How to Train Your (Little) Dragon

30 Apr

a couple of weeks ago, my family took a trip to ikea.  if you are a parent of young kids, ikea is probably one of your favourite places to bring your kids.  they not only have babysitting service (for older kids), but their washrooms even come with diapers and kiddy toilets for babies and kids.

my daughter has been throwing tantrums lately and her whining and crying has gotten so much worse than before, that her dad and I are afraid to take her outside.  whenever we go out, she often “acts out” in public and in all honestly, it’s darn embarrassing!

so, at ikea… she decided to go on this full-on tantrum. first, she lied down on the floor… and she waved her legs and arms as if she was making a snow angel.  then, she flipped over and started to ‘swim’ on the ground, as if she was in a swimming pool.  all this, while screaming and crying at the top of her lungs.

everyone’s watching.  i’m tempted to pick her up and soothe her to escape from the embarrassment.  however, i don’t want to encourage this kind of behaviour and i know that picking her up and soothing her is exactly what she’s asking for.  so, i didn’t give in.  i kept calm and asked her to stop and of course, she didn’t even hear me.  i told her very firmly to get up.  after repeating myself for awhile, i told her i’m going home and she can follow me if she wants to.  then, i turned and walked away.  meanwhile, everyone’s eyes were on us.  i prayed that she would follow me and if she does, i was willing to hug her and comfort her.

less than a minute later, i turned around and i saw her get up.  she stopped crying.  she looked at me and smirked.  then, she ran the other away.

OH MY….. i was beyond mad.  how can this be?  she’s only 16 months, not even 2 years old and she is already acting like this??  what is wrong with her??

i eventually ran after her and held her tightly, which caused her to begin her cries again. she tried her hardest to squirm out of my arms.  eventually, ikea ice cream was able to calm her down.

yes, one thing after another.

toddlers from 13 months to 18 months are very cute and they will make you laugh and smile.  i have often heard many parents say, “awww, that’s a good age!”  it is, in a way that they are starting to experiment with new things and imitate you.  they learn so much and they will show off what they’ve learned and it will melt your heart.  however, because they are getting smarter… they will test you.  they will push you to your limits, little by little, until you throw in the towel.  after a ‘battle’ with your child, you are mentally, emotionally and often times physically exhausted!

oftentimes, i think… are all kids around this age this difficult?  or is it just my child?  am i doing things wrong?  if i become a strict and disciplining mom, would this trouble go away?

one thing i would hate is to have a spoiled, undisciplined and bad-mannered child.  i do not want to be a helicopter mom or a ‘yes’ mom, who spoils their kid.

after much thought and much observation of my daughter, i have learned that she was ready to understand her limits and ready to be disciplined.  at first, i had a talk with my husband to make sure he was on board with me.  when i discipline, he was not to interfere or to comfort her saying daddy will make it all better.  i got his agreement.

the next day, later at night, her tantrums began again.  nothing i did was satisfying to her and she wanted more and more.  she wanted to watch tv, eat while lying down and even then, she wanted me to turn on a different video every minute.  anything other than that, she ran around crying and screaming.  so for the first time, i turned off the tv, took away her food and told her until she behaves, she wasn’t going to get anything.  she understood everything i had said and so her screaming got louder and she cried so hard that her cries were silent.  she was very angry and she tried and tried to get her way.  i didn’t give in, nor did her dad.  then, she wanted to be held.  i walked away a couple of times saying that she needed to calm down first.  after a while, i held her and explained once again, why it’s not good to behave the way she did.  shortly after, she was calm.

omg.  after that incident, she became an angel.  she behaved so well the rest of the night and she even went to bed without a fuss and fell asleep within 10 minutes.  no resistance, no crying.  she tossed and turned, trying to fall asleep and she fell asleep all by herself.

the next day, she listened to us much more than she ever has.  for the first time, when you told her no, she actually listened.  then, monday began and once grandma spent a day with her… back to square one.  i had to be firm with her once again on monday night and tried to set boundaries again.  she must have been so confused, but i was hoping that she would learn some consistency, at least with me.

