend symbolizes someone you like to play with. It is someone you share common interest for toys/games but you never fight with.

When you are in primary school – a friend (and by friend I mean a best friend) is someone you like spending time outside the school, such as study together and even tell some secrets with. This is the time when you in fact understand the meaning of the best friend. There are times you believe your best friend will stick around you forever.

If you’re lucky you and your best friend will go to the same school in the secondary education, so your mutual affection will only get better and stronger. It will be so strong you will believe that there’s no way ever for you to grow apart. The relationship with your friend will be so powerful and meaningful, he/she will become the center of the universe. If you’re not so lucky, than you will find another friend who will become your best friend you will hang out, share your story and make plans to study together. But you will always be more reserved and have a back-up plan in you sub-consciousness – because once you failed (when you were making plans with your best friend from your primary school).

When you are in your undergraduate and/or graduate studies you will not have so much time to keep a strong relationship with a friend, because most probably you will be working too. Moreover it is the time when you start exploring life partners and your consciousness is more contrite towards your future. I’m not saying you will not have friends to hang out with – I’m saying your time will be more limited to create strong bounds with your friends.

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Moreover, when you are young the number of your best friends is much bigger, and by time you will understand that you’re really lucky if the number of your best friend is not less than 1.

Friendship, just like any other relation requires your time and effort to make it work. With time your priorities change, at least mine have changed. With time and by getting older family remains your weakest point and the real center of your universe. Having a family, happy family requires too much time and work, which on the other hand leaves you very little room for friends. And there are only two ways to pass this dynamic life – one is if your friend lives in the same stage and has the same priorities as you – and as such you will understand each-other so perfectly that whenever you meet you not only won’t judge the other one for not having time to see you everyday –but will support each other and will pick up the talking from where you left it the last time you were together; or if your best friend is your colleague so you still meet him/her everyday. One way of another never allow yourself to say alone without friends, because best friends are supportive, and you can talk to them things you can’t talk with your family.

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On National Husband’s Day

To the best husband in the world:

There is a picture that sits on the corner of my desk at work.  It is almost half a decade old and yet hypnotizes me anew with each glance.

The background of the image is a bit messy, and clearly, the background is not what draws me in every time I look at it.

It is your face…

The face of a man who chooses to overlook my flaws each and every day.  The smile of a man who continuously encourages me to become the best version of myself.

The man with the cutest ears.  The same ears that have been there to listen to me fully and intently for longer than I can remember.  His large hands cradle my small ones with tenderness and an acknowledgement that one of his greatest strengths is his gentleness.

The man with the most beautiful nose I’ve ever seen, the one that our daughter has inherited. The same nose that I love to kiss caringly.

Your love for me is real.  No one looking at this photo would miss that.  But what I see every day when I glance up from my desk are your eyes.  Those beautiful, green-peaceful eyes, looking me straight in the eyes with laugh – as you always love to surround me with love and happiness – each single day.

Looking into your eyes, I see grace.  Sometimes I am working so hard I can’t really take time and enjoy your presence, but you still don’t seem to mind. You still keep smiling at me with love.

When I allow to-do lists and work consume my day and forget momentarily that the best use of my time is that which focuses on my family, faith, and community, you always remind me gently how appreciative I should be.  Grace.

When I have a challenging day and collapse into your arms with tears streaming down my face, you’re always there to hold me for as long as I need. Grace.

What I see when I look into your eyes my dear I see is love, respect, honor and adoration.  Your humility shines through illuminating all else.  But above all things, when I look into your eyes, I see grace.  Enough for today.  More than enough for tomorrow.

Thank you for being you and sticking around.. Thank you for never getting tired to look in my eyes with the deepest love and admiration.

I love you more than I know to explain you how much I do… Happy Husband’s Day my Love..

Yours forever,

Wiffy

P.S. Here’s a certificate of appreciation for you my love, for honoring your love, kindness and sacrifice you do for me and our angel. A certificate for being the best husband in the world.. A certificate of love 🙂

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Planning your family growth in an undeveloped country

In general, the population boom is over. Fertility worldwide has fallen from 6 percentage points to 3 between 1950 and 1998, and another 1 percentage point between 1998 and 2014. Yet, in the underdeveloped countries natality is still high, respectively higher than mortality. This is one of the reason why Kosovo, who is ranked among the most underdeveloped countries in the world, has the youngest population in Europe.

Based on many anal
ysts worldwide – there is a correlation between fertility/natality and country’s development ratio, respectably countries with high natality are mainly undeveloped, and vice-versa. Analysts argue that high fertility can impose costly burdens on nations. It may impede opportunities for economic development, increase health risk – especially for women and children, it can reduce access to education, employment, scare resources, reduce nutrition, etc.

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We all know how hard it is to plan you family growth in a developed country, especially for educating and working mothers. But, how hard is for an educated women to plan her family growth in an undeveloped country, such as Kosovo?

