What a great age 14 months is for the pair of toddlers in my life. They are full of energy, laughters, personalities and are constantly discovering the wonders of having another play mate around - they love chasing each other around our home and playing peek a boo!
Admittedly, some days and even some moments in a day can be frustrating to state the least and it usually stems from being helpless (on my part especially when they are unwell which is not too frequent now - phew!) and tired (on my part again - bugger!). For them, it is merely 'business as usual' - play, cuddles, eat, walk, crawl, discovery, short bursts of frustration when sharing is not agreed on, short burst of tantrum on the floor when mummy does not give him/her/them what they want, etc.
Naturally, it is 'easier' having another pair of hands around to help and I am very grateful for my husband who is incredibly hands-on with them.
- He makes it home most nights to give them their baths at 5:30pm (I know how lucky we are to be able to have family friendly hours with work and THAT DECISION 8 years ago, to build our home close to one of our offices has certainly enabled him to do this);
- He looks after them single-handedly when I am away for work (at least 3 days, 2 nights) and this is no mean feat;
- He cares for them in the morning from the moment they wake up so that I can fulfill my corporate obligations (which I enjoy, by the way)
The work/life balance has worked for us because of the following factors:
- Reliable and Good Kindy. Only 5 minutes drive from home and the twins love it. In fact, they took to kindy from Day 1 without any fuss and we believe it is because they have each other for company. Since then, they have made their own friends despite still keeping an eye on each other throughout the day. Oh yes, this kindy also provides meals and nappies + understands the importance of 2 naps for our twins! - just ideal for working parents like us.
- Corporate Work Hours that supports our choice. His work hours cannot be changed due to the nature of his career and quite often, he may even have to work weekends or late into the night. My new work hours (thankfully accepted by the board) also accommodates our choice of not having our children in kindy for any longer than 7 hours per day (4 days a week). Many parents have their children in kindy for 12 hours because they have no other alternative - no help and the companies they work for do not allow for flexibility.
- Routine that works for our children and us as parents. Since their births in hospital, we have stuck to a rather strict routine with their feedings, nappings and bed-time. That paid off after 11 weeks - they dropped their night feeds and slept through the night! Yes, they also sleep in the same room with their cots next to each other too and they do not sleep in our room. They are asleep by 6:30pm every night and that enables us to have dinner - do a spot of housework - have time to ourselves before we go to bed at 9pm. It is very civilised and we love it!
Naturally, from time to time, I have entertained the notion of giving up corporate work and to be a stay at home mum especially when it is tough on the family and work front. In my mind, it is 'easier' to just concentrate on one area and not spread myself 'too thin'. Trust me, I have had my melt downs, in front of my very tolerant, understanding and loving husband. Bless him. I have also come to know and acknowlege that I am a much better parent for having variety in my life.
I am so grateful for my life, for my husband and for my miraculous children who have certainly brought even more depth and meaning into my life.