Monday, July 24, 2017

A Typical Day in My Life as a Full-Time Working Twin Mom

So how this post came about is, I was lying in bed absentmindedly watching tv while pondering about what I wanted to do for my next blog post. I didn't want to do anything related to cooking as I was bored to go that route and I couldn't do anything pertaining to new books, movies, travel or restaurants even if I wanted to since I didn't have any material. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do a post that was different to what is usually expected of me. How variety being the spice of life and all....

So, I just thought of doing a post chronicling my daily life as a full-time working twin mom. I am interested in expanding my blog into the parenting corner of the blogosphere and so far, I have only made a few feeble attempts in that direction. I like to read about how moms (especially of toddlers) go about their day so if anyone out there reading this is a busybody like me, chances are, you might just find this post interesting ๐Ÿ˜

I've said this before - I don't like the term "working mom". Exactly a year ago, I was at home juggling housework, cooking and caring for rambunctious twin toddlers with absolutely no extra help and if anyone had asked me then why I wasn't "working", I would have felt like punching them in the face! I've used the irksome term in this article only because it is the most universally understood term for moms who are pursuing a career. Okay? Okay.

People often ask me how I manage to keep a blog running despite juggling work, two young kids and a household. Social media often has a way of making things look easy, perfect and effortless. In my case, I have help so, no, I most certainly don't do 'it all'. Come to think of it, I don't even want to do it all! 

I am not a particularly interesting person who leads a spontaneous exciting life. Far from it actually! My life is pretty much ordinary but it does happen to be the good kind of ordinary ๐Ÿ˜Š  My home isn't super clean all the time, I don't cook fancy meals every night of the week, I do allow my kids to watch tv (and have sugar!), I don't always have everything under control and so on but me and the husband have implemented a routine that works well for our family. 

I have tried to keep this post as transparent as possible giving you a peek into one typical weekday from sun up until sundown. Of course, there could be minor variations from day to day but for the most part, it is quite similar. 

So, here we go!

6:15AM: Rise and shine! Or, considering the sun isn't even out yet, I need to drag my sleepy ass out of bed ๐Ÿ˜„

Raining? Head to the gym. Not raining? Head to the pool. That is my simple mantra to start the day.

Make bed, get dressed, prepare to put those languid limbs in motion!

Today, I run into my domestic helper in the hallway. She greets me as she heads towards the kitchen to prepare chapatis for me and the husband to take in our lunchboxes along with the previous night's leftover Dum Aloo. 

7:00AM: Back home. Get showered and dressed with the perfunctory make-up in record time. Fresh chapatis are ready in the hot-box. I pack the lunchboxes and keep ready on the table. I look up at the weekly menu stuck on the fridge and soak rice for neer dosa that we are to have for dinner in the evening. I also keep the baby monitor for charging and switch on all the CCTV cameras. 

7:40AM: Wake up the husband. Twin 2 has shifted from her spot and has plonked herself right next to him. Father and daughter are sleeping soundly, cheek to cheek locked in an affectionate embrace. I go 'awwww' in my head not quite willing to proceed with the task at hand but do so anyway. As the first rays of light stream into the room the girls begin to stir.

After the customary cuddles and kisses, the kids sincerely assist me in making their bed (it takes 10 times longer with their 'help' I must add!). After that they tag along with me to the kitchen and sit on the kitchen counter as they watch me make coffee. Depending on how generous I am feeling, they may get a few granules of sugar (judge me all you want) but like any well-intentioned mother, after scaring the daylights out of them about germs and rotting teeth, they promptly go get their teeth brushed.

8:00AM: I am sitting on the couch eating my favourite cranberry almond crunch. Be Cool Scooby Doo is playing on Boomerang channel. The kids are engrossed with the show eagerly awaiting to see which monster is going to show up while simultaneously nicking all the dried cranberries in my cereal.

The husband will have breakfast at his office. Usually cornflakes, banana walnut bread or something on those lines (I think) ๐Ÿ˜›

8:20AM: I get the kids strapped in their highchairs. They happily slurp on a tall glass of banana smoothie and then uninterestedly fidget with the cheese omelette on their plates. Of course, they wouldn't even touch it if there wasn't a smidgen of ketchup on the side. After a few bites, I notice them using the omelette as a spoon to scoop up just the ketchup. I sigh, roll my eyes and proceed to feed them the rest.

My helper has a pot of dal simmering on the stove and rice being cooked for the kids lunch. I taste it and make the necessary adjustments based on their liking. They also love a carton of yoghurt with their lunch everyday. 

8:30AM: Me and the husband are leaving for work after saying goodbye to the kids who are getting changed into their uniforms to leave for school immediately after. 

My helper reminds me that she will clean the bedrooms according to the fixed cleaning schedule (also stuck on the fridge) while the kids are at school. 

8:50AM: The husband drops me off at work. I am a research associate working in cancer research so most of my day is spent within the white walls of a research laboratory.

