Category: Personal



28
06
2017

It’s been a crappy month

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June started out fine, but baby Ethan caught a cold a few days into the month. The thing with babies catching colds is that the illness tends to spread to the rest of the family. It can’t be helped since babies don’t know how to cover their noses and mouths when they sneeze, and they’ll just sneeze and drool over you. This makes it difficult to not to catch their cold, unless you’re wearing a mask and constantly cleaning away all the snot and drool that ends up on you. True enough, I caught his cold, followed by my mother-in-law.

Colds in adults aren’t usually a big deal. You just feel sick and crappy for a couple of days and it goes away. But having a baby around (especially one who still wakes multiple times a night) means that it’s difficult to get enough rest, and it took me a longer time to recover from the cold this time round. It’s even worse for my MIL –  she reached the point where she was close to recovering, but her cough came back again, and it seems that she’ll need more time before it goes away completely.

Anyway, Ethan and I finally recovered, but just as I was glad that he could finally return to daycare, he came down with a bout of rashes. It wasn’t anything contagious or life-threatening, but it meant that he couldn’t go to daycare unless he had a doctor’s note. However, the clinic was closed for 5 days, and we decided not to bring him to another clinic since the other ones nearby didn’t specialize in infants, and the other pediatricians were located much further away. He ended up staying home for another couple of days, and recovered by the time the clinic opened again. (At least it saved us another trip down as well as some money?)

It was the third week of June by the time all this had settled. I thought that all the negative things were finally over, and that things would start looking up again, only for something even worse to happen – our dog died. He had an autoimmune disease which caused his immune system to attack his red blood cells, causing them to break down. His only symptoms were lethargy and a lack of appetite, and it was too late to save him by the time we got him to the vet and a confirmed diagnosis was made. I honestly thought that he would have at least a few more years with us, and it’s heartbreaking that he left so suddenly. The only good thing about this is that at least he’s no longer in pain. Even if the vets had managed to save him, he would have had to take steroids for the rest of his life, and the long-term use of steroids would have resulted in other health issues. Not to mention that he already had really bad genes to start with – he had juvenile cataracts, an allergy to chicken, and other skin issues as well. I just hope he had a happy life with us.

It’s almost the end of the month now, and I’m just glad that June is coming to an end. It’s been the worst month ever, and I really hope things will start getting better for us after this.

My MIL is getting superstitious and she told me (nicely) to stop wearing black at home because she thinks that it brings bad luck. I personally don’t believe in this, but whatever makes her happy I guess. It’s not something worth arguing about. Ethan getting sick is something inevitable. All babies get sick, and babies in daycare fall ill more often that those who stay home. And when babies fall sick their family members often come down with the same illness too – it’s something that can’t be helped when you’re in close proximity most of the day. We’re just unlucky that all of us caught it this time round.

Our dog dying was something really unfortunate, but given his age and his crappy genes (that we are now aware of), perhaps, just perhaps, something like this would have eventually happened no matter what we did. It sucks that everything bad happened in the same month, without letting us catch a break in between, but I guess there are moments in life when bad things just come one after another.

All I’m hoping for now is for things to start looking up.

 

 

22
04
2017

I need a vacation this year and I’m going to make it happen somehow

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I’ve been hoping to go to Japan again since our last trip there, and that trip still hasn’t happened even though more than 3 years have passed. The past few years have been tough, and it felt like different challenges kept coming one after another. I’ve been wanting to take a vacation overseas (somewhere that isn’t Bangkok), but something was always preventing it from materialising.

I want a change of scenery, even if it’s just for a few days. I want to see new things and be inspired and motivated once again. I want a proper break so that I can reset myself. I hate getting my hopes up for a vacation, and getting disappointed time and time again because those plans have to be shelved.

I’m going to make this trip happen if I get a job in the next couple of months! It has to happen ideally by December, or the first few months next year. I know that I won’t be able to travel for another few years once we have another kid, and I cannot hang on that long. I know that vacations aren’t a necessity, and many people get by without travelling overseas, but I’ve been wanting this really badly for years and I really want to do something nice for myself once I have the means to.

 

 

24
03
2017

This has been weighing on my mind for a long time

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What do you do when your husband works overseas, but you have difficulties and are not happy living there? I really want the whole family to be together, but I just don’t feel happy there. I have no friends, can’t bring baby out freely, and the language barrier gives an additional challenge as well. As a result, I end up depending excessively on my husband, which is not good. I’m happier here at home, and I have an easier time with baby, but it means that I won’t get to see my husband for extended periods of time, and he doesn’t get to see me and baby.

Some people think that I should give myself a few more months until baby is older, and then suck it up and move over. But can I force myself to make things work even if I’m unhappy? Does my happiness not matter at all? Am I not valued equally as an individual? I don’t want to feel miserable and let it affect the mood of the family.