anyways, after this crazy experience, i thought… perhaps, it’s time to send her to a good daycare or nursery school.  maybe being with grandma isn’t helping her to learn limitations, manners and independence.  i felt that she’s now entering to an age, where she needs to learn acceptable social behaviours and independence.  perhaps, i’ll need some professional help – someone who is educated in teaching her these things, in the most constructive way.

thus, started my search for a good nursery school, once again.  we found a great private school.  yes, it’s gonna cost us an arm and a leg, but i feel like it’s going to be worth every penny.  from their curriculum, the teachers, the facilities, their teaching beliefs to organic lunches and snacks… it would be worth it.

i guess our next step is… can we afford it (for years to come, since the price will only increase as she moves up to higher grades)?  is she ready to go and spend a whole day without grandma or mom?  if she goes to this school, she has to wean her pacifier; can she do this?

much discussion and decision making will take place in the next few weeks.  on top of packing and getting ready for a new house… the work never ends!

Dragon Snow Angel

Milton, Here We Come!

29 Mar

hello blog, it feels like ages since i last wrote.

so many things have happened since my last blog post. i’m finally adjusting to my new work and i actually really enjoy working. my baby girl is growing well and throwing tantrums more fiercely than ever and having a mind of her own. she only does things her way, only when she wants to. sigh…

and big news. we finally bought a house and we are really happy with our new home.

house prices are crazy these days and finding a nice house within our budget hasn’t been an easy process.

we wanted to buy a house in mississauga but with our budget, it was going to be a townhouse or rundown semi-detached home. so we ended up looking into milton and we found a great detached house that we really liked. milton is about 20 minutes away from mississauga and even closer to my current job so it worked out well.

this home was definitely meant-to-be and yes, it’s everything i’ve dreamed of! we saw the house at 7:30 pm and we put in our offer at 10 pm on the same day. they had multiple offers so we ended up going over our budget but regardless, i think the house is worth every penny. we are very thankful. it’s less than 2 years old, mattamy built and there aren’t too many things i want to fix but we still need to put up a fence and finish the basement once the house settles in.

milton is a growing community and it’s filled with new homes. the neighbourhood is quite interesting, like nothing i’ve ever seen. i’ve told my husband that our neighbourhood reminds me of pleasantville. 🙂 there is also a new elementary school nearby and i can totally picture our family settling in and living there for a long time. i’m also looking forward to reconnecting with my old friends who also live in milton and hanging out with their kids. my daughter has recently become very social, she loves hanging out with kids around her age or a bit older, so i’m looking forward to seeing her making new friends.

and bad news…

perhaps working overtime and on weekends have taken a toll on me… i’m sick again.

i’ve got the flu plus an infection. i’ve never been this sick in my entire life! i went to see a doctor yesterday and she put me on antiviral (tamiflu) and antibiotics (biaxin). it actually got worse today, coughing up bloody phlegm. i ended going to the ER and was injected with an IV and had some weird orange drink. after many hours, i was sent home. the ER was full of people who have the same type of flu. i could see the hospital staff getting very stressed out with the amount of people flooding into the ER. one of the nurses who does the registration yelled at me while taking my vitals. she told me not to fake my symptoms and that it was not going get me to see the doctor any sooner. i couldn’t believe that she was actually yelling at me in front of everyone and accusing me! i was very upset and wanted to sue her. i plan to write a formal complaint letter to the hospital. thankfully, the ER doctor was very nice and professional. he ordered appropriate tests and made sure that i was taken care of.

i’ve been working on the weekends because i have 6 big projects that are due in a month or so. all the work i’ve done over the weekend didn’t really help, now that i’ve missed 2 days of work! i’m so behind and i feel stressed even thinking about work. sigh…

this year has been a roller coaster ride… constantly sick. however, i’m so thankful for this year, which has brought a new job, a new house… and a cute and healthy daughter, who never fails to bring smiles to my face every single day.

i have one wish… i hope and pray that i don’t become sick again… at least for this year!

