Life has been pretty much a roller-coaster ride this past year, with a whole lot of changes in our family lifestyle and schedules. For one, Daryl started school this year, and Dottieshop began to take off. Then, there have also been changes in the ministry I serve in in church, and the start of swimming lessons for the boys and drum lessons for David. Some days are a mad rush of appointments and tasks, while other days are languid and leisurely enough for me to just sit and reflect. (I’d like more of the latter kind, please!)
I’m not really sure if I’m considered a SAHM anymore, since I also do quite a bit of freelancing work and run my little business, Dottieshop. But I don’t know that all that ad-hoc work adds up to being called a WAHM?
Well, anyway, here’s a peek into what my typical weekday is like these days, as a SAHM-sorta-WAHM. 😉
The hubby and I wake up at 630am on weekdays, but most days the boys are up before us. Yep, they’re early risers, these two. Thankfully, they are old enough to amuse themselves in their room until our alarms go off!
Hubby quickly washes up and is out of the house before 7am to catch his company bus. Meanwhile, I fix a quick breakfast for the three of us (bread and jam for little D, bread and peanut butter for big D and me) and hound the kids to get bathed and changed by 730am.
No, one hour is not a lot of time when you have two very excitable and playful little fellows… but then some mornings, they surprise me and do everything in record time, so they have a little time to play or draw before we leave for school. And other mornings, there is spilt milk to clean, toys to be picked up, last minute trips to the toilet, and lots of “I’m going to count to three. 1-2-3…” from Yours Truly.
Finally everyone is dressed and out the door, and we normally make it to school just in the nick of time or a few minutes after 8am. Then, I’m free for the next block of three hours – yippee! I try to spend some quiet moments journaling/praying/reading my Bible before I start the day proper, but some days I forget – this is a matter of poor self-management for me, and an issue that I’m constantly working on.
On Monday mornings, I begin with a longer quiet time/think time at Toastbox or Starbucks and do the marketing for the week. Most other mornings, I spend the bulk of my time working on Dottieshop workshop prep, practicing my watercolour and calligraphy skills or getting some of my writing work done. In between these things, I load the washing machine and cook us a simple lunch.
Once a week or so, I vacuum the house and wipe flat surfaces. To be honest, that’s about all the housework I do on a weekly basis (besides picking up books and toys). I’ve come to accept that I just can’t juggle every ball perfectly, so our house is a little dustier than most, a little messier, and the windows get cleaned maybe two times a year… but it’s still home 🙂
Some days I have no time to cook lunch, and make it just in time out of the house back to the school to pick up Daryl who ends class at 11am. We have an hour to kill while waiting for David to finish school, so if I made lunch, I pack his portion to school for him to eat there. If I don’t have lunch prepared, we hop over to the nearby market or mall to eat, and dabao food home for his kor kor.
These days, we often lunch together with his good friend from school, S, and her mum, and the two of them are always so overjoyed to see each other even though they just spent the past three hours together. I’m glad to have a fellow mummy to chat with while we wait for our older ones to finish school.
David is done at 12pm, and we all head home. At home, I eat lunch with David. This is a good time for me to catch up with him on his day, because Daryl is pretty good about playing on his own. We’ve had some really deep conversations during our lunch times, so I hope this is a tradition I can keep even when he goes to primary school next year.
After lunch, the boys run amok [Read: Tear the house apart] while I wash the dishes, hang up the laundry and/or finish up some work from the morning. Then it’s reading time with the boys. We try to read our Bible story for the day plus a couple books, and recently, this is the time when I encourage David to try to read a book on his own. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t.
2pm is nap time. Daryl falls asleep pretty fast, but David may or may not nap. Whether he sleeps or not, my rule is that he has to lie down and rest for at least an hour – and most days, he manages to fall asleep within that time.
Once the boys are OUT, I get another 1-2 hours to myself again, which is spent working on Dottieshop orders or writing a blog post.
David is usually up after an hour plus, but he is happy to draw on his own while waiting for didi to wake up. When both boys are up, it’s time for their tea – usually milk and something simple like biscuits or cheese or yoghurt.
