Friday, February 19, 2010

Confessions of a Working Mother

The Dragon and the Rat on the first day of the Tiger year. Rrrroar!

1. I am currently loving both my jobs: my paid job in an office in the city with a view of the Singapore River, and my unpaid job as mum to toddler extraordinaire Jordy.

2. I lay out my outfit, complete with accessories and shoes, the night before work. I feel like I am in primary school again!

3. The mornings still feel pretty relaxed - we wake a little before Jordy does, shower and have breakfast, then Jordy gets up, and I feed him, then I get dressed and prepare his day care stuff while he watches a bit of Baby Einstein. We leave the house at 8.15am, he's settled in school by 8.30 and I'm at work by 9!

4. I love the walk along the river to work. I park my car in a nearby mall (where season parking is relatively cheap for the city: $90+ a month!).

5. Once I hit work it's pretty much non-stop go until I log off again at 1pm. Today marks the end of my sixth day at work and I've already handled one media query on my own, on an initiative new to me, but that I didn't have much problem coming to grips with. I don't think I'm overstating it, but I already feel like I'm contributing and do feel valued. It's an awesome feeling.

6. I love the walk back to the car after work, along the river again. I have an hour or so to run errands, grocery shop, start dinner, listen to my iPod - generally ME time - before I pick Jordy up at 3.30pm. As of next week, I am going to incorporate exercise into my new routine. I am aiming for one gym session on a Monday, and a 10-lap swim on a Wednesday or Thursday. The gym and pool are but one escalator ride away from the office (in pretty stunning surroundings) so there is NO excuse. I am taking a leaf out of Michelle Obama's guide to motherhood - place your children first, and yourself a very, very close second.

7. In order to fit in gym and swim into new working mom routine, I will have to pack lunch in. I am thinking a penne/pesto/broccoli/cherry tomato cold salad one day, and leftovers (bleagh) another. If not, there is always Subway downstairs or the foodcourt.

8. I love, love, love the anticipation I feel when I drive into the school gates to pick Jordy up. And I love how everytime I've gone to pick him up, he's engrossed in an activity - be it finger painting, dancing in a circle (here we go round the mulberry bush), and just today, I walked in and saw him playing with water balloons! He still cries every morning, but it is no longer distraught, and dare I say it, "normal" separation anxiety emotions that he will work through in time. It is also less painful for me to drive away. Sometimes, in the morning, when the teacher takes him, he cries a bit, then forgets himself, and smiles when she points out the chirpy parakeet out to him. That's when I know that things will work out OK.

9. At the end of the day, though I know I'm not earning big bucks or have a career on fast track, the sense of accomplishment I get from wearing these different hats, and juggling these heavy (metaphorical) porcelain vases like a Chinese acrobat, is proving pretty priceless.

10. I know it's early days yet, but I think things bode well so far. And if things don't turn out that great, then in the words of a wise mum before me, everything is reversible.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Last Day of Stay-At-Home-Momhood

This is what I made for dinner on my last night of stay-at-home-momhood - a chicken pie with an olive oil mixed herb crust. The outcome certainly paled in comparison to the amount of work put in. Don't think I'll be using this recipe again, or if I do, I'll spice it up with some chili and more spices.

Anyway, I am hanging up and dusting off my apron as I type! *bows and walks off stage*

Heh heh.

What better way to sum up my last 18 months than with a little Dickens eh? To stretch the metaphor, the stay-home-mom/working-mom dichotomy is very much a tale of two cities...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Next time I post, I'll be officially contributing to the economy!

Monday, February 08, 2010

What'll It Be?

A quick update from my trusty iPod... I'm meant to be returning to work on Wednesday. Five half days, 9 to 1 pm. I've had a beyond fantastic last three weeks to myself while Jordy spent the morning and early afternoon in childcare. The freezer is stocked with stews, soups, pizza bases, homemade burgers, Thai fish cakes, stock, heck, I even spent part of a morning browning lean beef mince in bulk so I can just pop it in the slow cooker for chili. I bought myself a new work bag, some new clothes, sorted out season parking at a nearby mall to work, even met up with colleagues to get a sense of what I'm returning to.

Anyway, all this is leading somewhere, please bear with me.

So then this morning Jordy woke up with a slight fever. Which then spiked and ebbed as the day went on. Highest recorded temp was 38.9. He's still eating well but is clearly not himself. Example, he was happy lying on my lap on the couch for half an hour while watching Baby Einstein! Anyway so now I'm not sure what's going to happen come Wednesday! Really hope he gets better soon... If not my first day of work might be a dependant care leave day!

Something tells me I'm being orientated pretty quickly to the world of working-parent-juggling. Argh!