Dear stay-at-home mums in Dubai,
I see you walking up and down the supermarket aisles trying to juggle a pram, a baby and a toddler who may be having a tantrum, while trying to make it ALL an exciting and educational experience.
I see you at playdates and soft plays, clinging on to your cup of hot tea or coffee, knowing it may be your only opportunity for alone time all day, the only time you have a minute to yourself or, if you are lucky, even a biscuit to yourself.
I see you planning out the food for the day, being creative with what is in the cupboard and doing your best to make it healthy. I see you peeling, chopping, feeding and then cleaning up the mess.
I see you looking into your wardrobe, bypassing the section where your work clothes used to be. A reminder of a time gone by when you didn’t wear the same T-shirts and shorts, every day.
I see you smile when strangers talk to you, and enquire about your family. But I see the look on your face when they ask you what you do work-wise, and you feel the need to explain how busy you are being an SAHM.
I see your face when you see a dress in the shop window, but know deep down you can’t justify buying it as you don’t have your own money.
I see you looking at the ladies walking past, with their blow-dried hair and manicured nails, while you look down at the paint and Play-Doh on yours.
I see you look around your home wondering if you will ever get on top of all the toys and books covering the floor. I see your face when friends drop by for a coffee and you have to justify the mess and lack of biscuits.
I see your calendar, all colour co-ordinated with activities to keep your children entertained, from swimming and nature activities to play dates and sensory classes. No colours for you.
I see you watching as others get excited about the weekend. It is just another day for you, but maybe you will have some extra help.
I see you, stay-at-home-mummy, doing your best when you’re tired and lonely. I see you when you’re frustrated and bored, craving adult conversation or a pat on the back.
I see you when your children curl up on the sofa while you read a book to them, the smile on your face when they giggle uncontrollably.
I see the pride on your face when you tuck your little one into bed. I see all this. I feel all this. Like you, I’m a mummy who stays at home, and – unpaid, unrewarded, unquestioning, uncomplaining – loves having the best job in the world, too.
Are you a parent in the UAE? Do you have views you’d like to share with other parents? Email us at email@example.com