Working From Home Mom – Expectations vs. Realities

Photo by Peter Olexa on Pexels.com

Let’s face it. Work from home (WFH) never looks this relaxing, tranquil and cool. Well, unless you have the perfect home, no kids or you simply are one of the moms who has all her shit pulled together. Not this mom. In fact, most days, my house looks a mess. I call it organized chaos πŸ˜›

First off, my coffee mug in the morning never looks this small. Just the refills would be a waste of my time. I have one of those uber big mom mugs that I set on my coffee table in the morning and it gets cold before i can get to drinking half of it because there goes “Mommy Mommy Mommy” roll eyes emoji plsss πŸ™„

I have been super slack in blogging since the start of the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong. I am so very grateful that the nature of my position provides me the flexibility to work from home during this pandemic and keep not just our family safe but my colleagues too. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t struggle at all. And after so many months of working from home, I think I have a much better handle on it for sure.

The first month, I would say was the hardest. I have a really supportive team and boss but it wasn’t them as much as it was my own expectations of how work should look like. And my traditional definition of work life definitely doesn’t include feeding my kid, cleaning my kid, answering my kid, swearing at my kid, yelling at my kid, pacifying my kid etc…you get the drift.

I like and hope that I’m someone flexible enough to consider all aspects when it comes to doing my work but at the heart of me is a traditional me that has never wanted to even consider the option of working from home. My home, in my mind has always been the separation between work and life and it has always served me well. I like the roads well travelled for myself. I don’t need many close relationships but the few ones I value, I believe are deep, real and authentic and I find them easier to forge and maintain face to face vs working from home. As an INFJ, I need to take some time alone now and then to decompress, recharge, and process my thoughts and feelings and home is where I do that so when home and office becomes one, I need to adapt and find a different way to recharge.

I like my going to work and being in office routine. I enjoy seeing my co-workers and my team. I like that I have a reason to get myself decently dressed to go to the office. I like that during those work hours, my child is safe and happy and engaged somewhere else (& by that, i meant far far away from me πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ lol). I like that my work hours are filled with adult interaction. So many likes I can give you about going to the office. I like that when lunch time comes, I only need to think for myself and not try to fix a meal for a very vocal toddler 😏😏

So when Covid happened and I started working from home, my work life as I have always known significantly changed. Most people around me think I love change. I don’t actually but I do think I adapt quickly to changes. And it isn’t because I like change. It definitely isn’t because I am just naturally an adaptable personality. I. AM. SO. NOT. LOL

I think I tend to adapt quicker because even though I don’t like it, I accept that Change is a part and natural of life. Acceptance of what is natural of life cycle is, in my mind key to ironing the kinks and embracing the changes. In today’s world or some cultures, acceptance has a more negative or defeatist connotation as if to tell you to expect little of life or to be happy getting less of what you feel you deserved. In my mind, acceptance is the complete opposite. Acceptance sets the ground to uncover underlying opportunities that you would not have seen otherwise. Acceptance is owning that the situation isn’t always going to be what your vision has been but instead, it can be better. Acceptance is quickly identifying how to not only make the best of your work situation but how to make it better. Now, all the above is in the context of work. My personal life and acceptance – HA! that’s a totally different story. My hubby would probably tell you my acceptance level for personal life is super low lol. Hey, I never said I was perfect. Acceptance takes practice. Buddhism is all about diligently practicing. And nope, not a Buddhist but I do find that the older I get, the more I love reading up on Buddhism beliefs.

So let me not digress further. After all these months of working from home, here are some of the things I do to make sure I stay productive and sane. Bear in mind what works for me & my family might not work for yours but hope it helps 😘😘

