My daughter’s first love

Before my daughter was born, I knew that she will be the other woman in my husband’s life. I am sure all the other mothers out there can relate to my thoughts.There is no better view to look at for us to see when we see that our children are raised closely in the guidance of their father.

As Sigmund Freud says;

 I cannot think of any need in Childhood stronger as the need for a Father’s protection. 

A child who knows they are protected can grow up feeling safe and secure. Emotions are strong in childhood, and often fear is one of the strongest emotions of all.  A Papa’s arms are strong and fearless and to a child, they bring safety and peace.

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Dear child , The world is your playground ,go on and explore.

A father’s perspective fulfills every child’s need for exploration and adventure

“Fathers represent another way of looking at life — the possibility of an alternative dialogue.” While we, as  mothers focus a great deal on raising perfect children, fathers have a different perspective. They let children dress themselves, choose their own breakfast, jump in mud puddles and swing on ropes tied to the rafters.

My husband let Natalie explore on her own but guiding her by her side. He encourages more free-play. He lets her climb & let her learn how to climb down. He has taught her how to safely descend safely from the  stairs & chairs. He is trying his best to make “palm tree ” ( or ponytails) in her ever messy hair. I love the way He put on her clothes that are totally as per his own taste and haste !

Fathers allow children to explore and give them freedom that usually isn’t allotted them by their mother. This different perspective is good for children because it gives them the opportunity to explore, to go on adventures, and to live in their make believe worlds.

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A father’s love is endless. When a father gets involved, He is parenting in his own way.

“The greatest mark of a father is how he treats his children when no one is looking.”

In Netherlands,  Papadag (Or Daddy’s day ) has become a standard norm. This is included in the calendar of every working father’s calendar. It’s the time of the week where in the father takes a day off from work to spend time & take care of his child. Isn’t this amazing?Dutch fathers take more an equal role in parenting and being more hands-on. 

Studies show that if your child’s father is affectionate, supportive, and involved, he can contribute greatly to your child’s cognitive, language, and social development, as well as academic achievement, a strong inner core resource, sense of well-being, good self-esteem, and authenticity.

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Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a Father.
I am writing this post to give credit to fathers who are involved in parenting their child. One of the things that I have learned as a new mother is that when your husband respect you as the mother of his child, eventually He is an involved Father. With the stress of bearing the responsibilities of being the head of the family, His efforts should not be underestimated.

So next time you see your husband spends more time with your child, be grateful.Let him. Give the encouragement that He needs & deserves.Your child will reap the benefits of this. Do not think of it as He is sharing the “chore “but rather look at it as “He is doing his own way of Parenting “.

It is important to recognize and reward fathers  for being there, and actively teaching important life skills to children. It is important to their children, and meaningful to dads everywhere when you say “Thank you, job well done.” This, after all, is what makes life worth living. This is our own  true legacy: ensuring the health and well-being of our children : the future generation.

What is your parenting style? Do you also value the concept of  Papadag?

A day in the life of a Teaboy in Kuwait

When i moved to Kuwait, I was taken aback of this country’s love affair with Tea & Coffee. They are  heavy Tea-Drinkers as well as Coffe addicts, i must say. A day in the life of Kuwaitis is not complete without Chai (commonly known as Tea in Middle East ) & Gahwa  or Arabic Coffee. I see so much coziness from them  sitting and enjoying a cup, whether its in the confines of their homes, or in outside cafes.

In Kuwait, tea is usually served after lunch. Kuwaiti tea is just regular hot tea, but many families add some flavors to it such as saffron or mint. Arabic coffee is also very important especially when Kuwaitis have visitors. Traditionally, when people visit, the first thing served should be the Arabic coffee.

Noor , a native from Bangladesh have been working in Kuwait as a Teaboy  for the last 10 years of his life. He has 7 children, all that He left behind in Bangladesh without watching them closely while growing up. He goes back to Bangladesh once a year for his annual vacation for a maximum of 2 months and he goes back to Kuwait once again. His first Kuwaiti sponsor refused to grant him release to be able to transfer to other company. A release paper is needed for an expatriate to transfer his residency to another sponsor and get a new job. He earns 80 KD  (approx. 263 USD ) a month for his job as a Teaboy.

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Afternoon treat : A typical tea with dates in the Middle East

Noor, like many of the expats who works in Kuwait as a Teaboy has a very tedious routine. His main job is to provide Tea & coffee, everyday. His life revolves around boiling water in the kettle, making tea or chai , Gahwa, other variants of coffee  for all his superiors and staff in the company. Oftentimes, he is also a runner. He does the errands of taking supplies from the Jamiya ( a supermarket ) once He rans out for his tea & coffee supplies. His space is the pantry or a separate kitchen in the office. He is quite regarded as a passive employee, but his importance cannot be taken for granted. I have seen that my Kuwaiti Bosses get ill-tempered knowing that there is no tea or coffee to be served. Kuwaitis drink chai almost every 2 hours. There’s no such thing as coffee break in the Middle east  (at least here in K-Town ). Staff asks for their cup of tea whenever they want it. But during Ramadan, Noor has a a lax schedule since people are fasting.

He had this special skill to make the kind of Gahwa that even our company visitors commend. Once the Big Bosses arrive, Noor is the first person they call. All staff knows the teaboy. If you make great Tea, then your job is secure. His happiness is to see his Boss and the staff enjoy his tea with delight. If you asks for a second cup, you can always see a sweet smile forming in his face.

One time I had a talk with Noor after He just came back from his vacation . I asked him if his wife knows how to make tea or arabic coffee. He replied that He’s the one making it for her because He knows it better. After all, Its his Job.

You see, drinking tea and coffee is a big part of an Arabic culture in Kuwait. It is part of their life. Their day revolves around doing their work  while having a warm tea , or a quick caffeine fix of Gahwa (also known as Arabic coffee). In most Diwaniyas (or Kuwaiti gathering of men ), having tea is a part of a lively discussion. They most enjoyed it while having traditional sweets & dates. A typical Diwaniya mostly last more than 2 hours , mostly in the late afternoons. Imagine how much tea and coffee a Teaboy needs to make if there is a big gathering? Most Kuwaiti household has a separate Teaboy who  also do the job of a gardener or a Houseboy help.

I wonder many times what would happen to Kuwait without their Teaboys? Or who makes Tea for the Teaboys?

How about you, Do you find any surprising cultural Habits in your new country?

If you like this post then you might want to check out my other posts about Culture shocks & fascinating encounters i have in my Expat Life here in Kuwait.