It’s family holiday time for our little clan. And this time we’ve decided a trip overseas is a good idea. The boy wonder is seven and ready for an adventure that he may even remember in the future, so we’ve gone to Bali, Indonesia for a couple of weeks.

The island of Bali is 75% Hindu in a country that is mainly Muslim, but also a mixture of other creeds including Buddhism and Christianity. It is an incredibly welcoming place Bali, and not only because so much of thie economy is based on tourism. It is also a real mixture of old and new. The international visitors bring so much global culture and products, yet last night our Balinese host was telling us that one of the people working at our villa had eloped with his woman to marry because she was of a higher caste. The beauty of it was that he said her parents wouldn’t speak to her for maybe a couple of weeks, but then they would forgive her and it would be alright. He told us he himself had married a woman of a higher caste and it had worked out just fine.

While we are here I have been doing my best to parent the newly independent little man that is my son with relaxed ease. Mostly it has worked. Where it gets interesting is when he throws that encouragement I’ve been giving him to be more independent back at me. Example: I might almost instincively go to help him get his head through the neck of a tight shirt and he’ll get really cross and say “no mummy, I can do it myself!!”.

Another mother-moment has been occurring as we eat around a table with not only new food on it, but also seating my mother, my brother, his girlfriend and my sister. I’ve found a wonderful way of helping my son’s eating habits expand through Eve Reed at Family Food Works in Sydney (they have a great newsletter too if you feel like subscribing). With her years of experience in kids nutrition, she has given me some very simple methods to allow my boy to eat healthily and regularly. We are a family of fussy eaters you see, so that advice is golden to me. However changing my habits is one thing, changing my whole family’s is another. I’ve been managing to ask and explain and continue to assist my boy in adapting to the food here without drama. I’ve had to be a little staunch with my family to break some old patterns here and there, but that’s being a parent I suppose.

It has been a wonderful holiday so far, I’ve been monitoring the amount of junky tourist gifts that the boy can buy, I’ve been breaking family patterns in how to raise healthy eaters in a gentle and loving way, and I’m also having a great time. As a first trip overseas, as a single mum with her son, it’s been amazing.

And best of all, I promised my boy I’d bring him here, so with a bit of saving and great support from those around me… here we are. The value of a promise fulfilled to a child is unquantifiable. His confidence and joy are priceless.

If you have any questions about travelling in Bali, leave a comment, I reply to each one.

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