Yes we have worked out a good arrangement when I went back to work after 3 months of maternity leave. We have found her an experienced and loving nanny who looks after her needs and follows her routine. We divide the morning routine so both of us can attend to Kah Yen and at the same time goes to work on time. We are able to pick Kah Yen up on time most of the days. She goes to bed right after 8pm and her evening routine works nearly perfect. We are fine with packing dinner everyday – it is convenient and cheap. But, there are days I feel really bad being a working mum.
Yesterday was one of those days.
I left work on time at 730am, reached the shuttle bus pick-up point at 8am, only to find a queue that it is so long I can’t find where it ends. The bus was late again. I managed to squeeze in the 3rd bus without a seat at 830am and only reached office at 9am. I was half an hour late for work.
I need to call a kick-off meeting with various departments for a new project that is coming in. After making several calls to different people the only time that is suitable is 4pm. There are people coming in late, and the meeting turned into a discussion at some point and it only ended at 6pm. Rushed to the bus stop, called the husband to hurry up to pick up Kah Yen, I finally got on the bus only to reach home at 720pm thanks to traffic jam. That’s almost an hour late than usual. I couldn’t spend anytime with Kah Yen except changing her and putting her to bed after rushing my dinner.
Thankfully the husband knocked off early so he brought her to the playground, made me feel slightly better. However, I was so shocked to find there are 2 minor bruises on Kah Yen’s face and the big one is right below her left eye. Our nanny said she fell and knocked on the edge of a chair. My heart felt so painful. I looked at our little angel without her angelic smile. I knew accident is unavoidable but I blamed this on me for not being with her.
By the end of the day I felt really bad.
I spend almost 3 hours on the road everyday when I only spend less than 2 hours with my daughter. I could have done so many more things with her using those 3 hours! I left her for 11 hours a day to a job that I am not even satisfied with, but I need the income. There are days my work is so busy and hectic that I totally forget about her, I am not even missing her. I read so much on baby nutrition and recipes but I am not even there to cook her meals, our Nanny only knows how to cook rice porridge. And I do hope my husband can come back to home cooked dinner.
I felt awfully guilty. Maybe I should really start looking for another job that is nearer to my place, although I dread the job hunting and interview process. Maybe I should talk to my HR about a flexible work arrangement, instead of telling myself it is not possible in Singapore context. Maybe I should come out with a rigid meal planner and force my nanny to follow it. Maybe I should just do the sums and see if we can survive with one less income… Maybe I should start telling myself "It is possible”.
But for now, I know what I should really tell myself is "I am not a superwoman".