Coming to terms with being a (work-at-home) mum

It’s been ages since I’ve last posted. Things have been ramping up over at Aide de Camp once I sorted out the whole “being a mum” thing. (Just kidding – I’m still working things out but I’ve since learnt how to deal with much less sleep and much more juggling).

I’ve missed crafting, design and make-up a whole ton but I’ve had to prioritize family over work over fun-on-the-side and so the blog naturally gave way to the more important things in life.

Now that things are settling down, I’m back! Along the way, I’ll be posting up on some weekend projects I’ve done just to keep the creative juices flowing (and sometimes out of necessity – see a post on fabric chair slipcovers coming up).

Thank you to everyone who still visits this site and leaves words of encouragement or little thank yous for my previous DIY posts. My heart has always been with sharing on this blog but I couldn’t get to it any earlier.

Now back to the title of this post… Since having a baby, I’ve been struck with many realisations that I never thought I’d experience in this lifetime. Before we had this little one, I always thought of having a kid as the five to six year old stage where we would be doing crafting or cooking together but I never had any inkling of what baby care in the first one or two years would look like. (I thought I did from the moments I had caring for my brother who is ten years younger than I am, but clearly I didn’t remember much!)

baby Z

How he sleeps with his leg up, I have no idea.

In the first place, I still can’t believe I’m a mum. Neither can my relatives, nor people who meet me for the first time (they think I’m still a student based on my small frame and baby face I suppose?). It’s been 9 months or so and it still hasn’t sunken in.

It occurred to me that I’ve always seen mums as people who are perhaps older, more mature, wiser, more nurturing and ones who have the answers to everything from cooking recipes to the best way to get something clean – oh my goodness, basically the typical, traditional stereotypes of a mum. (And to be fair, my mum and my mum-in-law always seem to have the answers to everything!)

When I had baby Z (or so my husband likes to call him), I didn’t know how to wash things properly; I didn’t know how to cook many dishes; I still felt like going out to play; I didn’t feel like the sacrificial, ever-loving, ever-knowing type of mum that I thought all women magically morph into. I struggled with the idea of bringing baby Z to childcare so I could work more, and struggled with the guilt of not being able to spend as much time with him as possible.

baby z and laundry

Baby Z playing around while I fold the laundry

I’ll admit – prior to this, I never had any in-depth conversations with other mums and so my impression of mums was stuck in the stone ages. Since his birth, I’ve had many more conversations with fellow mums around my age – from how to get our babies to sleep better at night to our ideal work arrangements and the list goes on. I subscribed to newsletters from all types of motherhood and baby sites and suddenly I entered this whole new realm and became an “insider”.

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A cheap, easy way to decorate your nursery

This post is several months overdue but am glad I’m finally getting down to sharing it!

In my last month of pregnancy, I finally got down to thinking about decorating our nursery. It was definitely low on my priority list compared to getting baby necessities, household chores and managing the business. What’s more, all the baby purchases started to add up despite having gotten several items second-hand or borrowing them from friends.

To help manage with the costs and not wanting the nursery to be over decorated, I decided to come up with a simple way to add a little something extra to the baby’s room.

cheap and easy nursery decor … 

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Introducing baby Isaac (and our delivery story)

The past few weeks have been crazy to say the least – adjusting to life with a newborn, sleeping in intervals and managing a new business is definitely no stroll in the park. Hats off to all mums who manage so many things at one go!

Finally at 4am, I’ve found some time (and sanity) to sit down to ‘formally’ introduce baby Isaac to you! Despite a difficult pregnancy and labor, he’s been a precious gift to us and we couldn’t be happier. :)

baby isaac with a pom hat | micheleng.com

Even though my husband and I hadn’t been married for too long before we conceived, the past few weeks in the hospital and caring for Isaac have drawn us closer than ever. In fact, the two weeks since Isaac was born was probably the longest I’ve ever gotten to spend with Dan 24/7 and he’s been an amazing support both physically and emotionally.

For my dear readers, I may be doing less DIY tutorials as I transition to this new stage of life but I hope to get back into the groove once things settle down. There’ll potentially be more posts on baby-related items but holler if you want to see more of other things too!

For friends, family and curious ones who have been asking for more details, I’ve penned a full post on our labor and delivery story here. While our pregnancy and labor have been more challenging than many of our friends we know, we are still very grateful that Isaac came out a healthy baby and that everything is fine.

I also apologise for not announcing his birth immediately as we needed time to recover and didn’t want to have to turn away visitors or not respond to any messages while we focused on adjusting.

In short, we went through two days of labour, a failed induction leading to an emergency c-section with some bleeding after the op that required us to stay longer in the hospital. The six days we spent in the hospital felt like some surreal, crazy boot-camp but thanks to the patient and kind nurses and doctors, we managed to get through it.

The days ahead will be full of steep learning curves but we’re treasuring every moment of it!

 

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New beginnings (part II)

{This is a continuation of a previous post. To read from the beginning, click here}

The third new beginning: discovering a new addition to the family! (September 2013)

In all honesty, we didn’t plan to have a new addition so early on. Previously, we had planned for two years together alone and for my business to take off before we’d entertain having children. We definitely knew we wanted kids, but it was just about the timing.

I guess they say this is to be expected with newlyweds and I probably shouldn’t go into too much details here. But suffice to say, no contraceptive is 100% effective (I guess I did learn that from that episode of Friends…).

Though the chances of it happening were extremely slim (again, not going into the details but everyone close to us who knows agrees), our baby beat all odds and decided to surprise us.

baby isaac ultrasound

{Introducing baby Isaac with an ultrasound scan taken in November 2013}

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