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.




The things I miss

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On nice, sunny mornings, I wish I could slowly eat my breakfast, relax and enjoy the sunlight.
On rainy days, I wish I could snuggle under the sheets and take a nap.
On quiet nights, I wish I could chill and enjoy some “me time” before bed.

I wish I could still take a nap whenever I want, for however long I want.
I wish I could head out whenever I feel like it.
I wish I could have the luxury of sleeping through the night.
I wish I could have a little more time for myself.

These things aren’t possible now with a baby, but someday it’ll be possible again.
And I hope that when he gets a little older he’ll learn to enjoy these things too.

There will come a day when I can sleep through the night again.
There will come a day when he wants some time to himself and I can have more “me time” again.
There will come a day when we can both snuggle under the sheets together.
There will come a day when we can both laze in bed together instead of getting up early.
There will come a day when going out together gets easier and we both enjoy it.

I don’t know when that day will come, but it will get here eventually.
Hope keeps me going on days where I feel lonely and exhausted and miss my old life dearly.
That and my love for him.




Moving to a bigger place

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We have a studio apartment in Bangkok, which we are moving out of very soon. At just under 30 square meters, it’s a cozy space sufficient for 1 person, but a slight squeeze when you have 2 people sharing it. It came fully furnished, and we only had to get our own mattress and electrical appliances. The building has a pool, a library and a small gym. It also has a laundry room with coin laundry available, so you don’t have to get a washing machine if you don’t want to.

Our new place is now ready, and we’re moving over soon. We just need to shift our things over, tidy up this place and hopefully we’ll be able to rent it out. It’s been nice staying here whenever I’m in Bangkok, but I’m looking forward to living in our new place now!

The floor plan

That’s how the whole place looks like, minus the balcony.

The toilet

The view from our balcony. It’s a garden with a sheltered area where you can sit.




Tales from the baby spa

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We’ve been going to the baby spa once a week since Ethan was 1.5 months. I wasn’t sure if he would like it at first, and I also didn’t feel confident about bringing him out when he was so young. But he took to it the first time he tried the pool out, and having something scheduled each week forced me to get out instead of cooping myself at home. It’s been good for me too since I get to talk to the staff and some of the other parents as well.

1. The new baby and the young mother
Our last trip there, I saw a young couple bring in their baby. The mother was in perfect shape; she looked energetic, had full makeup on and her hair looked great and well-maintained. Her baby looked younger than Ethan as well (he’s almost 4 months now). I wish I knew her secrets to looking so good! I just don’t have time to do that much for myself. Perhaps I’ll have more time for self-care when Ethan finally sleeps through the night? At least I’ll have more energy then. But man, I’m so envious that she manages to look so good despite having such a young baby. My tummy doesn’t seem to want to shrink anymore.

2. The baby with the black hair
Another baby came while Ethan was in the big pool, and while the baby looked familiar, I didn’t recognise the people who brought him in. I remember the baby since he has really black hair, and has a korean actor look to him. His mother was the one bringing him to the spa, and she looks around my age. Turns out that his mother, whom I had met previously, decided that she wasn’t good at looking after the baby, so she hired a domestic helper and went back to work. The helper and his grandmother were the ones who brought him to the baby spa. I understand how she feels. No matter how much you love your baby, looking after one full-time is no easy task. Sometimes it’s just easier to hire help and go back to work, especially if bring a SAHM is taking a mental toll on you. I’m thankful that I have my MIL to help; we don’t always agree on certain things when it comes to baby, but I can’t do it without her. It’s exhausting to take care of a baby alone, especially when he still doesn’t sleep through the night.

3. The older baby girl
For some reason, most of the babies I meet at the baby spa are boys, but there’s a girl whom I’ve met a couple of times. She’s 1+, and is able to interact with the adults. Most of the babies I’ve met at the spa are less than a year old, and can’t interact much yet, so it’s nice to meet one that’s able to do so. She’s able to come over when asked to, and likes to grab the toys the adults are holding. I can’t wait for the day when Ethan gets to the stage.

We still have 4 more sessions left, and I would gladly pay for more if not for the fact that we’re moving to Bangkok soon. Hopefully I can find something equivalent over there.




Keep chugging on.

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As I’m writing this now, I’m just hoping that I’ll actually finish and post it. It’s been almost 3 years since the last post here. I’ve been meaning to write, especially in the past couple of months, but it’s been difficult to.

The biggest change in my life recently was having a baby last October, and life has been rather challenging since then. I had a normal pregnancy, and delivery was fine except for the postpartum haemorrage, which made recovery slower and more difficult. While my wounds had more or less healed by 6 weeks, my energy only came back at around 2 months.

I’m physically fine now, but mentally, perhaps not so much. It’s been difficult transitioning from having a full-time job to being a stay at home mum. Loosing the freedom to do whatever I want when I feel like it, and being stuck at home with a baby that’s fully dependent on me has been rough. It’s tiring, yet boring at the same time because it’s repetitive. The hardest days to get through are the ones where he doesn’t nap and just keeps crying. It’s difficult for me when I can’t take a break and have some time to myself to recharge mentally, and as a result my patience runs thin and I get frustrated easily. I wonder why the baby just doesn’t want to cooperate, and then I get upset with myself for getting frustrated with the baby. And then I wonder why other people seem to have such an easy time while I’m struggling.

Reading forums and other blogs has been a great help. It reminds me that there are many other mums who feel the same way and share the same struggles, and seeing posts containing words of encouragement gives me more confidence and hope and things will get better, and that I will become better at this. I’m sure some of my friends have had similar difficulties as well, but we just tend to not bring them up unless we’re asked.

It’s difficult to talk about these things, even to your partner sometimes because it might seem like you’re falling into depression or complaining too much. But not getting it out just makes things worse. I see people resenting their partners for not lending them a listening ear, and not helping with the baby since they have a full time job while the wife stays at home. I read about mothers who are about to give up because they lack the support and understanding that they need. I just wish more people would understand how being a stay at home mum is a full-time job, how tough it is, and how there is hardly any rest or freedom in the early days if you have no one to help you out. Sometimes we just need to get away for a break, not because we don’t love our babies enough, but so that we can recharge and continue caring for them.

I love my son; I love his smiles, his chubby cheeks and his tiny hands and legs. I love it when he babbles and when he looks at me. Everyone says it will get better, and I’m just doing my best each day, hoping that things will get easier, and we can enjoy being with each other even more. I’m grateful that he’s healthy and has been developing well, and I’m grateful to have my mother-in-law helping out.

I want to talk to him, teach him new things and bring him to see the world. I’m sure we’ll get there.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.