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That Mama: Lidija Abu Ghazaleh

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Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - That MamaThat Mama

Food Writer, Content Creater & Blogger Lidija from Lidija’s Kitchen Shares a thing or Two about Balancing Motherhood, Family Life and her Career

Born in Canada to Serbian parents Lidija, has been living with her husband and three kids in Dubai for 13 years. Starting her career in the food world as a caterer just after her second child was born – she is a food writer, self-taught chef and culinary content creator. Her website, Lidija’s Kitchen, is dedicated to her love of food, the culinary world, and people and places she loves. From weird and wonderful stories to her love for fitness, this mama shares here with us all things yummy and delicious.

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Tell us about your husband and kids

My husband Ghassan is Canadian of Lebanese origin. We met in Montreal 23 years ago and have been married for nearly 17 years. We are the parents of three amazing children: Aidan – 12, Alexander – 9, and Valentina – 5.

Where do you live in Dubai?

In the heart of Dubai.

Describe yourself in 5 words

Friendly, dream-chaser, quirky, passionate, ambitious.

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How do you balance work and motherhood?

Ah-ha! Now that is a tricky question. I get a lot of my work done while the kids are at school which isn’t always easy! Fridays and Saturdays are our family days. My husband and I keep things as relaxed as possible on weekends so we can enjoy our time together with our kids. Some of our most engaging conversations happen during our family meals.

How do you save time? What are your organisational tips and tricks?

Planning ahead usually works for me. School uniforms are laid out the night before, and lunch boxes are prepped in advance when possible. My kids are allowed to eat in the school cafeteria once a week for their “treat day”. In terms of meals, I often make extra batches of whatever I happen to be cooking and freezing it for a rainy (or not so rainy) day. Pizza dough, burgers, kafta, lasagna, soups, sauce, scones – if it can be frozen, you can bet I’ll freeze it!

Read more: Life Hack: 18 Apps to Help Sort Your Life Out for 2018

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Describe your average day

My kids leave for school quite early, so things are pretty rushed from the moment they wake up. Once they are off and settled, I reply to emails before heading off to the gym. Then, I work in the kitchen, do some writing/content production for my website, or have meetings. Once my kids are home from school, we chat about their day and get homework out of the way. I find them quite tired early in the week, so I try not to exhaust them with activities. When my kids are in bed, I love spending quiet nights at home with my husband. An occasional night out with my girlfriends or a fun evening event will sometimes break up the week.

If you were stranded on a desert island – which 3 children’s items would you not be able to live without?

Books, paper, pens/pencils/paint.

Favourite activity with your kids in Dubai?

Going to the beach.

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Favourite kid-friendly restaurants in Dubai?

I find most restaurants in Dubai to be kid-friendly, even when it comes to fine dining. For casual restaurant options, Operation Falafel and Arz Lebanon are kid-friendly and are great in terms of value for money, as well as Eataly in the Dubai Mall.

Dream family vacation?

Summer at Tuscan farmhouse.

Favourite date-night restaurants?

Coya, Zuma, Rüya, and BB in the DIFC.

Read more: Dubai’s Hottest New Restaurants

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What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?

I have two. The first is don’t rush your children’s childhood. The second – only you (and your partner) know what’s best for your family.

Who is your hero or heroine and why?

Oprah Winfrey for her strength, voice, and passion.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

Too embarrassing to mention!

As a mama I wish I were better at…

Keeping the peace when my children argue with each other.

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My most humbling mama. moment was…

when my firstborn was a few weeks old and fed all night long. My husband was out of town for work, and his cousin stayed over to help me with the baby. I was breastfeeding, and my son just fed, and fed, and fed…I was exhausted, and so was he. Every time he latched off, he would scream. He finally fell asleep (on my cousin’s chest) at around 4 am. He was totally fine the next day and went back to a relatively normal routine. It was then that I realized it’s ok not to have all the answers, and with kids and babies, you just have to go with the flow

One thing I won’t sacrifice as a mama is…

The time I spend with my kids.

I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about….

What I have to do the next day.

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Even when my children have families of their own,

I’ll still…hug and kiss them.

My favourite moment of the day is…

Bedtime hugs and kisses, and early in the morning before everyone wakes up and the house is very still.

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I always feel saner after…

Has to be after working out. Even if I only have twenty minutes, moving my body always me clear my thoughts.

I wish I had more time for…travelling the world.

Read more: Simple Party Food Ideas for Kids

All Images sourced via Lidija’s Instagram handle.

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