by Jamie Etheridge
I knew I needed help the day the A/C broke down. It was August. Hot. We took our newborn to Marina Mall for lunch. It was just after the 40 days, I was stir crazy and needed an outing. By the time we got home, she was a bundle of sweat. Flushed and in a deep sleep. I switched the A/C off, worried she would be cold after being outside.
Then I grew paranoid, thinking she would be hot and turned the A/C on full blast. The baby slept on and after awhile I wondered, why wasn’t she waking up? Was the heat too much for her? What if she was dehydrated? Maybe she’s too hot? I unswaddled her and cut the A/C. Still asleep. What have I done? Is she suffering from heat exhaustion? Too much cold?
On and off the A/C went, my husband and I debated going to the emergency room. I had no one to call and only Google for a resource. Finally we stripped her down and gave her a sink bath to wake her up. It did – and she peed all over me as a thank you for interrupting her nap. The crisis was averted. Only now a new problem had arisen: the A/C had completely stopped. Thanks to my fiddling, it just quit. We ended up in a hotel that night and for the next three days while repairmen tried to fix the damage I’d done. The whole episode cost a few hundred dinars, not to mention the stress and worry that something was wrong with the baby, and having to transfer to a hotel with a newborn.
The incident taught me a lesson. First, always stay calm. Second, moms need support. We need information. We have lots of questions and need reliable answers. We need to know that we’re not alone. My husband and I didn’t know what to do that hot August day and as a consequence, we overreacted (okay, maybe I overreacted). That’s where the idea for the Kuwait Moms Guide started, from our need for help and reliable information about raising kids in Kuwait.
Last October we launched the first Kuwait Moms Guide print edition. The book provides articles, information, news and a directory of services for moms in Kuwait. Overall, KMG has everything from parenting tips to humorous quotes, lists of preschools, pediatricians and places to take kids on the weekends. Moms can find information on afterschool activities, summer camps, places to go swimming, take yoga or ballet and we also do our best to answer any questions moms might have on life in Kuwait. On Instagram and Facebook we also post notices for workshops, carnivals, festivals, markets, children’s events and activities, and more.
One of my favorite projects has been creating a list of local parks and playgrounds. Many moms like to take their kids to the park during the cooler months, but finding good parks that are well kept is not always easy in Kuwait. So I started making a list and visiting them. There are a surprising number of beautiful local parks, most located in residential areas and most of them have playgrounds for kids. The parks project has been one of our most popular and we continue to update it.
We plan to continue providing reliable and useful information, news and events for moms in Kuwait. This month we’re publishing our second print edition, the KMG Directory 2014/2015 that will be available at various locations around Kuwait.