The 3 things I have learnt as a Psychologist working with Mothers

As a psychologist dealing with children and parents, I have come across over 100 mothers on a one-on-one basis over the passed year. Once inside the clinic, the door closed, and its just me and mom, the confessions begin. I am not surprised to say that while parents come to me for guidance I too have learnt and continue to learn so much throughout my experience and for that I am grateful. I am writing my learnings from both the perspective of a psychologist and mother as well, as I can’t resist relating and identify so much to myself as parent, and so I will be address ‘mothers’ as ‘we’. Below is based only my honest and humble opinion, no facts or studies have been conducted but rather my clinical observations of the majority of mothers I have seen and dealt with. Here are my 3 main learning’s from working with mothers:

**DISCLAIMER: Slight information has been changed for protection of client confidentiality.**

We seek perfection

momMotherhood enlarges our heart 1000 times from its original size. Instantly we have so much more love to pass around, time to give and unconditional efforts to spare. While many mothers know this, several disregard that motherhood also highlights our flaws as well, we fall back on dishes, being on time and almost always forget taking care of ourselves when really, that is part of the deal of parenting. It IS messy, it IS exhausting and it IS a lot to take it and that is OK. Fact is though, mothers are human too, we make mistakes and while we strive so hard at being the best mother for our kids, mom guilt can sometimes overcome and when it does, shake it off, cut yourself some slack and be kind to yourself, you are allowed to be perfectly imperfect.

We feel like we don’t “fit in” most of the time

There is so much pressure in this idea that mothers need to have it all together and figured out. As a result of this fallacy, a hidden pretentious approach exists between mothers, one that only moms will understand. It’s almost like a coded language which sounds something like this “I spent the whole night making gluten free oat cookies for my sons to take to school, then after drop off I’m hand-making their school performance costume while I do my nails, setting up their fun activities for when they come home and of course reading to them 5 times a day to foster creativity. I just don’t understand mothers who aren’t ‘hands on’.”


mommy wars

Mom, you have nothing to prove. I am that type of mom that asks for help cause I can’t do it all on my own, that doesn’t give my kids lots of activities in their free time, that’s too tiered to cook so eats leftovers from yesterday and that type of mom that remembers the groceries when we have none in the fridge. This is who I am. I’m also insanely in love with my kids, kiss and hug them (sometimes forcefully) because they’re just too cute, I’m an honest friend, sometimes an emotional wreck, I keep it more real than ever and a very late-min type of person.

If someone doesn’t accept you with your flaws, they don’t deserve your beautiful qualities either. If you are surrounding yourself with friends that make you feel ashamed of how you parent or feel the need to pretend to fit in, you don’t have to put up with it, make new friends.

We all have problems, if you knew what everyone is going through you’ll really want to take your problem back.

In this day and age, it’s become so easy to ‘seem’ perfect. A plastered smile there, a ‘picture perfect’ post here, a brag about how ‘lucky’ someone may seem, and you’ve boxed them into the perfect mom, wife, parent, sister, host, business woman, cook, fashionista there is. FALSE. Perfection doesn’t exist. Everyone, yes, everyone is going through troubles, challenges and issues. Everyone does face hardship no matter how ‘perfect’ they may seem on the outside. Everyone fights their share of struggles every single day, just like us too, and most probably even harder troubles than the ones we usually worry about. The ‘perfect’ fashionista might be going through a divorce, the ‘perfect’ cook might be heavily grieving her parent’s death, the ‘perfect’ business woman might be doing her best to stay away from her abusive husband, the ‘perfect’ influencer with 300k followers might be suffering from depression and feeling like the loneliest person on the planet and the ‘perfect’ wife might be struggling with her child’s diagnosis of developmental delay. Never believe everything you see or hear, whatever everyone’s case may be, just remember, everyone is doing they best they can with the knowledge they have.

category-momBottom line the following summarize things I have learnt from working with several mothers this year. Mom guilt can sometimes overcome and when it does, shake it off, cut yourself some slack and be kind to yourself, you are allowed to be perfectly imperfect. If you are surrounding yourself with friends that make you feel like ashamed of how you parent or need to pretend to fit in, make new friends. Finally, never believe everything you see/hear, whatever everyone’s case may be, just remember, everyone is doing they best they can with the knowledge they have. Let’s all aim for a more real, judgment-free and honest parenting journey. Until I share more, same time next year, I am here for you.

Amina Diab

3 ways Egyptian culture is positively fostering your child’s development

Egyptians are a lot of things; we’re friendly, funny, often called lazy but one thing all Egyptians or anybody that has lived in Egypt can agree on is that Egyptian culture has a lot of embedded family traditions. Whether it’s birthdays, holidays or simply on a random Friday, Egyptians prioritise family gatherings as the most significant unit in society. Besides indulging in amazing food, family gatherings help foster exceptional character traits as well as socio-emotional skills to your child.


