We chatted with one of the founders of Dubai’s Sassy Mama blog, to find out more about raising a family in the UAE, the achievements of the region’s online community and what being a ‘modern mama’ really means.
What’s it like being a mum in the UAE?
It’s fun, there are lots of adventures to be had and everything is very family friendly.
What don’t people tell you about motherhood?
They don’t tell you about the sleepless nights, or they try to but nothing prepares you for that. They also don’t tell you how much you're going to love that little thing, it's unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
What’s different about being a mum here compared to being a mum in the UK?
Mainly, most of us don’t have our families around so we don’t have grandparents to hang out with the kids. We do have helpers though, which is great – they’re like an extended family member.
What do you do for some alone time and how do you fit it into your schedule?
I love going for walks on the beach and recently I discovered this new Aventura adventure course in Mushrif Park, Mirdif. You’re clipped onto high ropes up in the trees and you cannot think about anything else otherwise you’ll fall off. It’s amazing.
How would you suggest mums fit ‘me time’ into their day?
I think ‘me time’ can often sound a bit scary because it seems like you have to factor in something really big which you don’t. Even taking five minutes out of your day to make a phone call in private, walk around the block or drink a cup of coffee; maybe twice a month book yourself in for a nice treatment – something a bit more special.
On parenting, your blog says you’re “good enough” rather than “perfect” – why do you that this is an important mentality to have?
I think there’s a lot of pressure that comes with motherhood; a lot of comparing, and I think that we want to support any decisions mums make. Whatever works for your family might not work for another but as long as it’s good for you, that’s great. We’re not here to preach, we’re here to share our stories and listen to yours.
You’re one of the founders of Sassy Mama Dubai. Why do you feel there was a market for the blog here and what made you want to work with the brand?
There was so much about Dubai that was uncovered; there were a lot in print but nothing online and mums tend to be online now as it's easier. We love exploring the undiscovered side of Dubai or finding things that wouldn’t really appeal to mothers and targeting that sector. The brand is friendly and fun, and very honest. We’ve got information on everything from where to shop and where to dine, to school recommendations – we want to be a one-stop website.
If mums could take away one thing from your blog what would you want it to be?
I’d like mums to be inspired by the blog – to find new ideas on the next family holiday, what to feed your kids, nursery schools, the next date night with the husband, everything. We want it to be fun.
What does ‘modern mama’ mean to you?
The mum who feels that you don’t have to have it all to be good enough. The mum who is juggling a lot and coping well. The mum who knows it’s ok to go out with friends, have a career and balance that with motherhood, and those who choose to can be stay-at-home mums. The modern mum is about choice and making those choices with confidence. There’s never a right answer, a lot of it is trial and error and that’s ok – there’s not a prescribed formula to go by, you just have to wing it and hope for the best. We’ve all got the best interests for our kids at heart.
So you’ve now got 27.1k followers on Instagram – has the blog exceeded your initial expectations?
We are really successful in Singapore and Hong Kong, so we were hoping that it would be the same here in Dubai. The speed at which it’s grown has really surprised us because we’ve only been live for about three years now; we’re delighted that it’s been so well received.
Have you recently discovered any family activities or days out in the UAE that you could tell us about?
There’s one – it’s only on for three months but it’s awesome. It’s called Rise at Dubai Creek Harbour, which is a lifestyle destination. It’s got interactive stuff for kids, the most incredible views of the city, food trucks, live music and the most amazing playground.