It started with the baby refusing the milk bottle when I was at work and drinking less than 100 ml in the day time. Everyday I called home to check on the baby, I heard his cries. Because he was not drinking enough in the day, he compensated by waking up 3 times in the night. I don’t mind feeding him but the frequent night feeds affect my well-being and I was worried I may fall sick which will lead to lesser breastmilk production. We tried different milk bottles and decided to just stick to one so as not to confuse the baby further. We settled on Tommee Tippee with compliments from my sis-in-law.
After all attempts, and after one and a half weeks, the baby started drinking 100ml non-stop one day. And kel took the credit for it after some trial and errors with my mum’s stand in to take care of the baby. A pediatric check up showed the baby gained only 50 grams in a month! Well, at least it wasn’t negative weight gain! I have to think positively to feel better. At least he had started to drink milk.
Then after the baby caring part had been settled, I was still adjusting to the routine of been back at work, pumping milk in the office, coming home to my kids and busying myself till midnight daily. I was feeling the fatigue with the night feeds and it did not help that XX started behavioral problems in school (This will have to be in another blog post). And I truly neglected the middle child YH. Before I could manage the adjustment and changes, some events happened and I have to take over the cooking on weekdays!!
My routine looks like this:
Initially I was so stressed up by the new cooking responsibility that I cried, took it out on my children and found that my milk supply seemed to be dwindling! I had negative thoughts and felt miserable for a while. Then I decided that I cannot continue self-pity. I am sure there are people who are in a worse situation than me. My kids and family need me, the baby needs me, especially my breastmilk, I have to be sane and healthy to run the household!
I started delegating household chores to kel. He helped out with the dishes whenever he is home in the evening. He helped out with mopping the floor (I cannot stand dirty floors, which affect my mood greatly). I only do the house chores that disturb me if left undone. For instance, a clean and tidy dining table and a clean sink is MANDATORY. I force myself to do minimal house work during the weekday so that I can spend time with my kids. I designate Sunday as no housework day whenever possible so as to have a rest myself. I force myself to think positively. I take pride in my cooking when my kids say they love all the dishes I cook and finish every single rice in the bowl. I ask my mother-in-law who is taking good care of my baby to feed the baby more frequently in the day time, and within days, the baby wakes up once in the night and I can sleep a little better.
I stop taking out on the children, and learn to stop whatever I do and look them in the eye whenever they talk to me or want to show me something. I carry the baby with me when I do minimal housework in the week nights. I carry the baby with me while supervising piano practice and homework. I start a time-table with my kids: Monday is a board game night, Tuesday is a play clay night, Wednesday is assessment books night, Thursday is free play night, and Friday is a art and craft night. I started this so that I do not need to think of what to do every evening with my kids and they can look forward to different activities every day. And not forgetting, reading to all my 3 kids before sleep. This is something I choose not to miss if possible.
Well, I think I have a crazy routine, but so far, with great support from kel (who doesn’t like to do housework) and changing my mindset to think positively, I have so far survived for a month. I need to go on strong and never did I think that staying healthy and happy is more important than now. Some of these will be a passing phase and things will get better. I hope…