Monthly Archives: October 2014

15th October 2014

I’ve Got A Confession To Make

IMG_6935I’ve got a confession to make. I’m winging it.

Most the time, I have no idea what I am doing. Motherhood doesn’t come with a manual, so I just make it up as I go along. Sometimes I get to the end of the day and want to high-five myself for making it to bedtime with everyone smiling. And other times, I want to curl up with a vat of wine as I’ve made mistakes, there have been tears, and there’s still a whole banana trampled into the rug that I cant bring myself to clear up.

I used to wonder if I was on my own with this, but the more I chat to friends about it, the more I realise that we are all making it up as we go along.

Take potty training, for example. I didn’t read any books, I didn’t even look it up online. I wasn’t remotely ready – but when Stanley spotted other children at nursery being taken to the toilet, he decided he was ready. So I’m winging it. I have no idea if I’m doing it the right way, but I’m guessing he wont still be in nappies when he’s a teenager, so we’ll work it out one way or another.

That doesn’t mean to say that I’m totally relaxed about it. We haven’t had many accidents, but the one aboard the scooter today was not a highlight of my parenting journey to date.

Just to make motherhood even more complex, even when you think you have it covered, life throws you a curveball. When my second baby boy was born earlier this year, I thought I’d know what I was doing – but Mother Nature gave me a baby that was completely different to my first. My first slept during the day perfectly, but was a pickle at night – and now his brother does exactly the opposite. I’ve had to learn all over again.

This also applies to day-to-day life. Just as you get into a habit or routine, your child decides to mix it up a bit. Whether that’s dropping a nap, suddenly deciding that green foodstuffs are the devil, or working out how to undo his carseat straps when there’s nowhere to pull over.

16a401bece138cd3325292c59bebb053But here’s the point: I’ve got better at winging it.  I’ve relaxed, realised that mistakes can and will happen, and learnt how to cope when they do. And by cope, I mean that I rely on a sense of humour.

A sense of humour is a most useful tool for mothers. Forget hynobirthing, this advice should be handed out at antenatal classes. It is invaluable especially during the toddler tantrum stage, when you are likely to have to drag a two-year-old around a supermarket as he yells ‘No Shopping! FATHER CHRISTMAS!’ and it’s only the beginning of June.

Most importantly, however, I’ve realised that we’re all winging it. Even the Mums that look immaculate on the nursery run, dropping off their kids in beautifully cut suits and designer heels, before driving to a high powered jobs, and doing it all again tomorrow. I used to wonder how they had worked it all out so perfectly, how they juggled their life so efficiently, and how they still had time to blow-dry their hair – but now I know they are winging it too. Their rugs will have banana trampled into them, their children will decide that peas are the devil, and their sons will inevitably wee on a scooter. It makes me feel a lot better to know that we’re all in it together. And on that note, I’m off to find a vat of wine.

 



14th October 2014

Cosy Nightwear for Boys

Oh I love it when my boys are in their pyjamas, fresh out of the bath with sweet-smelling hair! It doesn’t get much cuter than that. So in honour of the colder months approaching, I have compiled a guide of the cosiest nightwear for little boys for autumn and winter. And if they made the bear onesie in adult size, I would definitely be purchasing too… Happy shopping!