Finding The Perfect Man and House…

10 Mar

for the past month, our family’s been sick every single day. my husband got sick for a week, then my daughter for the week after and then it was my turn. then my husband got sick again… this cycle continued on for about a month now!

this week was my turn and my left ear was completely plugged, along with my sinuses. not fun at all! i detest taking medication but it was my only relief, especially from my mentally exhausting job that i do everyday.

thank god for my mom and us being in such close proximity to her! i don’t think i would have survived without my mom’s help!

today, we planned to go visit my in-laws, which is about 45 mins away. my mother in law is leaving to korea to attend a wedding there, so we wanted to spend some time with her before she left. i ended up not going because i was pretty much bedridden all day. my husband took our daughter there all by himself and spent the whole day there! i was so proud of them, especially my husband. i know it wasn’t easy for him because he conked out by 8:30pm! 🙂 my husband’s hard work paid off as it allowed me to have some much needed rest!

on the way home, my husband checked out some houses in burlington, ontario.

yes, we are looking for a house. we’ve been searching for a dream house for several months now.

one of the reasons why we live where we live now, is because of the close proximity to my mom’s house. we live in the same building as my mom. she lives on the 5th floor and we live on the 7th floor and i absolutely love it! we each have our own homes, so it’s not too close but still close enough. we go over to my mom’s place to have dinner at times or vice versa. it’s so convenient, especially with a baby. when i’m busy, my mom comes up to watch her for an hour or so and i don’t have to pack and drive every morning to drop off my daughter before leaving for work. i absolutely love it!

i’ve never lived very far from my mom…. obviously, i’m still pretty attached to my mom. although it’s my idea and hope to live in burlington, i’m scared to actually do it.

however, i really want to live in my dream house… i have this mental picture of a perfect house, but i know we can’t afford it. regardless of affordability, i’m still hoping to find a house that’s somewhat close to my dream house.

to find a good house at a good price has been hard work! i’ve decided that burlington was a dream city/neighbourhood. i don’t know what it is exactly, but i love that place. it’s a bit rural, yet still in the city. it’s not too far or too close to toronto. however, it’s a bit far from my mom’s house, which is in mississauga. plus, my husband and i both work in mississauga… it almost seems like living in mississauga is more of a practical and reasonable decision. so, we’ve been looking at both cities – mississauga and burlington.

looking for a house is a part time job. on top of working 8 hours a day, cooking, cleaning, taking care of a child and studying… i wish i had another me to share my workload. that would be so wonderful…

being sick and all, i started to get tired of looking for a house. the hardest part is the disappointment that you feel after seeing a house in person. how different it is from my mental picture of a perfect house and thinking… this is never going to happen. today, i actually thought about this house hunting process and thought it was very similar to finding a husband or the dream guy. you feel like it’s never going to happen, especially after many failed dates/set-ups… then the perfect one comes along when least expected and you feel like it’s too good to be true! and you have to be patient through the whole thing and stay positive. you see others with their perfect mate and feel like when is it ever going to happen to you? but when it does… you are so thankful that you waited…

i don’t know if i’m correct in saying this (since i haven’t found the perfect house yet) but i’m still hoping for it. i’m not settling for less and i’m willing to wait a long time until i find the one!

hopefully, this will happen soon!

Daycare vs Homecare

4 Mar

one of the biggest hinderances to my decision in returning back to work was child care.  who will take care of my child, while i’m at work?  i’m very lucky and thankful that i had an option to have my parents take full-time care of our little girl, which made my decision much easier.

it was an answer to my prayer.  being able to have a job, my daughter being taken care by someone who loves her as much as i do and also to help my parents financially, which i’ve been wanting to do for quite a long time.  if all of these points didn’t work out, i would have been a stay-at-home mom, whether i liked it or not.

although my child care option was going to be grandma’s home care, my husband and i still contemplated daycare/montessori/nursery school options.  one of my husband’s close friends referred a great nursery school that his mother-in-law works at and also sends his son to.  we were pleased that it was a nursery school where they have programs to teach kids different development skills, and not just a daycare,.  we visited this place and we liked it.

we considered this nursery school because we wanted our daughter to develop social, language and other skills.  however, since our girl doesn’t do so well in a new environment and with new people, we didn’t really want to make her go there.  they did have part-time options, so we considered it, but the school highly recommended a full-time option because with the part-time option, we would not see much improvement.

my husband and i gathered all the information and started to research and brainstorm to see which option was best for our daughter.

