I know that as I was writing my last entry, I was flooded with raw emotions and my system was practically overflowing with gratitude, thankfulness and appreciation for my blessings.

I know that I SHOULD be happy and joyful to be starting a brand new week with my babies – a privilege that some couple or families may not have.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still get the occasional bout of Monday Blues.

It was an especially herculean effort to haul myself out of bed today after spending a good part of Sunday at a Family Day event at the zoo. Now I know why couples with young children insist on bringing the helper with them on family outings. We learned that, unless you’re a family of octopuses, chances are you’re gonna need extra helping hands to manage a toddler and a baby, two strollers and two huge bags – one of which contains heavy water-logged clothing because of our ambitious plan to fit in some water play in between viewing animals and visiting the River Safari.

Oh, what a pair of noob parents we are still.

So. On the uneventful MRT commute to work today, I hatched some ideas on what I could do to make my Mondays better and put them into practice en route to the office. They may not have you leaping out of bed feeling all sparkly and sunshiny, but I hope that doing these little things will help inject some energy into the start your week.  For all you know, they may be just what every tired mother out there needs to face the work week.

  • Tote a backpack

Trade in that branded leather handbag for a backpack. Even if, in my case, it contains a breast pump, cooler block and milk bottles. My utilitarian Medela backpack may not earn me points for style, but I like the way it frees my arms up and lets them swing, unencumbered, as I walk. There’s a certain carefree feel to it and it almost makes me feel young and sporty (or am I the only deluded one here?) Plus, a backpack balances out the weight across both shoulders, relieving that dull ache on that poor ol’ shoulder that probably bore the brunt of lugging an overly-heavy diaper bag over the weekend.

  • Walk the walk

Now that our arms are freed up and we’ve rediscovered our centre of gravity, let’s work on our gait. I’ve found that putting a little spring in my step works wonders for my mood. Opening up my step, keeping my back straight, chin up and pegging my gaze far ahead adds a ‘lift’ to my walk, which in turn translates into a lighter, happier mood. Plus, I love how my ponytail swings to the beat and how the click-clack of my heels accentuates my stride. It makes me feel efficient and purposeful – even if I’m just pounding my way through Maxwell Market to get to my favourite drink stall.

Go on, rock that strut like Beyonce, yo!

  • Look up!

Enter an MRT train on any given morning and chances are that every passenger will either have their eyes closed or glued to their phones or tablets, which are in turn glued to their hands. I prefer to gaze at the passing scenery as the train travels through the various neighbourhoods on the journey downtown. It serves as a daily reminder that the world is a big place and that it doesn’t revolve around me, my kids, my work and my never-ending to-do list. Although it may seem like the same ol’ scene every morning, it is, in reality, ever-changing. Enjoy it. The virtual world that is Gmail, Whatsapp and Facebook can wait.

  • Take the stairs

It may be due to my impatient nature, but I find it rather ridiculous to be released from a crowded train, only to join the mob of commuters moseying inch by inch onto the ‘up’ escalator and transported out of the station like sushi on a conveyor belt. I take the stairs. Because I can. Climbing gets my heart pumping more oxygen to my brain, making me feel more alert. Plus, which woman wouldn’t want a toner butt, calves and thighs? All the better to flaunt those sexy heels (refer to Point 2 above.)

  • Let it go

Sometimes, we let the tinniest matters spoil our mood. You know, like that irritating woman (with her huge tote bag, no less) squeezing into your path to get through the gantry before you. Or the non-gentleman who hastily cuts in and smugly occupies the freshly-vacated seat in front of you on the MRT.  I used to get irked and shoot (hugely useless) dirty looks at these offenders, who, of course, know better than to meet my gaze, or glare. I’ve learned to be gracious, step back and give way and not let my morning be ruined just because I let someone pass, no matter how undeserving they may be.

So with these little pick-me-up tips, maybe we’ll no longer need to desperately rely on that morning latte to magically transform us from zombie mamas to sane, decent-looking women?

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