When you’ve put off writing long enough you’ll find it difficult to start because there is so much catching up to do. That is exactly the situation here right now. I’ve been pretty occupied ever since the new year started. With my daughter now walking in the inevitable path of formal primary school education, life just gets busier. And I thought I can finally have a breather with my son entering into his secondary years and is pretty much an independent learner now. There is something about coaching my children in their studies that ups my stress level several notches. Maybe some parents can empathize. I have stayed home almost every weeknights since the new school year started just so I could ensure my daughter completes the day’s work and has her bag in order for the next day. Being in the afternoon session doesn’t help as I only have weekday nights to do the supervising. This is the dilemma full-time working parents face. It was better during my son’s time because he was in the morning session. By the time I got home from work I just needed to look through the work which he completed in the afternoon, reinforce key topics taught that day and still have some free and easy time. With afternoon sessions, the kids only have time to complete their work after dinner. There is hardly time to do any thing else. And for someone whose husband is pretty much uninvolved, things just get a little harder. Sigh……..

The first term school holidays is less than a week away and I thought I could finally hang loose for a while and maybe take some nights off after work to have some “me” time. I’ve not been to the theater (one of my favorite recreation activity) since the year started and there is the annual Mosaic Music Festival coming up which I really wanted to catch. And there are friends I have not catch up with for a while. Although it’s quite impossible to accomplish all these in just a week (that is how long the term break is….arghh), something is better than nothing. Then yesterday I received several school memos on “fun holiday activities and projects” to do with the children during the holidays, parent-teacher meetings lined up close to the holidays, which I have to take time off from work to attend and on top of that a series of class test just after the holidays. Sometimes there could even be holiday workshops and outings as well. Ironically it ended with, “…..most importantly, enjoy the holidays!”  I tell you, it just brought down my whole countenance. I was depressed the whole night. To all principals and teachers, “Thank you for putting our children’s development as top priority and relentlessly thinking of ideas and ways to stretch and maximize their time and potential. Your effort and dedication is very much appreciated. Sometimes I think you have done more than most parents can do for their own children and we will always be grateful for the opportunities we could not provide alone. I only ask that you slow down a little so we (including you) could all catch our breath. The best way we can truly enjoy the holidays; the ultimate gift anyone can give us, is to have some “time to waste” with our children. Maybe then, we will be more fun to be with and will like each other better. Maybe then, laughter will return to our household. You think you could do that, at least for the holidays?”.