There’s a whole tribe of Mums back in Blighty with families overseas in Dubai – but what are the tell-tale signs? Here are the clues that she’s a Mum of a British Mum – does your Mum fit into the mould?
1. She has got used to her house being bombarded. Once or twice a year, she takes a deep breath and prepares herself for the family arriving from Dubai. She clears rooms, brings toys out of the loft, makes beds, helps shop for suitable clothes, and (most importantly perhaps) brings warm coats to the airport so that shivering Dubai children can thaw out.
2. She’s given a shopping list whenever she visits Dubai.The shopping begins a few weeks before her flight out to the desert (added to the online shopping packages that start arriving at her door). Kid’s snacks, tea bags, Calpol, teething salts, oxo cubes, the list goes on…. She has so much that she has to sit on her suitcase to zip it up – and it still doesn’t end there, as she’s given orders to visit Dubai Duty Free before she’s allowed to step out of the airport. And after a few years, she doesn’t even need the shopping list in advance – it comes as naturally as booking her flight.
3. She’s a seasoned traveller. Prior to you moving to Dubai, she flew once or twice a year. Now she’s a seasoned traveller, knowing the plane’s inflight entertainment system like the back of her hand, discovering her favourite seat on the flight, and sending hints in advance about the things she wants to do in Dubai. In fact, she often toys with the idea of moving over permanently, but then she remembers coffees with friends, her other grandchildren she would miss, and all the comforts of home – but she thanks her lucky stars that she gets the opportunity to see a spot of sunshine (and her family, of course) during those long winters.
4. She looks forward to her weekly video call. The highlight of her week at home? When she can log on and see the faces of her daughter and grandchildren. And it doesn’t matter that one child is semi-naked, another is screaming, and a third is doing his best to flood the bathroom whilst their Mum runs around trying to keep them focused on Granny – she is just happy to see everyone for a while.
5. Her friends have mixed feelings. “How sad that your grandchildren are overseas! Don’t you miss them?” they ask, with sympathetic eyes. But just a few weeks later, it turns to envy: “You’re so lucky to be heading back to Dubai! No wonder you have such a great tan!” And if she’s honest, she has mixed feelings about it all too – but that doesn’t stop her counting down the days until she next gets to see them.
6. She’s always there. Most importantly, she’s always on the end of the phone – and she wouldn’t want it any other way. Her daughter might not be able to pop down the road to see her. She might not be able to read the grandchildren a bedtime story when she’s missing them. But she will drop everything for phone calls, video calls, and even flights overseas. And for that reason, it doesn’t feel like she’s thousands of miles away – it feels like she is right by your side.
If you’re lucky enough to have one of these amazing mums, we’d love you to share this with her. We know how much they do for us and that’s why we dedicate this post to all our lovely mums – and especially to the two Christines – who we wouldn’t swap for all the tea in China x