I’ve been running round with a cape trying my best to be supermom ever since the year started and I can only say the road ahead will only get tougher for this super-tired mom. At this point of my life I am trying to do the entrepreneur-working-mom-slash-do-my-best-to-be-as-much-a-hands-on-mom but it’s one heck of an ambition and everyone around me tells me I am crazy / ambitious / crazily ambitious / ambitiously crazy / impossible.
I think so too.
My children are growing up so quickly before my eyes and if there’s only one consolation of being away so often now is the consolation that I did three kids back to back with only an 18-month gap in between each kids, and today Ben, Becks and Nat are BFFs. They entertain one another, help each other, and do everything after kindergarten hours together I now wear the back-to-back pregnancies like my badge of honour.
So if anyone reading this is looking for a reason to do their kids with a close age gap, I have just sold you one.
So how is it like to juggle the demands of running a business and being a mom? How does this mothering thing actually work now that I have a business to run?
Well, apart from not being able to do much meal planning and cooking (which my wonderful husband has kindly offered to step in to do) and having to outsource the mundane tasks like packing bags, showering and diapering (oh wait, it’s not a biggie anymore, with all the kids toilet trained, except for Becks and Nat for the night), and not hovering over and all around like the helicopter mom I always am, everything is still quite fine because we don’t take one another’s presence for granted now.
We now ask this question every day: how do we make the best of the time we have?
My kids are gradually realising that being with Mama is precious; she doesn’t have all day to nag and wait for them like she used to when she stayed home for two years. We make the best of every moment we spend, and every short burst of activity we do becomes purposeful and meaningful.
So when it’s time for Mama School, the learning is differentiated. My helper supervises the work I prepare for the kids if I can’t be around…
Here’s sharing something I did with the kids earlier, when the boys were in the dinosaur craze:
And then they also come to Mama’s actual “school” for their lessons. They interact with other children, and have lots of fun learning with Mama as their teacher…
My husband also takes them out to the amazing farms that are around us on some week days. We are living close to Seletar Farmway where the Animal Resort, Seaview Aquarium and Mycofarm (mushrooms!) are, and so they pop in and out like regular troopers on mini field trips…
Sometimes, I schedule a quick bake break (especially when the bananas are turning black faster than we can say ‘bananas’), and they get involved…
And then every night, we choose between catching past episodes of Running Man (which I believe greatly fuels their creativity) or reading bedtime stories. If they choose the latter, each of them gets to choose a book for me to read aloud. I bought all 50 books in this list so these titles (plus our Bible stories) are our bedtime staples.
And then it’s intense oiling and foot massage (if I still have the energy left) and time for bed.
I dish out like a million hugs and kisses at bedtime too. It’s to make up for not being around.
And when they go to bed, I start working again.
And the cycle goes on like this.
I think it’s extremely doable – if you have an itchy backside like me and want to do things out there. You just need to make sure you have children who can keep each other company and be best friends and best enemies with, and then schedule in short bursts of fun and learning. Oh yes, that plus a really trusty right-hand aide (like a good helper whom you can outsource everything that is time-consuming to from ironing to steaming mantou for breakfast) and being able to reserve your last ounce of energy for a heartwarming tuck-in at bedtime every night.
You’ll be tired, I’m so sure you would; but nothing beats a healthy dose of ‘We-miss-Mama-we-will-treasure-her’ and ‘I-miss-my-kids-I-am-going-to-choose-my-battles’ every day.
Nobody’s gonna be taking nobody for granted these days, that’s for sure.
P/S: If you’re all ready to start something and get entrepreneurial, you have a friend here. Hook up with me and we can give each other friendly, mommy support!