i read some of the studies done by different early educationists on the effects of daycare (centres) on child development. different research found one consistent result.  they found that the children who attended daycare were much more advanced in language, reading, writing and mathematical skills than children who stayed home with a family member or nanny.  however, they also discovered that the earlier a child goes to daycare and the longer hours they stayed in the daycare, the more social/behavioural problems they found later when the kids went to school.  they did find that the academic advancement and behaviour problems averaged out by grade six and there weren’t many differences between these children.  (sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/01/national/01child.html?pagewanted=all, http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/43/the-effects-of-day-care-on-the-social-emotional-development-of-children, etc)

i believe that every parent/family has different parenting goals and values.  no one can judge or tell a parent how to raise their kids.  for us, even before our daughter was born, we agreed that we would put a higher value in character, morals and happiness over intelligence or academics.  in another words, we want to discipline our child to become a good-hearted, honest, responsible and happy person, rather than disciplining her to become a lawyer or doctor or scholar.  if becoming a scholar makes her happy, we will support her in that, but our hope is not to influence her to focus only on academics.

so with these sorts of goals and values we hold, we decided to have my parents take care of our girl full-time.  as much as we want our daughter to grow (well) in her development (which nursery school would definitely help with), we thought she needed love and care, more than anything else.

now that it’s been 3 weeks, are we happy with our decision?

there is always good and bad.  i don’t think there is a perfect situation.

the good; she is loved and cared for… probably more than what she needs. 🙂  she’s been sick for a couple of days and i was very relieved that she was in good hands.  i knew my mom would take care of her well and i didn’t need to take days off work.  there are countless good things… i can’t write them all!

the bad; she’s gotten very spoiled and has become much more whiny.  my mom picks her up as soon as she cries and makes sure that she gets her wish.  by friday night, my daughter doesn’t feel like my own daughter anymore, because she’s become so spoiled and undisciplined.  i try to be firm and discipline her during the weekend and by sunday, she’s gotten much better and i feel like she’s back to her old self.  however, next friday rolls around and it’s back to square one.  the inconsistency worries me since consistency is the key to discipline.  however, i think my daughter has learned some consistency in that she knows that she can get her way with the grandparents, but not with mom and dad.

before i returned to work, we took our daughter to the nursery school for a couple of hours for a tour and during this time, the principal/owner lady taught/conditioned my daughter on how to sign for ‘more’, as in i want ‘more’ food.  it took 2 tries and my girl learned ‘more’ right away and she continues to use it everyday.  even now, she doesn’t have much vocabulary that she can speak, but one of the words she knows is ‘more’ (sounds more like ‘mow’).

seeing such rapid learning, i wondered if my decision to have her at home was the best option for my daughter.  perhaps, she will reach her full potential if she was put into a nursery school… i don’t know.

for now, i’m happy with our decision and i’m thankful that i can have peace of mind while i’m at work.  i never really worried about my daughter’s development, maybe more so because she was fast at everything, but in any case, i hardly push her.  i want her to take her time to grow and develop.  i was a late bloomer.  i didn’t know how to add until i was in grade 3 or 4 and i turned out fine.  i ended up excelling in math and in science, so i know that my daughter will be just fine too.

and i really don’t think in the future, she will challenge my decision to not put her into nursery school… so, it’s all good.

maybe when she turns two and shows interest, we might consider putting her into a nursery school for a half day… but… i really don’t mind having her at home until she goes to JK.

Life After Returning to Work

28 Feb

it’s been 2 weeks since i have returned back to work.

the first week was pretty fun; getting dressed for work, taking lunch breaks and being able to eat without distractions and in quietness. there were moments of extreme sadness due to missing my little girl, but all in all, it was nice to have my ‘own’ work and feeling accomplished at the end of the day.

however, ever since i returned to work, i feel overwhelmed physically. i feel like i get no breaks over the weekend. Doing errands, catching up on housework and playing with our daughter. it’s exhausting at work and at home!

this week has already been very difficult. on top of feeling exhausted (already!), it’s been hard adjusting to my team members at work. most of my coworkers have been working at my company for many years and it’s been hard getting used to the culture they have there.

i think the hardest part is missing my girl. i have 3 pictures of my daughter at my workstation, but i try not to look at them too long or too often. there are moments when i have to take some time to control my emotions, tell myself to be patient and that it will become easier/better soon.

i never thought that this transition would be ‘this’ hard. i wonder if and when it will become easier… i need some advice from other moms who have returned to their work. i really need a better perspective… at this rate, i feel like i won’t last very long!

