Here's How You Can Avoid Murdering Your Mom (+ Siblings) While Quarantined

By: Malak Hatem

I’m closer to my mom than most people my age. In fact, up until I was 16, my mom and I were inseparable. She knew everything about me, and I mean literally every single detail about my life. On our ride home from school every day, which, if I may add, was like 5 mins long, I used to tell her everything that went down since I saw her last. Every conversation I had, every comment a teacher made and every single piece of gossip that I heard during the day. So yeah, I am closer to my mom than most people my age. 

But ever since I turned 16, things started happening to me that I didn’t want to tell my mom about anymore. Not because I was doing anything wrong or “socially unacceptable” but because I started to value my own privacy more. I still talk to my mom, I still tell her the important things, the major things that go on in my life, I just don’t think she has the right to know everything there is to know about me anymore, especially if she’s going to judge me for it. And my mom is an expert on that. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love mama. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me. A blessing that is so not in disguise. But every now and then when we’re hanging together fl matbakh, baking or making dinner, I blab. And I start talking about petty feuds with my girlfriends, silly outings that were a little disastrous, small gatherings at friends’ house or a tiny anecdote one of my peeps told me the last time we hung out. And more often than not she catches one tiny mistake, a glitch in the system, something I did/said in the wrong way/not her perfect way and she lectures me about it. 

Let me give you a familiar example, we’ve all been there. You’re talking to your mom, telling her all about the new drama queens in your dof3a and you happen to mention a guy’s name. She goes “meen dah?” and you go “wahed sahby” and go on about your day telling her what happened. But instead of letting you finish your story, she spends 15-20 mins explaining to you why it’s “zemeely” and not “sahby” then another 10-15 mins telling you the stories of how calling a guy “sahby” in her days was outrageous and not something a well-raised young lady would say. 

Again, I can’t stress on this enough. My mom is one of the strongest-willed most passionate humans on earth. But every now and then it seems like she woke up and just out of the blue decided to make me regret getting out of bed. As soon as I set foot outside my room, she showers me with chores. “Malak do this…” and “get that…” and “I left my phone somewhere in the apartment; it’s on mute and I need it urgently like right now, find it”. 

My mom is smart; she knows I’m a talker. So sometimes she would strike up a conversation about my socks, for instance, and I just start talking and all of a sudden I’m telling her about how the night before when we were at X’s we ate fried chicken and dipped it in ketchup not barbeque. 

Since the beginning of this super chill quarantine, it’s been me vs my whole family. I pick fights with my mom because she won’t let me finish the piled up Netflix shows I need to catch up on before my Uni starts its online courses. I pick fights with my sister because she spent 5+ mins picking which cookies does she want, with my brother because he’s allowed to leave the house and I’m not (he only leaves for work btw) and finally I pick fights with my dad because he too not only leaves home for work but also allows my brother to do the same. Completely unjustifiable, I agree. But seriously you guys, I am bored as hell. And I am not bored that easily, my friends all call me “teta” mn kotr ma I lead the lifestyle of a 70 year old woman. But yeah, boredom leads to fights so I’m fighting. 

So on day 7 of the lockdown. Now that I’ve briefly (yes, that was briefly) explained to you how things between my mom, siblings and I go on normal days, I write this: how to survive quarantine with your mother and siblings because I know how much the closest people to you can still get on your nerves sometimes. 

The first thing you NEED to do is find a hobby. You shouldn’t be at each other’s throat 24/7. It’s bad enough no one’s leaving the house for 14 days, we’re all stressed out because we haven’t seen our friends and we’re all worried about our loved ones so there’s no need en yeb2a bozna fe booz ba3d w rayheen gayeen ben-na2err fe ba3d. Finding something to invest your free time in will keep you busy. You should still talk to your family, have movie nights, argue about who’s turn it is to do the dishes but don’t let it get out of control because there is simply no escaping the awkward silent phases post-fights since you’re all stuck together for 2 weeks.

The second thing you need to do is call up your friends, check up on your distant relatives. Constantly. Make sure every one you care about is happy and healthy. That’ll take some of your worries away. 

The third thing you need to do is start game tournaments! Download a video chatting app or use whatsapp and set time aside for you and your best friends every day to play a board game, see who wins every night and add up the scores. Having your friends “around” will help make the quarantine feel less like mandatory time-out. 

The most important thing to remember is that you love your mom and your siblings and after all of this is over, and you’ll probably need them alive. So it’s best that you don’t murder them. 

Stay safe, stay home xx 


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