Others think that the overall happiness of the family is more important, and if it were them, they would find a job back home so that the family stays together. But there are opportunities there that don’t exist here at home, and my husband is happy working there. It’s unfair for me to ask him to get a job here at home because he wouldn’t be happy. But at the same time, it isn’t fair for my husband to not have me and baby around too.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, but there just doesn’t seem to be a happy medium for my problem. The best way, I think, is for us to be based in Singapore and for my husband to travel to and fro. But that’s not possible right now, and I don’t see any chance of this being possible until at least 1.5 years from now. What do we do until then? Can we endure our current arrangement until then?

Thinking about this makes me feel sad and frustrated. I feel really bad that I can’t manage being there, but I’ve tried to push myself and I really had a hard time. Do my feelings not matter at all? Should they not matter at all? Where do we go from here? Will we arrive at a good solution? The future seems so uncertain and bleak right now.

How do families with babies or young children deal with having one parent work far away?

I just want my family to be together and for everyone to be happy, but at the moment, it just seems so hard. It doesn’t matter if we’re not rich. If we’re “normal”. I just want all of us to be happy together.

 

 

16
03
2017

Am I going through a 30s life crisis?

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I read this article just now and it describes me perfectly.

I’m supposed to be an adult now that I’m in my 30s. And I have a son. But in so many ways I still feel like a kid, and there are still so many instances when I feel lost and don’t know what I’m doing. There are moments when I wish that I could do something more reckless and worry about the consequences later. To go with my feelings rather than thinking things through beforehand. But I need to be responsible, especially now that I have a family and a kid. My choices affect not just me, but the rest my family too.

Sometimes I get scared when I think of how my son is dependent on me, and that I’m responsible for bringing him up. I wonder how I am going to do that when I still have so many things I don’t know and so many things that I can’t do. I fear that I’ll screw up somewhere and it’ll have a negative effect on him. Can I be someone that he can lean on when I’m so weak myself? Can I be his rock, the person he knows that he can always come home to, when I need someone else to be that person for me?

Another thing I’ve realized is that I feel empty, lonely and unsatisfied recently. I love my son and I enjoy the time I have with him, but at the same time, I feel that that alone isn’t enough to satisfy me. That I need to do something else for myself as well that is independent from being a mum. I need an additional purpose in life. Work used to take that role, and but now that I’m a SAHM, I need to find something else that gives me purpose. I want to do something; learn something; experience something new. I want to travel and be stimulated by seeing another part of the world. I need to find “that thing” that I’m missing right now.

It’s going to take time though, and the journey to finding myself once again is going to be rough. I just hope that I’ll get the support I need during this time when I’m lost and feel less happy.

What I am very clear about though, is how much I value time with my family. Having the whole family, including my MIL together for the past few days has made me so happy. I want us to be able to spend more time together as a family, and to be able to do more things together. We have been apart more than we’ve been together in the past few years, and I hope that we can have an opportunity to live in Singapore again sooner rather than later. I really want us to live as a complete family there.

 

 

11
03
2017

On family and loneliness

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It’s been 6 months since I stopped working, and I’d never thought that I’d say this, but I kind of miss working life. Not so much of the work itself, but rather getting to be around people (and getting paid is a plus).

I am an introvert. I recharge by spending time alone. I thought that being a SAHM would be perfect for me; that I would be fine even if I spend most of my days with baby and no one else. But as the months passed, I gradually realized that the loneliness was starting to get to me. And it’s especially tough when husband works long hours and doesn’t spend much time at home. I enjoy spending time with baby, but I miss being around people that I can have conversations with. I need some adult interaction.

One of the things I’ve realized over the years is how much I value time with family. As a child, I hardly had time with my parents since both of them were working. I was taken care of by my grandmother and maid, and I would even spend some Saturdays at my grandmother’s place when she went home. My mum eventually stopped working when I was in primary school, but that was because of her poor health, and we couldn’t really go out or do many things together. It feels sad when I hear others reminisce about their childhood and all the things they did with their parents, because I don’t have many of such memories. I understand that my parents had to work to support the family, and it couldn’t be helped that they weren’t able to spend more time with me. It also couldn’t have been helped that my mum had poor health. But it just feels sad sometimes.

Now that I’m married and have a family of my own, I wish for more time with my new family as well. The truth is, this few years have been hard because husband is away most of the time. It’s been tough being in different countries and not seeing each other for long periods of time. And even though we’re together now, he works such long hours and is hardly around. I know it can’t be helped since he has to support the family. But I feel envious when I see other families being able to spend time together and I’m doing things alone with baby. I remember my childhood when my parents were too busy to spend much time with me. And it sucks. It’s so hard. I want us to be able to have more time to spend together as a family, but we also need the money. I want baby to have more time with both his parents, and not go through childhood like I did. All I can do now is hope that things will work out and we’ll have more time to spend together as a family, and hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.

I’m doing my best to wait until then.