Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Being Mom

"It sounds old-fashioned but I think, when you're someone like Jamie, you need a wife like me. I'm in the background, making sure that the kids are in bed and everyone's happy. There's nothing I'd rather do," she said.

-Jooles Oliver

I have been thinking lately about my daily life.

Life has been so busy that my thoughts have taken a backseat to my kids' schedule.

It's funny because when you are sunk this deep in the throes of motherhood, it's very hard to see past the day to day running of the household.

And I realise that what Jooles Oliver says is true.

If you ask me seven years ago to look into the future and see this picture, I would've laughed and said it is a crazy illusion.

That said, her quote holds true because I have kids. If I didn't, it would be a totally different story altogether.

The husband has been fanatically busy at work. He literally steps out of the house at about 9 in the morning and I'd usually see him twelve hours later, if I am lucky.

Some nights, he's out having his business meetings and I wouldn't see him till the next day cause by the time he creeps into bed, I am well and truly in dreamland.

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was pretty confident in doing the working mommy thing. I knew that I was going to spend the first year with my baby and head back to work. Next thing I knew, I fell pregnant again and my maternity leave got extended to a span of 22 months.

Initially, it took some getting used to. The loss of my personal income. The change in the wardrobe. My colleagues who were such a good mates in the corporation.

Gradually, my life started to focus on my kids. I guess it wasn't all that hard because you just fall in love with your own munchkins. Any fatigue gives way to the toothless smiles that they bestow upon you.

I went back to work when J was 11 months old. We'd hire a nanny to look after them during the day. The boys then went to daycare once a week. This arrangement carried out till I left. And that was the move back to SG.

The initial plan was to work but the idea got scrapped when I fell pregnant with K. And, again, I found myself wanting to be there for the first year of her life.

So it's back to full time mommying again.

In between ferrying them to school, prepping their meals and supervising their schoolwork and violin practice, the question I get the most is, "How do you cope?"

Well... Firstly, I am thankful for the help that I have. Either from my husband, family or helper. I guess when you have three kids, an extra pair of hands is always a welcome notion.

Secondly, I keep busy by planning my own activities out without the kids. It could be my twice-a-week pole class or going to the gym. Lunch with the gals. Or even a quiet coffee. Some zen time always do me some good in my books.

Thirdly, I make time to be alone with the husband. Dinner dates are essential. We try to do it once a week or fortnight. We catch up on each other's day after the kids go to bed. We love to catch movies over the weekend. And, just small little gestures like texting and short phone calls during the day.

Lastly, I keep myself updated with the world. I try not to be a slob when I do the school run (unless I'm really really tired) and I read anything that I get my hands on. My girlfriends have been really good in keeping me up to date with current affairs.

In the end, it all boils down to the acceptance of my choice. I chose to be a full time mom and I choose to be happy doing it. =) Afterall, a fellow mom said, "It doesn't matter if you are working or not, you will never regret spending that much time with your kids."

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