Dina Butti, TV Presenter. Mum to Faris, three years old, and Amir, four months old
Motherhood is a journey of both triumphs and challenges. Any woman will tell you it’s the best, but it’s the downs – as much as the ups – that make it what it is. We meet three of Dubai’s most popular mamas to talk naughty childhoods, secret mum weapons and beautiful, life-changing motherly love.
What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child?
Dina: My aunts were all obsessed with The Bold & the Beautiful and so, when I turned six, I started “playing” in the living room so that I could tune into the show without anyone noticing. Then, one day, when my father called from work, I asked him if he was always travelling because he was having an affair. I obviously had no idea what “affair” even was, but let’s just say I caused more drama that day than the series itself.
Laura: My younger brother and I weren’t the best at staying dry at night and there were lots of accidents growing up as we were such deep sleepers (that’s what we were told anyway). After one of many fights, and just when my parents had thought that my brother grew out of wetting the bed, I took revenge by pouring water on his bed and making everyone (including my brother) think that he’d had an accident again. So bad looking back on it! I did admit it in the end though.
Lucy: My little brother was annoying me during winter time playing at the outdoor swimming pool and I pushed him into the pool. He couldn’t swim and my dad had to jump in and save him.
What was your happiest moment as a mum?
Dina: The moment I discovered I’d become a mother! It took us longer than expected and I was starting to worry it may never happen, just when that positive sign finally popped up. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so many tears of joy!
Laura: There have been many times when I’ve felt so lucky to be a mum, but one that stands out was waking up on the first day after giving birth, which felt like Christmas Day as a child, the same type of excitement. It felt so magical having this little person next to me.
Lucy: Having both my children on my lap at the same time cuddling. It took my husband and myself 14 years to get two children so I cherish them and really appreciate the impact they’ve had on our lives.
Laura Buckwell, Event MC and Former News Anchor. Mum to four-year-old Marnix and mum-to-be
Describe motherhood in one word.
Dina: An adventure.
Laura: A roller coaster.
What’s your secret weapon as a mum?
Dina: I’m shameless about making mistakes, my borderline obsession with my boys and award-worthy clumsiness.
Laura: My secret weapon as a mum has to be bribery.
Lucy: I'm a gentle, loving mum; many times, I’ve diffused a row or soothed tears by cuddles, kindness and tickles.
What would your ideal mama me-time be?
Dina: I love massages like it’s no one’s business! A massive shout out to the ladies at Tips and Toes and, above all, to my husband who gives me foot rubs every night. I know, I lucked out big time.
Laura: Getting pampered at my favourite spa, De La Mer Day Spa on Jumeirah Beach Road, a relaxing swim or a long lunch/dinner with friends is heavenly.
Lucy: I love to go and have my mani, pedi, wash and blow-dry!
Lucy Holmes, Marketing Manager. Mum to Barney, eight years old, and Daisy, one year old
What was the best vacation you’ve been on as a family and why?
Dina: We went to Stockholm because Google told us it was amazingly family-friendly and it certainly was. There were endless kiddie attractions all designed to accommodate strollers. We even discovered that you get a free ride on the bus if you have one. Did I mention how safe it was? A zillion thumbs up from us...
Laura: One of my all-time favourite trips as a family has to be our trip to RAK, when we stayed at The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah – Al Wadi Desert. The whole place is set in a nature reserve and the pool villas are based on luxury-style tents spilling out into the desert, where lots of wildlife drifts by. The buggy tours feel like a mini safari, while some of the other highlights include learning about Bedouin culture, nature, desert birds (which you can hold) and star gazing. It really was a special place for the whole family that we'll never forget.
Lucy: Since my daughter is only one, we’ve only had one family holiday so far as a family of four. In the summer, we travelled to the UK, and spent some time in Cornwall in a barn conversion on a farm. It was back to nature, simple and just perfect.