First of all, let me explain why I’m distinguishing between educated and un-educated women. An educated women in an undeveloped country most probably is working full-time- in an office, or having a managerial position. She is also the provider in her family. An uneducated woman, might work, but usually don’t (especially in Kosovo, where getting a degree is very easy). One way or another an uneducated woman is not the provider in her family, contrary she is the spending one. She can spend all her salary on herself (because her salary is very low), or if she’s not working she is the spender of her husband’s salary. In both ways she’s not managing money and as such she’s not aware of her family incomes; she is used to poverty; she has no luxury wishes; and sometimes children for her represent a full-time job and as such she would like to be engaged on something – so for her giving birth to many children is the greatest achievement. On the other hand an educated-working mother needs to plan every detail of her life – starting from every cent of her money –to the possibility of losing her job.. She has to analyze if she can afford to have another baby, how will the baby affect the relation with her husband, with her older children, with her friends; will she be able to provide to her demanding child everything (or most of the things) his friends at school have; will she be able to educate him properly; and the questioning list goes on and on.

It sound pretty much the same if we compare with the way working mothers think in developed countries right?- But with a big difference.. In undeveloped countries such as Kosovo, the availability to working places is very limited. Economic developed is stagnated and no new working places are offered. Politics is so powerful that unless you are engaged in politics and/or nepotism finding a proper and stable working place is almost close to impossible. Therefore you keep planning on air, because you know you can’t plan anything more than one year ahead. All of us have loans, but loan interest rate in Kosovo are between 9-25% compounding, respectively for a loan of €15,000 you return around €23,000 at the end (or more). You are aware that your job is not secured and that tomorrow someone else might replace you just because he has stronger connections than you, and you won’t be able to find a job for around 1 year, while you have to pay your monthly loan, plus your credit-cards.

… and we still happily decide to have another child, and not stick to one child family philosophy, because for us FAMILY is the most important thing in life. We know the power of siblings when you’re old enough to understand that power. We know the power of children when we become old enough not to be able to look after ourselves; we know the security and love our parents gave us and we want to pass on the same feeling. We know the connection and how supportive friends are – and we want our children to live all this. Family and family virtues and family bonds are not vanished yet and this gives us hope, this gives us a reason to move on, work hard and provide miracles to our children, because we know the importance of family.

May God bless our families worldwide!

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ARRIVAL OF A NEW SIBLING

Today I entered my 28 week of pregnancy, or as we would like to hear it in Kosovo, I just entered my 7 months of pregnancy.

My second pregnancy is totally different from my first one, I feel more tired, extremely breath-less, and very sleepy. Yet, this is not my concern, although I have at least 2 full months ahead of me, which will be even worse. My problems is my daughter, or better say how to prepare her for her new rival coming soon.

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Yes I’ve read hundreds of articles, I’m talking to her, I’m preparing her, I’m even engaging her in every little activity so she can feel prepared and accomplished that she is the older sister and she will be his guide, his protecting angel and his friend. But yet I feel kind of sorry for her. Yes sorry, because I know my attention will not be 100% towards her. She will be often left aside (especially if her brother comes out to be as crying and demanding baby as she was). She will be left aside not because I would like to, or I will love my second child more, but because the crying baby, who doesn’t know to speak and tell me what is bothering him, will need my attention, my effort, my hand and my time. She will be left aside because no matter how much dedication and time we will give her, other people will be more enthusiastic towards the new baby than her – and this is something I can’t control.

I was 18 years old when my niece arrived. Being the youngest in my family I had the entire attention on me, people loved me the most, and I was as spoiled as you can imagine. Suddenly, at 18 years old, no one cared for me anymore. My niece was in the center of attention, including my attention, but yet it didn’t feel fair to me. I was jealous for my sister who suddenly forgot to kiss me, and who never laid her eyes on me anymore… and yes I was 18 years old – old enough to understand and feel ashamed of what I was feeling at that time. I’m 30 years old now, and I can still feel the pain I felt back then, I can see myself struggling to pass through the ‘loss of attention and love’ of my most loved ones. Having this in mind I’m terrified for my daughter.

I know there’s no formula what can work the best, and I will keep engaging her in everything, not only now even afterwards, because I know how hard it is for her to accept that her most loving people (me and her dad) suddenly will share her with someone else. I once read that in order to imagine how painful it is for a child to accept the arrival of a new sibling is to imagine that your partner announces you suddenly that “hey hun’ you’re so loving and adorable I decided to get married again and bring another partner to live with us”. I’m trying to teach my daughter that the new baby doesn’t mean we will share her with someone else –because we won’t. Contrary, the new baby will mean ‘bringing us closer’. She is my first love, my angel and my friend, and she will always be so. I need her and her hand to raise the baby and I will let her understand how important and precious her role is, although still deep -deep inside I know the reality, how she will feel, and what she will be going through. I’m fully aware of the ugly truth, and this hurts me, no matter how happy I am that my second miracle of love and happiness is on the way.

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