At the start of Ramadan last year, Gemma Burgess found herself seven months pregnant and stuck at home with a very energetic toddler. The summer heat prevented her from enjoying outdoor activities, and the month’s shortened business hours left her family with few options for air-conditioned outings.
New mothers will be quick to tell you that finding creative ways to entertain your child is very difficult. The easy way out is to employ an electronic babysitter, and have them sit quietly in front of the iPad or television for hours. Yet, as a former KG teacher, Gemma knew Oscar needed stimulating activities that encourage good behavior, get creative juices flowing or teach him something new.
So, in late July Gemma posted a welcome message to the site expatfamilyq8.com that would be the start of an inspirational project for parents in Kuwait and around the world. Over eight months Gemma has provided a plethora of activities to do with children including easy to make recipes, craft projects as well as providing reviews of the best playgrounds in Kuwait.
We met up with Gemma for a chat in a local Starbucks. Oscar quickly realized that the stranger was about to take up much of his mommy’s time. Rather than get bored and complain, he turned a simple coffee napkin into a world of possibilities as he placed it on the floor to play magic carpet, and happily entertained himself.
For the new mom in Kuwait Gemma’s blog is a great directory of the best places to go for art supplies, a day out in the park or an indoor play area. For every mom stuck at home around the world, there is a plethora of creative activities you can engage your child in. With her background in child education, Gemma guides you on the best activities to improve your child’s sensory skills, coordination and vocabulary.
How would your mother describe you in one word?
Hmm…I don’t know. Maybe determined? If I want something I will try my best or work hard to get it.
How would you describe your mother in one word?
Outgoing. She will talk to anyone she meets!
What is the most insane question you’ve ever been asked?
This is probably the most insanely difficult question to answer that I have been asked!
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve done?
Moving to Kuwait!
What is your theme song?
Bob Marley – Three Little Birds. ‘Cause every little thing is gonna be alright.
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Happiness or Love.
Where would you like to live? What is your dream retirement location?
I would love to live in America for a little while some point in the next 10 years. And my ideal retirement location would be somewhere in Europe – maybe Italy or Spain. The pace of life is nice and relaxed, the food is delicious and the people are friendly. And of course the beautiful sunny weather!
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
‘Enjoy the little things in life …for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things’
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
Probably a dog – fun, playful and loyal.
What do you miss about your childhood?
Having no worries and being carefree. Days were all about playing and having fun!
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I wouldn’t change it. I used to hate my name when I was younger but it has grown on me as I have gotten older.
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
Having two young children I have learnt to survive and get by on VERY little sleep!
Who is your favorite historical figure?
What in the world do you least desire?
I really dislike it when people expect that things or money should be handed to them without having actually worked for it.
What do you think is lacking in the world, which if there was more of would make the world a better place?
Acceptance. People accepting that we are all different and have different likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and beliefs.
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
I don’t know…I would say that I am friendly and approachable?
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”
Children. Watching your children laugh, love and enjoy themselves brings happiness that cannot be described.