6 February 2014, by Mandy Loh
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Wishing everyone a blessed and awesome Year of the Horse, and may all your hearts’ desires be fulfilled!
For us, the start of the Lunar New Year reminds us that Doubbles is about to make her appearance anytime now! I’m already 38 weeks along, with less than 2 weeks to my Estimated Due Date (EDD) which is 16 February. I got into a slight state of panic when I saw a friend, with her EDD a week later than mine, already posting pictures of her newborn on Facebook! That finally kicked this notorious procrastinator into action, and got me washing baby clothes, cot sheets and towels in preparation for Doubbles’ arrival! There’s still tons more of washing to be done, but at least I’ve started!
What’s been great is that my in-laws are now in town, to celebrate the Lunar New Year, as well as for the birth of their granddaughter (they had 3 sons, so I’m sure they’re looking forward to having a baby girl to dote on!) It’s always so much easier when there are more people (and help) around the house, so I’ve been having a vacation of sorts while the grandparents chip in to take care of Cristan. I especially appreciate the extra pairs of hands because my belly is now SUPER big, and I get tired quite easily.
Tim had also extended the long festive weekend by taking more days of leave (he only went back to work today!) so we’ve been enjoying lots of family time together, which is wonderful as we’ll soon be caught up in the whirlwind of newborn care very shortly. I’m just hoping that Doubbles continues to float around happily in the womb until EDD, so that Tim and I can celebrate Valentine’s Day too, haha! It looks likely because from our last check-up 2 days ago, she hasn’t descended into the pelvis/ engaged yet.
As we brace ourselves for the upcoming changes when our family of three becomes four, I started musing about how things are really easier when grandparents are available to help with childcare. While I’m happy that my parents embrace the “Active Ageing” lifestyle, it also means that they are too busy with their own social and recreational activities to take care of Cristan on a daily basis. I have been able to count on them to babysit when we have date nights or plans which we would prefer not to bring Cristan along, but those are few and far between. As for my in-laws, they do not even reside in Singapore, so we only get spurts of help when they come by to visit.
Yet at the same time, I’m fully aware of the privilege I enjoy by being the primary caregiver, as I’ve been able to do things exactly the way that I want to; such as Baby-led Weaning, extended nursing, etc, without having to justify my decisions or get into conflict with anyone else. While it might be tough or tiring at times being a SAHM, it is also incredibly rewarding and joyful and I would not have it any other way. So yes, I am extremely thankful for the cavalry (my in-laws) riding in gallantly in our time of need, saving the day, and then riding off into the sunset when the dust has settled. Best of both worlds, I say!