Hey Chungkins – at some point between being an increasingly irritating tween to a young adult, I want to remind you that there was a period when your seemingly-always-busy-with-work parents were home with you 24/7 for a good 2 months from Apr to May 2020, and we created a whole load of good memories together! This was known as the national ‘Circuit Breaker’ period when measures were further tightened (from the current travel restrictions, closure of all entertainment venues & practice of social distancing) to stymie the widespread risk of COVID-19 within our densely populated Singapore. More importantly, this was also one of our best parenthood periods, because we got to spend so much time with both of you.
While none of us knew what to expect as Singapore implemented its most serious Circuit Breaker (CB) yet with schools closed (you kiddos were home with us from 4th April – 1st June), along with non-essential workplaces; what I knew was that I wanted to make this period count in the best way possible. This was going to be our new normal and while both of you were elated knowing that you didn’t have to struggle with waking up early for school for a good few weeks and could spend time with us all day, you were also naturally part confused & frustrated when we stressed that we weren’t allowed to go out as we usually would as a family, or over to anyone’s home for a playdate nor have anyone come over until the CB was lifted.
Today’s day 33 of 56, and looking back on the past 32 days, I’m thankful that you kiddos have been superb in keeping up with agreed timetable/schedules. not insisting to come along during our weekly supermarket dash and in your own ways, adjusting to this new lifestyle.
Also, your mama here wants to put on the record that as angsty as we sometimes sound, look (with those eye-rolls) and behave whenever we’re gifted with one of your tantrums especially in the middle of a work call and doing our best to manage the situation (diffusing the tension between you 2 boys and then sounding as normal as possible on our calls); the truth is that your papa & I agree that while unfortunate (the pandemic, that is), we’ve actually been gifted a very a rare & precious unprecedented period – where time seems to have come to a standstill, for us to take all the time we need, to grown, learn, heal, savor & make the best of each moment!
For all the times I’ve lamented “If only”…(I was still working part-time and get to continue spending afternoons with you like I used to instead of just short evenings), and introspected on my mom’s guilt of not being able to make it home in time for family dinners, listening to the highlight of your day, and tucking you in after bedtime stories; God has shown me how possible, doable and achievable it is to have full-time work and full-time mom coexist within the same space and manage it successfully.
The space at our last rental wouldn’t have been as ideal as what we’re currently blessed with, and hence I am utterly thankful that we get to spend this CB period in our very first family home comfortably, having settled in for slightly over a year. With restricted movement in place, we’ve also been challenged to be more resourceful in limiting essential trips to within our neighborhood, and one of the many beautiful discoveries in this process was uncovering a more-than-decent park connector and vast, green spaces surrounding where we stay, which has been the perfect outdoor space for our daily evening exercise without needing to consciously worry about social distancing with each other or the next stranger.
And on the topic of learning to be more resourceful with what we have, your papa has also been a champ, picking up a variety of local breakfast (chinese carrot cake, mee siam, dough fritters, porridge, prawn mee, bar chor mee, nasi lemak, mee chiang kueh etc.) for us to feast on every non-working morning. Definitely a side even your mama is seeing for the first time now that all public holiday and weekend mornings are not filled with tennis sessions with his friends 🙂
With 23 days more to our Circuit Breaker restrictions potentially loosening (which means we might be able to see the people we love really soon!), mama here just wanted to document on the blog what a joy and blessing it has been, as upsetting as I may sometimes look especially on nights when I’m buried in work, spending so much time with you kiddos.
Tomorrow marks my 8th time spending Mother’s Day (1o May 2020) as a receiver, and while it’s likely to feel like any other “Circuit Breaker” day (admittedly, even I’ve lost track of which day it is), Liam & Ollie, I want you both to know how much of a blessing this motherhood journey has been for me despite my random rants on its struggles, momentary misery, and guilt trips I sometimes highlight to you during scoldings. I love both of you very much, and I hope that this Circuit Breaker period will always serve as a testimony & reminder on days when you hardly see papa & I at home because we’re out at work, just how much we love this family. There will be times when papa & mama’s actions may not be what you hope for, and during those moments, I only ask that you do your best to trust in the decisions made and always know that we always love you, and am here for you.