All in a day of a SAHM

People often asked me “what do you do at home all day?” or “how do you pass time?”

Well, if you’re stay-at-home mom (SAHM), you’ll agree that time passes easily because there’s so much to do! More often than not, it is tougher than being in a full-time salaried job. Being a full-time mother challenges me a lot in physical and emotional endurance. It is a role that constantly evolves and requires on-going self-improvement and knowledge upgrade. Chehhhh…sounds serious, right? It is! We are on-call 24/7, come rain or shine, and there’s no OFF button where you can just take a day off and not care about a single thing at all. It’s only occasional that I get to have an hour or two of me-time when the husband decides to be extra sweet and take over fully.

Time flies off quickly for me in Dubai. I can’t exactly pinpoint what makes me so busy the whole day that by the time I get to sit down and take a breather, it’s usually 11pm already. SO, I decided to jot down my activities in a day.

This is very much my new routine as a full-time mom and wife here:

7.00am: Wake up, freshen up and change. Wake Ewan up for school. On days that he doesn’t have to attend nursery, we will sometimes sleep in (provided the kids allow me to, which is very, very rare!)

7.30am-8.15am: Prepare and have breakfast with E. One final check on E’s bag. Wake Xan up, breastfeed. Head out for E’s school. Because we only have one car at the moment, I will drive E to school if Hubby carpools with a colleague on that day. Otherwise, we will take a taxi.

Breakfast time!
Breakfast time!
Ready for school!
Ready for school!

8.40-10.20am: Reach home, put the soup to boil and prepare ingredients for lunch. Sometimes I’ll take the opportunity to cook something more exciting but it all depends on how cooperative Xan is. Give Xan a bath. Breastfeed. Check my emails, FB, Instagram, pay bills online etc.

My trustworthy Buffalo cooker does a great job on soups and stews
My trustworthy Buffalo cooker does a great job on soups and stews
Project of the day - homemade fishballs!
Project of the day – homemade fishballs!

10.20am: Put Xan down for a power nap. Put laundry to wash. Because Xan is fully on cloth diapers in the daytime, the laundry piles up easily and needs to be washed every two days. These days, I try to wash the clothes in small batches instead so that we can just hang-dry them instead of using the dryer machine. More environment-friendly and gentle on the clothes.

Clothes, clothes and more clothes!
Clothes, clothes and more clothes!

11.00am: Xan wakes up. Change diaper. Free play for her while I steal a quick exercise session (if I feel like it!). They are usually 10-15 sets of sun salutation followed by 30 times of sit-ups. Enough to make me pant.

Quick yoga workout
Quick yoga workout
One-to-one time with Xan
One-to-one time with Xan

11.45am: Breastfeed again before we head out to fetch E from school.

The troop in the car
The troop in the car

12.15pm: Back home. Bathe E while Xan watches from her walker. Prepare lunch.

Bath time for E
Bath time for E

1.00pm: Lunch. Wash dishes and clean up kitchen. Pick up mess on the floor. Tidy up dining area.

Lunch of the day - bokchoy, cherries, tomatoes and noodles for Xan while E and I had noodles with fishballs and bokchoy
Lunch of the day – bokchoy, cherries, tomatoes and noodles for Xan while E and I had noodles with fishballs and bokchoy

1.40pm: Free play for E and Xan. Put in second batch of laundry.

2.15pm: Nap time for the kids. Breastfeed Xan, read to E and wait for them to pass out. If I didn’t rest well the night before, I will nap together the kids.

3.00pm: Otherwise, I will sneak out of the room as soon as they start snoozing to catch up with hanging out laundry to dry, fold clothes, tidy up the playroom and surroundings of apartment, baking, or just some quiet time for myself. Xan’s mommy’s radar is extremely sensitive and will sense my absence easily – hence whenever I’m not sleeping next to her, she will wake up crying for me and I’ll have to run up and down the room in between these chores to put her back to sleep.

My babies sound asleep
My babies sound asleep
Currently reading this
Currently reading this

5.00pm: Kids wake up from nap. Light snack time. Bring them to the building’s recreational area or nearby supermarket for a run/fresh air.

Supermarket trips
Supermarket runs

6.15pm: Prepare dinner. The kids usually watch TV, hang out in the kitchen or play around the apartment while I cook.

6.45pm: Hubby comes home from work. What a relief!

7.15pm-8.15pm: Dinner, wash dishes, clean the kitchen, tidy up dining area. Hubby will cut fruits.

Dinner varieties by small-time chef Joey
Dinner varieties by small-time chef Joey

8.15pm-9.45pm: Clean up the kids and change them into pajamas. Breastfeed. Shower time for me. Family bonding time.

9.45pm-10.30pm: Get the kids ready for bed with sleep routine. Lights out.

