vendredi, mars 10, 2006

You OK, I OK.

It has been 5 years since I've left my job as a Market Analyst in Mobile Telecoms. If I thought a working day hard then, wait till you stay at home with 3 kids and the laundry...

In the office, if you need a break, you could go talk to your colleagues, flirt with your boss, terrorise the Assistants, eat a snack in the pantry, go read a book in the toilet.

At home, wherever you turn, you have at least one kid at your feet. You're cooking and they are playing with all your tupperwares, cutlery, pots and pans; you're doing the laundry, you've just put dirty clothes in the machine, you turn around and the same clothes are now in the dryer; you write a letter, they would be drawing on the table or tablecloth with a pen; you talk on the phone, they would choose to scream and fight just next to you; you go to the toilet, the youngest would be trying to clean the toilet bowl with a brush while you're still on it, his sister would be unrolling loads of toilet paper to help you clean your backside; you want to take a shower? Well, you take it with everyone.

Outside, it's not any better. In the supermarket, you have 2 babies wanting to push a child trolley each. But when you need to dump your selections somewhere, none of the trolleys are normally to be found. When you have found one child, you lose the other one. When you reach the cashier, you have to let them put the contents of their trolleys (no matter how fragile) on the belt themselves AND at the same time keep a close eye on the stuff as you'd be amazed as to what they have helped themselves to. 2 days ago I nearly checked out a jar of weird-looking smoked fish and half the shop's supply of Kinder chocolate bars.

You go to the library? There's one screaming his head off and the other pulling books off the shelves.

I have no time to myself and yet I am not doing anything particularly important. I'm not negotiating deals, writing policy papers, doing market research. But I just can't seem to do anything for myself. My idea of a holiday nowadays is just being left alone to read a book or windowshop to my heart's content.

Friends and family often ask : ''So what do you do everyday?'' In Singapore, some would even say, ''Wah, you Tai-Tai* life, ah?'' Yeah, how I wish.

So what do I do everyday?

I wake up at 06h45. I prepare the 2 older kids for school and the youngest one so that he would be ready to leave with us.

At 07h40, I send the kids to school on the Underground, one school is 2 stops away, the other, 8. When hubby is around he takes the eldest to school but well, he travels alot.

After that, on Mondays and Thursdays, I have German lessons from 9 to 12. On Tuesdays, I have Capoeira (Brazilian Martial Arts and Dance). On Wednesdays, I bring the youngest to painting class for babies. Friday is my only activity-free morning and I try to go out a bit, read or surf the Net. I shop for groceries almost every day. I usually manage to find 30 minutes here and there to do so if I run a little.

At 12h30 my second finishes school. I pick her up and then we go to my eldest's school to pick him up. At 13h30 I would be trying to set up lunch. At 15h I dump the youngest in bed for a nap, I nag the eldest to do his homework and I try to threaten my second child to sleep. Moments like this, my mom's cane is absolutely necessary.

Between 16h and 17h maybe I'll have a moment's peace and I usually spend it on the Net. After which I'll have to look through the eldest's homework, send him to Football practice or Judo class, cook dinner etc. In the evening, I may have to entertain my hubby.

OK, some smart ass will now ask : ''What about housework ah?''

I usually do it over the weekend when the hubby takes a swim or watches TV with the kids. And even then it's just a quick vacuum, sometimes I mop the floor, a little dusting and 2-3 laundries. No way I'm going to do the mop, sweep, dust, wash, clean windows routine of my mom. Besides mom lives in a small flat, while I live in a house with 2 terraces, a garden and a pool (and armies of spiders and other creatures)... and with the kids nothing remains clean for long anyway.

When I have people over, I just start off by apologising for the mess and out of politeness they'll usually say stuff like ''Oh no, that's normal when you have kids...'' or ''You should see my place, it's worse...'' And I'm always happy to take them at their word. How did the Charles Jourdan advert with George Lam go?

''You OK, I OK.''

Voilà. You Ok, I also OK. Why bother to clean up too much?

*Tai Tai is a rich housewife who has no housework to do but spends her time shopping and having high teas with her friends.

1 commentaire:

Rani a dit…

oh this is so true, yet i only have one baby so far! good luck for us mommies