Monday, December 2, 2013

Glimpse into you... Meet our readers

About you?
Where are you originally from? 
I am an expat kid myself spending my early years in Australia and London, before my parents settled back in New Delhi, India where I did middle and high school and University from.

How long have you lived in Dubai?
December 2013 I will complete 9 years in Dubai.

Please tell us about Marina Mums and what inspired you to start this community?
I started working as soon as I came to the city- had a fabulous job, living the life as a newly married couple. Its when I got pregnant, I realized I had no friends with kids in the city and absolutely no family. I moved to JBR when my first born was 6 months old, I had just resigned from my dream job. As didn’t have any house help, leaving her in a day care facility was not an option.

But I was living a SAHM mums dream, beach front apartment, the huge big plaza level and the new Bugaboo which had just come out in 2006…and met so many mum’s just while sitting in the park, the beach on the plaza, by the pool… Instead of having to text them every time I left for a walk. I thought adding them on FB group would be better as you don’t have to add them as friends, yet you can stay in touch via FB. It started with 5 of us meeting everyday around JBR, then solely with word of mouth and absolutely NO advertising, or spamming other FB walls. This group grow to 2000 active mums today.

We got a lot of media attention at the time when we started as there was nothing like a neighborhood support group and that made Marina Mums so popular and easy for other mums to get to know about us and join in the closed group. It is not exclusive to the mums in the Marina, we have mums from everywhere.

Any lessons learn alone the way? 
Yes, many... mainly how motherhood is very different in different cultures, and how you raise you children or prioritise discipline, schooling, extra curricular activities, diet and social skills varies from where you are brought up.

Also managing almost 2000 mums on the forum with different ethnicities and some with very strong opinion... I have had to delete a few posts, ban a few members to keep things calm.

But over all the vibe is super friendly and super healthy, I do end up felling like mummy cupid sometimes, when I see a new mum in the neighbourhood sitting at a coffe shop with new friends she met through Marina Mums! I myself have made so many virtual friends, and have found so much support and I learn something new from another mum posting everyday. Some of my closest friends in Dubai are ladies I have met mainly from Marina Mums. Plus I love having a name for myself in the community- compensates for not working full time.

The group has a super friendly vibe to it…a very positive energy a great pool of super talented ladies, its more like a social networking sit for super ladies who are now full time mums!

About living in Dubai?
What inspire you in/ about Dubai?
I am a very open minded individual, I soak the best from every culture I come across, I am proud to say I have more than a dozen friends who arn’t from the same country or culture as I am from, and love to learn more about their little family tradition or way of life, this is something I would not be able to find back home.

Favorite thing to do in Dubai with children?
Stroll on the Marina walk, we all own Bikes the whole family, enjoy the swings under many of the Marina bridges, the choice of over 6 pools to choose from every weekend. Catching many of the kids shows available free of cost during many of the festivals. Whole range of after school activities within a stones throw from our residence…

What's your favorite way to spend a lazy friday?
Fridays are never lazy for us…its morning swim, afternoon lunch and an evening walk by the Marina now that the weather is irrisistable, plus daddy works on Saturday’s so we make the most of family time on Fridays. We need to be out!!

We are a foodie family and enjoy travelling combined with great food... My girls absolutely love eating different types of cuisines , they have enjoyed a good Pho Soup in vietname, Game meat (Zebra steak in Nairobi) a good wazwaan and in Srinagar India, a great turkey roast on a Sunday brunch in the Lake district and all of this was in the last 18 month alone!! They are a pleasure to take out- never had to do food court food for them, they love Ping Pong Café, Thai , even Zuma adore Sushi and Sashimi and love edamame so we do enjoy eating out a lot as a family!

Do you have a dubai beauty secret to share with us?
I figured out what Argan Oil was and am addicted to it for my hair… My next door salon, 20 steps from home - love it.  First time I tried a Hammam was seven years back, now I am going once a month. I also have a lady who come to blow dry my hair, every Thursday for a quarter of the price I would pay at a salon. My moto is "Good hair, good day!" :)

A Dubai store you could spend hours browsing?
Kids books shops, as a Storyteller for kids, with “Story Time with Dee” l love collecting children’s books. The girls have a collection of over 400 books.

On a consumerist note like any other yummy mummy wannabe, I looove shoes! Could try on shoes all day! I am building a collection of  “ investment pieces” that I justify to my husband: they would be vintage one day… for the girls!

A little extra….
Things you can't live without?
Other than my husband and my lovely family spread all over the world. My supercalifragilistic house help! They make living in Dubai so much easier and fun!

A song playing on repeat in the car?
This is hilarious, we just heard it on our school run this week on the Chris Fade show, it's called “personally “ by P squared , its Africa's no 1 song right now... The kids love it!!

Any motherhood tips, advices or words of wisdom on how to juggle it all?
Don’t hesitate to reach out... ask for help and make a friend.
Everyone is in the same boat as you. Away from home, on their own. Trying to make Dubai home, so people are more approachable.

Do you have a life motto?
No, I just go with the flow…

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