We discuss the lows but always end with a positive
– Dunya Al Hasher
She says that the time spent together also gave her the chance to help her eldest with her Arabic language skills. “I realized is that even though we are Emirati, owing to multicultural environment we live in, we spend most of our time communicating in English. So, on some days we decided to only communicate in Arabic at home, which really helped my daughter strengthen her language skills. I also created little flash cards for her to learn new Arabic words and downloaded an app help her even further. If it weren’t for this pandemic, I doubt I would have had the time to be able to put in so much effort to support her.”
Although she is now back in the office and relies on a nanny to take care of her children during her working hours, Dunya has full custody of her daughters and is responsible for all their daily needs and requirements – something that she celebrated in an alternative Father’s Day video that she made with Home Centre earlier this year.
Here, she shares her tips for keeping herself and the kids sane and happy in the UAE over the summer vacation:
Dunya’s DIY At-Home Summer Camp
Then I schedule activities around these times – they are not set in stone, but set a good framework for the days. This what we include in the schedule:
Themed Day trip
Making Kids Stakeholders
A Special Note for Other UAE Parents
Here’s the thing – remember when you get onto a plane, the airhostess always tells you to put on your own mask before you help anyone else. This is because if you’re not in your best form (mental or physical), you’re not going to be able to help anybody else, even your kids. My suggestion is that you stop putting yourself last.
Just like I have a schedule for my daughters I have a separate schedule for myself. I don’t even keep my schedule in the same place as I want it to feel different. In my schedule, I make sure I put in time for a run or yoga.
Here’s the thing, you don’t just have to work out, or indulge in a physical activity. For instance, I’m also part of a book club and I meet with members over zoom calls for regular catchups.
Lastly, what’s important here is that, I let my daughters know about my ‘me-time’. They know that everyday we each get time for ourselves, wherein we each do something that helps us relax and breathe easy again.