Meet the Mompreneurs: mothers who, unable to find flexible work conditions in their jobs, are quitting and setting up their own businesses instead.
Deepika Gupta, a former sales manager for Airbus and mother of two toddlers, started a play-date group called Marina Moms, which organises structured activities for children in the Marina and New Dubai areas every Thursday.
"I don't have to be a full-time worker or complete stay-at-home mom. I can have a bit of a life as well, work from home, meet people, socialise," she said.
Flexible hours and a project to put on her portfolio are some of the advantages of being what Gupta calls a "Mompreneur."
An increasing number of professional women are turning to self-employment after having children, said Christo Daniels, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley.
For those lacking that entrepreneurial flair, some jobs provide more flexibility than others.
In the government sector, work ends in the early afternoon, allowing mothers to pick up their children from school and spend the rest of the day with family, Daniels said.
In the private sector, professional services like accounting, legal and consulting tend to be more mum-friendly, said Michael Burchell, Partner and Director of Great Place to Work Institute. Some manufacturing and industrial companies have family-friendly policies too. Ask employers what they do to maintain their employees' work-life balance while you are interviewing, he said.
Part-time and temporary work is also a bonus for mothers who are on their spouse's or father's visas, said Daniels. Such positions are usually not advertised and women need to network extensively to find them.
Some women opt to work on a project-basis or freelance, but that is not always financially rewarding, said Rachael Wood, a gemologist and mother.
Gupta manages to make a profit of Dh3,000 to Dh6,000 a month, depending on the activities. She charges Dh40 per mom for fun classes hosted by the mothers in the group. Baby Picasso is conducted by an art professor and mother who shows children how to express their feelings through drawings. Sand sculpting is conducted at the beach by a sand sculptor from Australia.
They combine their professionalism, motherhood and passion for children, said Gupta.
"You bring part of your work into motherhood, so you're not feeling drab and horrible and sitting in your nightie until 2pm watching TV," she said.