I have friends asking me how am I coping as a Stay at Home Mom(SAHM). There is one word for my answer- surviving. Prior to this, I was working and had occasional stints(1-2 months) of being a SAHM. However, I always had the extra help in Singapore. Living a stone throw away from my parents’ home meant easy access to baby sitting. Especially since my parents are home bodies.
Now that I am in London with my adorable associates, it meant that I had to up my game level rather quickly. Usually, I try to ensure that we have one outdoor activity per day. On school days, I will bring Ryan to his school to familiarise with the school grounds, followed by a trip to the supermarket. On non-school days, we will be going to parks/museums and possibly meeting E for lunch. Gone are the days of indoor playgrounds(ala Polliwog, Hokey Pokey) and shopping centres. In fact, yesterday was the first time I stepped into a proper proper shopping mall(WestField Shopping Centre) in a good 4 months. I must say it was a good change from the usual of of parks/museums/farms/picnics.
The routine is going to slightly tweak further now that Ryan will be starting school soon. Once he gets comfortable with me(and Baby Gillian) being away from him, there will be more “me and Gillian” time. We will be able to go for weekly morning teas with nice cakes and biscuits. Baby Gillian is actually a better companion for such dainty activities. Ryan is always wanting to go to the parks so that he can run to his heart’s delight.
By the time E returns from home, I am usually like zombie-tired but excited to see him as well. Thankfully, he is the sort of husband who is very eager to hear about my day or so he pretends to. Hahahha. So, I do feel like loved. After dinner, it will be play time again with the kids followed by a bedtime routine by 9 so that the kids will sleep and we can go back to watching our BBC shows.
For most days, I feel very blessed and thankful. Trust me, it is an amazing feeling when you see your kid being able to laugh, to do something new, say a new word or just express themselves. This week, Baby Gillian(my Miss Manja Queen) is able to walk a bit more further, point to her nose(when she is asked to) and also pull Ryan’s hair when he disturbs her. The “pulling of hair” is not necessarily a good thing but at least she has some sort of defence mechanism. And Ryan is turning out to be quite a charmer. An example would be-
Ryan: Mom… I cannot find my cars.
Me: Go find them yourselves. I cannot know where everything is.
Ryan: But Mummy, you are my hero…. Me: *heart melts* Okayyy…. Let’s find it together. (The truth is I was the one looking for it most of the time.) *after 5-10 minutes* I found it!
Ryan: You are the best, Mom!
Okay, I am a sucker. But still…and guess what! He is starting to be able to use the toilet at home! No kidding. He was the one who initiated wanting to use the under pants and so far, he has about one “accident” a day whenever he wears his under pants at home. Okay okay… I want to save this for another post. But, just say. This is another example of how awesome it is to be a SAHM and be able to go through small, tiny milestones of the children.
There are also self-doubting moments. Truly. I am not going to pretend but I do miss the material comfort of work. I get to buy things that I want without even asking E for it. E seldom says no to anything that I want. But I cannot really get about the whole idea of going past him whenever I want to buy something. Also, when I do talk to my friends or get updates from my mom or some other sources of how well some friends/acquaintances are progressing in their career, I do wonder if I have done the right thing. For the record, I am happy for my friends la. Who wouldn’t want their friends to succeed in life? Perhaps, I am a teeny weeny bit envious? I am not going to use the word, “jealous” because that is not exactly how I feel about the situation. Maybe the fact that I am turning 30 and pretty much still clueless about many things. I would not have imagined that I would be 30 and still clueless. Gawd. This is just wrong man. My perfect job would be me, as a rich tai tai(E will have to fulfil that part of my aspiration), being paid to write fiction. Any lobang for me?
Anyways, like what I have mentioned earlier, for most days, being a SAHM is an amazing experience. Witnessing how my mother herself have done a fabulous job and how close my siblings and I are close to her just make me hope and pray that it will be the same for me. As for the part of me ever becoming a published and paid writer, well, I am still hopeful. There is still time. I think.