Work/Life balance in Dubai

Working mums in Dubai explain how they juggle their career with family life…

Activities

Dru Campbell
is married to Colin and mum to Ryan (four years). She is Head Midwife at Health Bay Polyclinic on Al Wasl Road (www.healthbayclinic.com)

My Family
Colin and I are both Australian, but we moved to Dubai in 2006 for Colin’s job as a Licenced Aircraft Engineer. Ryan attends Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) and we live in Silicon Oasis with our Rhodesian Ridgeback dog Lea.

My Job

My role as Head Midwife consists of coordinating the Midwifery team, facilitating Baby Clinics, conducting Antenatal Classes and ensuring the Obstetric and Gynaecology department runs smoothly. I am also a Lactation Consultant, assisting families with breastfeeding support. I currently work part time and work lots of additional hours from home.

Heading Back to Work

Going back to work was a big decision for me. Although motherhood was my new major role, I felt it was really important for me to keep my Midwifery knowledge and skills updated. I started off slowly with a few shifts here and there – and when he was 18 months old, I enrolled him at nursery and worked half-days. The first time I left him at nursery, I sat in the car and cried! But he quickly began to enjoy it and I was happy leaving him in their capable hands.

The Juggle
I have a very supportive employer and feel very lucky to be able to work part time at the clinic and many hours from home. I’ve been known to answer emails and write policies at 10pm, then head out to hang out the washing at 11pm! The trade off is that I am able to work when Ryan is at school, care for him at home, and then finish my work once he is in bed at 7pm. I also have a cleaner who comes twice a week, which is my luxury. Either Colin or I take Ryan to swimming lessons and parties at the weekend, so he’s never missing out.

‘Me Time’
I have very limited time for myself. I love my job though and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The financial benefits of working enable us to be able to go on family holidays and of course pay our mortgage.

My Advice to Working Mums
Be organised and have absolutely everything ready the night before, including the keys for the car, snacks, and lunch.

My Favourite…
Family Activity: The beach
Kids Play Area: Cheeky Monkeys
Place to Eat: London Fish & Chips
Alone Time Activity: Manicures at The Nails Spa


Chloe Lodge
is married to James and mum to Maximus (two years). She is a professional photographer (www.chloelodge.com and www.facebook.com/ChloeLodgePhotography)

My Family
We moved to Dubai a year ago. Before moving to UAE, we had lived in Paris for a year and Malaysia for two years. Our son Max is half British, half Kiwi, and born in Malaysia. We live in JLT and Max goes to nursery five mornings a week.

My Job
I am a professional photographer, specialising in story telling photography including portraits, weddings and births. I also teach one-one and mentoring sessions and occasionally run photography workshops. I work seven days a week.

Heading back to work

Max was four months old when I started shooting commercially again. The wrench of leaving him was very much softened by the fact it was only ever for a couple of hours at a time when shooting. The rest of the time I work from home, so I get to see him for much of the day. When he was a baby this was really wonderful, but now he’s an active toddler its actually a lot harder as he just wants to play with me all the time!

The Juggle

Being self-employed in any field involves long hours, commitment and juggling. My work is a combination of weekends, evenings and early mornings so it’s absolutely essential we have great help. It’s too easy with live-in help to become a workaholic, but it’s important to remember what’s really important in life. Max loves to swim, so that’s something we try and do every day. I love that I can take him and then immediately get back to work.

‘Me Time’
I have a personal trainer and train after my son heads off to nursery. Date nights have fallen by the wayside somewhat as most evenings I am at my computer working, but I have a resolution to balance things more equally.

My Advice to Working Mums
Be kind to yourself. Life is one big juggle particularly when you are working, so take time to appreciate all the things you have accomplished.

My Favourite…
Family Activity:
The Lost Chambers at Atlantis
Kids Play Area: The Park at JLT
Place to Eat: The Pantry, Al Wasl Square
Alone Time Activity: Spa days


Sally Badhams
is married to Ian and Mum to Ellie Mae (two years). She is Administration Manager at Toddler Town British Nursery, JBR (www.toddlertown.ae)

My Family
We came to Dubai for Ian’s job and have been here for nearly six years now. Ellie Mae was born in 2012 and now goes to Toddler Town British Nursery five days a week, where I work as Administration Manager.

My Job
I work five days a week (Sunday - Thursday) from 8am-3pm. I’m responsible for the general administration at the Nursery, from dealing with new admissions, collecting fees, liaising with parents and teachers, preparing class lists, and general day-to-day tasks.

Heading back to work
Ellie Mae was seven months old when I returned to work. I was never going to be a stay at home mum and I was fortunate that the opportunity at Toddler Town came up, which meant that I could have her in the nursery with me. This made things quite a lot easier and I didn’t really suffer with any separation anxiety.

The Juggle
There’s just the three of us at home, although I do have a cleaner that comes once a week. It’s just a case of being very organised during the week and making sure we can relax at the weekend. Finishing work at 3pm helps, as it gives me time to spend with Ellie Mae in the afternoons. We plan things to do every weekend for Ellie Mae, but we also make sure we do things for ourselves too. It’s important to get a bit of ‘our time’ to relax and do the things that need doing.

‘Me Time’
I love doing crafty hobbies like scrapbooking and card making, but finding the time to do this now is few and far between. We try to go out as a couple when we can and book a babysitter. It doesn’t happen all that often, so we make sure we head somewhere special.

My Advice to Working Mums
Be patient and be organised - and grab as much sleep as you can!

My favourite…
Family Activity:
Dubai Aquarium
Kids Play Area: Any of Dubai’s parks
Place to Eat: Mugg and Bean
Alone Time Activity: The Pool

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