Dunya Al Hashar poses with her two girls.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
A social movie titled “A Dad’s Job” viewed more than two million times on YouTube has highlighted the struggle of a single-mum while raising her kids to protect and provide what they deserve.
The short movie “A Dad’s Job” was compiled by Home Centre and became the first brand to recognise ‘single moms in the Middle East’.
The moving film titled, “A Dad’s Job”, was launched on social media on the occasion of Father’s Day. Home Centre is first sharing a message to those who are living without a dad, that on Father’s Day they can also celebrate their mums who do a dad’s job every day.
Part of the newly launched campaign, Dunya Al Hashar, an Emirati single-m
um of two girls, aged five and eight, delves into the details of what her everyday life looks like:
Through a question-answer session, she highlights the journey.
How do you balance all your responsibilities?
I’m a rigorous planner who creates excel sheets and follows schedules. I also receive plenty of support from my nanny at home and from work, and make it a point to talk to my daughters all the time.
What does your support system look like?
Many don’t realise how important the emotional support is vs the physical. I am fortunate to have a wonderful nanny, without whom I wouldn’t be able to do many things. I’m also very grateful for my circle of female friends and family for their priceless emotional support.
What are your hopes and dreams for your children?
My dreams for my daughters are for them to achieve their maximum potential and become all that they were meant to be. That they grow to be kind and strong women. Fearless and driven. And proudly representing the UAE wherever their lives may lead.
Have you faced any challenges during COVID-19 and if so, how did you overcome them?
For the first two weeks, after COVID-19 hit, it was quite overwhelming emotionally for me and my children, and that’s because we were adjusting to the new normal. To balance my work and my children’s school work, it was important to create and follow a schedule for example. I would prepare the night before with what my daughters had to do for school, and I would look for YouTube videos and as many resources as possible to support them and would be prepared for the kind of questions they would ask me for those lessons. So if my daughter had a class at 10am and I had a work meeting at 10am as well, I already had an idea on what was being covered in the class, and so once I was done my meeting I would sit with her and go through the material, the task or assignment she had to go through.
Do you think companies may arrange for flexible work arrangements for single mums now that the WFH model has shown it can work?
I sure hope so, and not just for single mums but for single dads and single parents generally. Personally speaking, I work for EXPO 2020, and while I was working from home and teaching my daughters for school – the thought of having to go back to the office, and be working all day and then coming home and catching up with everything my daughters did during the day or helping them with whatever I had missed out on, it was a very overwhelming concern of mine. So when I did speak to my manager about returning to the office once both my daughters were done with school, he agreed, with complete understanding – which was a huge burden that was lifted off my shoulders.
Do you think society at large pushes the idea of how typical families are “supposed to be” and if so, how do you begin to have that dialogue with your children?
From a very early age from being a single mum, I made it a point to give myself as an example to my daughters and to show them there are so many different types of families. Also, I’m part German and I remember my mum gave me a series of books and one of them touched upon the different kinds of families, and it spoke about the more ‘modern’ kinds of families, whether it’s in Europe or the States and so on, and their different dynamics. Therefore, there isn’t necessarily a particular right or wrong family structure, but simply that family is family.
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