"My mother taught me personalisation plus experience leads to a cool mum," says Dimple Bhatia, mum to an 18-year-old daughter Image Credit:

As the Arab world celebrates, we talk to mothers in the UAE to find out their joys, fears and views on bringing up children.

Dimple Bhatia, 39, homemaker, Indian and mum to a girl aged 18

Motherhood doesn't come with a manual. It's a complete DIY. My mother taught me personalisation plus experience leads to a cool mum. What she meant was that the way she dealt with me as a child might not necessarily work with me and my daughter.

On Mother's Day my daughter turns 18. Add to that she will get her driving licence, making it an extra special day for me. The only gift I could ask my daughter this year is to drive safely.

Dr Sara Al Khadra, 33, Senior Public Health Officer, Moroccan and mum to two boys aged 4 and 2

For me becoming a mother after six years of waiting was the greatest blessing I ever had. Although I had high expectations, the reality was very different, but in a better way. I had always been informed that parenting comes naturally. What I found is so contrary - parenting requires reading, research and a strategy (which I thoroughly enjoy) and is not just intuitive. Luckily, I enjoy the dig into child psychology, but the struggle is sometimes what science recommends is not in congruence with family and cultural norms.

This Mother's Day, being able to take a single photo with my children while they are smiling would be the best gift. Getting them to face the camera is one struggle and then to get them to smile is another agonising task.

JoAnn Panisales, 43, Acting Nursing Director, Filipina and mother to three boys aged 20, 15 and 10

My husband recently passed away, so I am now the solo parent and the sole breadwinner of the family. With three growing children, I become their disciplinarian, set and implement the house rules strictly. At the same time, as a friend, I open the communication lines, so they talk about their daily struggles with me. I am happy when they admit and apologise if they did something wrong because I know they are growing with humility and integrity in their hearts.

On Mother’s Day, a card with a letter will mean a lot to me. My happiness is to see my children happy, and I wish to see them soon, as they are in the Philippines.

Mendy Ghaleb, 38, Head of Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering, Lebanese and mother to two boys aged 10 and 7

What's remarkable is that my kids always come to me for rescue because even if I don't have the answer or the glue to fix their broken toy, they know that I can wipe that tear away. And after a long day at work, my biggest challenge is discarding the stress of the day and wearing a smile that would reassure them.

On Mother’s Day, just spending time with them and creating fun and happy memories together is the best thing that I can ask for.

Eliane Chalhoub, 30, Lebanese, Account Manager and mum to a boy aged 4 and a girl aged 2

My favourite thing about motherhood is the cute and funny things children think about, like when my 4-year-old son thought I ate his little sister when he saw a photo of me pregnant with her. It's like my own comedy show every day. They have taught me to be more patient, more loving and much more appreciative of every moment we have together as a family.

I would feel extra special if this Mother's Day, I can get some more sleep.

Farhana Rizwan, 41, homemaker, Sri Lankan and mum to three boys aged 17, 12 and 6

Motherhood is a privilege that I hold close to my heart. My task is that of a protector, a positive role model, disciplinarian and a good friend to my children. Even with all of the tears, yelling, frustration, confusion, and total chaos, I can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing. I feel loved and appreciated by their hugs and kisses.

Since I am not planning any outdoor activities this year on Mother's Day, it's going to be a mum and boys' day in the kitchen to bake their favourite chocolate cake. It's going to be a celebration for my boys!

Suad Alhalwachi, 64, entrepreneur, Bahraini, mum to a son and two daughters aged 36, 32 and 27 respectively

When I became a mum with my first child, my outlook to life changed completely. I cooked a meal and lived my life to fit his needs and not ours. Later, when the other two kids came, my husband and I got used to living for our children without hesitation. Our life, as I knew it, vanished into thin air and it became a life with kids in it. Motherhood is not about raising kids but the contentment we receive from seeing them grow.

Samah Aziz, 38, Marketing Director, Palestinian and mum to two girls aged 11 and 9

Motherhood to me means always being there, to be a constant source of encouragement and offering a comforting and familiar hand to hold. I feel appreciated and rewarded every single day through their unconditional love. Seeing my daughters happy and fulfilled is my source of happiness.

Every year on Mother’s Day my daughters spring a surprise with gifts and a full day of pampering. I don’t know what ideas they have come up for this year. I am sure we will make an enjoyable day out of it.

Sonia Abu Gabal, 47, HR Manager, Egyptian and mum to two boys and one girl aged 16, 14 and 9 respectively

Mothers are biologically programmed to connect with their babies and love them. Be their cheerleader for every milestone and demonstrate the abundance of unconditional love. Being a mother is the most rewarding and the most frustrating experience. Kids will challenge you, mould you, and in many ways, define you. I am doing the best I can but still it is not perfect.

Generation Z is the first generation to have grown up in a digital world and that affects their behaviour. Unfortunately appreciation is not a necessity in their life - unless they are cornered and have to resort to me to escort them somewhere, only then they show it. I wish I could change that.