Tag Archives: work

When mum is busy

There are times our normal life gets thrown out of whack, like in the past few weeks. When I’m swamped with work and under the weather, the family has to find new ways to cope.

Outings – have been few and far between because I have been rushing interviews, transcripts and stories for a book project this month. So my husband has taken over ferrying duties and bringing Shannon for some after school fun while I get in that extra hour of working time.

Shannon’s Chinese name ś©¶ (tong2), means cotton tree. We chose it because it we liked the meaning – many uses, useful to society. Her papa had the great idea of bringing her to hunt down the tree she is named after. So after school one day, the two of them went on an “adventure”. Adventure because the said tree, tall and majestic, was located beside a busy expressway, across a large drain. Somehow, they made it to the tree, and Shannon had a picture taken while balancing precariously on a railing (on the side away from the road).


They found some soft, white cotton on the ground beside the tree, which made a comfortable bed for the bugs!


She still talks about the “adventure” she went on with Papa.

Entertainment – has been self-directed because I simply have no time or energy to think up ways to entertain them. There have been too many TV days. But there have also been moments they derived simple pleasure from staying at home. So forget things like “let’s do some painting on canvas”. Jason dug out some old art books and started drawing again. Simple pencil sketches I love.



Housework – only the bare minimum has been done, and on some days, not even the bare minimum. Shannon has had to wear the same uniform two days in a row a couple of times in the past weeks because her parents completely forgot to get in a load of laundry before they fell asleep. Not that she knows. She cannot know because she refuses to rewear what she thinks are soiled clothes…

My part-time helper remarked that I must have been busy because the home is dirtier than ever. I usually sweep every day (she mops once a week), but even sweeping has taken a backseat. I do make the kids sweep up crumbs they scatter and that’s how we’ve been managing.

Jason has taken it upon himself to pack his table without being asked, so that was a nice surprise!


Dinners – have been tiffin meals lovingly cooked and delivered piping hot by their grandma. We would otherwise be eating out most days. Now they get a say in the dishes they want from the “tiffin service” and get to provide unsolicited feedback on the meals to the cook. We’re blessed! (I only remembered to take pictures on one day)


We did manage to get out one evening over the weekend for a birthday meal at a vegan restaurant, Loving Hut. Their favourite aunt, my youngest sister, turned 19!


We had delicious vegan food that well, didn’t taste vegan!



Thankfully, I’m seeing the light at the end of the busy tunnel soon. ūüôā


It’s been a while…

An update of sorts. A couple of deadlines converged in the last couple of weeks, so blogging has taken a backseat. Now, things are slightly less hectic work wise. There are still deadlines to be met in the next few weeks, but at least they are spaced wider apart. I’ve finished my last lesson in NTU this semester. It’s been an enriching experience supervising¬†a group of enthusiastic journalism undergrads, and I’m looking forward to seeing their bylines in the national papers soon.


I was also busy with Sunday Times work, and I had fun interviewing a chess prodigy in the 60s for the weekly history page. Mr Tan Lian Ann is now 68 and a company managing director, but he was routinely winning adults in the game from the time he was 10 years old.


Over on the home front, a niggling flu bug has been making its rounds the last few weeks, and we’re hopefully at the tail end of this germy season.

We’ve been keeping busy at home.

Painting Easter eggs with Shannon:

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While Jason whipped up another storm on canvas using acrylics…¬†wpid-imag2111.jpg

We went for a school funfair Рnot the one in the news, but another that happened to be on the same day. Shannon declared this her favourite activity. wpid-imag2115.jpg

She had her first ballet recital, four months after starting lessons. She’s come a long way from the first time she went for a ballet trial last year!


With the reduced prices at KidsStop – the children’s Science Centre, we went to check it out one morning. I’ve been wanting to bring Shannon there since I did the advertorial for their opening last June, but I was put off by the high admission price. So I’m glad they’ve lowered the prices. Admission to Science Centre is now free so we’ll be planning a trip there soon. Do take note of the visiting hours on KidsStop’s¬†website if you’re heading there, they have fixed session blocks.


I meant to do a detailed post on KidsStop, but was foiled by an absent SD card in my camera…

And here’s how we’ve been beating the heat at home. Or rather, how they have been beating the heat. One fan per person.

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Old school

I love technology¬†like the next person. I use my smartphone to catch up on news, follow my favourite blogs and news feeds¬†via the Feedly app, or Whatsapp friends and family. I also use my Macbook Air almost every day. I can’t do without it. I use it for work, for leisure, to surf the web, do online shopping etc. But while I use technology a lot, deep down, I’m old school. Continue reading

Tuition – yes or no?

Last Sunday, I wrote a column for The Sunday Times, about my struggle on whether or not to send Jason for Chinese tuition. While it was a personal column, it was sparked off by a story on parents asking for MOE to regulate the tuition industry. Continue reading

Old habits die hard


Old habits die hard. It is just past 12 midnight, early Friday morning. The family’s asleep and I find myself at the laptop tap tap tapping away to file a piece of work. It’s like my days in Sunday Times, where my self-imposed deadline to give my editor my story before Friday mornings, would see me rushing to file stories on late Thursday to early Friday mornings. Continue reading

Not a bored housewife

I’m not sure where in my last post gave the impression of the kind of life I lead, but I laughed out loud when someone sent me this message – “What’s there not to like about being a tai tai(rich,¬†married woman who does not need to¬†work)? ;)” Continue reading

Do I miss my job?

It’s been eight months since I left my full-time job. At an ex-colleague’s wedding last week, I was asked several times if I missed my job, if I would consider returning to work. Continue reading

Interviewing Amber Tan

One of the best things about being a journalist is how I get to meet people from all walks of life. Apart from getting the information I need for writing the story, I get to listen to their views, hear about issues, places or their life experiences. Beyond producing the article, I get to distill the information gathered, extract what might be useful, and store it for the future. Some of it may go on to shape my world view, my thoughts and values. Continue reading

My daily routine

Someone asked me the other day if it was traumatic to make the move from working full-time to being a housewife.

I thought about it and realised the transition was far from traumatic for me. While I left my job only last month, my move to stay at home was a gradual one as I had already been working from home for the last two years, only going to office once a week even though I did go out for interviews on some days. So I have already adjusted to being at home for long stretches in the day without feeling cooped up. In fact, I relish the several hours of solitude before the kids come home from school each day. Continue reading

SAHM, two weeks on

So, life as a SAHM (stay-at-home-mum) has been no less exciting than life as a FTWM (full-time-working-mum). It’s been exactly two weeks since I stopped work, and we’ve had an A&E visit, an asthma attack, some interesting freelance work offers, not to mention gotten some things done around the home: Continue reading

New beginnings

It’s my last day at work today and I’ve been so busy settling last minute matters, I havn’t had time to reply to every single question I’ve received since my last column on giving up my job. So I thought I’d do it here, address all the questions I’ve received in one blog post. Continue reading

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