One of the issues with living in our modern world is how having kids impact everything. 200 years ago my major concern would be revolving around hunting buffalo and gathering animal skins or woodworking and woodcraft depending on which limb of my family tree I would land on. In the modern era we have swapped our survival and artisan skills for time and management skills. For a family to truly get ahead both parents have to work, unless one is a doctor, lawyer, or in a profession that will take away from family time.
Both my wife and I work. We moved our daughter up here from my in-laws care just before Christmas, she has been here for just over a month now. What we thought was a hectic and hurried lifestyle before has not been catapulted into hyperdrive. Add to this my wife’s career is now going from national to regional in scope. She is an outstanding employee and now is being groomed for a big advancement. What I am getting to is that my wife will be in Singapore for a week, followed by Chinese New Year week holiday here, and then 2-3 months of training and working with regional management. Now I get to feel what thousands of single parents do in the states everyday.
From breakfast and nursery school preparation and getting to the bus on time, to getting my own self ready for work and to the office by 9 and follows up by dinner, bath, straightening up the apartment and getting myself fed, showered and ready for the next day and my weekly meetings held with the US and UK at all hours of the evening. Well, it is not quite all that bad. We are fortunate enough to have a part time maid, one who comes in and picks up our daughter after school, prepares her dinner, and does some light house keeping and laundry. So yes, while not as bad as others have it, it is pretty tough given the language and cultural barriers in place.
Since the week before Christmas our family has been having a great time. Outings, family time, and even school and the daily schedule have been great. By one of us going on short term business travel or overtime is not bad, however for extended periods it is pretty bad. How my mother and friends who have done this before have succeeded in the ways they have is amazing. All of my friends in the Navy also have the added bonus of doing this for half a year every 2 years in addition to the small weeks or two for training or work up deployments. Having two full time jobs is pretty tough, add in the language barrier and lack of family and or friends for support and its pretty hectic at best.
Over the next week it is going to be pretty interesting and challenging. Followed up with our weekly Chinese New Year annual holiday and then the months of this it most likely will be harder to get articles out. However on the flip side, after the little one gets in the bed, around 8:30 or 9:00 ,and I get the house and bathroom back together I will end up with some extra time as the time the wife and I spent will be open, so either I will use this or catch up on sleep, time will tell. So seeing my readership has fallen about 70% since the Windows Live changes it may not be missed anyway. For all the single working parents out there I applaud your work and efforts and if only for a few months will join your ranks, but with the knowledge and comfort of knowing it will be temporary and for a much less time then what Navy spouses have to deal with. Being on this side of the fence is definitely different and offers a much different perspective on all this.