Mona Ataya, an arab mom and Founder and CEO of mumzworld.com.
1. The best advice my mum ever gave me is...
Always know what your kids are doing without prying. Know who their friends are and their whereabouts without them feeling that you are imposing – rather that you just care. The other lesson is: take things lightly. We tend to obsess about our children these days, we want them involved in dozens of activities, have dozens of friends, be busy all the time, worry about their every mistakes as if it is the end of the world. It is a generation of overextended children and competitive parents. I have learned to let things go and not overextend my children. They are very well adjusted, happy and confident as a result.
2. What's the one thing you got from your mum and you'd like to pass down to your kids?
Hard work. Nothing comes from nothing.
3. Share with us a lesson that motherhood has taught you.
Patience, perseverance, resilience and selflessness.
4. What's your favorite part of being a mum?
Being responsible for others who turn out to be happy, confidant, intelligent contributing human beings. Whenever I see my children smile I have the greatest sense of achievement. Whenever they succeed in something whether it is getting an achievement award in school, or playing a beautiful piano recital or being kind to someone else, I remind myself that as a mother, my small contribution to that is the greatest gift. My children, and all children are extremely insightful, generous and wonderful beings who teach us lessons every day. These learnings I value and they remind me of our greater purpose. There is not a single day that I don’t laugh because of something my kids say or do. There is not a single day that I don’t remind myself of the responsibility I have to bring up these young men to be the best they can be. And it is this reminder that helps me continue to strive to be the best that I can as their role model.
5. Recommend a survival kit to the new mums out there.
Arnica gel for all the falls and bruises especially with boys, lollipops for the frequent melt down in public, paracetamol for the sudden fever that they get when you are nowhere near a pharmacy, books to keep them entertained and your mobile when you need to call your husband begging for help because you are exhausted and want him to come and relieve you quickly.
6. What's the oddest thing you've carried in your handbag as a mum?
A spare pair of underwear for my two year old kids when they were still not 100% potty trained.
7. Do you get in the way of your kids' fashion choices?
I have three boys they don’t generally trouble me here. They wear whatever is in front of them unless of course it is pink or pastel which they refuse to wear. My youngest however wants to live in his soccer clothes 365 days a year – so yes I have had a few battles pulling them off him.