Making difficult decisions

I thought I wouldn’t have to make difficult decisions like choosing between kids and work since I had quit my job. I thought wrong! Before I left ST in February, I had agreed to be on the selection panel for MOE’s outstanding youth in education awards. MOE asked me because of my involvement in Compass and I had marked the date down in my diary way ahead.

As I would have to be at the selection from 2pm – 6.15pm, way beyond the time I usually pick Shannon, I had prepped her the day before that I would not be able to pick her from school. Instead, her Papa would pick her. I decided to harden my heart to her tears since it’s only a one-day event. (I’m the one ferrying her to and from school daily.)

As luck would have it, Jason woke up that very morning with a temperature of 38.5 deg C. I was torn between calling in sick and taking care of him myself, or letting either my husband or mum take care of him. All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind, but the main one: What kind of stay-at-home-mum would I be if made my husband take care of him while I went out? Ok so I’m not a stay-at-home-mum in the traditional sense of the phrase. I still do freelance work and keep busy. But still! I imagined my husband’s boss asking him – Isn’t your wife a housewife now? Why do you have to look after your son when he’s unwell?

In the end, it was my husband who made the decision for me. “Go for the selection,” he insisted. So I spent the whole morning with Jason, sponging him, bringing him to the doctor, giving him his medicine and lunch, before I dropped him off at my husband’s school after lunch.

I went for the selection, met up with several contacts who were also on the panel, had a good time at the session, and left thoroughly impressed by many of the teachers who came for the interview. Yup, the winners have been chosen, but the results will only be announced in July. I also wondered how Jason was throughout the selection. And I wondered how Shannon reacted to her Papa fetching her.

They were both fine, as it turned out, and we had a good dinner after they picked me up. And I was relieved to be done with making difficult decisions.

Then Shannon woke up this morning with a temperature of 38 deg C… And Jason was still sniffling and coughing… And I had an afternoon meeting at a school I’m working on a project with…

This time, I made a snap decision. I sent my apologies to the school principal and asked to postpone the meeting to later in the week. I decided to put on hold all other work I had and spent the day with both of them.

And we had fun… in between the sponging, visit to the doctor and taking the cocktail of medicine…

We did crafts. Or rather, they did this while I plucked vegetables for dinner.

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They clowned around when the Panadol took effect and the fever went down…

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And Shannon found a game she had a chance of beating Jason at – Memory Game. Let’s just say she has won more rounds than me so far…

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All things considered, it was a good day. I’m glad I get to make decisions like declaring a day off work just because I want to be with my kids. Having days like today, and having the flexibility to not work if I can’t, more than makes up for the days when I do have to make difficult decisions.

 

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