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How to Stay Alive When Raising a Life


After having a baby and realising that; on top of the hospital bills, nappies and clothes that they grow out of every couple of months (if you’re lucky), there is also a barrage of gadgets and gizmo’s you become desperate for in the hope it will make the world’s most important job just that little bit easier. But AED1000 for a co-sleeper they’re in for just 6 months, and AED1500 for a baby swing that promises the world was starting to sound like a bit of a con.

Yet, try as I might, I just HAD to have them!

As it turns out, there is no magic wand to repair a young parent’s relationship with sleep. No cupid firing z’s your way. Where there’s a parent that swears by a particular product or technique, you will find a thousand more damning it to the darkest corners of hell. But now that we’ve gotten the disclaimer out of the way, let me tell you about the Chicco Next2Me.

newborn_baby_motherhoodThis co-sleeper meant that from anywhere between 1am-midnight, my exhausted body was spared the (what felt like) mammoth journey to the other side of the room. It minimised my new mum anxieties of SIDS risk as the baby was forever in sight, and it didn’t swallow all of the free space that my tiny one bed apartment had to offer. It can be height adjusted and tethered to your bed and has ample room for the chunkiest of babies. When I finally get the gut’s to muster baby #2 it will be one of the first things I pull out of storage.

However, as the saying goes: ‘Not all that Glitters is Gold’. For me, a few items drained the dirham with little return on their promises. But most recently, I forked out AED160 on a pair of baby sunglasses. Sure, hearing it out loud I probably should have known better, but mothers worry of the strong desert sun ruining her 11 month old’s retina’s forever got the better of me. Besides, they just looked so damn cute… …for all of the .01 of a millisecond I can get him to wear them for.


Aside form tiny apartments and the glaring sun, Dubai certainly has lots to offer for young/old/new/2ndtime parents. Ironically, one of the hardest aspects of living in Dubai is also one of it’s best: the lack of family. Not having my mother here during my first year of parenting was definitely one of the biggest challenges of motherhood. But the vacuum of family that so many of us are faced with, makes way for a unique culture of community. Comparing my experience of available play-dates, local social media forums and maternity services offered, to those of friends back home in the UK, they are second to none! I feel blessed to truly have a village raising my son with me.


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