A typical day

They said time speeds up when you’re having fun. Q is 8.5 months now and sometimes when I look at him, its hard to believe that all that time has passed and we barely registered it. Of course, when we concertedly think back, I realize that its true that loads have happened and as a family we have indeed done loads.

This is what a typical day is like for us:

0700hrs: Q wakes by standing up in his cot and calling out for me to come get him.
0715hrs: I acede cos I usually spend about 15 minutes bargaining with the lil boss.
0720hrs: Milk #01.
0730hrs: Q poops in glorious fashion.
0735hrs: Invariably, its bath time.
0745hrs: Q plays by himself while I do my morning tackle of emails and work.
0815hrs: I juggle between doing work and entertaining Q cos by now he doesn’t want to play solo anymore.
0830hrs: Breakfast and we wake daddy for work.
0845hrs: More play time and mummy heads to clear yet more work. Daddy goes to work.
0915hrs: Helper comes over, I get a small reprieve to bathe and generally get ready for my day.
0930hrs: Mummy is in full work mode.
1000hrs: Q takes his morning nap, helper sorts our floors, Mummy sorts work.
1030hrs: Q wakes up- again by calling out for me to come get him (meh meh!).
1030hrs: More play time, we also get Q ready for playgroup.
1100hrs: We attend playgroup.
1130hrs: Milk #02
1230hrs: Playgroup ends, Q crashes for the duration of car ride home
1300hrs: Bath then lunch for everyone!
1330hrs: Q takes his afternoon nap. I work. Alot.
1445hrs: Q wakes up and its errand time
1500hrs: Milk #03, though usually its half a bottle.
1530hrs: Story time, music time, home gym time for Q. We usually play hide and seek.
1600hrs: Tea time of small snacks and fruit.
1630hrs: More play time
1700hrs: If weather permits, we swim. If not, we play.
1730hrs: Bath time! I sort dinner out, Q heads for yet more playtime.
1830hrs: Daddy comes back from work. Q heads for some daddy time.
1900hrs: Dinner for everyone! Q gets milk #04 and some food.
1930hrs: Family time.
2030hrs: Q sleeps.
0000hrs: Milk #05
0400hrs: Milk #06
0700hrs: Wash, rinse, repeat!

Hello, I’m a full time working stay at home mom.

I envy full time stay at home moms to and extent because they rule the roost, so to speaks. They spend their day being fully committed and devoted to their home and hearth. They are Moms with a capital M. Their day- no less hectic than their working counterparts- is in a clear defined space of home management, bub time, husband time and self time. They are what I call domestic engineers. Or CHOs, Chief Home Officers. Most of the full time stay at home moms I know, seem to upkeep themselves rather well; and no, not all of them have helpers to help. Though, in most cases then, they live with family which, I guess, amounts to the same thing. But that’s another issue for another day. But, yes, these FTSAHM have their work cut out for them.

I also envy full time working moms, to the extent that they have a designated time, space and place to work. For A predetermined period of time, they work. They are not concerned with what to next feed the bub, or when their nap might be, or how best to entertain the little ones. They are cloistered at work dealing with adults, deadlines, assignments and other not-my-child related things. Then when they are done with work, they come back to their family (husband and kids) and they return to their mom/wife title. When desired, they take leave, they take time off and leave their emails, assignments and even office politics behind.

To a large degree I also envy part time working moms. These are moms who take a portion of their day out to work. In my cousin’s case, she works till one then she returns home to her kids most of which would have just been done with school or their huge morning nap. She still gets to have that designated time out to work; in a space that is specially set aside for working.

I am none of the above, yet I am all of the above. I am a full time working stay at home mom.

When we found out we were pregnant we made concerted efforts to cut back on work. My brilliant team stepped up gloriously but somehow when I find myself with spare bandwidth work and life finds ways to fill it with more stuff. I was engaged, invariably, in project consults and still being part of the several organizations I work with outside of works. Four days after Q was born, I had clients over at my house where I had a meeting while nursing at the table. In hind sight, it was hilarious.

