My ABCs: N is for... Nights of a FTWM

by - Saturday, June 07, 2014

For most people, after working hours usually means a nice dinner, some shopping, a movie or chilling out at a bar. But for most Full Time Working Mums (FTWM), it is quite different. 

I am a FTWM. My after work hours usually evolves around the kids. Eating, playing, bonding and sleeping with them. These few hours are the most precious because this is the only time that we get to really interact with the kids. These hours are also the most stressful because there are so many things that need to be done.

This is my usual schedule on weeknights:

6.00pm: Finish work and rush to pick Big J from the childcare. Have to reach there before 7pm or I will get fined. I will also let him play at the playground for a while before we go to my mum's for dinner.

7.00pm: Dinner at my mum's. I really grateful for her for helping to look after Small J and cooking dinner for us. My mum has already helped to bath and feed Small J, so two less task for me to do. During dinner time, I need to put up a fight with Big J to get him to finish his dinner and struggling with Small J who wants to eat everything that we are eating. After dinner, the boys will get to play with their uncles, aunties and grandparents, not forgetting us, the parents.

Playtime after dinner

8.00pm: Depending on what time Daddy J reaches, we proceed home. 

8.30pm: Reach our home. Then it will be a mad rush for their bedtime routine. 

9.00pm: After bedtime routine, it time for the boys to sleep. 

9.30pm - 10.00pm: Depending on how long the boys take to fall asleep, it is housework and me time. Sometimes, I fall asleep too and won't get up till is the wee hours of the morning to express milk and get ready the things for next morning.

I am fortunate to have a hands-on hubby who is willing to share out the responsibilities. Usually we will each settle one boy, so this makes things a lot easier. However, there are days when he is working late and leaves me alone to tackle the two boys. It is not easy when you have a baby who is crying for you to carry him and a three years old who is always asking for your attention. How do I manage? Read on.

1. Invest in a good and sturdy stroller

Walking is our main mood of transportation. We walk to and fro from our home to my mum's everyday. It is important that we have a smooth and stress-free journey. I really like our current stroller. The baby can sit, the boy can stand and our bags can hang. The stroller is able to withstand the heavy load and not topple. I also do not have to worry about Big J wandering or running away from me and we can get home faster. This is really useful on days of solo parenting, because there is no way I am able to hold on to the two boys and with so many bags all by myself.

2. Everything else can wait

When we get home, I will drop everything and attend to the boys. This explains why I have a messy home. The time we get home is already quite late so I want to quickly settle them for bedtime. I am very anal about this because I believe that sleep is very important for the development of the kids.

3. Multi tasking

The first thing I do is to sterilise the baby's bottle and to put a bottle of milk in the bottle warmer and at the same time shouting instructions to Big J to 'take off your shoes, keep your bag, go pass urine'. I also have to pop out and look at Small J to ensure that he doesn't climb up the sofa, while making a bottle of milk for Big J. Big J will then be drinking his milk while I give Small J a quick wipe down and change him into his pj. His milk would have been warmed up by now. Give Small J his bottle of milk and give Big J a shower. Soak Big J's uniform. Bring the boys to the bedroom. Big J usually wants to read a book or two before he sleeps. So i will read to him while cuddling Small J to sleep. Finish reading and we all sleep together. 

4. Ensure that I do not fall asleep with them

... because I need to finish up those chores that can't wait and to catch up with a bit of me time. Packing Big J's bag and prepare his clothes for next day, wash up all the bottles, hang up the clothes.

5. A helpful hubby

For those days when I fail to wake up after making the kids sleep, hubby will finish up the chores.

I am thinking to adding in some activities to do with Big J after the baby sleeps, but can't seems to find enough time and energy to do it. Are you a FTWM too? Share with me your tips and experiences.


This post is part of a blog train hosted by Christy from Kids 'R' Simple on "A Peek into the After Work Hours of a FTWM". Read about how 21 FTWMs handle their kids and household everyday from 1 June to 21 June. The aim is to give other working mums motivation, ideas and support to deal with the everyday demands of juggling work and family while keeping sane. We will be happy to hear your story, tips and even an encouraging word will make our day! Share your thoughts in the comments!

Next up on the blog train is Amie from Mamamie's Thots.

Amie is FTWM of 3 kids who is super busy trying to be a hardworking worker, a caring wife, a filial daughter & a doting mother. On days when she is not working, she will try to find ways to spend more time with her kids, day-dreams or simply tries to relax by doing things she loves.

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  1. You use a kettle to encourage Big J to drink water! That's really cute! And I love your stroller! It makes it a breeze to ferry the kids. It's easy to fall asleep with the kids. Sometimes I fall asleep first or even start to doze off while reading books to the little ones. That's just how tired we are after work. You are lucky to have a supportive spouse. Guess we really have to thank them well this Father's Day :)

    1. Yes Christy, nothing beats coming home to happy kids and knowing that there's someone reliable to fall back on when everything else fails.

  2. Totally agree with you that everything else can wait so that the children get sufficient sleep. I also make my children go to bed at 830 pm!

    1. I hope to be able to make them sleep earlier, but that's quite difficult given our schedule now.

  3. Your day sounds very full on! How lovely that your mum can help with dinner and your younger boy, you have a long day. But I agree, a husband that is not afraid of doing home work definitively is worth gold!

    1. Most FTWM have to endure a long day. I'm really luck to have my mum and hubby to help out.

  4. I am a FTWM .... sharing same routine like you just minus 1 baby . Keep it up mummy :)

  5. I love this post! I can imagine how hectic it is to handle two kids at the same time... I am expecting my 2nd tot in October and really don't know how I survive later.. haha..

    1. Congrats on your 2nd baby coming soon! It is not easy to handle two kids at the same time, but with practice it will get better. That's why we are call Mothers. I'm sure you will be able to survive. If really too stress, ask for help.

  6. When my kids were younger, I refused to go anywhere without a stroller! It's a must have for us, especially if I went out alone with the kids, which was very often, my hand or back might have broken (my kids are those solid and heavy type!) if not for the stroller. We just dumped both of them into one stroller, haha.