13 April 2020, by Cheryl Wee

It’s not that bad being a work from home mom

They say, be careful what you wish for, well it’s true!

After I had Marc, I went back to work on my 30th day of postpartum, it was the same when I had Emma, hence, to a certain extent I’ve always wished I had more time with them.

By some turn of events, just before Chinese New Year this year, our helpers were down with food poisoning, which left me to solo parent Marc and Emma for three full days and nights. Which I must say, is an experience that made me salute all stay-at-home-moms.

And before this circuit breaker took place, we had to let our helper go due to some unfortunate event, leaving me as a stay-at-home, work from home mom. It’s been 3 weeks now, and I’d like to share how I’m transitioning, and I’d like to hear how you mommies (and daddies) are managing too!

In the past 3 weeks, with trial and error, going from “I can do this!” to “urghhhh! somebody just take them” to “ok it’s not that bad”, it’s like a roller coaster ride. And here’s what worked for me, to keep sane and at least get some work done, which I hope you may find useful.

Scheduling
Do up a timetable and pen down tasks that set you up for a more successful day, week or even month.

When I was working, I scheduled my work priorities around Marc’s and Emma’s eating and napping routines, I got it penned down to the hour. This helps me see and plan clearly on what needs to and can be done daily. When these things are done and dusted daily in an organised manner, I feel that Marc and Emma are less cranky, and are more cooperative.

Now, I see the beauty in training my kids to be independent, I picked this up from a book I read:

Carve out pockets of time a day to allow your baby/toddler to play on their own. Start from 15 minutes, then progress to half an hour then 45 minutes. There are so many benefits to allowing kids to play on their own at times. Firstly, they need time alone, we all do. Secondly, self-play encourages creativity and imagination. Some of the best ideas/inventions came out of boredom. Thirdly, it trains them to be independent, so we as caregivers/parents can go about our lives to do the things we need, that’s essential for both our sanity and well-being.

Meals


One of my meal hacks is making stock in advanced, or to use a kid-friendly seasoning powder to make quick meals for both the adults and kids.

When I have more time, I would make a chicken or vegetable stock powder using a Thermomix. But to save more time, I would use Mushroom, Ikan Bilis or Scallop powder from Lilo, there are a few other brands that you can also explore, another example is Wen’s.

The good thing is, mama has been doing a lot of cooking for us these days which saves me some time, she too has a quick meal hack. She cooked three different dishes for us last weekend by using the same chicken stock base. With that, she cooked Marc’s chicken noodle soup, dry curry chicken for my brother and curry chicken noodles for the rest of us. Alternatively, we would cook meals that both Marc and us can eat together, like grilled chicken, steam fish, and soups.

The controversial nanny
This is kind of controversial.

Before we had kids, Roy and I used to think, no way we’d give our kids television or iPhone/iPad, not until he goes into primary school. It was a lot easier back then compared to recent days. One being, he’s a lot more active now and has a mind of his own. Two, being at home a lot more, if not all day, every day,  especially when I have two young kids below 2 years of age who needs my attention and/or having to attend to a work call or situation, I have to admit, iPhone nanny has been very helpful. But of course, too much screen time isn’t good for their eyes and development. Hence, we’ve learned to carve out time, and use screen time for emergencies and limiting to a certain amount of time a day at max.

We also make sure that the shows our kids are watching have educational values in them like learning songs from ‘Little Baby Bum”, or Sesame Street or Barney.

Let go
Last but not least, it’s to learn to let the small things go.

When we stay home all day, our ‘line of acceptance’ for things tend to be higher, it seems like more things are unacceptable.

My experience in the past 3 weeks, has taught me patience and to let the small things go. No one is perfect, not us nor our kids. If we hold on to every little thing, it is going to be hard to move on and get things done. Surely it’s easier said than done, but when we are pushed into a situation, we learn to adapt.

Stay healthy, stay indoors, keep sane and breathe😊

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