3 January 2014, by Mandy Loh
I love the end-of-year/ new year period, not just because of the Christmas parties and presents, but also because Tim’s work winds down and he is able to take a long-ish break to just relax!
And so, starting from Christmas eve, we’ve been enjoying a holiday “staycation” right at home for the past week and a half. As a delicious bonus, Tim’s dad decided to pop by for a visit, meaning that we have a ready babysitter for Cristan! As such, we’ve been grabbing the opportunity to go out for dates, indulge in gatherings with friends that stretch late into the night, and generally chill out!
This has been a wonderful time to reconnect as a couple, and talk about how life as we know it is going to change yet again, when our baby girl arrives in mid-February. I’d admit that it scares me a little (ok, quite a lot) to think about coping with the sleepless nights and endless diaper changes in caring for a newborn, on top of having to deal with a toddler with a mind of his own. While we now have some experience with newborn care, we’d have to figure out how to manage and juggle the needs of two children, particularly in ensuring that Cristan does not feel unloved/ abandoned/ left out.
Our current plan is to have a confinement nanny for the first month – which we honestly feel is invaluable help despite being rather costly, as it would allow me to rest and recuperate properly while the baby is being well taken care of. In addition, my in-laws will be staying with us for at least the first three months, to help ease us through the initial period of adjustments, as well as shower Cristan with tons of attention so that he will be able to transition from “only child” to “older child” more easily.
However, reality will hit us once the in-laws return home, as we are not planning to hire a full-time helper. Many good-intentioned friends have cautioned us that it would be difficult to cope without an additional pair of hands, but Tim and I hope to at least give it a try on our own first. Perhaps we’re being naive and foolish, but I’m sure there are also lots of families who have been able to manage successfully on their own! Well, let’s see how it goes…(wish us luck!)
Another slight adjustment we have done to prepare for Doubbles’ arrival is to move Cristan from a 3-day school week to a 5-day week. It would definitely help preserve my sanity to have the mornings solely dedicated to caring for Doubbles. And when Cristan returns home in the afternoons, he would have a 2-hour nap, and then shortly afterwards, Tim should be home from work. It all sounds pretty do-able for now, if things go according to plan!
I suppose there will be challenging times – such as when someone (or worse, all of us) falls ill, or when Tim has to travel overseas for work. But we’ll just have to deal with these as best as we can, a day at a time. I just hope such situations will be few and far between. All in all, I’m looking forward to the exciting next stretch of our parenting adventure!
Happy 2014, everyone! May it be filled with love, joy and awesome times for you and family!