One of the biggest arguments at home tends to be who works the most. It ends up, ALL the time, on a battle of comparisons of who does what. Apparently at the end of the day I just don’t work, and why should I even complain since I have 2 helpers at home. It is not infrequent that here in Asia families have live-in help. These ladies become our main support at home since we don’t have our parents here to help out with the kids at school time or at night time if we want to do something.
So here goes a rundown of what we don’t call work. And to make it interesting let’s start the day with bedtime, since how the night goes pretty much sets up how the day will be. You know grumpy mum leads to grumpy kids, which leads to grumpy Dad… And basically we will just have another grumpy day.
Please note that when reads baby feeds, please read mum feeds baby since baby refuses bottles. Do read it till the end, as I think the conclusion is something that everyone should have in their minds everyday.
11pm – I go to bed
11:05pm – Baby feeds
5am – Baby feeds
7am – Children wake up
7am – Baby feeds
7:10am to 7:45am – Baby and I snooze a little (call it my nap time)
7:45am – 8:30am – I get ready, have breakfast, change baby nappy, dress baby, put kids in car
8:45am – Leave the house (it takes us 15min to put kids in car… We are ALWAYS late)
9am – Drop off number 3 at school
9:30am – Drop off number 1 and 2 at camp (I’ve been driving everyone around for an hour already!)
10am – arrive home to feed baby and after I’ll try to get her to sleep her morning nap
10:30am to 11:30am – I finally have my coffee, open the laptop to check emails, prepare the activities for the day, week (it a constant work), and weekend.
11:30am to 12:15pm – Play with the baby if she only wakes up at this time (if earlier then my week planning goes bust)
12:30pm – Pick up girls at camp
1pm to 3pm – Give girls their lunch, feed baby, get the baby to sleep, I’ll try to have lunch, at this point. Then I realize I haven’t been to the toilet once since I got out of bed, I’ll go for second coffee, I’ll get some arts and crafts going and start to get ready to pick up number 3.
3:15pm – Pick up number 3 at school, have the usual conversation with the teacher and pray that I won’t get a thumbs down, which will mean that number 3 was not easy and also that will we have yet another challenging afternoon of showing her how to have her listening ears working…
3:45pm – 5pm – Survival mode… all kids at home, feed baby, make dinner – yes I do make dinner… at this point you might ask, don’t you have 2 helpers?? I do get some comments like “you are probably the person that does the most with two helpers at home.” At least I don’t have to clean the house, which I have to say it is quite good.
5:30pm to 6pm – Walk outside with baby to avoid a coronary attack at mealtime and to actually spend a little time with the baby
6pm to 6:30pm – Bath the baby, dress her, feed her and pass her to one of the helpers while the other helper is still asking, for the last 15 min, for the kids to go upstairs to brush their teeth (at this time I need to intervene)…
6:30pm to 7:30pm – after screams, running, bed jumping, bed pushing, bumped heads, smelly poops and showers, I manage to put their creams on, blow dry their hair (as they always say: mummy does our hair best) and finally pajamas on. During this hour there will be a 10min break as I go, in my pajamas, to pick up Daddy at the train station… 500 meters from our house (Did I mentioned that I also take Daddy to the train station in the morning on my way to take the kids to school?).
7:30pm – 8:30pm – I try to make dinner, feed baby, put her pajamas and get her to sleep, while dad screams upstairs for the others to calm down and go to sleep.
9pm – I finally get something to eat and if I’m lucky I won’t be feeding the baby at the same time. At this time I also remember that I have to go to the toilet.
9:30pm to 10:30/11pm – I watch crap TV, fall asleep on the sofa and go to bed.
On normal schools weeks the difference is:
7:45am – Take number 1 and 2 to school (I can barely open my eyes or have the energy to eat breakfast – And no baby and me nap time)
Go back home
8:45am – Take number 3 to school
I have a few more hours to do some shopping, get birthday presents, get materials for some yet another school project, meet with parents to plan events, coffee mornings, do some work for MumRadar (I have to thank Sarka for taking the lead on this one for the last few months!)
1:30pm – Go for the 2pm school pick up and quickly go back home and get them ready for after school activities
3:15pm – Go and pick up number 3
Next time you tell me that I don’t work think twice. Next time you go to work and think that these stay at home mums have it easy think twice. Think that these mums were working mums before, they had their days off, their lunch break and had really serious work conversations that would take them away from the poop talk, the breastfeeding talk, the doctor talk, the afternoon screaming meltdowns…
But to be honest it’s not easy being a mum, period! Working mum, stay at home mum, it’s all difficult. The guilt you have if you go to work, the frustration of feeling inferior because you are dependent on someone else so you can take care of little people that are dependent on you. I could go on and on…. We all work hard and at the end of the day, we deserve a big pat on the back.
About the Writer
Rita Silva Bishop is Co-Founder of MumRadar and lives in Singapore with her husband and four daughters. Originally from Portugal, Rita had a career in the fast-paced world of Motorsport event management before starting a family. With the craziness that comes from being a parent to four girls five and under, she has a passion for helping mothers overcome the challenges of motherhood and make life simpler.