A Bit About the Author
Mommy to a 1 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. A business woman. A opinionated wife. Balancing life as a mogul &mommy by day ... and great social life by night!
The Juggling Act
It’s a norm in Singapore to actually have both parents working while their children are in child care in or a lot of enrichment classes (whereby the maid would have been instructed to take them to).
The education system in Singapore is OVERLY competitive. Kids are expected to be able to recognise letters & numbers at the age of 2. Somehow being parents in Singapore, you do have a lot of pressure of balancing your children’s life.
I believe in my kids being kids. I do want them to be an all-rounder and to have a chance to enjoy their childhood & not having their memories of growing up only being contained in classrooms.
While I expose my children to whatever experience they can have, I also need to make sure that they are kept abreast to the level of education standards in Singapore. The greatest fear for all mothers is that their children feeling left out or demotivated when they are so behind in their studies compared to the “rat-race” kids.
While it’s a lifestyle to have both parents at work & leave their kids to their maids, I didn’t like the idea at all. I’m not saying what others are doing are wrong, it’s just that I’m a bit eccentric. I’ve come this far to (finally) be blessed with my 2 babies that I refused to have them raised by anyone else except me. I am not ruling out school.
The tricky part is I also run my own advertising company. Being the boss, I have my own office which has transformed from being an elite looking office to an office with a cot & a playpen in it. I was never meant to have children (long story). So when suddenly I was given this chance, I wasn’t sure what I have to give up to make this work. In the end, I decided not to give up anything & to embrace this new additional role. I see it as a promotion!
Being the boss, you do not enjoy maternity leave or delivery leave. I was working till the last hour before the doctor told me to get rid of my lap top & start pushing! And right after delivery, I was on my lap top again 2 hours later. Yeah, I am a workaholic. But that didn’t just stay with my professional life. I am also a ‘workaholic’ with my children.
When I only had my 1st, she came to the office with me. She played in the playpen while I was working. It makes sense now why god makes women able to multi task. I would be reading an email and if my daughter calls for me, I would stop reading, attend to her and would be able to resume my reading after she has been attended to.
She loves watching me work and soon, my employee had to create a mock cheque so that she has cheques to sign too while mommy was busy signing the company’s cheques for the month!
While I am in meetings, I would either take her to my mom’s place for that few hours or if it’s a very short meeting, I would just let her play in her playpen and make sure my admin staff has an eye on her.
Since having children, I break my working hours into several parts. My daughter slept from 9:30 till 11 am. I would work full steam at that allotted time slot. She would wake up at 11:30 am. I would go for an early lunch, play with her, talk to her & give all my attention to her. Then I would drive back to the office at 2:30 pm, which would be her second nap. I would again work full steam or attend to meetings till 4 pm when she was expected to wake up. Again, I would play with her, attend to her, stimulating her brain. I do surprise myself on how much energy I suddenly have for my children.
My husband would pick her up at 6pm and they would have daddy daughter time till it’s 7:30 when we have dinner. My husband would have fed her at 6:45 pm. Following our dinner, we put her to bed at 8 pm.
Usually I would retreat to my home office from 8 till 9:30 pm. My husband is a partner in a huge global company & therefore he needs to work just as much as I do so we would both end up in our home office.
At 9:30, we would stop and give ourselves some quality time together. We usually go to bed at 11:30 p.m. Since I have the children & work during the day, my husband insisted on doing the night shift. Hey, I’m not complaining! ;)
Then we have our 2nd shortly after! My daughter was only 16 months when my son was born. At 18 months, we put my daughter in a playgroup for 3 hours every day. That gives me half a day with only one child in the office. My son took over her routine in the office.
At lunchtime, I would pick my daughter up & spend time with both children till they both fall asleep at 2:30 p.m. I would usually take them home & work from home from 2:30 – 4p.m
I would be all hyped again to keep the kids with different “projects” everyday till it’s 7 when daddy comes home & take over. By then I usually wonder why I didn’t have children when I was younger & full of energy!!! All those energy just gone on dancing & partying at that time. :)
No change for the evenings except that nowadays daddy would take them both for a shower before reading them some books. I would then take one of them to bed while my husband takes the other one…. Of course we have a ceremony of goodnight kissing all around before that parting.
Every day I juggle my work & kids. May be very stressful at times but I’m loving it. They give me a greater meaning to life. And a separate goal which is so priceless that I’m glad god gives me a chance to experience.