The queen bee in the mothering hive, designer-clad JJ is unfailingly immaculate. Her hectic social life makes her too busy to work, but her son, Jasper, is always puzzled when people refer to Jane as his mummy – the live-in maid is far more of a mother figure to him than JJ will ever be.
Bur Dubai Brenda
Brenda is a left-wing pessimist (although she’d prefer to think of herself as a realist). She’s got one son, Ben, and she’s not in any hurry to add to her brood – holding down a full-time job without a maid to help out in the apartment provides her with more than enough to worry about, thank you very much.
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.
A hippy at heart, Mary does all she can to give her kids, Marcus, Mackenzie and Marie, a bohemian, eco-conscious upbringing. She’s installed a solar panel on her villa’s roof, grows her own veggies, and she’s never happier than when she and the family are relaxing with an organic picnic in Al Mamzar Park.
Kick in the Botox
Much like every other mother in Dubai, I have too much to do and not enough time to do it. My hair is bedraggled, the bags under my eyes could hold a month’s worth of supermarket shopping and I’ve got more crows’ feet than a particularly pest-ridden farmer’s field. How can I put the spring back in my step and the glow in my cheeks and still be there for my kids and husband?
Scruff bag in Satwa.
Jumeirah Jane says…
My gosh woman, how on earth have you let things get to this stage? From the sounds of it you need cosmetic help, and fast. Haven’t you ever heard of Botox? I could understand it if we were living in outer Mongolia but really, darling, in a city where there are more spas per capita than probably anywhere else in the world, there is just no excuse for this kind of negligence. You simply must log on to www.dubaisurgery.com and get yourself booked in. Just leave the rugrats with the maid, tell your hubbie you’re going on a girlie trip (the less of this sort of thing the menfolk know about, the better) and hotfoot it over there, before it’s too late and people start mistaking you for the old bag in TItanic.
The other day I was at the mall with my eight-year-old daughter. When I took her to Next, she threw a tantrum and demanded that I take her to
Armani Junior. Living in Dubai appears to have turned her into a dreadful snob, just as I’d feared. How can I get my Next-loving, Shoe City-wearing daughter back?
From a worried high street fan.
Bur Dubai Brenda says…
It’s all too easy to blame Dubai for this kind of behaviour, but you’ve got to accept that you are to blame. As a parent, it’s your duty to make the girl see that designer labels are a complete and utter waste of money. I suggest teaching her a lesson she won’t forget: have a dig around the loft and fish out your most horrendous college days ensemble. No cut can be too unflattering, no pattern too heinous (avoid ’80s cast-offs though – my niece informs me that fluoro numbers are ‘cool’ once more). If you don’t have old clothes here, a hessian sack should do the trick.
Roly poly pals
My son is in Year Three at school and his best friend – let’s call him Freddy – is very overweight, in fact I’d say he’s borderline obese. Although we don’t know each other well, I do get along with his (slightly curvy) mother when we bump into each other at the school gates. Is there any way that I can suggest that she helps her boy lose weight without looking like a pestersome busybody?
Regards, concerned mother, Jebel Ali.
Ranches Rebecca says…
Being mother to overweight children is tantamount to child abuse. You must act, but I appreciate your etiquette-based conundrum. I pride myself on my skills of subtlety, and can suggest the following lines: ‘Oh, look what I just found on the floor – a leaflet on childhood obesity!’; ‘You know, up until recently my friend’s son was very overweight and she put him on the most marvellous diet, want the details?’; ‘Don’t you think it’s a shame that kids are so fat these days? Must be all those video games,’ and the like should all do the trick. If the chubby mummy still doesn’t get the hint, start giving your own son extra celery sticks that he can innocently share with his pal at lunchtime, while sneakily putting his junky snacks in the bin.
The other day my eight-year-old son came to me demanding that I buy him a cell phone. My reply? ‘No way, no how!’ He was not happy. I suspect it’s peer pressure that’s triggered this absurd request, but I’m not sure how to explain how inappropriate it is.
From technophobe, Discovery Gardens.
Mirdif Mary says…
Oh my, this saddens me immensely. How did we reach this stage? Technology seems to have replaced fun, games and nature in children’s hearts. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that not only are mobile phones environmentally damaging, but they pose numerous health risks. I have one piece of advice: ask your child, ‘Do you really want your brain to be fried?’ (Use one of those fried egg sweets – vegetarian, if poss – as a prop if he remains unconvinced; I find visual aids very useful parenting tools.) Good luck!