Opposites Attract (my belated valentine’s day post)

22 Feb

warning: the following post is a bit cheesy.  if you’re not into cheese, please skip this post! 🙂

i hardly get valentine’s day gifts because my birthday is so close to valentine’s day.  this year, my husband gave me a birthday/valentine’s day gift, all in one.  nonetheless, this year’s valentine’s day was very special because my daughter and i shared our valentine… 🙂  we each got a lovely card from my husband, which reminded me of my husband’s kindness, not just to us but to everyone around him.

a few weeks ago, my friend came over to spend some time together.  she’s been praying for a guy who she can potentially marry in the future.  she’s been waiting for awhile (mostly because she is so picky) and surprisingly, through a family member, she got introduced to this amazing guy.  she described him as “more than i can ask for”.  the more i heard about him and their relationship, the more i was certain that there was something special.  it seemed too special to think that this relationship was directed by man – it had to be god!

it warmed my heart every time i thought about this couple and the enjoyment they are having, as they are getting to know one another.  it also made me warm and fuzzy, because it reminded me of the time when my husband and i were dating.  so many things happened while we were dating (too many to count), which assured me that he was the man i was to marry.  mostly, it was my husband, who communicated/convinced me that we were meant to be, but regardless, one thing i was certain was that god’s hand was in our relationship.  no matter what happened to our relationship at the time, i knew for a certain that god was in it.

a few weeks ago, my husband mentioned about his coworker’s relationship and how he was contemplating moving to a different city to be with his girlfriend that he’s only been dating for a few months.  he wasn’t really sure if she was the one, but he thought that the possibility was high.  my husband shared his experience and how he knew that i was the one.  according to my husband, most guys just ‘know’ when they meet their future wife.  i’m not sure if it’s true, but for my husband’s coworker, he didn’t have this certainty.  my husband mentioned to me, that he also shared with his coworker that we are very different and how we balance each other out.

here is an example;

i thrive on challenges and learning new things.  within 6-7 years, i’ve worked at 10 different companies.  i’ve worked in the automotive, laboratory/scientific, recruitment, food, government, consumer goods and retail industries.  i love learning new things and meeting new people.

my husband loves comfort and doesn’t do so well with change.  he loves routines and doesn’t like facing too many challenges on a daily basis.  he’s worked for a few companies and he’s always been working within the IT sector.

we are very different.

my husband and i were into ‘lin-sanity’, just like every other asian christian out there.  we watched the raptors vs knicks game (we are raptors fans by default because we live in toronto, canada) on valentine’s day.  it was even more special because they were playing in toronto.  i knew that many of our friends were cheering for the knicks because of jeremy lin and i was too.  however, my husband, who is a loyal fan of the raptors did not fail to cheer for a team that rarely gets into the playoffs.  although everyone was going crazy about jeremy lin’s game winning shot, my husband was furious that the raptors collapsed and lost.  i laughed and made fun of him for loving the raptors so much.  i even told him that i’m going to write to the raptors, asking them to give him a fan award, recognizing his loyalty to the team.  i also said that i will even get a job at the air canada centre, so that i can get him a fake award.

although i made jokes, i was secretly impressed with my husband.  his level of loyalty was something that i’ve never experienced and i knew that he would also be loyal to me and our daughter.

my husband has firm beliefs and thoughts about all things.  he’s not easily persuaded by different ideas or gimmicks.  when he likes and believes in something, he puts in all of his trust, even if it fails him many times.  this is probably why he’s so loyal.

furthermore, my husband also has this (i call it supernatural) ability to forgive others.  he doesn’t have much difficulty being friends with people who have hurt him in the past.  when he forgives, he really does and he does it genuinely.

