25 April 2014, by Mandy Loh
Recently, I started feeling a bit down and blue. Being an extrovert, I knew that it was partly because I was being cooped up at home so much. But with an almost-3-year-old toddler and a 2 month old baby to care for, I didn’t seem to have any time to head out at all! And also, to be honest, I was a bit fearful and unsure of whether I could handle 2 kids on my own outside. I mean, I could hardly keep things together when caring for both of them within the safe comforts of home!
Nevertheless, I decided to take some positive steps in the right direction – by making some simple changes to my daily routine to free up pockets of time. Take for example, bathtimes: Starting from the time Caris was a tiny newborn, I would give her a bath every morning and a wipe-down in the evenings. I realised that these double wash-ups each day took too much time, on top of the 3-hourly nursing sessions + burping + diaper changes. What’s more, two changes of clothes each day (or more if there are spit-ups or diaper blow-outs) meant that a mountain of laundry had to be washed every other day. It would be fine if I had a helper to lend a hand, but since that’s not the case, I had to reduce the daily task load for the sake of my own sanity. So since last week, I’ve transitioned to just one evening bath everyday, and that one small adjustment has already given me more free time to rest or relax.
However, the mental hurdle of heading out with 2 kids still had to be overcome. As luck would have it, I found myself in a situation yesterday, quite by accident, which forced me to be out for an hour and a half with both kids in tow. I was totally unprepared for this unplanned excursion, but thankfully, it turned out really well!
You see, my father-in-law was arriving back from Brunei (Hooray! More hands on deck!) and Tim had told me that the plane would be landing at 10am. I reached the airport at 10.15am, only to learn that Tim had gotten it horribly wrong, and the arrival time was actually 12 noon! Well, what was I to do? Driving home would be silly, so the only thing to do was to hang around at the airport and wait. With 2 kids. Both still in their PJs. Without my diaper bag. All I had with me was Cristan’s water bottle and a spare diaper for Caris, because I only expected to be out for a drive.
What’s more, Cristan was JUST recovering from a fever that had plagued him for the last 2 days, so there was a real danger of him being cranky and extremely difficult to handle. Much to my relief, he was an absolute darling during our outing. We managed to sit down for a mid-morning snack, window-shop, and take the skytrain between terminals, all without much fuss from either of them! I was also very glad that Caris was kind enough not to poop nor spit up all over herself, and was happily in her stroller the entire time!
Well, all it takes is a good first experience to build up one’s confidence. Now that I’ve survived – and enjoyed – an awesome outing like that, I’m pretty sure I’ll be out and about with my two kiddos more often! 🙂