  1. Create healthy eating habits

Is your child a fussy eater? By watching close family eating different kinds of food at meal-time, this can highly encourage your child to explore different tastes and textures too. You are your child’s most important model and they learn from you. Sitting together over meal times allows your child to learn to eat what their family eats. Research shows that when the family sits over a healthy meal, children are more likely to eat their vegetables than if they are eating alone. If table manners are important to you, family meal-time is also a great chance to lead by example good table manners.

  1. Positive impact on child’s values and self-esteemchild-and-family

Family meals provide a sense of security and togetherness. This helps foster children into healthy, well-rounded adults. When conversations that usually goes around during meal-time are focused on each member of the family this allows them to fulfill their constant need of feeling significance and belonging. A decrease in high-risk behavior is heavily correlated to the amount of time spent with family, especially over family meals. Conversations over family meals also allow children to learn and practices vital social and emotional skills of listening, taking turns and better expressing themselves.

  1. Learn to respect family, specifically elders

Grandfather With Grandson Reading Together On SofaAlthough respecting elders is common throughout the world, Egyptian culture normalizes visiting the elders of family regularly. Children exposed to their grandparents on a regular basis are taught early on to demonstrate compassion. The elderly often need assistance and gentle guidance and modeling such care towards children embeds core traits as kindness and empathy.

Here’s some tips to get the most benefits out of your family meal-time:

  • Discuss your child’s day, events and feelings by expressing interest
  • Encourage your child to contribute- don’t undervalue their ability to initiate a conversation.
  • Turn off television, radio and keep mobile phones use to a minimal
  • Have family lunches with your immediate 4-5 times a week
  • Include healthy food on the table as much as possible to encourage a nutritious intake and healthy eating habits.


In case you haven’t noticed by now I’m very passionate about child development, education as well as parenting through positive discipline. This blog will give you just that through informative articles, helpful parenting and child-rearing tips, educational fun activities to try at home or sometimes i’ll just simply be thinking out loud with you on issues that matter most to me! Enjoy and would love to hear your feedback and comments!

Help: I caught my Child ‘Lying’

It has long been a debate for child professionals to completely understand whether children at a young age were capable of telling a ‘lie’. Recently, it has been concluded that the ability to manipulate the truth is much like a developmental milestone in children like learning to share or learning to brush their teeth. Ideally, this skill is usually acquired by age 4, as it requires a certain development of both social skills and language abilities. At this age, children are exploring and elaborating on imagination; this is the age of imaginative friends and telling tales, which is a highly critical milestone in a child’s cognitive development as it works on organization of thoughts, expression of feelings and symbolism. However, there is a fine line between imagining situations that never occurred and re-telling an event that has happened by altering the truth.

Children can bend the truth for a number of reasons as establishing an identity to connect with peers, to get attention, to evade hurting another’s feelings or to avoid trouble all together. However, it seems only fair to summarize that the ultimate reason children lie is due to a lacking of problem-solving skills. Children do not know another way for solving a given problem. Imagine your daughter, Sara, ate all the remaining 5 cooGirl playing with chocolate saucekies, she knows that she isn’t allowed to eat her cookies before lunchtime and when confronted she mentions that she didn’t eat the cookies. Here, it is established that Sara knows right from wrong, or else she would not lie in the first place, however, the problem here is that once she DID do something wrong, she doesn’t know how to act accordingly, resorting her to lying. The key here is that as parents, it is critical to confront your child positively while teaching them the right tools to allow them to problem solve in future situations.

It is important to mention that, once you realize your child is fibbing, reacting negatively, whether by yelling or telling them off would only increase this behavior. Besides increasing the undesired behavior, a negative consequence usually instills fear in a child and loosens the trust bond in the parent-child relationship.

What should I do?

  • Don’t wait to catch your child lying to start discussing the significance of truth and consequences. Pick a good time for your child and plan in advance what will be said, while maintaining a friendly rather than lecturing tone.
  • Set an example– children at this age learn most of their skills/information for their parents as role models. They are also very good listeners. Take good attention when on the phone, if you are making an excuse not to attend a party/event for example. When you promise something to him/her make sure to fulfill it, if not, provide the real reason why you were not able to do so etc..
  • Reason through story-time– books can be a great learning experience especially if your child already loves to listen to stories. Choose certain tales such as Pinocchio for example, after finishing or throughout the book, pause and reflect on the main ideas, actions and consequences. E.g- why is his nose getting bigger? What should he do instead? Why is it better to tell the truth than a fib? Etc..
  • Personal stories– since children idolize their parents at this age, they usually love to hear about their past/experiences and imitate them. Talk about an experience where someone you know had lied and the lie kept firing back with negative consequences and that it was much easier to stay the truth from the beginning.
  • Keep the door open– Once the concept of lying as been established, let your child know that if they ever lie and don’t feel good about it, you are always available to speak about it. This is a great opportunity to exercise self reflection and problem solving skills with your child. Once they describe to situation allow them to self reflect, ‘why did you feel you had to lie’ ‘what would have happened if you tell the truth’ ‘why is telling the truth better than lying in the future etc.’
  • After the truth comes out– reward positive behavior when she DOES say the truth. “I really appreciate your honestly, I know it could have been easier to bend the truth but you chose to be honest I appreciate that.’