Over the last eight months, work has steadily piled up and I’ve had to take on more work: launching new brands, product lines, break new markets. All whilst managing Q and ensuring I still am a full time mom to Q; I take little time off from him still taking him personally to his mandarin classes and kindermusik classes, toting him about when I run my errands. We find time to swim- at one stage daily cos the weather permitted, and to playgroups.

Read this today and it really resonated with me:

by Dr. Gary Chapman of the 5 Love Language fame

Unhealthy Patterns of Communication

We talk a lot about the importance of communication in relationships, but we don’t often evaluate our communication. You see, communication is not enough because how we talk greatly affects the quality of our conversation. Many have developed unhealthy patterns of communication, and wonder why their conversations seem to go down hill. Below are a few of the most common patterns…

The Placator
“That’s fine with me.” Or, “Whatever you want is fine.” It’s really not “fine”, but this person does not like arguments, so, on the surface they simply agree, but inside they resent the attitude of the other person. We will never have an authentic relationship until we learn to share our honest thoughts and feelings. You might begin by asking, “Would you really like to know my thoughts?” If they say, “yes”, then share them.

The Blamer
There are many unhealthy patterns of communication, but none as deadly as “The Blamer.” “It’s your fault.” “If it weren’t for you everything would be fine.” “You never do anything right.” “I don’t know how you could be so stupid.” No matter what it is, the blamer will blame their spouse and in the process destroys intimacy and make communication impossible.

An ancient Hebrew proverb says, “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only wants to show off his opinions.” If you are a blamer, I urge you to apologize to the person you so often blame. Your relationship will never improve until you admit your destructive words and seek to understand the other person’s perspective.

The Professor
If you are married and you take pride in being reasonable, and you see your spouse as being unreasonable, you are in the process of destroying your marriage. The person I’m talking about is calm, cool and collected. He believes that if you will listen to his arguments, you will be forced to agree. Any sane person could not disagree.

“Let’s be reasonable,” they say, as they envision themselves as being a person of logic.”Let me explain this to you one more time.” The implication is that if you will just listen, you will understand and thus agree. This person makes no room for emotions. All that matters is logic. But I remind you that God made us emotional creatures and if you don’t allow for emotions, you will never create an intimate marriage. Learn to listen. Treat your spouse as a person of worth. Ask for their opinions and be empathetic with their feelings.

The Statue and/or Subject Changer
This is the person who doesn’t talk. “Ignore her and she will go away” is his philosophy. Such a person will never enjoy authentic relationships. In healthy relationships, people must talk about the things that irritate them. They must seek to negotiate solutions which will respect their differences. Put your head in the sand, and your problems will get worse.

The key is not to ignore your spouse or change the subject when your spouse brings up a topic that you think will start an argument. Simply ask, “Do you want us to share our ideas and look for a solution? If so, I’m willing to talk. If we are simply going to argue, I don’t have the energy to do that. If we can respect each other’s thoughts I think we can find an answer.” Speak the truth in love and you can solve your problems.

Working Towards Healthy Communication
If you see yourself in any of the unhealthy communication patterns above and desire to change, talk with your spouse and develop healthy ways to identify these patterns when they arise. Then, set in place a plan to work towards healthy communication. And healthy communication leads to healthy relationships.

groping in the dark

Q is now almost eight months and the last few months have flown by too quickly. No, I’m not lamenting that my little bay is growing up too fast though I must admit I had one of those moments when we took him to cut his hair, but that’s another story for another day.

As with most of my posts, I am once again finding myself in “uber busy” territory. W has been away for a fortnight of reservists and I found myself trying to manage my own joint, keeping an eye on his, managing the lil one and having some version of a life. Oh, yes, there was the horrid hazy weather that made it extra hard to burn Q’s energy away. A, grateful that the weeks of trice weekly JG mandarin playgroup has given him some sort of a schedule such that he’d nap, if only for a short while, at the designated time.

