Hey everyone! It’s been a while since the last time I posted a #lifeinberlin series, so I figured out this might be the best time to bring it back again.
So, we have been living for 2.5 years now in Berlin and although German language continues to be the biggest obstacles in our daily life (well, mainly for I and Husband), we are happy to say that we are settling pretty well with the routines.
Moving from Singapore and Berlin brought up a series of new habits and changes in order to be able to cope with the new routines. I think it will be interesting to look at what have changed so far.
Automate everything! 🤖
Well, not exactly everything. The reason is mainly because we no longer have a live-in helper to do our house chores so we need to delegate some of those to our robot helper haha. We realize now that with two kids, it’s no longer doable to sweep the floor everyday. So we resort to a robot vacuum to do it. It has been a wonder to have it sweeping our house. Although I still need to sweep and mop the floor thoroughly once every two weeks.
Other than robot vacuum, we also installed a Google Mini and Google Nest at home. Mainly it’s for checking temperature and automate some routines such as my morning alarm, etc. Both are also helpful when kids want to watch Youtube videos on our TV lol.
Biking is our way of life 🚲
Okay, that was exaggerating haha. But seriously, biking is our go to transportation nowadays, moreso after we started staying at home due to this pandemic. Taking public transport is somehow still quite scary to me so if I could, I would choose biking to go everywhere. We take our bike to take M to his KiTa, we take our bike to go to playground, etc. Z and M also love their bikes, so it’s another plus. Berlin is also a city that is very bike friendly — at least for most parts. Bike lanes are regulated and most parks are very comfortable to bring bike it.
Although there is a very weird rule: apparently bike lamp is a must, but wearing bike helmet is not. Huh?
Waste management 🌱
Ever since we lived in Berlin, we became more conscious with how we do our waste. At first we just started with separating our trashes as best as we can, but now we are also more conscious when it comes to buying stuffs. We don’t really use a lot of colour here in Berlin when it comes to fashion, so we don’t really buy a lot of clothes anymore. And if we do buy, we prefer something with higher quality so it stays longer. If we do deliveries, we prefer to have them grouped together and being delivered at one day rather than having them delivered as soon as possible. The less trips it takes to get our stuff home, the better. If we are getting take away, we prefer to bring our own container. Every little action counts.
Weather check 🌤
Living in 4-weather country means that you will never know what could be the weather next day until the day itself. Dressing properly is so very important here especially for kids. Our KiTa and school stress this very often — it kinda makes sense since kids are still very prone with any weather change and it’s our responsibility as the parents to dress them up according to the weather. So it has become our habit every morning to check the weather before preparing the clothes and outer attire for them. Same thing applies with our transportation mode — if we know it’s going to be raining, means that we have to use our trailer attached to our bike when we are dropping M off, for example.
Learn to prioritize. 📝
Let’s face it. This is a life long skill that we need to adapt and master as we go along with age (don’t ask how old I am!). Having two kids at home forces us to manage our time since their needs keep changing and anything (basically anything) can happen here. KiTa might be closed due to lack of personnel, school may be needing additional adjustment due to schedule rescheduling, and so on and so on. Whatever we have planned might be a mess. But I have learned to prioritize and leave the things that made me not happy out. For example, food is the priority so I will get that done no matter what. If I didn’t have time to cook, it’s okay to just order a takeaway. Clean clothes are a must, but ironing them is not — so I will make sure laundries are done every two days, but ironing them depends on my schedule (and my mood!). And I have learned to make time for things that make me happy. Is journaling a primary thing? No. But does it make me happy? Absolutely. Is reading a book something that I need to do every day? No. But does it give me joy? Freaking yes.
Make more time for friends. 👥
Believe it or not, when I was in Singapore, despite having a helper, I rarely go out to meet friends on weekend. I guess I was just too tired at work and I didn’t think I need to meet and speak to anyone else other than my husband and kids. I also rarely chatted with my friends back home. Now here, especially during this pandemic, I found myself craving for human interactions. And honestly, having spent my weeks listening to Germans and trying to understand it makes my brain super tired and disconnected. I want to have simple conversations without worrying if I have been using particles correctly or if my pronunciation is spot on. I text my friends more often now and make more effort to be involved in any group activities. I joined a blogging group, I joined a parenting whatsapp group, reading community, and journaling community. Anything that will keep me sane and happy.
To be honest, I hate changes — and who doesn’t? But changes are inevitable and changes is the only constant in our lives. So why don’t make the best out of them and try to adapt?
I’ll see in the next few years if life is changing again.