  • Setting up a designated work area just for work and making sure it is comfortable but also has privacy when needed
  • Always always keep my boss and team posted of my schedule and work. That’s just basic respect
  • Be upfront and transparent about challenges encountered while working from home but always always bring a solution and not just the problem to your boss
  • If possible, take a short walk around my neighbourhood during lunch (ermmm, this one needs a lot more practice on my part lol. I am very very very guilty of never wanting to walk πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)
  • Make ahead tons of freezable breakfast choices during my weekend so when my son is “HANGRY” on my busy workday mornings, pop goes a frozen breakfast sandwich or mini pancakes to the microwave and he has something semi healthy to eat within 5 mins.
  • Plenty of snacks. Can’t emphasize that enough. My 3 year old is constantly eating!!! If i had to stop work every time he wants a snack, I will never get any work done. I have an area where i place all his easy to eat snacks and juice boxes. My son is a pretty clean eater but even then, messes happen when he eats. I try to strategically buy snacks that doesn’t make as much of a mess e.g, popcorn, applesauce, small bite size crackers/cookies, nuts etc. Unless I want a reenactment of the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel where the children leave a trail of bread crumbs, I try to reserve the crumbly big muffins for after work or lunch time. And I try to just cringe & roll my eyes a hundred times internally, breathe and let it go when he accidentally makes a huge mess.
  • Keep the kid entertained. During the weekends, I also try to plan out some easy & small learning activities for Ryan throughout the week. And I get all the daily supplies ready on Sunday and make sure those activities take only 15-20 mins of my weekday time. When all else fails, I give him my Ipad. YES. He calls my IPad his IPad. There’s also Netflix and YouTube lol
  • Unless you have to self-isolate, I still would sign Ryan up for daycare, babysitter or preschool. And make arrangements for him to go to a family member or a mom friend (in your social bubble) on some days for a playdate so you get those alone time at home to work
  • Plan for interruptions especially when I have a busy toddler. I don’t believe I should subject my co-workers and supervisor to my kid bugging me non stop during a meeting. Your boss might not say anything but it ain’t right and it sure ain’t professional. Doesn’t mean it will never happen but at the minimum, planning for that would minimize such situations from happening. I always try to make sure Ryan is with someone else when I have video meetings. People would only give you grace for this long & really, why would you expect your coworkers and boss to be okay with that?
  • Unless the whole family is on a self-isolation order or daycare is simply not available due to Covid, working from home is not a substitute for child care entirely. Sure, some moms might prefer to keep their kids at home entirely. If it works for you, great. That doesn’t work for me at all.
  • Be honest. WFH doesn’t work for everyone.

And most importantly, cut yourself some slack. Am I doing enough for work, enough as a mom, enough as a spouse? So many questions.

And really, stop feeling guilty or the need to explain myself why I give my kid my Ipad. This is a really odd year for everyone so let’s just cut ourselves some slack. No one is going to do this perfectly. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. But if your kid uses too much Ipad, watches too much cartoons or eat too much junk processed food this week, it really isn’t the end of the world for you or your child.

And lastly if you walk into a room full of tissues all over or if your kid spills juice over the couch for the 15th time, just try to LAUGH & breathe ☺️☺️

At least, he helped to clean up lol

Do you work from home? Share with us your challenges, successes and tips in the comments! Would love to hear them πŸ₯°


Easter Eggs Colouring with a Toddler

Never celebrated Easter before. Certainly have never colored Easter Eggs before either. If there is anything I have learnt from embarking my motherhood journey, it’s that there are so many things, songs, activities for kids here that are very different compared to if Ryan was growing up in Singapore. Sure, there are many similarities too but definitely a lot of differences as well. I think differences are great! They allow our kids to learn and be exposed to so many different experiences πŸ˜€

Back to Easter. Easter and Good Friday has never meant anything to me except they were statutory holidays. I sometimes worry if I would be a good mom because there are so many Canadian childhood rituals that wouldn’t make any sense to me. It wouldn’t be intuitive for me to create a Easter Egg hunt for Ryan & his buddies. Neither would it be intuitive for me to go Trick or Treat with Ryan on Halloween door to door or carve out a pumpkin lol. But my worries are unfounded, so far at least. If anything, it gives me the opportunity to be as excited as Ryan because it wouldn’t just be Ryan’s first time coloring eggs. It would be this Mommy’s first time too ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ .

While we weren’t able to meet up with family for our usual Easter Dinner, we had fun and we are grateful that we are healthy and are all together. At the end, that’s all that really matters.