Other than today where he decided to, despite sending him to Kindermusik class, he’s been fighting sleep which led to a melt down en route to my cousin’s place. It was not a pretty sight, no less, the darn ECP was jammed all the way. Sigh. Yes, he hates the car seat. (Am hyper envious of those moms who says their kid gets lulled by the car seat.)

Anyway, back to my point. All this busyness is taking a toll on my health- am feeling perpetually under the weather even though I’m not sick and am tired all the time. This mummy business is exhausting. And with so many curved balls thrown at me I find myself groping about in the dark a fair bit.

I suppose its a state I gotta come to terms with eh?

Q: the energizer bunny

To say that Q is an active boy is an understatement. Each day is a battle to entertain him such that when night comes, its not a battle to burn off the unspent energy so that he’d sleep. Yes, people tell me that he takes after me in the energy hyper-bunny department. And yes, I did wish- in this sleepy baby first month days- that he’d be more interactive. Ah.. well.

Take today for example:

He woke at 9am after which played till he napped for about an hour from about 12. Well, he bathed in between and that in itself, is like a trip to Disney Land for him- he loves bathtime, to say the least.

After he woke at 1+, he played somemore- we are doing transportation in our home class till it was time for lunch (squash and rice cereal!) which he ate with gusto and got all messy and dirty. Part of the baby led weaning ?

Then we got ready for Mandarin playgroup which, while was a great learning experience and great fun, was extremely tiring for this mummy who is still recovering from an action packed weekend.

Two hours later- if you include transport time- Q finally naps from all the mandarin excitement of story telling, games, activities, outdoor fun… for a grand total of 30mins. (Better than nothing, we take what he gives us)

After a power nap, the boy is all charged up and dad takes him swimming for 15min cos this tired mummy needed her own power nap.

After a swim, which we HOPED would tire him out… sigh, no such luck….. he keeps up his squawking, the jumping and crawling and what have you till 8pm when I finally succeed in putting him down to bed.

Tomorrow: wash, rinse, repeat.

So, I signed Q up for Mandarin Playgroup.

Yes, you must be thinking that I have gone mad with the classes since its THREE times a week fro 1.5hrs each day. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays.┬áThis is in addition to Friday’s Kindermusik classes.

But, really, to an extent, its a relief that there’s something each day- PLANNED- to entertain, educate and engage Q.

I’m trying this out for a term to see how I take it.

I have no more life.

The last four weeks has been one of the busiest months I’ve had in the last few years.

Yes, and this includes the mad rush to prep for the bub because we left our baby buying till I was almost into my 8th month. This also includes the crazy period we were trying to run two companies while planning a wedding and doing major renovations on the house. This also includes the time where I was triple booked for trainings whilst flying here and there to deal with overseas clients, projects and consults.

The last four weeks has seen W and I juggle the boy, the companies, the projects, the boy, his many social and familial obligations, our many social and familial obligations, W’s travels, Q’s 6 month growth spurt fussiness, the launch of new projects, product lines, sourcing for suppliers, new markets, company retreat… you get the idea.

To cap it all, we had to go for a staycation for the FIL’s birthday at the Marina Bay Sands which we were hoping to be the much needed reprieve in the middle of the madness- key word here ? Hoping. Before this post becomes a tirade of complains about how underwhelmed I was about the Marina Bay Sands and how because of the poor weather, general crowdedness of the place and the unexpected claustaphobic-ness of the whole notion of being in a foreign place while technically ten minutes from the comfort and convenience of home… The boys did, I’m sure, but safe to say, I did not enjoy myself.

I came home to meetings, then an incidence with a missing cash card, more crowd since it was the day before the long Hari Raya weekend, more work that saw me work till almost four. Argh.

I give up.