Sweet Dreams

1. Grey Bear Onesie, from £22, Next (click here to buy)

2. Navy Classic Fleece Pyjamas Set, £19.95, GAP, (click here to buy)

3. Faux Fur Claw Slippers, from £12, Marks & Spencer (click here to buy)

4. Jellycat Bashful Monkey, £11, John Lewis (click here to buy)

5. Jaws Print Lounge Pants, from £19.95, Joules (click here to buy)

6. Bear Shaped Sleeping Bag, £49.99, Zara Home (click here to buy)

7. Knitted Elephant, £20, John Lewis (click here to buy)

8. Rabbit Night Light, £4.99, Cissy Wears (click here to buy)

9. Sweet Dreams Little Man Print, £12.78, Etsy (click here to buy)

10. Gingham Sleepsuit, £24, The Little White Company at Alex and Alexa (click here to buy)

11. Steiff Teddy Bear, £60, John Lewis (click here to buy)

12. Organic Sheep Pyjamas, £25, Ava & Luc at Not on the Highstreet (click here to buy)

13. Bear Slippers, £8.95, GAP (click here to buy)

14. Star Projector, £25, John Lewis (click here to buy)

15. Labrador Pyjamas, £25, Not on the Highstreet (click here to buy)

16. Grey Star Robe, from £10, Next (click here to buy)

17. Fair Isle Print Onesie, from £19, Marks & Spencer (click here to buy)

18. Hamleys Lion Soft Toy, £7, House of Fraser (click here to buy)

19. Cosy Navy Slippers, £10, Jo Jo Maman Bebe (click here to buy)

20. Bear Sleep Robe, £17.95, GAP (click here to buy)



13th October 2014

Scribble Buster Wipes

IMG_7015A few months ago, I turned around to discover Stanley drawing over our white walls in bright blue crayon. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t one of the finest moments I had experienced as a mother. After trying (and failing) to convince the husband that the scribbles added to the style of our apartment, I spent a long time researching the best possible way to remove it. Eventually I bought a sponge recommended by a few friends and it did come off, but it took some of the paint with it. Ever since, I have kept my eyes peeled for a better solution – and while shopping last week, I finally found it on the shelf.

Step forward Scribble Buster which is available in both the UK and Dubai (whoop!) Perfect timing in fact, as mini Picasso decided to decorate the table in his nursery with crayons last week.

These clever wipes (sealed individually) promise to clean crayon, felt tip, marker pen, biro, correction fluid, scuff marks, nail varnish, lipstick, grease and much more. Simply grab a wipe and swipe it quickly over the mark to remove it.

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I was so excited when I first bought them that I got to work on all the crayon marks as soon as I got home – and in a matter of seconds, they had completely disappeared. To prove to you all just how good they are, I stole one of Stanley’s crayons and drew on the table again (whoops) – and here’s what happened…

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Just like that, it was gone! I am so impressed and can’t wait to try them on other spills and scribbles (not that I am hoping for mishaps – but let’s face it, I’m a mum of two little boys).

To Buy Scribble Buster online at Amazon.co.uk for just £4.99, Click Here If you are in Dubai, I found the box on the bottom shelf of the baby section in Waitrose, Marina Mall (underneath the bottles and dummies), so keep your eyes peeled in Waitrose and Spinneys stores across the city.

Let me know if you try them!

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post – I just think these wipes are amazing! However, the above link is affiliate, which means I receive a very tiny cut if you decide to buy through the link (we are talking pennies). Thank you in advance if you choose to do that.


12th October 2014

A typical weekend in Dubai

When I arrived at nursery on Thursday lunchtime to pick Stanley up, I was handed the dreaded nursery mascot to look after for the weekend. We had to take Suki the Ladybird everywhere we went and take pictures of our adventures. I went into panic mode, conjuring up far fetched plans in my mind to drive to Oman for the day to chase dolphins, take a trip into the desert at sunset, or head up the tallest building in the world and take pictures of the view. And then I thought: Get a grip, woman. It’s a stuffed ladybird.

So we took Suki on a very typical weekend in Dubai – the things that we tend to do every Friday and Saturday.  And I thought you may like to see our adventures too, whether you live in the UK and are interested to see what an expat family does with their weekend, or you live in Dubai and need a few new ideas for things to do with the kids.

Before I share, I will add that I love weekends in Dubai. The weeks I find long and hard – I miss my family and my friends in the UK, especially when the weather is so hot that we end up staying inside most the time to escape the heat. But come Thursday evening when the kids have gone to bed and we have the whole weekend stretching ahead of us, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Being an expat family means we can hide away together with very little commitments, enjoying each others company and living very spontaneously. Wherever we end up in the future, I know we will look back at these Dubai weekends so fondly, living these happy days as a foursome in the sunshine.

Friday morning

Friday morning

Our weekend begins on a Friday and we have a ritual to start the day with breakfast. Our absolute favourite is Mo’s, which is located at City Walk in Jumeirah, with an amazing view of Burj Khalifa (the very world’s tallest building). It’s an American-style eatery and we order stacks of buttermilk pancakes, oozing eggs benedict, glasses of fresh orange juice, and big pots of freshly brewed American coffee (which Daddy usually needs, as he’s invariably been out the night before). There are play areas at City Walk, which Stanley can play in afterwards when the weather is cool, shops to browse, and supermarkets to stock up in. I love spending this time together on a Friday morning, discussing what we’ll do with the rest of the weekend. Sometimes we breakfast closer to home, strolling down with the buggy and the scooter. Sometimes we invite friends over and I make a loaf of bread in my snazzy machine and order in pastries. Wherever we end up eating it, this breakfast is always my favourite meal of the whole week.