We hope you enjoy our little Ryan video of us coloring Easter Eggs for the first time & of course, HAPPY HAPPY EASTER TO EVERYONE! πŸ˜€


Young Living Owl Diffuser

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I am not a Young Living Distributor and I receive no compensation from this review. Please always use caution when using essential oils, and always ask the advice of a professional. All content is based on my personal experiences of a Lazy Mommy and purely for informational & entertainment purposes and should not be relied on as professional advice.

Okay. First of all, who doesn’t like a diffuser that looks so darn cute πŸ˜› . Secondly, his name is Feather…How adorable is that? LOL

So it says on Young Living website that this is a Kids Ultrasonic Diffuser but ya, there is no way that Ryan is monopolizing Feather πŸ˜› . Sharing is Loving, they says lol… But yes, Ryan adores it as well and it does go pretty well in his little cute bedroom

It’s supposed to be a Ultrasonic Diffuser. I have no frigging idea what Ultrasonic meant and if I were to be completely honest, I really don’t care too much about that. I’m a pretty low maintenance kind of mom. Only reason why I needed a diffuser was because we live in extreme cold and dryness. So unless i want us to wake up every morning breathing through our mouth cos our nose is all dried and stuffy in the morning, we need a diffuser. But now, I am sort of curious what does Ultrasonic meant so naturally, I went to Google lol

Read through it but all my googly eyes could see was “Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah” LOL & all I could comprehend out of my reading was that an Ultrasonic diffuser runs on water instead of steam. Okay, it still doesn’t mean anything to me but I figure I did google, read & conquer so I’m good haha πŸ˜› … But if you truly have any interest on reading about it, you can read it ➑ Organicaromas.com

I could go on and on about the features about this diffuser but really, it’s a diffuser. Everyone can google what a diffuser does. So I’m gonna spare you reading that on my page.

I am just gonna tell you what I love about Feather πŸ˜€

  • It is Cute. C’mon, I am allowed to be superficial once in a while 😎
  • It is Kid Friendly. Believe me. I took a video of Ryan testing it out and it was super easy for a busy toddler
  • It comes with the usual bells and whistles of a typical diffuser – white noise options & a variety of LED light options, Honestly, I have never been one to care for these options anyway. When I sleep, I just want NO NOISE and NO LIGHT lol. But I find myself being surprised that I don’t mind the white noise options they have in Feather. They have 5 white noise options. Ryan likes the lullaby one the most. My favorite is the Ocean Waves white noise. I still dun really like going to sleep with the noise but i find myself enjoying it when i just need a 30 minutes MOMMY time. There is something about their Ocean Waves noise that relaxes me.
  • It’s easy to clean

While I do not consider myself a regular consumer of Young Living products, I am always up to learning about products that might benefit me and family and usually, I send my bazillion questions to my girlfriend who is totally into Young Living and she always is there to answer my questions.

For those of you who is interested to know more about Essential Oils and Young Living, you can visit her page HappiOily on Facebook.

Thanks Elaine!

❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ Now I hope you enjoy our little video of little Ryan trying out Feather, Young Living Owl Diffuser ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀


Yes or No to Chores for Toddlers

It’s no secret that at a certain stage, your toddler will start exerting their independence and might even throw a fit if you insist on helping them. Now, I’m no expert by any means but our experts at Parents.com says that between 18 to 24 months, they start showing interest in what mommy or daddy does so it might even seem like they are shadowing us when we go about doing our household chores…

When we first started getting Ryan to help with chores, I had a few friends who exclaimed that Ryan was too young, that it is dangerous and way too messy. And now, I don’t disagree with all the above 3 claims but only if you let it to be. Now, if I gave Ryan a super difficult chore expecting perfection, he would be too young for it. And seriously, I don’t even do chores perfectly myself & I am in my forties LOL….

But the whole intention at that stage was really for Ryan to have fun & for us to have fun together. And really, them doing chores mostly would entail us parents helping them so yes, that means more work for us so my tip is to keep the chores simple and easy so it would mean less work for ourselves.

While there are endless debates about it, I think there are so many benefits of getting toddlers to help with chores and this is my own personal feelings and experiences.

