So this wasn’t my typical spring break. No hotel bookings to be made, no tours to be booked and not one Trip Advisor review read. Yup, I was going home to Jordan.
And no, it was not my first time to go there but it was different for a number of reasons.
For the most part, I was going there to spend time with my parents. Being an expat like many in Dubai, I try to make up for the missed times whenever I can.
And so as beautiful as some places are; I have no plans nor the time to visit Petra, the Dead Sea or even downtown Amman.
I’m also going sans Hubby with my three children.
Typically, my kids would be scattered around at my in laws and cousins homes and we would only meet to deliver clean socks or a missing shoe.
Not this time; In laws are away in Turkey and all Jordanian cousins haven’t started their spring break.
Queue the panic.
How will the ten school and entertainment free days pass with minimum casualties?
For starters, and to their delight, I insisted they pack the PS4 and all available electronic devices. These were used on most days. But that’s not all they did.
My children played outside, climbed trees and were thrilled I let them walk up and down the streets unattended. They connected with their toddler cousins; uncles and aunts. Sure, they fought ...a lot . But I left them to it. Watching them throughout their uneventful holiday, I saw images from my own childhood. Memories from the holidays we lazed through without expecting much, yet making the most of.
I learnt something about my children and something about myself as a parent. Maybe it should have been obvious; but with all today’s hype and pressure about how to impress and entertain a child; we forget that they really are not that different.
Children are creative and resourceful, if given some free time and space; they should be able to entertain themselves. They should not be expected to complain about how bored they are if you don’t spend your time and fortune organizing their outings.
Let us not make them believe that it is our duty to entertain them. Always.
Maybe sometimes it is we who feel the pressure to impress and wow them every time? The need to get that instagram or snapchat worthy shot. The need to feel we are giving and loving parents.
I was skeptic until the last minute on how things went.
On our way back from the airport, their dad asked them how the holidays went ..After a three hour late midnight flight they all answered with a tiered but honest:…it was GREAT !