What does your daily routine look like, mamas? Tell us, we want to know!
In this series called “A day in the life“, mamas submit snapshots of regular moments that occur throughout their daily routine. The idea is to show the wide variety of lives mamas lead in Singapore, whether you’re in the office, staying at home, or something in between.
This month, Michelle Ma, independent artist and mother of two young children, tells us how she balances family life (without a helper no less) and her career as an artist. Michelle’s upcoming exhibition presents oil paintings of prominent Chinese female portraits who have made an impact on Chinese history.
If you’d like to be featured in this series, mama, drop us a line at [email protected] with “Day in the Life” in the subject line!
My deadline of jumping out of the bed is 7 am after the last round of alarm ringing goes off. Getting the kids to put their school uniforms on, brush their teeth, have their breakfast, plus making myself look presentable for the day – all this has to been done within 50 minutes before 8 am.
(Oh, and I forgot to mention that we don’t have a helper so it’s just me rushing around.)
I usually do my grocery shopping on a daily or weekly basis just because having fresh meat and vegetables does make difference in terms of taste for me. After dropping the kids off at school, I will hop to the local supermarket and fill the shopping basket within 20 minutes.
Having a cup of Latte with my favourite magazine during breakfast is totally luxurious for me. Within that limited amount of time, I finish my cheese toast and coffee while picking up the toys or clothes laying around the house.
Easel up, paint and brushes out, prepare the palette. Each artist spends a great deal of time staring at their painting. In order to maximise my studio time, I try to schedule my meetings and appointments weekly. Due to my upcoming exhibition, I spend a tremendous amount of time focusing on planning and executing the exhibition. Creating alone is not enough for being an artist. Being disciplined is very important too.
No matter how much I want to continue painting, by 4 pm I head home to prepare dinner. Our family is very supportive of my art career. They are happy to have a simple dinner as long as there is meat, vegetables and rice on the table (I am Chinese and we love our rice).
If the two little ones get too hungry after they get home from school, I will let them eat first. My husband and I will eat later after he arrives home from work. After that, my husband will take the kids to kick a football around on the grass or playground, which allows me to do some washing up.
Convincing two playful kids to go shower around this time is tough sometimes. After they are done, we sit down in their bedroom to read a few books around 8:30 pm. If I am lucky, they will be fast asleep by 9 pm.
As an independent emerging artist, I not only create art but I also look after my social media account and marketing activities. After the kids go to bed, I turn on my laptop to follow up with emails, post on Facebook and Instagram etc. Recently, I am fully occupied with all the activities around my art exhibition at the end of September 2017. Together with fellow artist Nicole Fabry we will present over 30 pieces of oil paintings with a focus on human portraits and the question of identity.
Time is up. Tomorrow is another exciting day.