These days I am living a bit of a Non-Singapore lifestyle...you probably wonder what does that mean (atleast for the followers who don't live in Singapore!)..well we are a bit (really a bit??) spoilt here. This country gives you the best blend between the East and the West. Maybe Dubai comes a closest second. The lifestyle, work ethics of the West and the convenience of the East. So we are all pampered with house-help around because of which a lot of things are taken for granted (from the adults to the kids).
So these days our so-called house-help is away visiting her home in the Philippines. As a generous employer we decided to give her a month-off (away from the norm of 2-weeks). So what has that done to us? Well good and bad! Bad because I am pretty much home-bound (with my 2-year old). Struggled and juggled with my gym and run routine for a week and then gave up and consoled myself that even I am on a month's break from my routine! Poor kids have to eat food cooked by me (am not the 'greatest' cook and not one of those food indulging mums).. But I see a big 'good' in that.
Of course I often think of how my mum managed me and my sis (with almost no help) all her life, of my many friends who live in the west and live this life everyday. But let me admit (in full honesty), mine being for just a month was a bit relieving!
And now the goods- maybe this has opened up a new thinking (unconsciously) in our home. The kids have started reacting more responsibly and sensitively. Atleast for a month, they may live the life I lived all my life- lay the tables, keep out their uniforms, make their beds. Things that we did all through our childhood, but is a rare with kids these days.
The family is spending more time doing household chores together and probably bonding more because of that. We have started doing things for each other- if ones needs water or the other needs a towel, they actually move their butt and do it for each other now! Even the 2-year old wants to be involved. She has taken upon herself the task to keep the uniforms out every night! And of course, they are getting used to the 'averagely' cooked food as well! Keep telling my 7-year old, am training her for that 'first' overnight camp she will go to soon! And you surely can't ignore the support of friends who ensure that you have a constant supply of food or land up doing your grocery shopping- I am not sure if this is a norm in the west! I think this is a typical 'east' trait..even my temp help was shocked to see the inflow of food and friends who keep landing up to help or check on me!!
I know this going to be short-lived and soon we will be back to our routine and old lifestyle. But am happy to see that even if it's for a month, the whole family has re-aligned itself and moved away from the norm. Somewhere such moments ground us and the kids begin to value each member's role in the house!