Hey there stranger, as more of you check out my Instagram about my Melbourne quarantine, I received many questions about the situation I’m in, so here’s answering it all. :)
I realised I didn’t write about this. But yes, we’ve migrated to Melbourne, well, technically. This decision has been many years in the making. My husband and kids are all Australians and we’ve talked about letting the kids grow up in Melbourne for some years now. More about that next time. I’m sure I’ll find time to blog about it. So how did I find myself in Melbourne quarantine?
One Way Ticket To Melbourne
We quit our jobs, sent our helper home, packed our entire house and left on a one way ticket to Melbourne in January 2020. Just before COVID-19 pandemic happened. Worst timing ever. But who could have known? My job required me to fly between SIN and MEL on a regular basis, but in March 2020, I went back to SIN and got stuck there for 10 whole months.
Stuck in Singapore for 10 months
Like more people than most of us would imagine, there are many people like me. Separated, stranded, unable to find ways of getting home to their families. It was lonely, and heartbreaking at times. My kids are too young to express their feelings and their attention span is still short. My attempts to connect via video calls aren’t always fruitful. But I kept trying nonetheless.
Not all of my time in Singapore was bad. I picked up hobbies I never had time for, rebuilt lost friendships, rediscovered best friends, accepted more brand collaborations and sponsorships, worked a lot, and spent time on exercise. Being away from my kids was hard but it really wasn’t all bad. I had a job at least, while many others had their careers on hold or got retrenched. I had a job at least.
You’re A Bad Mother
To say that I felt like a bad mother would be an understatement. I missed all of the kids’ milestones, and every small moment in between. All of our birthdays were spent apart. In 2020, Daniel lost his very 1st tooth, Nathen graduated from Kindy, I missed spring, autumn and winter with them. They have spent just shy of a year in Melbourne now, while I only really spent a little over 1 month in Melbourne back in Jan-Feb 2020.
Here’s Nathen’s birthday in April, during Melbourne’s lockdown. He enjoyed having cars honk in greeting as they passed by.
No International Flights To Melbourne For Months
Melbourne was in lockdown due to COVID-19 for many months. International flights weren’t allowed to land in Melbourne for many months too. I remember checking the Victorian headline news every morning once I woke up, hoping and praying for optimistic news on returning Australians home. Do I need to pay for my hotel quarantine stay? Is Melbourne quarantine mandatory for me? When will there be direct flights to Melbourne? And the rules keep changing.
SGD7,500 For A One Way Ticket To Melbourne
It felt hopeless for so many many months. At one point of time, I even considered paying SGD7,500 on a one way ticket home. If I didn’t go home by December, I would have not seen the kids for 1 year. That really hit me hard. How could a mother do this?
A flight that would take me over 20 hours with 2 stopovers, just because
- there were no direct flights from SIN to MEL, and,
- MEL didn’t accept international arrivals, only domestic ones.
I turned to my family and close friends for advice. Obviously the decision was for me to make, and I was torn. Is it practical to spend so much money just to get home? I nearly took it.
On hindsight, I guess I was seeking affirmation that it’s okay to make a practical decision and wait a little while longer. And that a practical decision wouldn’t make me a bad mother.
And Then, Finally, Hello Melbourne Quarantine Life.
After 10 long months, I’m going to be home for Christmas. Yes you heard that right! The Victorian government announced that they would be accepting international flights starting 7 Dec 2020.
None of the airlines were selling the tickets until just 2 weeks before 7 Dec, and the first one was Scoot. Thanks to them, I booked the first available flight out and now find myself in a pretty fancy hotel-based Melbourne quarantine. I will be here for 2 weeks, and released on 24 Dec 2020, 23:59. Just in time for Christmas. :)
So thanks but no thanks COVID-19, I’m finally going to be home, and just in time for Christmas.
Enjoyed my personal perspectives on Motherhood? Here’s more:
- I make a better employee as a mom
My take on why moms make better employees – read and see if you agree!
- To every exhausted mom out there…
The one hiding in her bathroom, needing just one more minute of peace as her kids scream outside the bathroom door…
- Do you feel like a mom who is always one step behind?
Tired of having to play catch up all the time? Me too. :(
- It’s not just you. “Mom brain” is a thing and it’s frustrating!
I used to remember EVERYTHING! When will this superpower come back?
My Motherhood Experience
I lived in Singapore most of my life. We moved to Melbourne in 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic. Juggling work, my own interests and family is a daily challenge. Here’s sharing my motherhood experiences where you’ll find a list of posts on my hopes & fears as a mom. I hope reading it will uplift you and give you a sense of camaraderie.