A cup of green tea followed by a swift jot down of all that I want to get done for the day and then  my experiments begin in full-swing! Mornings are when I am most productive so I try to make the most of it.

11:30AM: I receive a message from the girls teacher informing me that they have developed a new habit of dribbling water all over their uniform during water break which necessitates a change of clothes. Apparently, they find it hysterical. Sigh! ๐Ÿ˜’  I assure her that I will talk to them about it in the evening.

The kids must be back from school by now. In between experiments, I check the cameras and see the stroller but I don't see the kids anywhere. But then I hear Twin 1 singing loudly. I chuckle to myself. They must be sitting on the potty. The loud singing is a dead giveaway! 

12:00 to 12:45PM: Off to my Pilates class

I go for Zumba and Pilates class conducted by my University each once a week. The truth is, as good as I am at Zumba, I absolutely suck at Pilates. When the instructor bellows "engage your CORE", I wistfully dream of being teleported to my comfy bed! I enviously look across to my 50+ year old American neighbour (who can give Baba Ramdev a run for his money), and hope for the gazillionth time, for a fit, lean and flexible body ๐Ÿ’ช

1:00PM: I check back on the kids. They are bathed and dressed in fresh clothes. I see toys strewn all over the living room but they don't seem to be interested in them. Instead, they are taken with the pile of clean laundry that my helper has laid out on the couch to fold. As my helper goes into the kitchen, I see one twin cheekily put on one of my ruffled blouses and the other put on one of her daddy's t-shirts and both break into a fit of giggles. 'Uh oh....there goes our laundry' I think to myself. 

In 30 minutes they go down for their afternoon nap which means I don't have to check on them for the next three hours. I can turn the mom button on pause ๐Ÿ˜

2:15PM: My stomach is making sounds one can only hear in the woods so I rush to the pantry and devour the contents of my lunchbox.

Lunch is a lonely affair today but sometimes eating alone isn't so bad especially when you are in a hurry! ๐Ÿ˜

2:30PM: Meeting with a sales representative. Don't like it but I have to do it. Sigh!

3PM: Get back to experiments with a new-found energy (and very sore limbs may I add). 

In whatever available free time, I message my helper asking if the kids finished all their lunch and then give her precise instructions regarding grinding the dosa batter for dinner. She requests me to buy a few groceries that are running low. 

5:00PM: Fix myself another cup of green tea and munch on an apple. Answer e-mails and tend to my procurement duties for the lab.

I receive a message from my helper. It is raining cats and dogs so she wants to know if it is okay to take the girls to their best friend's house for a playdate instead of the playground where they usually go. I give the go ahead. 

5:45PM: Missed call from husband signalling he will be arriving to pick me up in 10 minutes. I quickly hurry over to the supermarket located a stone's throw away from my building and buy the groceries required.

Me and my husband have time to talk on the way to and from work and it isn't surprising that the kids account for around 60% of that conversation. He tells me that when he last checked, they were still asleep at 4:30pm which I am relieved to hear. The rest of the conversation is mostly a recap of our respective days. 

6:15PM: Home sweet home. The kids have not yet come back from their playdate. I freshen up, switch off all the CCTV cameras and make coconut chutney and a mixture of coconut and jaggery for the dosa. As I am doing this, the critters fly in with an exuberant, high pitched 'HI' followed by a bear hug. They of course want to know exactly what I am doing in the kitchen and more importantly, when I am going to come out ๐Ÿ˜„

We get the kids freshened up and then have not much choice but to do exactly as they instruct. Most of the time they want to go to their bedroom and play some funny game like leaping off the laundry basket onto the bed (I assure you it isn't dangerous), making a 'pillow mountain', making a 'cave' out of the pillows for their dolls, play hide and seek behind the curtains, open their doctor's kit and pretend to be a doctor (we have to feign all kinds of imaginary ailments) or to literally trample all over us while we are slumped on the bed. 

Today particularly after an intense session of pilates, the trampling is actually feeling like a relaxing massage so much to their surprise, I encourage it ๐Ÿ˜

7:00PM: My helper calls out to us that the dosas are ready. Even though the girls drink plain milk and eat a few crackers and/or some fruit after their afternoon nap, they are hungry by this time so they enthusiastically race towards their highchairs. Like always, they demand that I tell them a story and every time it is The Three Little Pigs that they want to hear (honestly I am so fed up of telling that story!). But seeing their eager faces I oblige and launch into an animated, melodramatic story-telling mode. Two dosas and a mandatory bowl of papaya later, the kids are done and they run off to tell their daddy how good they were at dinner (never mind the huge mess they left behind) ๐Ÿ˜†

7:30PM: It is dinner time for the adults. The kids are busy watching Mr Bean, the animated series. For some reason, they love it and it is their favourite cartoon. Bugs bunny they hate. Go figure!

8:00PM: One of my twins wants me to come to the bedroom and the other wants me to stay in the living room. A mini row ensues. A few tears and some yelling later, a settlement is reached. I bring out their colorful sticker pad and that shuts them up almost instantly. 

