Adjusting to Stay-At-Home-Mom Lifestyle

It’s been 6 months & 12 days I have left my previous job. I had a hard time settling into a proper schedule for the 1st few months due to all the changes in the family (outgoing maid, Christmas, travelling, Chinese New Year and more travelling). I came to realise that I needed a schedule for myself to work on so that I can manage things better.

I wanted to do meal planning on a weekly basis, but after trying for a week, I gave up. Too much planning, I kid you not! Fast forward to today, I’m glad that I’ve got my SAHM lifestyle pretty settle down and things are rolling smoothly.

My Fitness Plans

When I started the year, I target to go to gym or workout at least 3 times a week to shed some kilos and loose a couple of inches (I’ve gained 10kg the past 1 year…OMG). But only making 3 days effort doesn’t seem to flourish into anything except the urge of eating more LOL. A friend introduced me to an app call MyFitnessPal, which helps to track your food intake, exercise, and weight gain/lost. I started using this app late January, and it made me realise that if I don’t go exercise, I am confined with just eating 1200 cals per day. This is somewhat a problem for someone like me who enjoys food. Hence I started to resume my kickboxing class, alternating with gym session, but Saturday and Sunday is no exercise day. Then CNY and some travelling with friends kick in and it all went hair-wired (more eating, not much of exercise LOL). I came back to HK on 21st March, weighing 2kg more!!! Dang!!!

I decided that my workout plans are screwed entirely and I need to be more discipline (for food and workout). I started using the MyFitnessPal App extensively, tracking all the food I eat everyday and became more cautious with my daily food intake. I also use Record App to have a more accurate recording of my workout sessions, which syncs its data to MyFitnessPal (same company). I ensure that I go to gym everyday (including weekends), except on day I go kickboxing, then I’ll take a break from gym. And lastly, Zumba class, 4 times a week. I pushed for the first 21 days really hard, because apparently, once you start an activity and maintain it for 21 days, it becomes a routine in your life. I passed the 21 days, but going into 2nd month, it seems even harder than the 21 days itself. Struggle, but I told myself, the changes will come. Gotta be patient and continue workout. I started loosing my 1st 1kg end of March, which help motivated myself.

Fast forward to today, I’ve lost about 3.5kg, but since I’ve gain 2kg during CNY, it’s just 1.5kg I’ve lost from where I started. A lot of handwork and hours of sweat. Control my food intake (but still giving myself some treats once in a while) and I’m happy that I’ve reduced by 1 size. I still have a whooping 7kg to loose…so the journey hasn’t ended. But I’m penning this down so that I can remember it later down the line.

My workout activities for a week:

Mon – Thu: 45 mins in gym in the morning (30 mins on the cross trainer, 15 mins for abs & legs workout – my problem areas) 

Mon – Thu: 60 mins in Zumba class in the evening (this is killer, but I totally love the sweat)

Fri: 120 mins kickboxing (this is another killer, but heck, gotta kick some asses)

Sat – Sun: same as Mon – Thu activities but I tend to cut it short to just 30 minutes sometimes due to weekend activities with Church and Family

I skip gym sessions when I have errands to run, e.g. marketing, school field trips, but I figure that doing these activities (walking) will also account for my daily exercise that I need to do, so it’s totally fine to skip gym session.

My Time in Kitchen

Now that I have my workout in place, I needed to plan my time in the kitchen as well. Life as SAHM is not easy life. No maid (just part time maid to help cleaning) means that I have to get up as early as 6:15AM to prepare kids lunch, wake the kids up, do all the marketing, cooking and whatever that the part time maid doesn’t do. And since I go for Zumba in the evening, I have to workout some meals that I can prepare earlier before my Zumba class that I can just quickly cook or heat up for dinner after Zumba class. The timing for Zumba class is not ideal (6-7pm), but it’s a FOC class, so it’s worth all these planning LOL. Not working mah, so gotta look for FOC/cheap alternative instead of spending more money right.

For lunch, I usually combine with breakfast since I only eat after I go gym, about 10AM. I will try take something heavy, sometimes I’ll eat with hubby outside, other times if there’s extra food from the kids lunch, I’ll just eat them. No additional cooking needed and keep it simple.

