Hopping onto this blog train initiated by a fellow mummy blogger – Justina – to share a glimpse of what goes on behind the scene of a Mummy’s daily life.
I have a mixed identity due to my flexi-work nature. While being able to arrange my work schedules around my family’s schedules, at the same time, my work also require me to revolve around my clients’ availabilities. So that brings about a really flexible work day 24/7, 7 days a week.
Here’s sharing a typical Friday since I am due on the blog train on a Friday.
7am to 730am
On a good day, I wake up with an uninterrupted night. After migrating Eizac out of our room, my night rest will depend on how sharp my hearing is and how tired I am. If I am hyper-owl at night, I will still hear Eizac asking for milk at night and get out to help my mum make the bottle of milk or soothe him back to sleep. Now that both boys sleep with their grandmother, I am grateful for the more restful nights.
I am naturally an early bird but the kind husband draws the curtain every morning to let me sleep in a while longer. 🙂 Then, It’s a habit to grab the phone next to the bed, download the emails on the phone, do a quick check on FB and reply some messages which are sent in the late night. All these within 5 mins of waking up. Not the best of habits I admit; but it’s a habit as said. :S
Breakfast is a must for me. I don’t know how some can skip breakfast and still function. I am a irritable zombie if I don’t eat. Simple fare of coffee and 2 slices of wholemeal bread with spread, tuna, ham/cheese etc – I am good as long as there is food in the tummy.
If the kids are not up at this hour, I get 30 to 45 mins to read the newspapers quietly with my breakfast. Simple luxury often taken for granted. I am a traditional sort who still read the good old, printed newspapers. Call me old-fashioned: Just like between a real book vs an e-book, I still prefer smelling the carbon print and getting my hands dirty. :p
8am to 9am
One or two of the boys will be up. Both of them normally sleep late and thus wake up later. I wish they do a regular 9/10pm in bed and 7/8am wake up. But they don’t and that is another different story on discipline to be able to achieve it…
As Xi En is in the afternoon school session, we idle the morning away by reading some story books or doing pretend play or forever getting ready for school.
10am to 1pm
These are my unofficial working hours. Xi En gets to school and my mum normally entertains Eizac at the playground so I get to work. If I am not out for appointments, I will be in my home office, replying emails, making calls, doing paperwork, checking websites, blogging and etc. The window of working is really short before Eizac comes back for lunch. We decided on having a helper about 2 years back as the household chores and meal preparations are just too time consuming for a family with young children. Either I stop working altogether or we have a helper. With much struggles, we agreed on hired help to ease the tension at home. It is not the perfect solution since both Kim and I are not comfortable with having a stranger share our home. But probably the best interim-solution till the kids grow more independent. Sometimes it is helpful to have an extra pair of hands at hand if you know what I mean.
If there is no urgent work, I like to use this window of time to drive my mum out to do some marketing. My mum is particular about buying fresh fish from her old neighbourhood in Hougang Ave 1. That market stocks the freshest fishes at good prices according to her and so I read on some food blog sites too. Eizac is at the stage of enjoying a marketing trip (more than going to the playground!); his favourite activity being to “pay money”. He is at a vocal stage now and totally enjoys blabbing non-stop on his thoughts, his findings, observations and more. We totally enjoy a gesturing and blabbing conversation with him these days.
We lunched out if we are out or if we are at home, lunch is a simple affair too. I am a Teochew and thus is comfortable eating plain porridge with salted egg, preserved olive veg, steam tofu with salted soya beans, pork floss or just stir-fried veg with oyster sauce. Some days when I am in the mood, I make myself some cold soba, udon, salad or instant noodles with Ajitsuke Tamago (Japanese marinated soft boiled egg). Not quite your healthy options, but there are cheat and lazy days.
1pm to 3pm
Eizac watches his cartoons and then take his bath before winding down for his nap. That’s if he actually takes one. If I am home, he will insist that I nap with him. As much as I loved an afternoon nap, I try not to. That’s because I find myself lazier if I sleep in. Instead, I tasked my mum to take him for his nap! haaa.. She can rest and I continue my work! Perfect! But Eizac is quite clingy to me these days; so I try to get out of the house during this timing either for work or appointments. Last Friday afternoon, I attended an blogger’s event with AMC – a long standing brand of pots and pans. Food is another passion and I enjoyed baking that occasional cake or bread or whipping up some new dishes for the family. Anything to do with food piques my interest and I am keen to start trying out the new AMC pot which many older generations raved about.
3pm to 5pm
Xi En gets home around this time and as much as possible, I try to be the one (or his grandmother) to pick him up from the school bus. There is something about having a helper which I am yet to be comfortable with – that is to have the helper mind the children alone. Maybe it is the horror maids’ stories, maybe the children are still young, maybe I am just paranoid, maybe it is a combination of everything. As much as possible, we try to have a family member with the children instead of just the helper.
