Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

“So what do you do all day?”

with 10 comments

I recently met a lady who’s new to Dubai. I met her at a friend’s house, where she was having a cup of tea and getting the low-down on life in her new environs. The first thing she said while I was there made me smile: “I won’t be getting a housemaid,” she said. “I didn’t have help back home so why would I need it here?”  

How long till she hires a housemaid, I wonder


She sipped her tea. My friend and I looked at the floor.

“It’s easy if you’re organised,” she said. “It’s just a matter of being efficient with your time. I’m not one to sit around in beauty salons.”

We kept straight faces. No, really, we did.

“So,” she continued, “what do you ladies of leisure do all day anyway? How do you fill your days with the kids at school? I mean, the maid does all the housework – right?”

In the ensuing silence, I wondered what to tell her. That I invite the gardener in for tea each morning, and play tennis with the pool boy? That Gerlie brings iced gin & tonic to my lilo as I float around the pool?

I thought about the two- or three-hour school runs I do most days. About the homework, the menu-planning, the grocery shopping (which always involves at least two or three different shops as no one shop in Dubai ever has everything); the cooking from scratch (we don’t have much in the way of readymeals over here); the making of packed lunches; the long-distance driving of children to and from activities and play dates. I thought about finding time to actually enjoy being with the children – playing games with them, taking them swimming and to the park.

Then I thought about the peripherals: Squeezing in some time for exercise; having a social life; catching up with friends. The “me-time” that seems to come bottom of any woman’s to-do list.

But could I tell the new girl all this? The woman who wasn’t going to hire a maid because she could do it all herself? Would she want to hear it? I looked at my friend; she clearly wasn’t going to answer.

“Oh,” I said. “Don’t worry. You’ll find things to do.”

And my friend? She left the room quickly. Before the effort of suppressing her laughter blew her ears off, I expect.


Written by mrsdubai

September 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm

10 Responses

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  1. I do vaguely remember thinking, when I came 5 yrs ago for DH’s interview, that the maid’s room would make a great computer room…must have been a very fleeting thought! I succumbed quickly – and thank goodness!

    Circles in the Sand

    September 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm

  2. Dear Mrs. Dubai,

    I’m now following your blog for just a few posts and am already fascinated by it. Although I’m not in Dubai yet, I’ve got the feeling that I’m getting accustomed being there and what it will be living there – mostly as a housewife… J We will be relocating from Germany to Dubai after Christmas.

    Thank you so much for blogging, I’m loving it!



    Sabine Thursch

    September 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    • Thank you Sabine. Let me know if I can help you in any way xox


      September 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

  3. I want 5 seconds of my life back reading this. Pathetic! Doesn’t it make you sad to know you’ll never accomplish anything with your life?


    September 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    • Yes, you’re right. Devastated to be accomplishing nothing aside from bringing up two healthy, happpy children. *puts head in gas oven*


      September 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

  4. MrsDubai hello. Is there any way I can get in touch with you please? I have a question, I like your blog! Best wishes. Claudie


    September 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm

  5. Great blog!

    Africa far and wide

    September 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

  6. Did you say “You’ll find things to do… Blogging, for example…”? I would willingly get a maid if it meant I had more time for blogging.


    September 29, 2012 at 12:05 am

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