It’s been 11 days since I last posted – a lifetime in the bloggersphere no doubt – and nearly 2 months since I arrived in Singapore – and this really does feel like a lifetime. Aside from the at times horrifying reality of moving here, of which there have been plenty, and the somewhat humour filled moments, of which there have also plenty, in between there’s been an awful lot of mundane day to day living. Nothing funny or sad about it, just getting through life one day at a time. And I’m not really a mundane kind of person. I’m not half arse about anything. Life is all or nothing. Why be beige when you can be everything? So to find myself so preoccupied by the mundane has been a little….uncomfortable.
Rewind life 6 months and I was working a demanding full time job whilst also trying to mother my children as if I was theirs 100% of the time. Life was hectic to say the least, I loved it but I was exhausted and running on coffee fumes. But I really didn’t mind because I had created me-time in the daily routine so even when my work phone was buzzing, the kids whingeing and the husband somewhere on a rugby pitch I was holding it all together. Sorry that sounds so braggy, but it had taken me 4 years to figure that out and when I finally got there I had hoped for a certificate of recognition and some fireworks, maybe a “mummy knows her shit now” cake or something. Anyway none of that was forthcoming, in fact nothing changed at all, I just knew I’d reached my balancing point. But the sneaky little catch about finding your balancing point is it can so easily become your tipping point if you don’t keep on top of yourself.
So back to now, and my life balance has been thrown further than I ever imagined. I knew life would be different, I wasn’t so naive to think it wouldn’t be, but I never imagined I would become different. If you had told me (or my mother) that within 2 months of being a housewife I would suddenly care about pairing socks up as soon as they came out of the tumble dryer I would have rolled my eyes. My previous washing routine involved washing nothing all week, going mental at the weekend until a sofa was piled up with clean laundry, and then working through that pile until we’d ran out of clean clothes again. I can appreciate now that the laundry cycle of old was a little flawed. Mum, you were right. I feel at the age of 28, and after 4 years of marriage and 2 children, I am officially a real adult because I sort, fold and put laundry away almost immediately. I’ve become consumed by domestication, and all of those otherwise mundane everyday tasks that I used to squeeze in around life have mysteriously become my life. I’ve been here less than 2 months and have got through more cleaning products in that time than I’d get through in a year in the UK. (and for the record we didn’t live in filth). When I’m not faffing around plumping cushions for our non-existent visitors to appreciate or furiously cleaning up behind two very unclean kids, I’m planning what we can do with all of this free time next. Free time being life, by the way. I don’t have deadlines to work to, meetings I can’t miss, drop off’s and pick up’s to coordinate, uniforms to wash, bags to pack and snacks to prepare first thing in the morning. Whereas before I was running on empty, now I’m functioning on empty. How can I possibly find the housewife life fulfilling when I’m used to normality being a whirlwind of people and demands on me and my time? Well, honestly, when I’m not lamenting the lack of adult conversation it’s actually rather refreshing to go to bed each night feeling in control of everything domestic. The washing pile has never got bigger than one load, the home is never messier than one quick hoover, there are always fresh towels and linen, my husband has a drawer full of clean pants and pairs of socks, and the kids are little troopers with their household jobs. We’re a very different family now, more balanced in one direction, but at the cost of other balancing factors. I moan more now, now that I have all the time in the world, at my lack of time. Before I would find time for me, walking to work with a podcast blaring in my ears blocking out the world, or a bike ride on a sunny evening once the kids were in bed, a cheeky G&T after work on a Friday before the nursery pick-up or even just a quick mooch around town in my lunch hour. I even managed to squeeze in mindfulness and meditation classes for a while at no detriment to anyone else’s time or routine. Honestly I’m pretty drained just thinking about how I kept everything balanced. That’s some seriously good prioritising skills, not to mention time and stress management. The upside was I didn’t have a spare moment to think, whereas now I have far too much time to think and not enough to think about.
I’m slightly worried about this post turning into a sob story about how unhappy I might seem, I’m ok, really. But I do miss not having the time or energy to care about the mundane. I need to de-beige myself with a buzz bigger than “oh my gawwwd I’ve only washed one of the black socks with a red stripe in, where the fuck is the other one?”. That’s not me. I’m pretty much fully house trained now but I’m not a docile domestic wife. So when I got an email late last night from a magazine editor wanting to talk to me about me I felt a little tingle of excitement. ME. Not the wife or the mother, she wanted to talk to me, about me. It was validation that I still exist, a very timely and much needed reminder that I have come here to create a life for all of us, three out of four are ticked off the list, now it’s time for me. And what better time to start than right now?