  1. Teaches them a sense of responsibility/accountability & hopefully work ethics in the future
  2. Helps with mastering their motor skills
  3. Encourages them with their curiosity by not exclaiming “NO” every time they want to help because believe me, they will get to a stage where they prefer to do anything else but help lol
  4. Great family bonding activity by letting them be involved

Before turning 18 month old, some simple chores Ryan did include:

  • Putting his toys away
  • Putting clothes in laundry basket
  • Throwing trash into garbage bin
  • Bringing something to you
  • Helping to push the highchair away
  • Helping daddy carry & move the laundry basket

After he turned 18 month old, the sky’s the limit… okay just kidding but now he can do the above & more:

  • Putting his clean clothes away
  • Sweeping the floor with a broom
  • Watering the plants & the garden
  • Cleaning up tiny messes with kitchen towel
  • Carrying his own lunch bag
  • Putting his shoes & jacket away when he gets home
  • Dusting

The list is non exhaustive but you get the drift.

Ryan Helping to water the garden. I think he did a pretty good job!

And I’m by no means the perfect mom who lets Ryan helps every time he wants to. Despite my intentions, there are many times when I am busy trying to get shit done and when he express interest in helping, I let out a loud “NO” because it be too messy, because I really need to get dinner ready, because I really need to get this and that done ASAP & because THIS MOMMY IS IN A RUSH. Many times, i tell my hubby I feel like a horrible mom because I can’t count the number of times that I have shouted out “NO” to Ryan during the day. But at the end of the day, I am also human and I know I’m a good mom.

Not a Perfect Mom. Definitely a Lazy Mom. But for sure a Good Mom πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend everyone and would love to hear your experiences of chores for your children πŸ™‚


Starting Baby on Solids – Baby Food vs Baby Led Weaning

Ryan eating solid for the 1st time

I have to say that starting Ryan on solids was a pretty exciting event for us. I don’t know about Ryan but I was pretty excited to see and video one of his exciting milestones πŸ™‚ It might have something to do with the fact that I’m a foodie and I hope my son will grow up to be my partner in crime or shall I say food lol..

So, according to the experts at HealthLinkBC, your baby needs more nutrients and is ready to start trying solid foods at 6 months of age. I know of moms who start their babies earlier at 4 months and some later at the 7th month.

Every baby is different but the general guideline is 6 months. We could tell he was ready at 5 months. The way he eyed our food or tried reaching out to our food with his hands and that he was able to keep his head steady while sitting down. But to be on the safe side, we waited till about 5.5 months before we started Ryan on solids.

I can still remember the first solid we fed him was oatmeal. Nothing spectacular. Just one of those storebought baby oatmeal. He was pretty ok about it and finished the oatmeal. He wasn’t thrusting out his tongue and he was reaching out when his daddy brought the spoon closer. YUP. He is ready.

When you first start baby on solids, you want to make sure their tiny system doesn’t react to the food so best practice is to wait a few days before letting Baby try a new food item. If Baby does develop a reaction, it would also be easier to narrow down to what food gave him a reaction.

So he had mushy oatmeal for the next 6 days and on the 7th day, I tried giving him mashed up banana. So glad I got a video of that. You can tell from that video he definitely was going for it! lol

Up till that point, I had never heard about Baby Led Weaning and boy am I so glad to have chanced upon an article on it after starting Ryan on solids.

So you can read tons of articles on it but just as a OVERVIEW, traditional baby food means food that is MUSH. Sorry. Best way I can describe it. Baby Led Weaning (BLW) just means selected finger food that Baby can feed themselves with. There are pros and cons with each method.

For my family, we decided we will do BOTH πŸ™‚ and we will just follow Ryan’s lead. As long as he is FED and healthy, that’s honestly all we care about.

We still gave Ryan mushy food but we also gave him finger food that was safe for him to feed himself. We thought it would also be a fun experience for him and a great way for him to learn his motor skills. Not saying that our approach is the right way. We just did what we felt was right for our family :-).

To see the Baby Led Weaning recipes that we have tried with Ryan, visit My Recipe Box.

Share with us what your family did for your baby :-). Bye for now.