HBL Didn’t Drive Me (Completely) Crazy. Here’s Why

Silver linings in HBL as a WFH parent with 88.3JIA DJ Shi Han.

By Ryan Wee        16 October 2021

PHEW! As your kiddos head back to school, we hear you WFH parents releasing a collective sigh of relief that sent greenhouse gas levels rocketing.

But amid your trial by fire of trying to work from home while managing your child’s home-based learning, there’s always a silver lining if you look closely. And not just on your head in the mirror.

We hear from 88.3JIA radio DJ Shi Han, a HBL + WFH survivor and mum to two spunky primary schoolers.

1. What’s something you learnt about your kids during HBL?

Shi Han: Their learning preferences are unique, and they thrive in different learning environments.

Caden, my 10-year-old boy, is active, chatty and enjoys constant engagement. He has a shorter attention span for Zoom classes.

Meanwhile my 7-year-old girl Kyra does better with home tutors than a classroom environment. She’s the sporty, fun-loving one and has a lot of empathy for things/people around her.

Photo: @883shihan

2. Got any funny stories to share?

Shi Han: When classes are happening concurrently for both kids, you’ll hear them shouting for Mummy non-stop from their respective bedrooms.

“Mum, there is no sound, Mum, the speakers are not working…”

“Mum, it’s a black screen now, what happened to Zoom?”

“Mum, I can’t find the web page my teacher is talking about!”

“Mum, the website is not loading…”

But there is only ONE mum and it was a very trying period at the beginning of HBL trying to sort all the technical issues and help answer a million other questions at the same time.

There was a lot of dashing in and out of bedrooms, printing worksheets on the go, and doubling up as a technical assistant etc.

3. Sounds like you were working at least 4 new jobs. Are there times you felt you like you were going over the edge?

Shi Han: Every other day would be a “I’m SO Gonna Lose It Day”. These “lose-it” moments happen too frequently.

There is no perfect parent. We struggle to cope with WFH and HBL, and I’m sure every parent went through similar situations. When it gets bad, I will leave the house and go for a walk at the beach, do a grocery run, or have a cup of coffee at the nearby mall and just take an hour off.

Photo: @883shihan

4. Any good hiding spots?

Shi Han: I hide at the carpark, in my car. Don’t tell my kids. 🙂

5. Was there anything bizarre or unexpected you observed during HBL?

Shi Han: It’s fascinating to see them creating their own Zoom and hangout chats with their classmates to discuss random stuff. I also had fun watching them learn how to dance to BTS music videos because they got so bored at home.

6. What’s one thing that your kids did that made your heart melt?

Shi Han: Caden started writing me notes and letters to express his emotions and needs whenever there is too much tension between us in our mother and child relationship.

Photo: @883shihan

7. Share 3 things parents should do to stay sane with WFH and HBL.

Shi Han:

  1. Self-care is crucial, please take care of your mental health and well-being. That is key to parenting.
  2. Give yourself at least 1-2 hours of Me-time every day, away from home and the kids.
  3. Allow some screen time for the kids. It’s the year 2021. Let’s get real.

8. If you could reset time and re-live HBL/WFH to have more time with your kids… would you?

Shi Han: HBL allowed me to see their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to their learning environments, and of course we had a lot more time together at home.

I would like to think I’ve done my best over this entire period and there is no need to re-live it!

For more parenting nuggets and lunchtime entertainment, catch Shi Han on 88.3JIA, weekdays from 12noon to 3pm.

Follow Shi Han on Instagram @883shihan