As per every year, working in the same bank i've been, entitles me, or rather, mandates me to take 2 consecutive weeks of absence. The main purpose is to ensure if we ever do something fishy in the bank which requires some form of cover up done on daily basis, this kind of activity would be discovered when we are away for 2 weeks. Anyway, what i wanted to write in this post is how my this year's mandate leave, as we call it, is different in terms of planning, destination, and purpose, as compared to other leaves taken in previous years.
First of all, my 2 weeks vacation is usually spent to wander some unknown destination, or even if it is known/been-there-before, it will be places i've carefully chosen with main purpose to unwind, relax and just experience something different from being at home and explore new things. Secondly, it is usually carefully planned. And third, i go with some loved ones, ie. family circle1. the only exception is last year when i combined my mandate leave together with my 3 months maternity leave, that was heaven at home!
Way from the beginning of the year, i knew the holiday wasnt going to be easy to plan. Husband was free-er in terms of work at the first half of the year, so it was possible for him to actually go for a 2wks break (though timing wise, would still be hard to predict when to exactly go) in the first semester. One of our options and a long-time dream was & (still is) to go Europe together. However, as I was still breastfeeding Adam... I realized there would be some issues by leaving him alone in Malaysia (no way we are bringing him for a romantic 2 wks holiday far away ;p ), how much of breastmilk stock will he need, need to pump extra in order for him to be fully b/m via bottle while i'm away and not sure i could make the stock quota (at that time i was already waking up on avg twice a night to cater for the kiddo's b/f & it was already very tiring and i cannot imagine waking up once more to stock up, as during the day in the office i was already pumping 2-3 times), then will have to resort to to formula milk to top it up.. the last option was actually something i could accept... but the other thing that i couldnt handle is to pump every 3-4 hours while we were doing our hopping holiday wandering (i had too, otherwise it gives me pain, and also i needed to maintain my production so that when i'm back i can still continue b/f kiddo, and the way to do that is to keep the pumping freq high), and that i will have to throw away the pumped milk as no way i will be travelling from places to places transporting frozen milk (believe me, breastfeeding mums see own b/m like irreplaceable gold bars, as they are so irreplaceable, so no way i'm watching my own b/m go down the drain :) ). I'm sure it would slightly melt before it gets frozen again and the cycle continues, which will make its quality poor, and not to mention the hassle of transporting it. So, i had a clear want and need: only go for long vacay after Adam has reached 1 year old, as his b/m need would have reduced considerably and so will my pumping frequency. The only catch was that hubby dont know if he could take long leave in 2nd half of the year.
So come june, july, august... work schedule for my husband showed no sign of slacking. In the meantime, my boss is pressing me to clear my leave as soon as possible (my request to defer till december got denied). So here i am, taking my 2 weeks leave in Oct, while hubby till last minute was still on standby for offshore work (he finally left few days after me & kiddo flew off town for our break).
As for where to go, I dont have much choice, either i stay put here in KL or go back 'kampong style' to my parents home. Of course i took the 2nd choice, it's valuable time to spend with my parents. which later proves to be even more beneficial for Adam. In the beginning, I had my doubts whether I could really put myself into 'vacation' mode, since being nanny-less and hubby-less mean that i dont have an equal partner (at least in terms of agility) to take care of the kiddo. it also means that it will be energy-draining days and i wouldnt be able to wander around easily. So ya, it gave me the jigs.
But hey, after spending 2 weeks & back now in KL, all i can say is that for sure i am recharged. especially that i had 3 days of 'recuperatory leave' in KL & i made sure nanny is around even it was the weekend. Adam learnt so many new things with the help of his grandparents, and had so much fun with his grandpa who amazingly interacted very well with Adam. Mum helped prepare his solid food, and he got introduced to variety of food, now he can comfortably munch rice, crackers, pasta n all. So i have stopped cooking porridge altogether! Adam played so much with water (pressurised water from hose, splashing water from pail, flowing water from tap etc), leaves n flower from the garden, chicken and cats, visit to the zoo and beach. What more stuff can he be introduced? Yes, i didnt get to go around to too many places, as much as i would have wanted. But i guess not all holidays need to be spent 'fully charged'. This break was a 'slow-down' mode of vacation. Although not easy at the beginning (being fully charged with rapid pace at work) to move to lower gear, just when i thought i am getting used to it, the vacay ends, but at least i reaped benefit of it, and now, i hope i can pick up the city rhytm back well.
And to my boy, i hope he continues to grow and learn so many things, even in KL and under the well-care of the nanny (esp. when i'm away at work :( )
Right now i am just looking fwd for hubby to be back, to bring more 'life' back into our house. Till then!
ps: pic taken in Kuta Bali. Yes we went to Bali for 4 days and spent the other 7 days in Jogja.