This is a follow up of a post that I’ve written some time back titled – Our work and baby routine.
So now that we have 2 babies in tow, it’s time we post an update of our routine.
6.30 am: Dear2’s alarm clock rings. Usually Dear2 will be able to hear it and wakes up. Oh, Baby1, Baby2 and Dear1 are all KO. It’s good that the kids are asleep at this time. Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up.
6.45 am: Dear1 wakes up and if Dear2 wasn’t already up, then wake Dear2 up as well. Dear1 goes to the kitchen to prepare breakfast and wash up all the used milk bottles from the night and sterilize them. Dear2 packs Baby1’s bag for her nursery school/childcare. Dear1 and Dear2 sits down for some morning coffee and breakfast. Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up.
7.15 am: Time to wake Baby1 up. Cuddles her a bit and gets her ready for school. May involve some bargaining as Baby1 will often declare her reluctance to go to school. Makes milk for Baby1. Dear2 goes to bath and prepares herself. Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up.
7.45 am: Target time to leave the house which we’ve never been able to meet. Mad rush to get ready everything, change Baby1 into her uniform, bring Baby1 to toilet now that she’s almost fully toilet trained. Dear1 prepares himself for work. Quick tidying up of the house. Feeds medicine to kids if any. Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up.
7.15-8 am: Sometimes, Baby2 does wake up. That means someone has to attend to her. That also means our ‘workforce’ is 50% paralyzed. Makes milk for Baby2. Feeds milk to Baby2. Keep Baby2 from crying. Mad rush becomes madder.
8-8.10 am: The time we actually step out of the house.
8.25 am: Arrive at granny’s house to drop off Baby2. Don’t even have time to properly kiss Baby2 goodbye.
8.35 am: Arrive at Mulberry to drop off Baby1. More bargaining. Waves goodbye.
8.40 am: Drops off Dear2 at Chinese Garden MRT station.
9.10-9.30 am: Dear1 and Dear2 arrives at work.
6 pm: Dear1 and Dear2 sets off from work promptly.
6.40 pm: Dear1 meets Dear2 at Chinese Garden MRT station.
6.45 pm: Arrive at Mulberry to pick up Baby1. She’s usually the last few students left before the school closes at 7pm. So poor thing.
7 pm: Buys dinner from the market.
7.20 pm: Arrive at granny’s house. Finally get to see Baby2 again! Yay… But no time to really play with her. :'( Starts eating dinner and feed dinner to Baby1. Pack up all the daily stuff and goes home.
8.15 pm: Reaches home with Baby1 and Baby2 after a long day. Dear2 plays with Baby2 while Dear1 baths Baby1. Then Dear1 goes to bath first, then Dear2 goes to bath. Unpacks Baby1 and Baby2’s stuff. Feeds medicine if any.
9.15-9.45 pm: Bedtime for the kids. Baby1 and Baby2’s bedtime needs to be closely matched so they’ll both go to sleep and not affect each other. Usually, this means Dear2 starting Baby1’s milk feed first while reading her a bedtime story in the bedroom. Meanwhile, Dear1 will start feeding Baby2 in the living room. All lights except the bedroom will be off. When Baby1 starts to doze off, the bedroom light will off. By then, Baby2 will be dozing off and Dear1 will bring her into the bedroom where she sleeps in her cot. Yes, all 4 of us sleeps in the same room.
10 pm: Baby1 and Baby2 goes to dreamland and Dear1 and Dear2 finally have some time for themselves. But all is not done. Dear2 wakes up to dry her hair. Dear1 washes all the bottles from the day (~8 bottles) and sterilizes them to prepare for the night. Also, complete the daily housework such as washing dishes if any, packing up the house, washing clothes, keeping clothes, folding clothes, etc. Dear1 and Dear2 chit chats a bit.
10.30-11 pm: Time for bed.
2.30 am: Baby2 usually wakes up for milk around this time. Dear1 will quickly carry Baby2 out of the bedroom to prevent Baby1 from waking up too. Dear2 prepares the milk. Dear1 feeds Baby2. Dear2 goes back to sleep.
3 am: Dear1 and Baby2 goes back to sleep.
6 am: If Baby2 wakes up again, repeat everything at 2.30 am.
6.30 am: Dear2’s alarm clock rings. Usually Dear2 will be able to hear it and wakes up. …here we go again… Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up… yet.
There are 3 critical times that we have to meet each day. First, start work time at around 9 am. Second, Baby1’s school’s closing time at 7 pm. Lastly, bedtime at 9.30 pm. Much of our routine revolves around meeting these 3 ‘deadlines’.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying a routine is a bad thing. In fact, this routine is great because it means that the process can be optimized and we would not have to deal with much uncertainty. It’s just that this routine is so packed and there is hardly time to do any other things. We don’t even have much time to actually interact/play with the kids.
Luckily for our sanity, Baby2 was able to learn her ‘sleep-through-the-night’ skill early. This meant that we only had to wake up once (or at most twice) each night and she would go back to sleep pretty fast after feeding. Also luckily, both Baby1 and Baby2 developed their ‘ignore-crying-noise-from-other-children’ skill too so we at most had to deal with only 1 crying baby during the night.
Phew~ What to do… Taking care of 2 children on our own without a helper (i.e. maid) is like that. We do our best and hope that our best is enough for them to grow up strong and healthy.
As for us (Dear1 and Dear2), we try to cherish whatever small packets of time we have to ourselves – coffee & breakfast in the morning, short drives between nursery and mrt station, and after the kids go to bed. And the occasional lunch time when we could meet up for a meal just by ourselves.