Dubai: You know those people, who always ask you things like “When are you getting married?” or even nosier questions like “Have you thought about having kids yet?”
Well, I haven’t heard from those people in a while. I'm sure it's mainly because we are all isolated at home and not socialising as much, but also because I'm sure they are now wishing they were free like me.
Ok I don't like to make totally grand assumptions and maybe slightly exaggerated statements, and I also hate sounding holier than thou, but I have to say: I feel really #blessed.
Don’t get me wrong. Many people love their spouse and they love their kids, but I doubt anyone was expecting a 24/7 situation with them in the same house for months.
And to be frank, a 24/7 timeframe with anyone might make you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Especially if that someone is a toddler requiring full-time attention and lots and lots of activities.
While I’m here thinking, “With all of this spare time, what 15 hobbies should I pick up?” Others (specifically parents) are thinking, “Those five minutes I got to myself in the shower were really nice.”
I feel lucky, that at the moment, my only concern is me, myself and I. As a result, I plan my day to how I want to, and live without worrying about taking anyone else into account. My breakfasts are at 2pm, because that’s my prerogative and I can sit in complete silence, whether it's choosing to take a nap or watch a show.
I want to unapologetically say that I have so much time for self-care. So much time to focus on my skin care routine. Time to bake delicious cakes from scratch and work out on a daily basis.
“I honestly can’t stand the sound of his breathing”
Many UAE residents who requested to remain anonymous (for obvious reasons) are also over it. “To be honest, I just argue with him all the time. I never realized how annoying he was. It’s probably not okay for a couple to be in each other’s faces all the time. Either I’m going to kill him or kill myself,” a Dubai resident told me over the phone.
“At least now he realizes what I go through every single day with the kids,” a mother of three based in Abu Dhabi told Gulf News. “Now he can understand that being home with the kids is more difficult than literally any job out there. I am lucky that they sleep early, so I have a few hours to myself at night. Someone needs to give teachers a serious salary hike.”
“I need more things to do to keep my kid busy. I am slowly running out of activities. I love him so much, but I just want to be able to sit and relax in bed, maybe watch a show or something. But I also don’t want to give him an iPad just to keep him quiet. I feel so guilty, but at the same time, I just want a little bit of peace,” said a Dubai mom.
Not every single person is struggling though
Some people work all the time and don’t have the chance to stay home with their loved ones. Many are actually enjoying this opportunity. It’s good when you both have similar personalities. When you are both chill and laid back. It’s easy to get along if that's the case.
“I actually don’t get to see my wife a lot, because of work, so this time together is actually amazing. We have our own routine now. We eat breakfast together every day, and we spend time in our balcony just enjoying what’s left of the cool weather,” Frederic Edgar, a Dubai resident told Gulf News.
I tried to get a positive quote from a parent who is truly enjoying their kids being home from school, but it was slightly difficult, as most of them wish their kids could be in school. Not for their sanity’s sake but more for their child’s sake.
All in all, I don’t mean for this piece to make me sound like someone who never wants kids or to get married, on the contrary, I can’t wait for these times in my life.
But I have to say that being quarantined alone has been a blessing. Seeing all my friends argue with their spouse, or dealing with their bored and frustrated children, has made me realise that my empty nest, is perfect just the way it is.