Friday afternoon

Friday Afternoon

After the boys have napped over lunchtime, we head out to enjoy our hood: Dubai Marina. We are lucky enough to live right by the water – and Stanley loves whizzing down the Promenade on his scooter past the yachts bobbing in the sunshine, with us strolling along behind with Wilfred in his buggy. Sometimes we stop at the play area under the bridge – and other times, we jump on a water taxi and end up at Marina Mall and let Stanley ride the Carousel (when the weather is cool) or board the little train around the mall (when the weather is steaming). Stanley loves the boat – and it’s cheap as chips too, with toddlers and babies completely free and adults costing about 5 AED (£1 each). You can board at Marina Promenade, Marina Mall or Marina Walk and do a full loop or jump between the stops.

Sat morning

Saturday Morning

After a lazy morning (and by lazy, you know I mean that we are still awake at 6am but just get up a bit slower than usual!), we head down to the pool for a swim. I know that heading to the pool will be a lot more difficult than it is now in years to come, so I’m keen to go every week without fail to get the boys into the water to boost their confidence levels and swimming skills. Our pool is on the second floor and is always quiet first thing in the morning (it seems most of our neighbours are still asleep after brunching the day and night before). When the weather is cooler, we’ll head to the beach on Saturday mornings instead – and save the swimming pool for the afternoon. I can’t wait to feel the sand between my toes again.

Sat afternoon

Saturday Afternoon

Saturday Afternoon is usually even lazier and we never have a fixed plan. This weekend, we jumped in the car and went for ice cream. Other Saturdays we stay at home, watch films, and play. And sometimes, we just head downstairs to Costa for coffees and babychinos. I love the fact there is no plan until the boys wake up from their nap and we say ‘right, what do you want to do?‘ Stanley is at the age where he really thinks about it, before choosing between ice cream, his scooter, or staying at home. Sometimes we stay down on the Promenade for dinner, letting the boys stay up a bit later than usual and waiting for the towers around us to light up and fairy lights switch on in the trees.

So that’s our weekend – and I’d love to hear how you spend yours, wherever you are in the world…  Maybe we could make it a regular series, so get in touch if you want to share!



10th October 2014

The Big Question: Why does my child bite?

Today, I’m kicking off a brand new ‘Big Question’ series of blog posts containing key parenting advice from experts in both Dubai and the UK. The advice in these posts will be invaluable to all of us, covering a series of big parenting issues and dilemmas.

Aimee Collett, Founder of Paddington Nursery in JLT, Dubai (www.paddingtonnursery.com and 0561422339) writes our first post about the subject of biting – and if your child has bitten another child or been bitten, it’s well worth a read and bookmark.

Untitled “Many children will bite at some stage. They may bite mummy, daddy, a sibling or a friend.  My top tip is to stay calm and take a little comfort that this behaviour is not uncommon or unusual.

Why do children bite?

Biting is a form of exploration and communication. Whether it be teething pain or frustration, there tends to always be a reason behind the ‘bite’.  The six reasons children normally bite in my professional opinion are:

1. Attention 
2. Teething 
3. Tiredness 
4. Anxiety or unhappiness
5. Defending themselves 
6. Hunger

Biting is normal but that’s little consolation if your toddler bites.  A mother’s worse fear will be their little one being labeled a ‘biter’ and then worries about their child being excluded from play dates and parties.  This is why I feel this topic is of great importance.  Finding out the root cause of your child biting will allow you to support and in turn stop this behaviour.

I have found throughout my career that the most common age that children will become a biter is often between their first and second birthday.  Many studies have discovered that the sooner your child can verbally communicate the likelihood your child will stop biting.

What can you do?

Consistency at home and at nursery can help children who bite express their feelings in words, so that they can control their own behaviour.  Always be aware of what triggers your child’s bite and pass this information on to other caregivers!

