Let’s set the context right before we peek into my after work hours…
- I am a Full Time Working Mum (FTWM) with a 9am to 6pm job which I enjoy.
- I do take up freelance gigs when they come to me, from companies and people I adore very much.
- My no. 1 goes to a full day childcare and she stays with me everyday. She still wakes up twice every night for milk.
- My no. 2 stays with my parents on weekdays and we visit her once a week and brings her home every weekend. I wish I can have her home with us every night but the routine is just not possible yet.
- I don’t have a maid but has a lady come clean our house, wash our toilets and iron our clothes once a week.
So… what is it like for me after my working hours? Let’s start from the morning…
“Ayra! Time to wake up! Mummy’s late for work…. (AGAIN)”
I go through the same morning routine everyday since January, till today, I have never been on-time at work. (Thank goodness for understanding team and boss.) I try to let Ayra sleep till 8am and this is how I wished for our mornings to be…
0800 Ayra bounces out of be happy and smiley.
0805 Ayra drinks her milk while I get ready for work.
0820 Ayra changes into her uniform willingly.
0830 We walk happily to school.
0835 I drive off to work.
*poofs!* This is reality…
0800 I attempt to wake Ayra up and gives her milk.
0830 Second attempt to get Ayra out of bed.
0845 “Ayra we are late! Wake up!”
0900 “Ayra your friends and teachers are waiting for you… (And the 101 explanation why she needs to get out of bed and dress for school kicks in)
0930 Ayra wakes up, changes, and sit in the living room to play!
0940 And we are soooo late!
I’m giving us a little more time to get this morning routines right, not sure what is it that’s stopping her from loving school. Hope to find out more at our first PTC in June. Perhaps Ayra just want me to be home with her instead. Perhaps I will also try to wake her up earlier instead, but that’ll mean even lesser sleep time for both of us.
What’s for dinner tonight?
The question I drag everyday. Ayra is a very picky eater. She will REFUSE to eat if the food doesn’t look crispy, doesn’t even attempt to taste anything we give her, eats only when it is tasty enough. The places to pack our dinner from my way home from work is limited. Sometimes we try cook our own dinner, and this will usually mean meal at 8pm.
I would very much want to cook our own dinner every day, but when Ayra refused to eat the motivation is just gone. It’s the school holiday now, with hub at home on most of the days, perhaps its time to try open up Ayra’s golden mouth again. Wish us luck!
Mother Daughter Bonding
Every day I will try to do something engaging with Ayra after we are done with dinner. I am in the midst of setting up a proper activity room with proper place for crafting, for role-playing, for reading and learning. Currently we spent most of our time in the living room where our playroom is setup. But this arrangement usually end up with our TV on with YouTube videos (with Ayra’s choice of videos) streaming continuously through the night. I think it is time to return the TV back to hub for his afterwork entertainment. And also time to reduce Ayra’s time on YouTube.
The weekly necessary household routines
Lucky me do not need to vacuum nor mop the floor as often as I used to. And with dark laminated flooring, we don’t see dust or hair as much. Yes I know it is still dusty, as long as it doesn’t affect our daily routine, with the once a week major cleaning by our cleaning lady it’s enough. If we really need to vacuum, we have a wireless Philips vacuum which works very well for small area vacuuming. My hub will do the mopping if necessary.
The only household routine for me is mainly the laundry, which is done 4 times a week. Twice for my own laundry and twice for the girls. Hub does his own. Lucky me?
The Night Shift
In between all the above, I have to find time and energy to sit myself in front of the computer at home (usually after Ayra is asleep) to get more work done. These include work from my daytime job, work from my freelance gigs and blogging “duties”. By time I am done with all these things, I’ll collapse in bed at 1am (if I’m lucky). And just when I finally manage to fall into deep sleep, Ayra sits up and demand for milk… and then I got to catch the milk bottle when she’s done… and this repeats in 3-4 hours time.
Weekends are for PLAY!
We pick Zara from my parent’s on Friday/Saturday and spend time with both girls at home. Juggling two at night is a challenge we are still trying to juggle, but we are learning and managing decently. The mornings on weekends are usually spent sleeping in till the sun hits our bum! And by time I shower, feed and settle both the girls, and then do the same for myself, it’s already time for tea! This is the reason why we never make it to morning events on weekends.
We like to spend our weekends at home, playing and just being there with both the girls. This is also the only time where the two sisters get to interact, laugh and have fun together. Zara loves having her sister around. She giggles at the sight of her approaching and reacts to her every move in a loving and fun way.
On some weekends when we are less tired, we bring the girls out for some fun. We usually either hang out at an indoor playground, window shopping at the malls or just let Ayra have her own shopping fun at a Toys R Us. Of course, there’s the occasional LIVE show we get to watch for free at Shopping Malls.
This kinda sums up my after work hours, or rather, non-working hours life. Wonder if anyone shares almost the same kind of routines? Most of my time off from work is spent with my girls. One thing I need to improve on is how I can spend quality time with my hub too. This I got to think harder and do better.
I do not have any tips to share on how I manage my time better cos I am still going through the trial and error stage. Simple rule I follow by – If it’s not necessary, don’t think or do it. This way, we focus only on the essentials and unknowingly we may end up with time to do things we wish.
This post is part of a blog train hosted by Christy from Kids ‘R’ Simple on “A Peek into the After Work Hours of a FTWM”. Read about how 21 FTWMs from Singapore Mom Bloggers handle their kids and household everyday from 1 June to 21 June. The aim is to give other working mums motivation, ideas and support to deal with the everyday demands of juggling work and family while keeping sane. We will be happy to hear your story, tips and even an encouraging word will make our day! Share your thoughts in the comments!
Tomorrow, Madeline will be sharing about her endeavours trying to juggle work, family and personal life.
Madeline is a research psychologist and mum to a chatty 4-year-old girl and a chillax 5-month-old boy. She is passionate about child psychology and hopes to make a difference in the lives of children living in Singapore. Also an avid traveller and advocate of breastfeeding, Madeline regularly documents her overseas trips and nursing room reviews with incredible detail on her blog, MadPsychMum.