Do you know why they say a man should not have 2 wives? Because the bible states that man can have only one master.
Similarly, I believe that no 2 women should run the home kitchen.
My mom-in-law (MIL) lives with me. To make her happy and give her a sense of significance and meaning, I have learnt over the years to let her rule the kitchen and allow her to tell everyone what a useless daughter-in-law she has who can’t do a thing in the kitchen. It used to affect me a lot in the earlier days, but now, I have learnt to release it. My MIL can’t quite figure it out. She’s tired of running the kitchen, but she has not expressed any indication of relinquishing control of the kitchen to me. As long as she thinks I’ll mess up the kitchen and starve the kids and my hubby (her precious son), she will have to live with this decision and be exhausted supervising the helper on a daily basis. Hubby is happy with this decision. He gets to eat his mom’s food (and she is a very good cook), and he wants her to keep her mind active, to slow down the aging of her brain.
So, what does a HDB tai tai do when she does not work, and has a helper at home supporting her mom in law? All the cooking and cleaning is taken care of. Well, my afternoons are usually spent on lunch deliveries to Big D (who hates school food) and as a chauffeur to the 2 kids for their various classes.
That leaves the mornings. I love the mornings. This morning, I had to go to Upper Boon Keng Road to collect my order of Biscotti for CNY. I was there an hour before opening time, and decided to spent the free hour at Willing Hearts. I first came across this place last December while looking for an avenue for Big D to do some volunteer work. I enjoyed helping and since I was near the vicinity this morning, I walked in to help for an hour.
I was assigned to the vegetable washing counter this morning. My work consisted of taking vegetables out of this huge refrigerator, and washing them. There were 4 sinks, and I was soon in a frenzy working the 4 sinks simultaneously. I was super impressed that this place washes their vegetables. Nowadays, even Hawker Centers and Coffee Shops just do a quick rinse for their vegetables. But the lady in charge of this counter told me to wash white vegetables once, and to rinse the green vegetables twice to ensure that all the sand is washed off.
The work was very tiring! Each crate of vegetables was at least 10kg, I had to take each crate from the fridge, carry them to the sink, and pour them into the sink. After rinsing, I had to collect them, and put them onto this portable trolley to be moved into the kitchen. After 30min, my back ached and I had to bend my knees to relieve the ache.
My admiration goes out to this volunteer, Mdm L, who mans this counter about 5 days a week. She has been doing this for 6 years now, and she says that sometimes, when there are insufficient volunteers, she does all this BY HERSELF! And do you know how old she is? She told me that she’s in her EIGHTIES!! And I needed her help to carry the first few crates of vegetables, before I worked up enough strength the manage the rest on my own.
Mdm L, you are indeed a very Willing Heart!