My key points for what you can do as a family to prevent repetitive biting episodes:

  • Make sure you have an established routine that is predictable and consistent in the home and nursery – if needs be, have a written schedule.   A child who feels lost and out of his comfort zone is more likely to have a biting episode.
  • Provide teething toys such as frozen rings or cold flannels that have been in the fridge.  This is a huge relief for teething toddlers.
  • Have relaxation and quiet time built into your routine.  In our family, we have yoga and massage as our ‘down time’ activity.  Lie your child on a comfy, cosy surface, play soft soothing music (even put the bubble machine on for a bit of a sensory activity)!  Then  just gently massage your child using natural oils.  This will calm your baby and hopefully give them a little ‘chill’ time before bed or an afternoon activity.
  • Lastly, remain positive and reassuring to help your child develop self-control. Try and allow your child a period in the day where he/she chooses something independently to do, and always use positive language. No shouting ladies!

How should I respond when my child bites?

Every situation is different, but here are my personal pointers for how to respond when your child bites:

1.  When your child bites give a clear, fast, physical but caring response.  Move away from your child, say ‘No’ and then focus on the child who has been bitten.

2.  Focus on the child who has been bitten, offering plenty of hugs.  Provide an ice pack and any first aid to the child who has been bitten.

3.  Provide lots of comfort for the wounded child, ensuring they feel focused on and loved.  Use a soft, calming voice.

4.  Calmly approach the child who has done the biting. This child will feel overwhelmed and upset, so comfort him.  Allow the child who bit to make his apologies through cuddles and saying sorry.  Keep your voice calm and soft.

5.  Now reinforce that biting is not acceptable and tell the child we don’t like hurting our friends.  Discuss with the child how we should care for our friends.

6.  Teach assertiveness and communication skills to your child as much as possible in your daily routine through use of story for example, try and use visionary resources.  I do a lot of story telling in my house with puppets, this works well as it’s fun and the child soon learns the moral of the story.

How can others support?

There are few things worse than seeing your baby being bitten by another child.  But there is one thing that is almost as bad; seeing your little one doing the biting.

We must all be non-judgemental of children who bite and understand that no child wants to hurt another. I am sure every baby that bites would much rather he was playing and having cuddles!   Some children will feel frustrated and isolated, and then lash out.  How many times have you as any adult felt frustrated?  My point is we can express through language and gesture how we feel when children really can, not at this stage.

Talk to other mums and discuss strategies with your teachers who I am sure will give you helpful advice.  If you really are feeling anxious about your child, then seek advice from you GP.  Please do not think you are on your own.  Do what you can to create a closeness and connection to your child and eventually with time and support, biting will be a distant memory!  Your child will not be biting when they are 16!”

Thank you Aimee for starting our new parenting advice series!



9th October 2014

The Sod’s Law of Parenting

i-live-in-a-madhouse-ruled-by-a-tiny-army-that-i-made-myself1 – When you want one baby wipe, a clump of 10 will come out the packet. When you want 10, they will come out individually, folded up to make life as difficult as possible.

2 – When you only take one nappy out with you, your child will poo twice.

3 – Your child’s spill-free beaker never leaks at home. Put it in your bag and it will leak. 

4 – Your baby will wake frequently through the night at home, leaving you feeling like a zombie.  Send them to Granny and Grandad’s for the night and you can guarantee they will sleep right through.

5 – If you discover a new favourite foodstuff at a friend’s house or restaurant and fill the fridge with the new favourite foodstuff, your child will suddenly no longer like the new favourite foodstuff. It is guaranteed.

6 – This also applies to DVDs. Buy them the DVD that they sat transfixed in front and they will suddenly decide it isn’t worth their attention.

7 – If you ask a child if they need a wee before a long journey, they will say no. They will then ask for a wee five minutes later. Every time.

8 – If you have a clear out of some old toys to sell, your child will suddenly rediscover an old toy that they couldn’t possibly part with it. Same applies for passing old toys down to younger siblings.

9 – The baby can cry all day long and the toddler can whinge all day long – but when Daddy walks through the door, they will smile and giggle.

10 – If you make a cup of coffee, they will wake up from their nap.

11 – They will sleep in on a nursery or school morning – but be up with the sunrise on the weekend.

12 – They will be sat quietly, with full attention on an activity – until you answer a phone call and they start screaming, bouncing on the sofa, spilling their drinks, and begging for your attention.

13 – If you put them in a white top, it will have a suspicious stain within minutes.

14 – The day you forget the buggy rain cover is the day it will rain.

Can you add anything to the list?



