The family-work-life balance: Part 2

So, where were we?

Oh yes…

6. Do you have any time for yourself?

In the last month, not really no. My sacred ‘me’ time is in the shower, depending on how Zayan is. If he’s happy and content, I can stay in there longer than usual – by usual I mean, 5-10 minutes. Before my sis in laws came over and stayed with us, time in the shower felt really really precious. It is where I unwind and relax and know that no one else can interrupt it for a few minutes at least!

After Zayan turned 2 months old or so, I really felt the need to have a break. Especially since I was with him 24/7 and with M being at work most of the time. So I made it a point to have a massage/facial now and then (total count: 3 outings by myself since he was born). But now that I’ve started work, I haven’t been had much time for myself. I consider a lie-in a luxury nowadays! (although my sis in laws are good in taking him early on in the morning. I owe them lots!!)

7. Who cooks and cleans in the house?

I have to admit, I’ve got it good. M does the laundry more than half the time and puts it out to hang. We take turns folding it up, whoever’s free first. He cooks and washes the dishes too. We usually work it out as whoever is not working late that week/day tends to cook that evening. He’s actually a better cook than me, mostly cos he sticks to the science of cooking (e.g. cook carrots first as it takes longer to cook them, use spices that work well together) and he follows recipes word by word. He finds it therapeutic to cook, so many a time he insists (insist!) on cooking. I, on the other hand, likes to race against time and try to make a dish in 30 minutes (ala Jamie’s 30 minutes meal).

Life is so much easier that M is such a neat – bordering on OCD – person. He vacuums the house and likes to tidy things up. Like as soon as you finish eating or drinking, he likes to put the plate/mug in the sink. Macam ehhhh, I haven’t finished! Because of this though, I, the messiest slob, try to be neater too and tidy things up as I go along. I’ve figured out that it takes less time to tidy things up right there and then, rather than letting it accumulate.

What else? I’m the one who makes the grocery shopping list and since I’m free, goes grocery shopping more. He waters the plants. I put away the clothes after being folded. He throws the rubbish out. I take out Zayan’s (ughhh) dirty nappies. He vacuums. I buy flowers for the house.

Other than that, everything else is done when one of us is free or not tired from work/taking care of Zayan!

I used to feel quite guilty having M do a lot of the housework but I was so so tired from work, it can’t be helped! I don’t feel so guilty now hehe! I put Zayan to sleep – and that can take a LONG time – so M tidies up after dinner. Yes, I know I’m so lucky!!

8. How is life now with a baby?

Having a baby is hard work. I don’t know why I’m so surprised about this! It’s a bit like when we started working as doctors. Everyone has warned the side effects of having a baby (sleep deprivation, loss of control in your life, having to be more flexible, constantly being worried – amongst the few) but it’s only when you actually have one that you really know what it entails.

But I won’t trade Zayan for anyone or anything else. Like when he peed on the bed this morning and gave a toothless grin after. How can I not succumb to that?

I am yet to discover how to balance it all and am wondering if women really can have it all. Perhaps it’s not about having the right balance but more of compromising on things. And also letting go. If it means I can have another 15 minutes or so of sleep, Zayan can watch sesame street from my phone in the morning. And also, being more organised is the key, it seems!

To end this all, my mum was a full time nurse and she always managed to have breakfast, lunch and dinner ready everyday. She irons my dad’s clothes and never seem to ‘take time off’ from being our mum (only once do I remember her being ill) She’s my inspiration!

How about you lot new (or old) mums out there? How do you find the balance? It’d be interesting to hear how life is from other working mums.

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