For my family, we have a general structure on weekdays and no structure on weekends. Let’s talk about weekdays. What I do during what I call the “available time” segment of my weekday varies drastically – I do what I need to do. Generally it goes towards the household, ESOD, this blog, my gigs with Live, Oh Life! and occasionally, my well being. I solo parent so often, it’s not even a “thing” anymore. I don’t mop over it or even, dread it. I have solutions to manage it and we do pretty well.
Here’s a recount of my day yesterday:
(General structure: Wake – Getting Ready – School Run – Grocery Shopping / Lunch)
Joy needs a lot of sleep. She would sleep 15 hours or more if I let her (and sometimes I let her, especially on weekends). It’s a struggle to wake her on a daily basis, even more so if her dad is back in Singapore, because that means she wants time with him before she sleeps and it delays bedtime.
When Joy wakes, she almost always looks for me to nurse. I savor every second of her need, because she’s decided that she would stop when she turns five, and it’s happening in a few weeks time. Weaning deserves a seperate post of its own, so I’ll stop here and continue next time.
Joy is extremely independent (check out the hashtag #JoyisIndependent on my Dayre) and in many ways (no, breastfeeding hasn’t “spoilt” her), except in the morning. I clean her up, dress her, feed her and send her to school. She has breakfast at home because I’m home and my purpose for being home based was to spend time with her.
I’ve been asked “Why does she go to a full day childcare then?” Well, she doesn’t. She goes to school. To put it simply, I pick (what some people sees as a childcare) schools that actually do her good while she’s away from me. Maybe people who think that full time childcare is not a school, just doesn’t have enough experience or luck with one. We’ve been very lucky.
Joy doesn’t go to school very early, so normally after school run, I go grocery shopping (on a specific day of the week, because I find that the produce is freshest on that day each week) and/or for lunch.
(Cooking dinner – What I call “Available Time”)
After Lunch, I go home and cook dinner. I’ve found many ways to cope with solo parenting and one of them is settling dinner early, so that I can let the machines cook while I utilize time in other ways.
I normally brew soups on a daily basis. We have them with one main and vegetable or fruits, so that we maintain a balanced diet. Yesterday I made “Teddy Bear Soup” – so called because it contains a mushroom that looks like a teddy bear.
We had it with rice. I wash and soak rice when I’m making the soup, so that I can set it to cook just before I go pick Joy up in the evening and we’ll come back to dinner that has already been cooked when we’re back. Whenever we have rice, I cook a lot more rice than we need so that I can make fried rice for the next day’s dinner and then have a portion left over for my lunch the day after.
After the food prep is settled, I do whatever I need to do for the day. Yesterday, I spent hours prepping everything I need to shoot (I’m probably taking the photographs as you’re reading) for another post due this week. I’ve already conceptualized it before hand, so what I had to do was to complete buying all the necessary things and handle them as needed.
(General Structure: Pick up from school – Dinner – Packing for next day – Spend time together – Sleep – Clean Up)
I picked Joy up earlier from school yesterday because we have lots to do. During pick up, I normally have a quick chat with her teacher(s), her friends or her friend’s parent(s). If I have the car, we can reach home in minutes.
Our food was ready when we got home and Joy and I had to be quick because we were invited to the birthday celebration of a little girl living in the same block.
I managed to find time to give our used pots, dishes and cutlery a quick pre-wash wipe before leaving home and the pick up guy from Piing (a laundry service I’m trying out ) came just in time to pick up bedding for dry cleaning.
We spend an hour or so at the celebration while a load of laundry gets cleaned in our washer, then return home to take our baths.
Joy brushes her own teeth and recently, started to put toothpaste on my toothbrush for me while I remove my sunblock, or make up, if I’m wearing any. One of the times when I feel like she’s growing up all of a sudden.
Joy has a need to draw, create stories by imagination or write every single day. To compensate for the days when she doesn’t get time to, I would bathe her, so that she can draw or write on our glass shower screen, although she is fully capable of bathing herself.
After bathing, our laundry is done and we hang them up to dry. Joy doesn’t feel like she’s doing a chore and I’ve never had to make her hang up the laundry, she just enjoys doing it. I really hope this lasts :D
After hanging up the laundry, Joy and I spend time with each other. After her book reading requests (she is a huge bookworm), we push the curtains in our bedroom aside and chat while we look at our estate in the dark. Other times, we just chat while lying in bed. We always chat before sleeping, we’ve been doing that ever since she could speak ( see bedtime) and I never want it to stop. That’s when I learn about her day and that’s the time when she is most open with me. We play a calming music I found on YouTube during this time and it helps her relax and fall asleep.
When I’m solo parenting, I get up to go wash the dishes and do a quick clean up after she falls asleep. If I’m not, I sleep when she sleeps, unless I have something to discuss with the hubs. He will do the cleaning up most of time time. An important lesson I learnt about bedtime is : never pick up your phone. That delays bedtime for hours and does nobody any good.
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