7th October 2014

Fruit Sushi for Kids

Fruit Sushi Shot

Sushi is one of my biggest weaknesses – so when I saw this recipe for Fruit Sushi, I couldn’t wait to try it out and share this wondrous foodstuff with my toddler. It’s ridiculously easy and quick to make (especially if you cheat and use pre-cooked rice like I did) – and makes a fun idea for healthy puddings and snacks.

So here’s what you need…

Ingredients:

Rice – roughly 1/3 cup per sushi roll
Bananas – one per sushi roll
Assortment of fruit – anything you like, we used strawberries, blueberries and papaya

Recipe

1. Cook your rice

2. Mash your banana into the rice while it’s still slightly warm

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3. Chop up your fruit

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4. Place a sheet of clingfilm on a chopping board and arrange the rice in a rectangular shape, about the depth of a fingernail

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5. Lay the fruit in a neat line along one edge of the rectangle

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6. Take the edge of the cling film nearest to you and carefully roll the rice into a sausage shape – keep pulling slowly and this will happen naturally

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7. Wrap the remainder of the clingfilm around the sausage, covering both ends too – and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours

8. Take the frozen sushi sausage out of the freezer and slice into individual sushi rolls

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9. Allow to thaw for 10 minutes and serve while it is still cold enough to hold its shape

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Let me know if you try it and what your kids think!



5th October 2014

The best fancy dress outfits for boys

We take fancy dress very seriously in our house. Perhaps not quite as seriously as our friend Joanne, who once fashioned a life-size giraffe costume from cardboard and poster paints. But we like it very much – and for this reason, I’m already thinking about Stanley’s outfit when he heads into nursery on Halloween. My favourites are below – but I have to admit, my top picks are definitely for babies. Watch out Wilfred, you may be a shark on October 31st!

children 1-5children 6-10children 11-14

 

costumes babies

1. Guard Costume, available in sizes 3-9 years, £12.49, Amazon (click here to buy)

2. Dinosaur Costume, available in sizes 3-4 years, £6.74, Amazon (click here to buy)

3. The Gruffalo Costume, available in one size, £29.99, Amazon (click here to buy)

4. Noddy Costume, available in sizes 3-9 years, £6.50, Amazon (click here to buy)

5. Fantastic Mr Fox Costume, available in sizes Medium and Large, £14, Woolworths (click here to buy)

6. NASA Space Suit Costume, available in sizes 2-14 years, £35.99, Space Kids (click here to buy)

7. Fire Fighter Costume, available in sizes 3 to 18 years, from £4.99, Amazon.co.uk (click here to buy)

8. Elephant Costume, available in sizes 6 months to 3 years, £12.75 Amazon (click here to buy)

9. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Costume, available in sizes 2-4 years, £13.96, Amazon (click here to buy)

10. Crayola Costume, available in sizes 3-4 years, £34, Amazon (click here to buy)

11. Where’s Wally Costume, available in sizes 4 to 12 years, £18.49, Amazon (click here to buy)

12. Vet Costume, available in sizes 3 to 6 years, £11.94, Amazon (click here to buy)

13. Knight Costume, available in sizes 7-8 years, £10, Tesco Direct (click here to buy)

14. Alien Costume, available in Medium and Large, £11.99, Fancy Dress Ball (click here to buy)

15. Monkey Baby Costume, available in sizes 6-24 months, £14.47, Amazon (click here to buy)

16. Lion Baby Costume, available in sizes 6-24 months, £18.92, Amazon.co.uk (click here to buy)

17. Pea Pod Baby Costume, available in size 1-9 months, £16,99. Amazon.co.uk (click here to buy)

18. Devil Baby Costume, available in size 12-18 months, £14.99, Tesco Direct (click here to buy)

19. Yoda Baby Costume, available in size 1-2 years, £24.87, Amazon (click here to buy)

20. Shark Baby Costume, available in sizes 6-24 months, £15.55, Amazon (click here to buy)



3rd October 2014

Stars Buys for Boys

Thought stars were just for girls? Think again. I could quite happily cover my boys and their rooms in stars, star prints, and star-shaped objects every day of the week – and now I can with these 20 adorable buys for boys. Happy shopping!

