Hello Summer – With Kids!

Ouiam Charkani El Hassani on the joys of parenthood and making memories.

So, summer is here already, Ramadan is around the corner, and the holidays are waiting for you. Picture this with me: Chilling by the pool, sipping a nice cool drink. Beach days, with a good book in hand, naps and late breakfasts, barbecues and late-night gatherings, evening strolls, manis and pedis whenever you feel like it… Oh wait, who am I kidding? The day you signed up for kids, you lost all those privileges. Did I even dare to say “nap”? Did you cringe when you read that? Oh gosh, I sincerely apologise, I am absolutely aware of the fact that the last time you did have a chance to take a nice nap was probably when you were in college, way before you had kids!

Once upon a time you had all the time in the world for yourself, you were the top of your priority list. You made your own plans and followed through. You could leave the house whenever you wanted. You could enjoy your showers, and trips to the bathroom without an audience. Yes, you had it all – once upon a time! However, even if the above sounds fabulous and the kind of life any woman would love to have, I know no mama would ever change what she has now for the world.

Those morning snuggles, even at crazy o’clock in the morning. Those little toes and fingers all over your face, hair and body like little acupuncture needles, poking through your skin. And, if you’re lucky, those tiny hands won’t have all kind of weird sticky stuff on them. But you wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?

Those little kicks and punches in the middle of the night while you’re in a deep, deep sleep and wake up with your heart racing, not knowing what has happened. Not showering for days, who cares? And skipping lunches and dinners because, duh – who has time for that?

In the middle of this chaos, we – mothers – make petite discoveries every single day about the true meaning of happiness. There are so many things that we want to save – an unending list of special moments of time, morning to night, that we would preserve if we knew how. We want to take these moments as they’re happening and press them between a book’s pages; a daisy, a leaf, a ticket stub, forever safe. We never want to forget how our now feels. No amount of cool drinks by the beach or late-night gatherings could ever compete with the deliciousness of having those little pieces of our hearts in our arms.

So, yeah, you might have a different summer than the one you and I have in mind, but we both know it is absolutely worth it. And here’s a list of things that both you and your family can enjoy. You can thank me later.

– Making cookies with your little ones. Nothing makes kids happier than getting busy and dirty at the same time. As a bonus you will have treats for when you’re sipping your tea later.
– Enjoy one of Bahrain’s fabulous beaches. Note, some have entrance fees.
– Indulge in a scrumptious meal with your family at one of the Kingdom’s many outstanding restaurants.
– Take a trip to the National Museum to learn a little more about this gorgeous island.
– Summer calls for a visit to a waterpark. What better way to celebrate summer than getting a buzz from loads of splash and tons of fun.
– How about a whole day spent on a different island just 10 minutes away? Al Dar island is your spot! Clean beach, great food, your own cabana and a boat trip; need I say more?
There are so many lovely gems for mums and their families to have a perfect summer despite the heat. Late breakfasts and late nights might not be an option for you right now, but think of all those lovely memories you will make. So, enjoy these last few weeks of kids being in school, and start planning for the summer.

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