We all have our own different life changing moments. Sometimes we are lucky to comprehend many of these moments, and mine coincided in a matter of months. It all began when I realized how passionate I was towards childcare. Perhaps it all escalated the moment my baby T blessed my life and enlightened my world. Like every mother, I have decided to dedicate my whole life for my baby; I have promised myself to look after her as though it was my full-time job. I especially promised to do my best to nourish her curious mind and concentrate on her capacities.
A year later, and again like every mother out there, I started feeling somewhat restless. The fact that I was too immersed and involved as a mother, I felt the need to find myself again and questioned my long-term plans and role in life, besides being a mother. I still felt that both my child and I needed each other, so I could not extract myself out of the world of childcare, which led to applying for a teaching vacancy at a well-known preschool in Amman. With that, my baby and I could go together, where she would play and enjoy her time whereas I could break my daily routine and enjoy what I believed I did best: being around kids, entertaining, and educating them. It sounds like I hit the jackpot, doesn’t it?
However, that was not quite the case yet because reality hit me that I could not stand seeing baby T crying while she was out with her classmates without being able to soothe her or give her one of my comforting hugs. I was not able to ensure a smooth transition, for both of us, from home to nursery like the other moms since I was always around her at the nursery.
What I had planned to be the perfect situation deviated away from perfection. So, I decided to keep her at home despite the fact that I was well aware of the great time she would have had if she was given the proper time to adapt to that new routine.
I started thinking of alternative ways. I contacted one of my close friends who, luckily, was between jobs. I asked her if she could babysit my baby for at least the first semester until I figure out what I was going to be doing next. Thankfully she agreed and stayed with her, and she gave her all the attention and affection she needed.
Baby T was getting to know someone else other than her mom, and I was getting to know 16 kids other than baby T! Those 16 kids have turned my life upside down. I came to realize that they needed the exact amount of love and attention that baby T needed, and I could not help but give them my best. I gave them exactly what their parents would have given them at their homes: I gave them the warmth of their mom’s hugs and the security of their dad’s arms. I fell in love with each and every one of them that I started seeing the world through their eyes. I started to observe and notice their areas of interest as well as the activities that stimulated them and kept them engaged.
On daily basis, I used to apply what I found interesting at preschool on baby T, which secured me quality time with her and brought my attention to both importance and benefits of real play. I started observing the activities that stimulated her as well as the activities that seemed beyond her age. I found that Sensory Play was amongst the activities that never failed to engage baby T and the preschool kids alike, and for a very long time. Sensory Play activities proved to be quite the catch.
The world of preschool gifted me with more quality time with my baby and opened up my eyes to new areas which I was not fully aware of. I stayed with the 16 kids for the first semester, but I sadly had to say goodbye after. This short period of time brought me with an exceptional partner, Rania, who enjoyed over 20 years of early childhood education development, she gave me a lifetime experience and sparked my passion towards hands-on real play and activities that strengthen fine motor skills and encourage creativity and imagination.
I started thinking of ways to stay in touch with the kids, so I thought of creating themed “busy bags” full of activities that would keep them engaged and entertained. Then I started thinking a little out of the box: “why not create busy boxes that would keep many kids engaged and entertained? Does this mean starting my own business of busy boxes filled with meaningful and educational toys? What is business anyway? What do I know about arts and crafts?” Well, two extraordinary friends crossed my mind: Haya and Rawan.
Haya is the arts and crafts guru I know and Rawan is the most organized and business-oriented person I could ever possibly think of. I called them and asked to meet at The Cake Shop Lounge. Our meeting was full of ideas, dreams, aspirations, and plans. They carefully listened to my ideas, encouraged me, and agreed to embark on this journey. They were incredibly excited and motivated to take on that challenge together. Do you know that moment when things fall together? It was exactly that moment for us. We formed our well- rounded team, and ever since, sleepless nights and big dreams became our reality.
We used to meet at Rawan’s house, specifically around her dining table. Our ideas and dreams grew bigger every time until we thought of taking our dreams to the next level and getting a seed investment by a business incubator. We reached out for the best, so we applied for Oasis500. We attended the boot camp where we were introduced to the world of business. We had the chance to pitch in front of the team, and we were shortlisted for another pitch in front of the CEO.
Fast-forward a few months later, we were accepted to have our idea funded and incubated by Oasis500. The mentors put us on the right track and guided us throughout the whole journey to start and grow Bitsy Box to fulfill its potential, realize our dreams, and more importantly enhance our children’s sensory capacities.