Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Too Many Cooks

I went back to work last week and decided that it's very unnatural for new moms to have a job. My 45 day maternity leave seemed to pass by too quickly, and now that I am back at work I'm hating every minute of it.

Lucky for me, the kids at school are having their finals, so they're only in for an hour every day. The rest of the time we're devoted to checking, making reports, writing out next year's syllabus, ordering books and equipment for the next teachers and packing up for the summer.

Even luckier for me, I get to keep Ayzah with me. Administration has been really kind, so Ayzah stays in the staffroom as I go about my day.

Since babies are the center of everyone's world, Ayzah has created a strong fan following. Every day I have ten different people willing to help carry her, change her, put her to sleep... you name it, there are people to help. It's a good feeling, until there are too many of them...

Being a part of the Arab community, I soon learned that they are very stubborn. Everyone thinks that they "know" what they are doing. When Ayzah starts crying, I have a dozen people hovering around, each with their own thought process...

"She's hungry, you have to feed her"
"She needs a diaper change"
"She's cold, touch her feet, they're freezing"
"You didn't bring socks?!?"
"Wait, you aren't wrapping her right, let me do it"
"Why is she still crying?"
"Maybe she needs to sleep"
"Or maybe her stomach is hurting"
"You should burp her"
"No wait, it's gas"
"Hold her across your lap"
"No on your shoulder..."

And as they all carry on about themselves, each contributing to what they think is correct, I sit back smiling, knowing that they all love her, and they all want to help.


At 10:57 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

Believe me, it's not unique to Arab communities. I think it's a universal thing.

At 1:26 AM, Blogger Asma said...

ditto nicole!

At 2:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umi x

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Dariush Alavi said...

That's amazing! They let you take your baby into work and leave her in the staffroom??!??! That would NEVER happen here!

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Dena said...

Nicole is correct. this is not unique to the Arab community. It's like that everywhere. It's like when you are pregnant everyone has advice or tips or just flat tells you what you should or shouldn't do. They all mean well and just love the babies so they want to help. It can be annoying but their hearts are in the right place because they care for you and your children.

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Lorraine said...

Funny thing, I was just talking to a newly pregnant friend about this very thing. And there is something particularly about a baby that invites comments. (I've noticed people don't step in with unsolicited advice when you have a teenager).

I can't believe how many times complete strangers would tell me I was holding my baby wrong or she wasn't dressed enough or was over-dressed or that her cry (which they obviously had never heard before) meant a particular thing.


At least in this scenario it is people who know and love her. And you are a very patient woman to recognize that.

And you're right about another thing...45 days of maternity leave is a mere blip!

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Ronli said...

People should read this.


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