Last night, I took a leisurely shower all by myself.
I don’t know about you but ever since I became a mother, baths have become speedy affairs, especially during weekday evenings. To save time, I usually bathe with my babies after dinner. They sit in the tiny Flexibath at my feet – yes, both of them! – and splash away. Meanwhile, I, the human jukebox, will entertain them by acceding to song requests while frantically scrubbing at my scalp. Once I am done, I bathe one, then the other, and then I haul everyone out of the bathroom.
So yeah, showers are no longer luxurious me-time.
By a stroke of fate, both boys were showered by the time I finished dinner last night. Zac had gotten his evening bath at my in-laws’ before I picked him up while I had bathed Aidan soon after we had reached home because he took a dump. I decided to leave them in my helper’s care and headed off to the bathroom to wash off the grime and dust from the long day’s work.
It felt so good. Not having to sing Majulah Singapura (Aidan’s song of the moment) for the 83527th time. Not having to deal with screams of “Mummy! Zac moved into my space!”. Not having to rinse soap off one yelling child while trying to stop the other from eating the open shampoo bottle.
It got me thinking though, about how I am able to have this peaceful shower, amid other privileges. It is the village that supports me in raising my children as a full-time working mother, which grants me the ability to chase my dreams. And there are many people whom I am thankful for.
For instance, my mother. Every Monday to Wednesday, she travels to our home to watch over Zac. And mind you, she doesn’t drive. Instead, she has to battle the peak-hour crowds to take a bus down. I am ever so thankful that I no longer have to speed up and down the expressway every morning and evening, cursing and swearing like a crazed woman. In addition, she fixes dinner for us, which means I get to come home to a cosy home-cooked meal. And come Saturday, the boys go over to her place in the morning to spend time with their cousin, which frees up the time for the husband and I to do our own thing.
Then, there are my in-laws. Frankly speaking, we have had heaps of disagreement with them when it comes to raising our boys. The boys are their only grandchildren and it is only natural that all their attention, devotion and indulgence are trained on those two. In fact, I have no doubt that they would pluck the moon from the sky if Aidan were to so much as look at it.
What is undeniable, though, is their willingness to spend time with the boys. If anything were to happen to us, they have been more than happy to take the boys off from our hands. When we crave couple time, we know that we can leave the littles in their loving care.
Then there is also our helper. She is not quite the world’s best housekeeper – which is why I sometimes end up packing and organising my home with what little free time I have – but she truly adores my boys. I am not going to even pretend to be one of those Super Mums who do it on their own. I have a helper and while we perform 99% of the kids’ chores (like bathing, feeding, playing etc) on our own, having her around means that I don’t have to stress over laundry and dirty dishes in the sink and cat hair piling up on my floor after a tiring day at work while juggling the littles. It’s a huge relief, especially when I have a husband who pulls in long hours in the office. It also means that I can escape into the bathroom for a little shower with the knowledge that my kids will be safe.
So there you go, our village. Without them, I doubt we would even have a second child, to be honest, and we are very thankful for their help.
PS: Read about my friend Lyn’s ode to her village here!