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#AskMummy with Brenda Lee

While most of her work is done from home most days, Brenda’s work schedule involves different time zones. Hence, her peak hours are in the afternoon as her colleagues are overseas, where she is also sometimes required to sit in on night meetings. In times that she has to devote her attention to work, Aunty’s sitters step in to care for her 5 year old son, Tyler Zane. 

“He’s rather independent; mostly he just wants somebody to play with him, so most sits involves building things, figurines, or with younger sitters, they can play with Nerf guns. Older sitters talk to him more and just watch over him.” 

What does your daily schedule look like? 

The morning for me starts with prayers and some exercise before I wake Tyler up for breakfast, feed him and get him ready for the school day. After the school bus picks him up I will get to work until about 5. The bus will send him back home, so I will use that time to prepare dinner for us. Some days I have night meetings, during which my husband will step in to look after our son. We have a daily dinner and bedtime routine, even though evenings can be hectic if there’s work. 

How do you manage work and parenting? 

I do get to spend time by myself in the morning when Tyler is in school, or at night when he’s in bed. When he comes back and I have nothing on for that evening, we’ll talk to each other about school and other things. Fridays are our movie nights which we try not to compromise on. 

But work and parenting are always going to clash somehow, especially during times when Tyler is at home like during his school holidays. I would have to handle him while having a meeting at the same time. Actually, school holidays are when I get help from Aunty a lot more, they come in and look after Tyler when I can’t. 

What is the hardest aspect of motherhood and how did you overcome it?
This would be realising that nobody can help you out when you have so many things to do and you’re feeling overwhelmed. You just have to deal with it yourself. Tyler is an easy child, so the stress is usually about day to day stuff, like if he gets sick or I get sick and there’s no backup available to help. I know I need extra support, so I try to find it whenever I can as my family isn’t here with me. So, any help is better than no help! I am a frequent user of Aunty, and so far it’s been very useful; Tyler will also request for sitters that he has had fun experiences with again.

What is your favourite thing about having kids?

You know that even though things may be hard at a certain point in time you know you can seek comfort from them. They fill you with a lot of joy, and they won’t hold it against you even when you get angry with them. One of my proudest memories is his teacher telling me that he’s the most humble child in class. It made me feel really rewarded to hearthat he’s always taking care of his classmates and teachers. 

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received about parenting is this adage – “This too shall pass”. Time passes very quickly and our children will grow even more quickly, so it’s best to live in the moment and treasure whatever you see today. It’s easy to miss everything in an instant so live for today and not be overly worried about tomorrow. Just enjoy the time you have with your child, don’t let small little problems eat you up.

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