Xi En takes a second lunch/tea at home because he do better with smaller but frequent meals through the day. He is still underweight at 15.8kg for a 5-going-on-6 boy. His weight gain during his earlier years is hampered by poor appetite and made worse by constantly falling ill. The doctor recommended giving him a yearly flu vaccination due to his frequent bronchiolitis episodes and we decided that is best for him. Since his 2nd yearly vaccination, his condition had improved so much. He used to come down with the whole flu, cough, wheezing works every other month. Now, he is cleared for at least 6 months or more.
If Eizac isn’t napping or waking up from his nap, we will have 2 hyper active boys running amok around the house. Some days, we play hide-and-seek in the house. Other days, we do dough play, duplo, cars, pretend play and just about anything.
5pm to 7pm
Most weekdays, the boys get an hour or so playground time. They don’t play well together (yet). Xi En looks for familiar friends’ faces while Eizac chased after the bigger kids to try to be part of the action. We know many kids in the neighbourhood because my mum is very sociable and makes friends quickly; which is a contrast to me as I look more aloof and some say arrogant. :S
On a typical Friday, Xi En attends a Chinese enrichment class at Berries. We weren’t one who thought that enrichment programmes were necessary for preschoolers. But lo and behold, I realised that it is somewhat necessary if you don’t have the time to teach or the school teacher don’t have the time to teach or you don’t teach creatively. We ticked all those boxes. After Xi En’s first PTM in school, his teacher admittedly said that it is not easy to get much Chinese curriculum time in school given that Chinese period is only 1/2 hour to 45 mins max. Since then, I decided before he totally dislike his mother tongue, he need to learn it with a creative angle. And so that’s when Berries came into the picture.
While Xi En is at Berries, Kim and I used this time to park-tor (date!). We seldom have time alone without kids. And so either we share my favourite waffle or walk around the nearby mall together. More simple pleasures in life (after kids came along).
7pm to 8pm
If the kids are at home, after some barefoot, mad dashing around at the playground, the boys get shooed home and eat their dinner. We have a bad habit of allowing them to have dinner while watching cartoons. As much as we tried, we are torn between allowing TV so we can get them to eat more or forcing them to eat at the dinner table and get frustrated with them knocking down plates, refusing to eat, eating really little and etc. As much as we know what is right and recommended, after a day of work, we do take the easier way out so that everyone can have some peace. Do anyone have creative solutions to share here?
This is also the time when Kim and I can chat a little over dinner about the day’s event (or non-events).
8pm to 10pm
The children get their bath time and TV is switched off. We played a little or read borrowed books from the library during this time. Xi En is an avid reader though sometimes I wonder if he really understood what he read. He enjoyed mostly non-fiction books on maps, geography, space and sciences such as burps and farts and the likes! For fiction books, somehow weirdly he is hooked on mermaid books and stories lately. He just proclaimed he is getting married to a female school mate who is crazy over mermaids too. I used that opportunity to coax him to go for swimming lessons just like the mermaids he adores (he dislikes water on the face and breathing underwater).
11pm to 12am
Yes, both the boys only sleep at this witching hour. Eizac used to go to bed earlier but now that both are in the same room, they bounce around, ask for milk umpteen times, request for the last story, say that last prayer, smooch that last kisses and hugs before they eventually sleep. Night feeds are still on-going and so I prepared a tray of necessary items so that everything is at hand.
Xi En is learning to say prayers before he sleeps. A typical one goes like this:
“Thank you God for the good day today. Please help Mummy recover soon (from a splinter in the finger). Keep us strong and healthy so we won’t fall sick (we pray this everyday with and for him since he is a baby). Help Eizac not to hit me (errm….). I love XX (our neighbour who has a collection of mermaid books). I like to married XX. Help Mummy to close more deals (He overheard our conversations.)Thank you Jesus for the good night rest and sweet dreams. And all God’s adults say Amen (we say All God’s little children; he improvises).”
If I didn’t fall sleep with them, I would catch up on some TV drama serials (yes, I am a drama person), Facebook, instagram, some miscellaneous work or pillow chat with the husband. Some days, my work brings me home only around this hour. But we actually do prefer such work arrangement, knowing that my boys are with their Daddy/grandmother and not left alone with the helper gives me peace at work.
12am to 1am
That’s my bed time on most days if I am not too tired out by the days’ events. I try not to work or blog at night unless I really have to meet deadlines.
And so that conclude a typical weekday for me. I am really thankful for a flexible work option which brings in some income and yet I can be around for my children, ferry them for classes, pick them up after school and spend some quality time with them all in a day. 6 years ago, I gave up a stable, salaried job and took up a fully commission-based career because I find life too short to spend in the office jus because I need to “clock the work hours”. Being my own boss isn’t a bed of roses, but I am thankful for the referrals, the support from friends, relatives and clients who get things going for me. Sometimes it sounds like I want the best of everything, but who doesn’t and try? For now, I am happy even if I don’t earn that million dollars or climb the highest corporate ladder. While the kids still want Mummy, I hope to be around to cherish every moment and celebrate every milestones.
Next up on this blog train in Edlyn (MummyEd)
MummyEd works from home whenever she has the chance to, but with 3 kids of ages 3 5 and 7 years old, those moments are few and far between. She blogs at http://mummyed.wordpress.com and has never been happier to leave the corporate world behind.