Yes, I made it 1 year as ArabBaba and ArabBabaThatsMe. I survived. I made it past my own fears. I got through the bad looks and the ‘Gucci Patrol’. I went through the haters that told me I was weak and how could I let my wife take care of me when I ‘do nothing’. I listened to my family discourage me but later encourage me understanding what I was doing. I forged relationships with other Babas where a fist bump was all that was needed. I was working with amazing organisations in Dubai and all over the world that actually wanted to hear from me. I was able to contribute to various magazines. I worked with great institutions in the UAE that changed my mind in so many ways. I talked on radio, interviews with newspapers and I met with amazing product people and kid friendly places that actually changed me about how I viewed our country and how great we are with family. Most importantly, I found Mums and Babas all over the world that felt the same that I did and gave me some great ideas, support, insight and just a hi-five when I needed it.
What got me was what I felt about myself and the confidence I felt in continuing my journey with my girls. I didn’t feel criticised anymore (atleast what was worth hearing). I didn’t feel like I was the odd man out anymore (except on the playground on most days at school pickup and drop off and those mummy mornings at coffee which I need to reconsider my position on because quite a few of them actually said hi to me).
I never did any of this for anything except for putting out there what I always had in my heart and my journals. My #CrazyWife actually pulled this off and convinced me. And, as much as I give her a hard time – she is the rolling rock in this family. She is the one that keeps me going when I get frustrated. She is the beauty that I never thought I would have. She has given me the 2 most amazing and crazy girls (thanks to her genes) that changed so many things for all of us. Even when she is working at travelling like a maniac, she still always finds time to find unique things for our girls – talks, homework, reading, experiments or just spontaneous things – she does it.
When I look at my girls – when I look at what I do every day, I look at what every mum and dad out there that sacrifice every day. I hear stories and get inspiration from mums and babas out there that wish for something better, that have kids that have challenges, that are being bullied (both parents and kids), that have concerns over religious aspects or that just need an idea to help a dad or mum to do something different.
All of you, all of the people and organisations that take a chance on me every so often. All of the ideas that get heard and not dismissed (#10minutes10Days – KHDA – RMRUAE – KDSL), you have my respect and appreciation.
Whatever you do every day, whatever you think matters, there are so many things in your day that sometimes we think matter more. But we don’t get chances more than this to spend time with your children. It can be nothing more than minutes to create a memory.
I know it sounds like a line and I get that. But I also know that the things that I thought were important still are- I just change them a little differently. Helping my girls build a tower or watching them do a dance they have rehearsed over having a conversation to my family that can be delayed by 30 minutes – its small to me but huge to them.
For my Arab people, you have this chance to make a difference – not just carry a tradition.
We aren’t moving into a western influence, we are moving into another part of a generation that needs more attention, not iPads, more talking than TV, more heading out for Karak together than playing on Youtube. We are part of a whole new way of thinking. We get to let them choose how they can make their future and that of others better – instead of someone ‘telling’ them how they will live.
We are all the same people, we all have the same opportunities, just in different time zones – and so are our kids.
So I end this with a big huge ‘kabir’ thank you (shukran) to all of you. You guys all rock! Every single one of you that just stay involved and find a small way to make a difference – you are worth it – thank you. Find a way to make a child smile, laugh, gain confidence, read, learn and do everything – it only takes minutes and a kind heart.
Happy 1 year to all of you ArabBaba’s out there – to all of you Babas. And to all of you mums, hi-five to you too. And if those dad’s don’t support you the way you should be, send them my way – I will give them a few words! 🙂
We all matter – we all make a difference – we all need each other.
If you want to see my other blog posts the last year… take a look and click on the below pic.