What do you do that’s purely for you?
My friends are my real sanity savers. I catch up regularly with one friend, who, like me, has two boys. Even when we can’t get together, we usually text or phone each other to see how the afternoon is going. Keeping each other’s spirits up with a giggle or having a good old moan really helps. I also have a little ‘breakfast club’. We are really just a group of four friends who get together in the morning. We initially met either through being neighbours or at a party. We are all different nationalities and have kids of different ages. However, we all get along really well and enjoy each other’s company. It’s not a regimented arrangement – just once in a while we’ll get together and take turns to be hostess. Rather than go out to a fancy – and pricey – hotel or café, we decided to treat ourselves at home simply because we enjoy entertaining. My husband sometimes spies lots of goodies in the fridge and thinks, optimistically, that I’m spoiling him. I have to say ‘Sorry, hands off – they are for our breakfast tomorrow!’
What do you talk about?
Whatever takes our fancy really. Often our families or what’s driving us particularly crazy that week, be it at home or something about life in Dubai in general! It doesn’t matter: the important thing is that no matter how we’re all feeling when we meet, or what kind of week we’ve had, we all leave feeling good.
So friends are important for you?
I once saw a poster somewhere with the caption ‘your friends are the family you choose’. This is very true and also very apt for Dubai. For those who have become a mum for the first time, it can be hard living away from the support of your family. It can easily lead to a feeling of isolation if you don’t have contact with other like-minded people. Friends are so important for sharing advice and information not to mention practical help. I was recently in hospital with my eldest son for a weekend and when we came home, two of my friends cooked meals for us so I could concentrate on him. How wonderful is that? Part of my role with the Mirdif Mums group is to welcome mums to our playgroups, making sure they feel that someone is there for them, particularly if they are new to Dubai or the area. I know how I felt when we first moved to Dubai. Joining Mirdif Mums has allowed me to meet so many amazing women from every corner of the planet. I’m very happy to give something back and help other mums make friends.
New to Dubai ? Or interested in finding out more about Mirdif Mums and its wide range of playgroups and activities? Check out www.mirdifmums.com
Ask the yummy mummies
Each month a member of Jumeirah Jane’s crew answers a parenting dilemma.
Rebecca lives the dream: the daily run she takes while pushing the buggy keeps her in fabulous shape, and her tot, Ralphie, has that ruddy, happy glow that only comes from home-made smoothies and carrot sticks. Her family’s weekends are spent hiking and camping in the desert or on the beach.
My kids want me to hold a Christmas party because all their friends seem to be having them. But I don’t want to encourage them to over-eat as they’re already stuffing their faces with party food most weekends. How can I make sure that my festive bash isn’t so unhealthy? Sue, Satwa
Ranches Rebecca: Hold on a minute! (jogs on the spot for 30 seconds before answering breathlessly) Just had to make sure my pedometer is up to its quota. Now, what were you saying? Ah yes – healthy food, festive gluttony, fat little kids eating far too many mince pies. Well, there’s plenty you can do to make sure your party is cholesterol, sugar and fun – er, I mean fat free. First of all, devise lots of games that involve exercise, like Santa’s boot camp – an absolutely hilarious game where the first kid to burn off 500 calories wins a great sporty gift – like a sweat band. There are others, too; aerobic elves for example, where they dress up and do a high-impact class – and the last one to drop out with exhaustion wins a prize. It’s a hoot! Now, onto the food. The rule is simple; substitute all sugar in your recipes with pureed carrot, buy diabetic biccies and choccies (if you must have them) and swap the cheese balls for melon balls. They’ll love it! Must fly now – I’m late for my boxercise class.