Heidi Raeside was eight months pregnant with her second son when she launched her blog, Tuesday’s Child. But little did she know it would soon be getting more than 10,000 page views every week, with readers keen to get a sneak peek into the lives and homes of Dubai’s most glamorous mums, as well as fashion tips, interviews and gorgeous photography. ‘I’m so excited that women without children follow it too,’ she tells us. ‘I’ve found regular inspiration following a few famous blogs for years and if I have to spend time online, I’d much rather look at those photo-based style sites than confusing myself about the colour of my baby’s poo or the rate at which his teeth are growing.’
Having lived in Dubai for nearly eight years, Heidi has chosen the Marina as her home with her husband and young family. Time Out Kids paid them a visit to find out more…
Why did you choose to live in the Marina?
I love the Marina and even though we could probably do with more room and a garden, we can’t bring ourselves to leave the nearby beach, and facilities such as the mall, cinema and JBR. The Marina is cosmopolitan and is full of young families. Every day as I walk the boys and the dog along the water’s edge, or take an evening stroll along JBR, I feel very lucky and as if I am on holiday.
Did you have both of your babies here?
I had both of my sons here, at City Hospital, which was a great experience for me.
How are you finding raising kids here in Dubai?
I have no doubt it’s easier raising kids in Dubai than it is back home in the UK. The biggest drawback is not having family here – but we have very close friends who we’ve known for years living close to us that are as good as family and very supportive in terms of looking after the boys.
The biggest benefit is, of course, the domestic help we have in Dubai. Our nanny, Cioni, allows me to focus my time on looking after my sons while she takes care of the cleaning, laundry, shopping and housekeeping. She’s also there to babysit when I work part-time, go for a run, or have personal appointments when they are napping. The weather and the many family-friendly facilities are important, too, and we are lucky to live in a small city that allows my husband and I to work hard, but spend a lot of time at home with our children.
What family friendly facilities are nearby?
Weather permitting, we walk in the Marina at least once a day. My older son loves to see the boats, birds, trees and dogs along the way. We inevitably spend a lot of time in Marina Mall – for the shops, the train, Favourite Things, Carluccio’s and the carousel. Again, when the weather is cool enough, we spend time at the beach – which is less family-friendly now that the parking is a mess. There are small play parks in some of the nearby towers and my older son has recently discovered the Metro, which is a real novelty for him.
Have you found it easy to meet other mums here?
I have a close group of girlfriends here and I was one of the first to have a baby among us. This was good as it meant I had to keep ‘my hand in the game’ and keep up my non-baby conversation, interests and social life – however, it’s even better now that they are having babies too! I’ve stuck with friends that I knew before that are now mums in the main. There are only one or two exceptions that I met through baby groups. To be honest, I have lots of amazing mates here that it’s hard to keep meaningful contact with now that I have two kids. I sometimes feel that adding too much to this network would dilute the great relationships that I struggle to maintain sufficiently already.
What kind of feedback have you had from mums about your blog?
So far, other mums have been complimentary about the blog. Lots of mothers that have their own businesses or blogs want to get involved, which is great and I’ll always help these ladies where I can. I’d like more feedback on what people want to and don’t want to see. A lot of mums have said how little there is on maternity style on the web and they want to see more of that, so I’m working on it.
Where do you live? Tell us all about your neighbourhood at timeoutkids @itp.com
I love being outdoors with the boys. My favourite past-time is taking them to Safa Park and playing on a blanket for a couple of hours with some bubbles or toys. It’s not a mother-baby activity, but my older son adores Homegrown, the eco-friendly nursery he started three mornings a week this term. It’s magic to see the photos of him they send home.
Family hang outs
There’s a lot of walking – around the Marina, JBR and the malls. We’ve taken to spending the early evening at the Hilton beach and pool bars recently on weekends, which is fun. We recently did the family brunch at Nomad, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel and it was awesome – lots for James to do and see, plus ducks, a bouncy castle, and crafts.
Dinner time dates
I’m a Gina Ford follower, so the boys are rarely out late – although such occasions are on the increase. I’m all for differentiating between being totally present, caring for and playing with the boys in the day and having quality adult time with my husband in the evening. We have a nanny that can babysit while we have date nights or socialise once or twice a week.