It is 2pm now. I’ve had my lunch and I’ll be able to squeeze a blog post. I would like to share with you what my typical day is like these days.
This year both Kai (6) and Ming (3+) go to kindy together. In Singapore (the same as Malaysia) you do 3 years of kindy before attending primary 1 at the age of 7. I prefer sending my kids to kindy rather than childcare as it means I get more time with them at home. While I’m at work my mom-in-law comes to my home to look after them. In previous years Ming was still staying at home so she comes in the morning and goes home in the evening as my work hours are quite unpredictable. But what I try to do is to group my visits together so she can either come late or go home early. But with Ming still home it means she is here for quite a lengthy period during the day.
This year works differently. For example this morning, I prepared both kids to hop on the bus at 10.30am. I don’t start work until 3.30pm but I leave home at quarter to 3. So after sending the kids off (the bus comes to our home), I walked to the market to make some purchase of groceries and a few household items, then came home to do a thorough clean of the house. I cooked plain buckwheat noodle soup for the kids before sending them off so I used the rest of the stock to make a Japanese style broth for my lunch. Yes I love cooking because I love eating.
Usually I try to rest for a while before heading out for work because once I head out then return, I’ll have no more breaks until after the kids to go bed. Today I even managed to come up with a dinner plan and have the ingredients ready so my mom-in-law will know what to cook later. It is quite stressful for me when she would ask what she should cook as she sometimes have no idea. It is up to me to stock up my fridge and give her clear directions when I need her to help with meal preparations. At times I just say, “oh I can’t decide, anything will do” which is usually fine but we do get days where both of us feel lost and uninspired.
So this year works differently because with both kids gone to school, I don’t really need my mom-in-law in my home until the afternoon when the boys come home. Today, when I’m gone she’ll be here waiting for the school bus to arrive at about 3pm. And she’ll organise dinner. Tomorrow since I have work in the morning, she’ll come in the morning and help me prepare the kids and once she sends them off at 10.30am she’ll leave and does not need to be at my place for the rest of the day. She is free to do what she wants. I usually get back in time for my own lunch, some un-interrupted house work or rest, then receive the kids at 3pm.
This whole arrangement is working out so well. I get to have my home to myself and some quiet time where I can do whatever I want. It leaves me energised to spend time with my boys in a fun and meaningful way. At this stage of my life, looking after my boys, the house and doing my part time job is so manageable. Those times when I want to stay out late shopping or catching up with friends I can just inform my mom-in-law and she’ll stay at my place to look after the kids. In fact when her own home is ready, she has even suggested that the kids can sometimes stay over at her place so we don’t have to rush home at night. How wonderful.
This is the balance in my life I was referring to in my previous post. I have bits of everything. I’m happy.