Happy April loves! There is something so magical about Spring, and I love being in Europe to witness the flowers coming to life, after hibernating during the cold gloomy winter. I am delighted to introduce a lady whom I have been following on Instagram since last year; a lady who skips all the B.S and says things exactly as they are. She is a supermom to 4 incredible girls, a writer, a consultant and therefore the perfect person to represent Empowerment in April. This year I decided to challenge myself with quarterly achievable goals, and following Taghred’s stories has truly motivated me. Happy reading!
- Name: Taghred Chandab
- Profession: I wear many hats! Author / Mum of 4 / Consultant Marketing & Communication Live Family Entertainment
- Favourite destination: Lebanon
- Horoscope sign: Aries
- Loves: Travelling
- Hates: Fake people
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born & raised in Sydney, Australia. I have spent my entire life trying to explain to people my connection to the the Middle East. Both my parents were born & raised in Lebanon, my mum is of Syrian descent, while dad grew up in a small village in North Lebanon. My first ever trip to Lebanon was in 2010. Having 7 kids my Mum & Dad couldn’t afford to take us to Lebanon so all we knew about the country was what they told us & the stories we read about the country, which weren’t positive, in western media. When I first went there I fell in love with the country. I speak Arabic fluently but can’t read & write so I am determined my 4 daughters learn the language.
I moved to the UAE in 2008 with two small children and 32-weeks’ pregnant with my third daughter. I now have four girls. This year we’re celebrating 10 years in this wonderful country. Before moving here I spent 13 years working as a news journalist. I’ve also written two books – in 2005 I co-wrote the award-winning book, The Glory Garage: Growing Up Muslim in Australia. I followed up with The Perfect Flower Girl. 2018 will be the year I return to writing my next book.
2. How do you handle difficult times in your life?
I usually assess the situation and then put my faith in God. Most of the time I isolate myself from the outside world & just reflect.
3. What is your secret to achieving the right balance between your career, family, friends and doing what you really love?
I’m a go-getter. There is no real secret to striking that balance. I’m a meticulous planner, goal-setter & executor. The key is time-management. After giving birth to my children I never stopped working but I also had to admit to myself that I couldn’t have it all. I’m a realist. There is no way I could have quality time with my kids and be dedicated to running a business. I took on projects and only with clients who appreciated my situation. I’m very lucky because after 23 years in media I can pick & choose my projects. As for friendships I like to make time once a week to see at least a friend and just have a coffee.
4. What are your hobbies?
Hobbies suffer after kids but I do like to try something new every few months. Last year I learned to ski.
5. What are your tips for happiness?
You are in control of your own happiness & no-one else. If you’re not happy then you need to look deep within yourself. I surround myself with people who inspire me and tend to stay away from anyone to drains my energy. As you get older you become less interested in being popular & focus on the quality of people.
6. Who is your role model or someone you look up to?
My mother. A selfless human being.
7. What have been the most exciting milestones in your life?
Learning to swim last year. It took me 25 years to get over my fear of the water & build enough courage to just do it. And of course my girls.
8. If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be?
Syria is very personal. I lost a lot of family in Homs while countless others lost their homes. I’d like to see the end of the Syrian war. I’d also like to see more world leaders get involved in ending the Rohingya Crisis.
9. There are still a lot of cultures and societies who frown upon successful women. Why do you think that is, and how can it change?
There is a tendency to fear well-educated women rather than embrace it. By women having a voice many cultures see this as reducing the role of men or women taking jobs away from men, who are in many cultures still seen as the main bread winner. We still have a long way to go world-wide and not just in specific cultures. Change will happen as generations become more educated but until then women will continue to fight for equality across all industries.
10. What advice can you offer for men and women, trying to balance a career, family and personal life?
Don’t take on more than you can handle. I knew that after writing my last book almost 10 years ago that I needed to focus on my family and that when the time was right I could pick it up again. Don’t beat yourself up too much. I see so many young mums who have put their careers on hold and are itching to go back as quickly as they can. Jobs come and go but you can’t get back those priceless years with your kids. I was one of those mums. I wish someone had told me to slow down because I can’t remember the years when my girls were toddlers because I was working my backside off, even if it was from home. I remember a client once telling me that he imagined three malnutrition-ed toddlers sitting on a lounge in front of a television because he couldn’t understand how I was able to do my job with three small children. I was a machine. Slow down. Learn to say no. Switch off your phone (I’m still learning how to do this one). Family comes first everything else can wait until the morning.
Follow this supermom’s adventures through her Instagram!
Disclaimer: Thank you Taghred for collaborating on this post – keep making the world a better place! 🙂