What does your daily routine look like, mamas? Tell us, we want to know!
In the series “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 we look at a day in the life of Dr Sylvia Tan, who juggles between being a mama to twins, Ella and Lucca, and a specialist in Orthodontics. She spends her time both in private practice and as a visiting consultant at National University Hospital. Oh and that’s just her day job; Sylvia is also sub-editor for TheLuxeNomad.com‘s online magazine, Wanderluxe. How does she do it? Read on to find out!
If you’d like to be featured in this series, mama, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Day in the Life” in the subject line!
Breakfast is the most important meal in our household and I make an extra effort to ensure the twins have a well balanced and nutritious first meal of the day. We love eating in our pyjamas and lately, I have been trying to get them to start making their own eggs and toast (we’ve had a few burnt soldiers thus far!).
It is a mad rush to get everyone’s teeth brushed and ready for school. My husband and I try to send the twins to school together. Having moved from London where most people commute to work and school, we are enjoying the luxury of being able to walk (or scoot) to their nursery. I believe the fresh air in the mornings does wonders for all of us.
Most do not believe me when I tell them I have two breakfasts, but I really do! My husband tends to work late into the evenings and hence, the best alone time for us is in the mornings. Be it a quick nasi lemak at Adam Road Hawker Centre or croissants at Simply Bread (Cluny Court), we try to squeeze in breakfast together because couple time is so precious. Even if it is only 15 minutes, it is important to catch up, to reconnect and to rekindle.
Apart from writing dental and non-dental articles online, I am also sub-editor for Wanderluxe, an online travel magazine for TheLuxeNomad.com. Dentistry is a rather isolated profession (think all day stuck in the surgery), and being able to do something other than dentistry does wonders for me. It allows me to channel my love for writing and travelling all in one and, since moving from London, this has encouraged me to meet and make new friends outside the dental community.
I have a bad back (no thanks to years of dentistry) and I love practising yoga for both the physical benefits and the stress relaxation that comes with it. I am not a hardcore yogi (yes, downward facing dog is still a struggle) but regular practice really does help. I go to Pure Yoga, as the different class options make it more fun and if you are a busy mama like me and miss one class, there is always another to join in 15 minutes’ time!
Quick shower and back to pick up the twins! I never appreciated the school runs until the twins started to be more communicative. Now I realise that the best time to listen to their ‘school stories’ is during pick-ups. We have lunch together and then it’s off to work for me.
A mad dash to the clinic in time to see my first patient at 1.30pm. I am an orthodontist, hence I treat patients who require orthodontic treatment (braces) to straighten their teeth and correct their bites (among other problems). No day is a dull day as my patients can be as young as 7 years old, up till teenage years and adulthood. I even have an elderly gentleman of 75 years old undergoing braces treatment!
Being a hop and skip away from the Botanic Gardens, I take the twins out to feed the swans, to play catch and just enjoy the beautiful lush greenery. Sometimes we take a dip in the pool when the heat is a little too much. I believe in getting children out and about and this not only ensures healthy kids, but an active mama!
Bath, dinner then bed. With twins, I found that a good bedtime routine helps them to relax and prepare for sleep. As you can probably tell from my occupation, the nightly tooth-brushing regime in our household is rather military (floss, toothbrush, mouthwash) every night. It is important to continue brushing your children’s teeth up till at least 8 years old. A good tip is to ask your child to lie horizontally (akin to a dental chair) so that you have a good view of their teeth.
Once the twins are in bed (usually by 7.45pm), this is the time I relax and unwind from the crazy day. Some nights, I dress up and catch my girlfriends for drinks, and on days when I crave fish and chips, I will head down to Smiths (Bukit Timah) with my husband. Majority of the nights though, it is a good book, face mask, and bed by 10.30pm so I’m ready to start the next day!