STAR

 

1. Navy Star Print Bedside Lamp, £22, Next (click here to buy)

2. Red Star Print Rain Poncho, from £14, Next (click here to buy)

3. Chalkboard Star Decoration, £7.95, Not on the HighStreet (click to buy)

4. Red Star Print Wigwam Tent, £85, Great Little Trading Company (click here to buy)

5. Navy Star Print Seat Pod, £40, Next (click here to buy)

6. Illustrated Name Print, from £20, Not on the Highstreet (click here to buy)

7. Navy Star Print Fleece, £20, John Lewis (click here to buy)

8. Personalised Beany Star Hat, £15, Not on the Highstreet (click here to buy)

9. Star Print Sweatshirt, £28, Alex and Alexa (click here to buy)

10. Star Notebook, £9.99, Not on the Highstreet (click here to buy)

11. How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, £5.24, Amazon.co.uk (click here to buy)

12. NUNUNU Star Baggy Pants, £37, Sidney Boo (click here to buy)

13. Set of 3 Star Rugs, £18, Next (click here to buy)

14. White Star Print Sling Book Shelf, £65, Great Little Trading Company (click here to buy)

15. Star Print Converse, £30, Debenhams (click here to buy)

16. Star Print Converse Backpack, £20, Alex and Alexa (click here to buy)

17. Pale Blue Star Print Rug, £29.99, Zara Home (click here to buy)

18. Star Print Tracksuit Bottoms, from £18, Boden (click here to buy)

19. 7-Pack Star Print Socks, from £18, Boden (click here to buy)

20. ‘Shine Like The Stars’ Print, £12.75, Etsy (click here to buy)



2nd October 2014

To Work or Not to Work? That is the question…

44b675a879552da9959fc61ef658ba11Last week, I was offered a job in fashion executive recruitment. It was a job I wanted very much and it would’ve been a great career move. I would get to sit at a desk again three days a week, have coffee breaks with colleagues I like very much, and leave my desk to go and grab a sandwich at lunchtime without having to arrange childcare in advance.

On paper, it sounded very nice indeed. It sounded a lot easier than my current job of looking after two children for most the week single-handed. I imagined a new wardrobe of clothes that wouldn’t end up smothered in baby puree, bags that didn’t need separate compartments for poo-stained vests, and conversations that consisted of more than a few words of gibberish. The backing track would be chatter and phone calls, rather than Peppa Pig and tantrums. I would reach into my bag and find lipsticks and business cards, rather than old cheerios and dried-up baby wipes with suspicious stains. It would be hard work too, especially juggling this new life with my children – but it was work I loved, work I found rewarding. I was ready to hand in my notice to the kids, jump in the car, and drive straight to Dubai Media City.

Then my husband and I sat down and did the maths – and after childcare, we realised we wouldn’t have much left. We also accessed the childcare situation in Dubai – and when we realised how much it would cost to hire the person I wanted to look after the boys, we realised we may even make a loss. As the spreadsheet stared at me ominously from the computer screen, I saw my new wardrobe flash before my eyes. I saw endless days with the kids stretched out in front of me, cooking dinners they didn’t even want to eat, planning activities I didn’t have the energy to do after a never-ending cycle of sleepless nights. I had a moment where I felt a bit jealous and resentful of my husband getting to leave every morning. I wanted to be ‘me’ too.

After turning down the job with tears pricking my eyes, I started to think about it more logically. I am, after all, very lucky. I get to work a few mornings a week, while one child is at nursery and the other is with a nanny. I do this from a coffee shop near our apartment, staring out at yachts bobbing on Dubai Marina in the sunshine, as I write for various magazines, websites and newspapers (and of course this blog). I get to spend every other second of the week with the boys, I get to be there for every wobble, every tear, every milestone, every bedtime story. I am lucky. I just need reminding of this sometimes.

But it’s made me realise how tough motherhood is – and how there is no perfect. Every family has a different situation, a different set of figures to input into the spreadsheet, a different set of childcare options. The one thing that we all share is that we want the best for our children – and whether that is a single parent or both parents heading out to work to make sure the kids get dinner on the table, or one staying at home to care for the kids while the other brings home the bacon (which is such an inappropriate thing to say in Dubai, but you catch my gist), we all share the desire to provide, care, and do the best for these little people.

So to work or not to work? The truth is that we all have a different answer to that question. And is there ever a right answer? Or do we just have to pluck for yes or no, experience the inevitable guilt or disappointment, and remind ourselves why we are lucky to have our kids in our lives constantly? My guess is the latter.

And on that note, I am just off to write ‘I am lucky’ fifty times in a row on Stanley’s blackboard to convince myself, before I inevitably have to clean up a potty training accident or pluck purple playdoh from our cream rug.  Adios!

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