Every so often, it strikes me as fun to write down what life is at the moment — because it changes, especially as Isaac grows (clearly so much of my life is centered around his naps and feeds!) November is clearly the best month yet with Isaac settling into a fairly regular schedule (TOUCHWOOD X INFINITY NO JINX PLEASE!) and me having the mobility to go around as I please.
So these days:
Early mornings. Isaac wakes between 6-7 on most days and asks for milk around this time too. Sometimes he wakes up earlier and fusses a little but I’ll usually ignore as I catch my last few minutes of sleep (oops!). Then it’s first feeding time, after which if Ning is up he’ll have a bit of Daddy time with Isaac before we all head to the breakfast table together for our morning family time. My parents come by every other day and if they visit, Isaac gets some time with grandparents while Ning and I settle a bit of morning errands. About two hours after Isaac wakes, he’ll get his morning shower, then I’ll nurse him and he usually settles quickly into his first nap. I’ll start my first writing of the day after he sleeps, which is usually shorter pieces I am working on, or sometimes a blog post.
Late mornings. At some point before Isaac wakes, I’ll head off for some exercise — which currently is personal training in the gym on Mondays, yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays, pilates on Wednesdays and swimming on Friday. Isaac will wake up sometime after I leave (usually 1.5 hours after he fell asleep) and he’ll get his solids feed from my helper. I’m usually back an hour after he wakes, but will take a bit of time to have a nice bath (with bubbles!). Bath-time is also when I catch up with serious reading — the latest issues of The Economist, Scientific American or Harvard Business Review. When I am done with my bath, Isaac would be sleepy and hungry again so another nursing session before his second nap of the day. (Clearly I’m disregarding all the don’t nurse to sleep advice. I might pay for this “bad” habit later, but my world is a better place since I have decided to ignore all advice to contrary and nurse Isaac just before he naps/sleeps!)
Early Afternoons. While Isaac sleeps, I have lunch, then start working on writing again. I’m trying to have a bit of system on how I apportion my time for writing-related activities (because, so much writing!). For this bit of time, I try to work on the “priority” projects, which for now is completing the first draft of “A Life of Beautiful Things”. But if I have inspirations for other writing projects or other random pieces I just go with the flow. I sometimes have a beer if it is warm, or tea if it is a cool and rainy day ^o^.
Late Afternoons. Afternoons are a bit more variable. Isaac has two-nap days where the second nap is a long one, and he wakes at around 3 in the afternoon, then does not sleep again until 3-4 hours later. Sometimes he has three-nap days when he would sleep for a shorter spell for his second nap, then gets tired around 2 hours later and goes for a third nap later in the afternoon between 3-4. I write during his naps and play with him when he is awake. Sometimes if he is in a particularly independent mood and is engrossed in his own play, I sit by him and read. My bookshelves are now double-stacked with books I would never have left unread for so long in the past — Murakami, David Mitchell, Karen Joy Fowler, Fukuyama… SIGH for the time that has disappeared with motherhood. But I try to work at them, although these days I am reluctant to start a heavy volume because it is so difficult to have to keep putting the book down. Poetry and short stories work better right now. Sometimes I craft poems in my head while playing with Isaac and try to memorize them until I can next get to pen them down.
Late Afternoons, sometimes. If I have any plans to meet with friends, or spontaneous desire to eat cake, this is also when I head out with Isaac. As the end of my leave draws closer, I am also planning to bring Isaac out on dates once a week! Some plans– Sentosa, where I would drink Mojito while sun-tanning with my little hunky dory-fish on Tanjong Beach; Changi Airport, where we would eat ice-cream at Swensens (or rather I would eat ice-cream while Isaac watches me!); and more, Gardens by the Bay? Botanic Gardens? Afternoon at Marmalade Pantry? Dempsey Road? Zoo? Landing at any obscure cafe after random driving? I can’t wait =)
Evenings. After an afternoon of playing with Isaac, he has his evening shower at 6 while I have a quick dinner. Bedtime routine starts at half past 6 after I finish dinner. If it is a two nap day, he would usually fall asleep by 7; it is a three nap day, he stays up for longer and only goes to bed 3-4 hours after he last woke up. This means he is awake when Ning get home so he would have some Daddy-Baby time with Ning at the dinner table while I read, rest or write. Then he goes to bed proper and we’re free for a bit!
Nights. Depending on what remaining tasks we have for the day, Ning and I usually catch up for a bit after Isaac goes to sleep. On particularly exhausting days, one or both of us might head to bed with him. Otherwise, after catching up with each other, we continue to work. For me, this means some editing and revising, researching literary publications I can submit to, sending out queries and keeping tabs on the various deadlines. If there is a book I am particularly engaged by, I continue reading.
Sleep. Isaac wakes up once or twice to feed during the nights, the first time usually between 12-2, and the next time between 4-6. I do my mummy thing. And then the next day day begins!