Story time
Story time

10.30pm: Once the kids are asleep, I’m back in the kitchen planning meals for the next day, looking for recipe ideas and taking out ingredients that need to be defrosted. Prepare E’s and the husband’s lunchbox for next day. Fold clothes, put things back into order, catch up with reading. If I’m in the mood to blog, I’ll post an entry, do online banking/window shopping, reply to emails & messages. Xan would usually wake up at least twice to look for me while I’m chilling out.

My recipe bibles
My recipe bibles
Packed lunch for the husband
Packed lunch for the husband

12.30am: Sleep. Xan is still breastfeeding throughout the night, so a well-rested, uninterrupted night of rest happens once in a blue moon too. During her teething period, getting an hour or two of sleep is quite expected.

On days that E doesn’t attend nursery, we will take everything easy. When we are both up for it, we will do some simple homeschooling activities or just free & easy play all day long while I do my chores. Sometimes we just do nothing and rot together – that’s MOST fun! *hehe*

Simple homeschooling activities with E
Simple homeschooling activities with E
It isn't all about learning to count or read. Outdoor activities and learning good values are important too.
It isn’t all about learning to count or read. Outdoor activities and learning good values are important too.

On days when I feel like I’m going a bit cuckoo (usually evident from a decrease in tolerance level and an increase in voice) and needed a break from routine, I’ll meet my friends for morning coffee sessions or a nice breakfast followed by a stroll in the mall. Or I’ll learn baking from Kim! Once in a while, we mothers dress up and go for ladies’ night out.

Who says SAHMs are boring people?
Who says SAHMs are boring people?

So. That’s basically my life as a SAHM here. Not bad eh? 🙂

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20 thoughts on “All in a day of a SAHM

  1. Poh Imm

    wow..supermom.really can handle so much ar. Do you babywear or xan is ok roaming around while u cook?….good job…

    1. Actually getting a weekly cleaner helps greatly, I wouldn’t have managed if I needed to clean as well. Xan roams around (as in crawls around on the floor or use her walker hehe) while I cook.

  2. Glad to see you are doing fine there. Ewan & Xan are grown so much…
    How I wish you’re here and we can have these activities together…
    Take good k ya….

  3. Mei Chen

    Time fully utilized and fulfilling precious moments growing with the kids, definitely looks and sounds fun…great job, supermom!

  4. Mei Chen

    By the way, interested in the book “Have a Little Faith”, how is it? read a few books by the same author and really like them so far…

    1. I have not finished reading it but so far so good. I’ve read For One More Day and The Five People You Meet In Heaven – they’re interesting and easy to read. If you do go KL, pop by Book Excess at Amcorp Mall. They sell some latest books at great discounts. Or else, if you don’t mind waiting, bookdepository.com sells the latest books at great prices. As for preloved, betterworldbook.com or abebook.com

      1. Mei Chen

        Thanks for the recommendation, you got a good bargain compared to those I’ve bought! I’ve already read the 2 books plus Tuesday with Morrie, so far my favorite still the first one I read The Five People You Meet In Heaven 🙂 The author really brought up the real part of life with great human touch in his books, very interesting indeed…

  5. Jchua

    Supermom…mom of steel! Amazing how you manage to accomplish so much in a day. With my 16 mth old I only achieve barely half of what you do!, for some reason I am forbidden from the kitchen, it’s endless wailing n clinging to my feet when I am in there. Heck, just walking towards the kitchen sends the sirens. And, oh the interrupted sleep. How do u anage so much with interrupted sleep. Mine wakes anywhere between 1-8 times! You deserve a big pat on your back!

    1. You’re too generous with your compliments. Thank you. I forgot to mention the tantrums, tears and frustrations (both mom and kids) that happen day in day out too. Only occasionally it’s a good, trouble-free day. Not perfect too. We all try our best.

  6. Virgil

    I read only also penat suda ohhhhhh! Hahahaha, you’re doing real great Joey! Hopefully one day I can be like u 😀

  7. Irene

    Hi stumbled upon ur blog bcos I was searching for Malaysian living in Dubai n trying to get more information of the lifestyle there. I’m Malaysian too n my family (hubby n 1.5 yr old baby girl) will b moving to Dubai end of sept. You are amazing with two kids n bring able to cook n ensure ur little girl get breastfed. How much do u pay for weekly cleaner?

  8. with Daphne also I pengsan dee but she’s sliwly getting into a routine. D’s mummy radar also very sensitive. put her down for nap then 5 mins later she wake up dee. Pengsan!

    1. Not easy but we will all slowly get there. Motherhood is a lot about learning and adjusting. Until now, I’m still nowhere near the kind of mom I really, really aspire to be!

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