As I perch on the cusp of a new chapter of my life, I stop to pause, reflect and give thanks.
It feels surreal.
Something that has been brewing for so long has finally come to fruition.
It has been more than a year since I had my first discussion with a speech pathologist about this new initiative, and our enrichment centre is opening it’s doors tomorrow!
Not only do we share the same name, we share the same vision and can almost read each other’s minds from the first meeting we had. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to start a venture with.
I have been running at breakneck speed the past few weeks.
Starting the day at 7am, dropping Kate off at school and going in to work with my team for half the day, picking the kids up after supplementary classes and dealing with their issues, sitting down together for dinner at 6.30pm and getting them ready for bed at 8pm. After that it’s back to the computer until around 2am when my brain stops functioning effectively.
On top of that, just this past 2 weeks, I had to deal with one sprained ankle, taking one to investigate her allergies, and taking two of them to extract their teeth and fix braces.
To allocate more time for work, I had to sacrifice time with the kids. Thankfully the hubs wasn’t away much and he took over the lunch prep and taxi duties.
Kate has been spending more time with her older siblings which was great bonding for them.
On Hari Raya, #3 was going ice-skating with her friend and she offered to take Kate along. She helped her don her skates, take her in and out of the rink when she needed the toilet or wanted a drink of water and even graded her learning from pushing her around on the seal to holding her hands and skating with her without the aid after she gained more confidence.
There were days when I didn’t dare put Kate to bed for fear of falling asleep and not finishing things I needed to get done before going in to work. She has been really accommodating and would go off and find some jie jie to bunk in with.
One night, I found her sleeping inside a wardrobe! With the sliding doors open.
#3 had padded it nicely and made it into a secret hideout for Kate. We all had a good laugh the next morning when Kate said so matter-of-factly, “Yesterday I slept in the cupboard.” Oh well, these are the things fond memories are made of.
I really salute all the full time mums who have been doing this for years. It is not easy working a full day and coming home having to deal with the kids and running the household.
There were moments when I was working on the computer in the wee hours of the morning and wondering how I got myself into this busy state.
I guess once the cogwheel starts turning, there is no looking back.
|Our signage is up!|
I had to be really focused. No luxury of having a conducive environment or being in the ‘mood’ to work.
I’ve picked up a handy skill of being able to whip up my trusty notebook and carry on where I’ve left off.
I’ve worked at the BBQ pit of a condo while waiting for a kid to finish surprising her bff, at the car repair shop waiting to get the tyres fixed, I’ve even worked at mall seats while waiting for the girls to pick up their stuff.
It may sound strange but I am enjoying myself. I have been physically and mentally exhausted raising the kids for the past 18 years, dealing with teenagers and toddlers. At the same time.
Now that most of them are occupied with long school days, I can finally take a break from child-rearing and focus my attention on something I find meaningful.
When term 3 started, the kids asked if I could pick them up from school and I told them they had to take the MRT as I needed to work.
They were more amused than disappointed. “Mum! You actually have work?!”
I’m glad they are proud of me.
They have been seeing me as a stay-at-home-mum and never imagined I had the capabilities to go out and work, much less start a business.
#4 recently exclaimed, “Mum, you actually own nice clothes?”
Talk about tactless kids. I’ll console myself that they are just being direct.
My partner and I are taking this slowly and steadily, not over taxing ourselves or neglecting our families.
The hubs and I opened a spa 14 years ago and we failed miserably. Sars hit us in our 3rd month and hardly any customers came in and we did not have the cash flow to ride it out.
I teach my kids that there is a lesson to be learnt in our failures, but for the longest time, I myself couldn’t see the silver lining in our failed business and sorry state.
We went through a rough patch then, having lost a huge sum of money and with 3 young kids in tow. That time has passed, and the lessons learnt are invaluable to me today as I embark on this new endeavour.
No big capital expenses on rental and renovations but starting small, and focusing our energies on a solid curriculum and the children whose learning and lives we will be impacting.
And one of the most important lessons I learnt was to have a product that we believe in one hundred and one percent and finding the right team to journey with.
We have formed an amazing team which we have chosen carefully based on much more than their resumes. We are aligned with a shared sense of purpose which shows in the great camaraderie and respect we have for one another.
|Who says hard work can’t be fun|
This is the start of a refreshing and beautiful journey, of us discovering our passions, putting our hearts together to touch children and educate them in a meaningful way, which they can take away with them for life.
One thing I do miss is writing in this space. But now I have a new baby to tend to.
Exciting times ahead!