By 430pm, we start on our work for the day. David works on one of his subjects (Mon and Fri – English; Wed – Mandarin; Thurs – Math) while I help Daryl practice his writing, counting and some basic phonics. We started these daily “work time” blocks just a few months ago, and its been working out pretty well.
On alternate Mondays, David goes for Godly Play at a friend’s place, a kids’ Bible study where the children explore their faith through story, wonder and play. And on alternate Wednesday afternoons, he and I have drum lessons – this arrangement is only possible because the hubby can work from home on Wednesdays.
After work time, it’s play time again. Some days, we do an art project together, usually involving coloured paper, stickers, toilet paper rolls, paint and glitter glue. I used to plan these projects based on the boys’ current interests, but nowadays, they are planning their own projects and I’m the Assistant in their masterplans. Which is totally fine by me! I’ve been amazed to witness their creativity, although of course they do disagree and squabble along the way.
The boys are overjoyed when 6pm comes around, because it’s their all-important TV TIME. For one hour, they are transformed into mini couch potatoes. Meanwhile, I also have my own TV time 😉 This is usually when I catch up on an episode of my current Korean drama.
The hubby is home about 7pm (yay!) and helps to watch over the boys and/or play with them while I prepare dinner. The boys don’t have any academic enrichment activities except for Berries on Tuesday nights, so they look forward to spending time with daddy. About four evenings a month, I have a workshop to conduct at Artify Studio, so the hubby settles their dinner by ordering in or eating at the nearby coffee shop.
I don’t actually cook dinner every weekday night in case you think I’m some sort of domestic goddess – I’m not! I normally cook three dinners a week – two weeknights and one weekend. The rest of the time, we are with the extended family’s for dinner – rotating between my parents, my in-laws and my grandmother – or eating out.
930pm is the boys’ bedtime. If we’re at home, they get to play with daddy after dinner and bath time, and then I read them a couple of books before bedtime prayer and bed. Either the hubs or me sits in the room with them till they fall asleep. We’re kind of half-heartedly trying to work ourselves out of this job, but then again, I’ve had some special conversations with the boys during these last few waking moments, and I really do like watching them fall asleep. So. Hmmm… we’ll see…
If we’re out, then Daryl usually falls asleep in the car on the way home. David can actually tahan until 10 plus if we’re out, but we try not to stay out later than 10pm on weeknights.
By 10pm, the boys are usually both asleep, and the hubby and I finally get to share a bit about our day, and discuss any outstanding issues/decisions. If there’s something I need to troubleshoot on the comp, he’s always happy to lend a hand to his tech-noob wife. 🙂
Then hubby has his much-needed alone-time to fiddle around with his guitars, read or play his computer games. I usually do a bit more writing, check my emails and tackle the ever-overflowing ironing basket. This is also the time when I get up to speed on my schedule for the next few days, keying in all my to-dos into my calendar and making appointments with various ones as necessary. If I’m not too tired, I watch a video before bed – sometimes together with the hubby.
We try to pray together before bed, but it doesn’t always happen. Bed time for me is usually around 12am, so I can clock my minimum 6 hours of rest before the next day begins.
Actually I think my schedule is pretty crazy most days, and sometimes I do feel very tired from all the activity and running around. I’ve learnt that I do actually thrive with lots of things going on though – if not I would be restless and fidgety! And what makes it meaningful is knowing the purpose behind all the different bits of my day.
Still, I need to intentionally carve out periods of rest and reflection of myself on a regular basis to recharge and avoid burnout. I think this is a good habit to have, whether you’re a SAHM, FTWM or WAHM, because we all start to run on empty after a while.
Photos were taken on different days of the week, since it’s really hard to have the presence of mind to snap enough pics within a day – hence the different outfits for the boys!
Next up on this blog train is Delphine, who can’t quite believe that she is a mother of three kids. She has no artistic talent and does not know how to cook, so she spends her free time reading, blogging, collecting matryoshka and obsessing over a lazy egg. Hop on over to Life in the Wee Hours to read about what a day in her life is like!