BTW, whoever invented reusable stickers - a BIG thank you from the depths of my heart!

8:30PM: The kids are tired of the stickers (but of course). We bring out the playdoh. It is a messy business and the thought of the clean-up makes us cringe but the kids like it and it keeps them engaged (read: not fighting) for a decent period of time so we oblige.

9:00PM: We insist that we continue with the playdoh tomorrow. The girls now want to listen to some of their favourite zumba songs. How did that happen you ask? I used to mention to them that I go for zumba classes but figured they wouldn't understand what that meant. One day, I played a few zumba videos on youtube just to show them and they got hooked onto it instantly!

Some of their favourite zumba videos to watch are Let It Rain Over Me, Footloose, Closer, Hula Hoop and Psy's I Got It From My Daddy.

So the three of us dance to these videos. Well, to be honest, I am the only one doing something akin to zumba. Based on their  crazy moves, those two look like their pants are on fire ๐Ÿ˜‚

9:15PM: I go to get warm milk for the kids. After that they go to get their teeth brushed and pyjamas on. Meanwhile, I go into the kitchen for a spot check (my helper usually finishes all the kitchen work by 8:15pm). I prep overnight oats with chia seeds and fruit to be had as breakfast the next day. 

9:30PM: Bedtime story. I let the kids pick whatever books they want. We sometimes do stories or else I quiz them on different subjects based on their books. They like being asked to name varieties of animals, birds,  flowers, vehicles and even spiders (yeah, weird I know).

9:45PM: Daddy comes in to put the girls to bed (yes, they sleep late, judge away!). He has been sleep training them and it has been going rather well. After a prolonged sentimental goodnight ritual, I am relieved of mommy duty. 

9:45 to 10:30PM: I do the things I like to do to unwind. Check personal e-mails, trawl social media, do online shopping, browse travel deals, read celebrity gossip, blog....whatever catches my fancy depending on my mood. 

Like, right now, it is 10pm and this is what I am doing ๐Ÿ˜„

10:30 to 11:30PM: Telly watching time for the husband and me (mostly Netflix). The baby monitor is on and we hope we don't hear anything that will get us out of the couch potato mode we are in! We just got done with Season 12 of Grey's Anatomy and Season 3 of Sherlock and have now moved on to Season 3 of Game of Thrones.

11:30 to 12:15AM: I try to catch up on a bit of reading. Right now I am caught up in Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King. 

I'd like to say that I devote a reasonable chunk of time to reading but that isn't true all the time. Sometimes I make it through a few chapters without a problem, but some days I doze off in the first paragraph with the Kindle still in my hand. As the clock strikes 12, my eyelids start to droop, my brain starts to shut-down and I don't have it in me to fight sleep anymore. 

~12:15AM: Good night world ๐Ÿ’ค

Next morning: Wake up and do it all over again....

If you made it through my entire day and I didn't bore you to pieces, congratulations!!! ๐Ÿ˜„

On a more serious note, my day is busy like most moms all over the world but unless I have a combination of sick kids and project deadlines at work, I'd be lying if I said it was exhausting or stressful. I am a very restless person by nature so a busy lifestyle is something that actually suits my personality. I find I am more relaxed as a working mom then when I was at home! Never in a million years would I have thought that possible. I love to cook so I still do a lot of it and me and the husband take turns to do the grocery shopping but I can't be bothered to spend my time doing other house chores. Outsourcing it enables me to spend that precious time with my girls.

Weekends in my household are much more slow-paced and relaxed. We don't have an agenda and usually do whatever we feel like. Most often, it entails a mother-daughters trip to one of the neighborhood parks, a family outing to a nearby water park/indoor playground/mall, video chat with the grandparents, the girls splashing to their heart's content in the kids pool, friends or family visiting, one meal at a restaurant and the rest at home (which will be more elaborate and fancy than the usual fare).

I have finally been able to come to terms with not being around the kids all the time in light of all the perks that pursuing a career brings. Most importantly, I believe I am setting an example to my daughters about what an egalitarian marriage looks like. I have been fortunate to have a boss who understands work-life balance and more than anything, a strong support system at home. Having a husband who helps out, a nanny plus housekeeper rolled into one, kids who are easy to manage, friends like family and parents and in-laws who will fly to Singapore at the drop of a hat if we really need them makes all the difference. Even on a blah day when I feel like ranting about something utterly inconsequential, I stop to check my privilege and try to be grateful for all the good things I have in my life. 

Okay guys, I'm all talked typed out for today. Thanks for stopping by and reading this post  ๐Ÿ™

Oh and before I go, what is your day like? More busy? Less busy? Structured or flexible? Drop me a comment to let me know. Always love to hear from fellow moms! More power to us all! ✌


P.S. - And if you were wondering, yes I don't sleep all that much. I really need to work on that!

1 comment:

  1. Will never be this busy ever in my life I guess! Jus reading abt ur daily schedule is tiring! Hats off n more power to u!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ


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