For dinner, I usually stick to soup with a steam fish since we have the tier-steamer, it’s very convenient. Soup boiling at the bottom, steam your food on top. Then a stir fry vegetables for the complete meal. Hon wants to cut down on rice as well at night, so sometimes we will just eat the dishes. If kids request for noodles or rice, I’ll just prepare for them. On other days, I’d prepare stews or casserole kinda food, which I start doing all the chopping and cooking at 2/3PM, and have it all done by 5PM. After Zumba class, just reheat and we have our dinner served. On Fridays, where I only go for kick boxing, I’ll cook something more elaborate since I have more time in the evening. Weekends are usually lazy day in kitchen, we either eat out or cook whatever I can dig out of the fridge.

I’m getting more skillful in the kitchen (AHEM) and challenge myself with more variety of dishes for the family. Photos can be viewed on my instagram account, jazzmint. I crawl the internet for new recipes and I use an app call PepperPlate to store all my favourite & tested recipes. It’s so easy with this App, so I don’t have to go to my bookmarks when I need to cook. Yes, I admit that I’m not a born Nigella Lawson. I’m never good with cooking and I’m still improvising them as we speak here. Having recipes as a guideline is really a beauty. If I need my food to be more flavourful I can also adjust the ingredients accordingly.

Needless to say, with all these cooking going on, there’s also a lot other activities happening in the kitchen, such as clearing of all the expired/old food and rearranging of things in kitchen. I wasn’t very happy with my previous maid. Not only she’s a lousy cook, but she’s probably the worst person when comes to keeping track of inventory in the kitchen. I found so many repeated food stuff stored in different containers in different parts of my kitchen. Frustrating is the word. But as of today, I’ve somehow sorted out 80% of the entire kitchen. I’ve cleared up plenty of rubbish in the kitchen and have an inventory of what’s in the kitchen at the back of my mind. I’ve rearranged the kitchen cabinets the way I like it (more organised) so I can find things easily. I’m still working on the kitchen drawers rearrangement, but I’m slowly loving my kitchen now :).

I’ve also started to explore new wet market in HK, because the one nearest to our home is very expensive. Just this week, I went to Tsuen Wan Wet Market and was delighted with the range of stuff available there, not forgetting cheaper groceries as well. I usually do marketing every 2 weeks, but since I discover this new market, I now want to go there every week instead.

Some before and after photos here as a record.

My Time with Faythe & Vyktore

Both of them are no longer toddlers, and they spend half the time in school. They leave as early as 7:10AM and comes home by 3:30PM/4:30PM depending on whether there’s ECA (Extra Curricular Activity) or not. They are both very happy to come home having Mommy to greet them nowadays. I ensure they shower and change into fresh clothing once they come home. Those days when I’m still at work, they won’t shower till when it’s near dinner time (roll eyes). I’ll also check if they need help with homework or not and we will do the homework usually before I go for Zumba classes. At times when they needed more homework attention, we will get to it after dinner. During exam month, they will have to work on worksheets after they finish their homework. Yes, I’m a 1/2 tiger mom LOL. Must have balance of work and play right.

Sometimes, I’ll also prepare some light snacks for tea time for them when I’m not lazy LOL.

On nights where we finish dinner early, we spend time together. We will chit chat and tell jokes. I enjoy listening to all their crazy ideas. We also play games. I’ve recently started teaching them Bahasa, once a week. They seems to enjoy it so far.

I’ll tug them into bed (no bedtime story since they can now read themselves, just hugs and kisses) by 10PM.

Weekends, we will usually chill out at home or go to town if we feel like it.

My Time with My Other Half

Now that I’m not working, he doesn’t have any reason to get upset that I’m back home late LOL. We get to spend time going lunch dates as well, which is great to improve our relationship. But on the downside of it, because I’m around at home, I seem to be more busy when he’s around as I need to cook breakfast for him, cook lunch for him, fix his laptop, fix his printout…Now he’s doing his promotion course for his work, I’m also helping him up, like a pilot side-kick *sweat*

My Time for Myself

I have plenty of time for myself, now that I’m no longer working. I must admit that at times, I’m like driving an F1 car. I’ll be going to gym, rushing back to cook, go Zumba, work on photobook and so on. But sometimes, I’m just so slacking I can sit there for hours playing my Candy Crush, Soda Crush, Farm Hero and what have you. Bad and addictive. Trying hard to control myself, but when I get hold of my iPad, it just comes so naturally LOL. Which is why I’m choosing to update my blog today, cause I’ve done my rounds of games hahaha…I hope I can be better at controlling myself in another 6 months time.

I still have plenty of backlogs photos that I need to touch up. Not forgetting the phonebooks that I need to work on. So far I’ve only completed 3 books this year.

OK, I’m gonna leave this blog space now, after all the reflection of my past 6 months achievements and bloopers. I need to work harder to update the blog instead of crushing games :).

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