"Root beer, Fanta Grape, coffee and milo." The coffee assistant, a man pushing 50 with a crew-cut hair, recited from memory, the moment he saw us.
We had just arrived at the coffee shop after our morning jog. This was a routine started 6 months ago by my hubby.
"P would need the discipline and training," he reasoned. "Especially so, when he will subsequently be called up for National Service enlistment." My hubby was a big picture guy who was also a long-term planner.
When we first started our weekly morning jog, R was always whining. He was then still in student care centre. The teachers had a hard time managing him as he was constantly throwing tantrums in the centre. I was also at my wits' end as he would be brawling over the smallest incident. He would be accusing, "Mummy doesn't love me."
As for P, his results tumbled despite the many tutors that I had engaged.
Both P and R were crying in their own ways for me to spend more time with them.
As a full-time working mother, I often only reached home past 9 pm. At times, they starved just to wait for me to knock off to have dinner with me. I was guilt-stricken but there was work to complete.
Things came to a head when I had to withdraw R from the centre along with his brother, P. My hubby and I decided that they are our children, our responsibilities. We decided that we could make do with a single income. Consequently, I worked part-time to be share their joys and sorrows.
In the past, we used to buy expensive gifts and headed out for lavish dinner frequently. Now I spend more time and cook simple but nutritious meal for my family. My hubby's weight has also reduced. With lots of tender loving care, both boys have grown more mature and secured. Now, I could have own me time over the weekend. I suppose this is a better quality of life.
Life is like running on the track. If we sprint all the way, we will get burnout. We need to take time to enjoy the scenery, to smell the roses, to be with the people we care. After all, they are the real bosses behind what we are doing.