he is also a genius when it comes to academics.  i wish i had this ability.  let’s say we both study the same stuff.  he puts in 20% of his effort and i put in 110% of my effort and we end up with the same grade.  we are currently studying together – i’m working toward tesl certification and my husband is working toward his bachelor’s degree.  i study for weeks, locking myself in a room for many hours per day, to complete one assignment.  he completes his assignments while watching tv.  i got 89% on my assignment and he got 99% on his.

the qualities that my husband possess are so different from mine and it amazes me every time.  i tell him that he’s got a special gift from god.  when i see him, i can truly understand the meaning of god’s grace and blessing.  i can see that he is favoured by god.

the funny thing is that he says the same things about me.  we both wish we could have each other’s qualities.

we can never possess each other’s qualities, but i’m so glad that through marriage, i can live vicariously through my husband and have a second-hand experience of what it’s like to be rational, loyal and smart!

maybe that’s why opposites attract and maybe god brings the opposites together!

Special Weekend and Back to Work

13 Feb

what an eventful weekend it has been!

i have to admit.  my husband is one generous, sweet and romantic guy.  he planned a short trip to help me feel better (i’ve been sad about leaving our daughter to return back to work) and also to celebrate my birthday.  we had a great time.

when i got up in the morning next day, my husband surprised me with this lovely gift.  so nice.  he’s got good taste! 🙂

 

another big, sad news… we gave away my first baby… our dog, miss r.  now that i’m returning to work, my mom will be taking care of my daughter.  my mom expressed that it will be too difficult to take care of both baby and dog.  she asked that if we could give away the dog… and i also felt that my dog wasn’t getting the attention she needed/wanted.  we looked around and found a wonderful retired couple who used to own small dogs and their dogs had passed away recently.  we met them and we knew they would take good care of our dog.  they also loved miss r instantaneously, so we left her with them.  i broke down.  my husband broke down.  it was very difficult.  one of the most difficult things i’ve had to do.

over the weekend, i felt overwhelmed with a flood of emotions.  saying goodbye to my dog and my little baby daughter… wow, i feel overwhelmed thinking back, remembering how it felt.

today was my first day of work.  so far, so good.  i was scared that i would feel out of place, but it didn’t feel too weird.  i quickly got the hang of things and it was quite nice to work again.  it was definitely easier (physically) than taking care of a baby all day.  however, i missed my girl all day long.

in the morning, my daughter just knew that i was going somewhere.  she clung on to me very tightly and didn’t want to let go.  my mom said that she was fussy all morning, so i went home for lunch (it’s amazing to work close by!) to comfort my girl.  she was so happy to see me and once again, didn’t want to let go of me.  it was so nice and sad, all at the same time.  however, it wasn’t as bad or hard as i had expected and so far, i’m happy about my decision to go back to work.

i guess it will take some time to get used to the change…  my girl’s and my life will never be the same again, but i hope that it will be for the better.

He KNOWS Me.

8 Feb

these days, i tend to gaze at my daughter much more often and longer than usual. i don’t just look at her, like i look at a traffic light before crossing the road. i ‘look’ at her and try my hardest to remember that moment and in that moment, something magical happens – it feels like that time stops for a couple of seconds and everything moves in slow motion. just like in the movies, my daughter remains in focus and everything else becomes blurred. i’ve never experienced it before, until now. this moment passes by so fast, it almost feels like water slipping through my fingers. i want to capture it, if i can.

tonight, while putting miss ej to sleep, it happened again. time stopped and i took a good look at her. her tiny body, arms, legs and fingers… as i looked at her, i said to my myself, this is my ej. i ‘know’ that this is my little girl.

i know her. i’ve known her from the time she was in my womb. her movements, her hiccups and her stretches, i recognized them from the time when she was in my belly. after she was born, i learned to read her and understand her. now, i can tell what she wants from her expressions and her grunts.

and this wonderful experience reminded me how god ‘knows’ me, even more than how i know my daughter.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

i know that this is in the context of god speaking to jeremiah, but i want to believe that it applies to me too. i know that he formed me and made me the person i am and knowing this, i can’t be more secure.

i hope that one day, ej recognizes that she is also made, formed and ‘known’ by god and i wish i could exemplify the extent of god’s love and care to her.

“This is what the LORD says—
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.” (Isaiah 44:2)

there is no reason to be afraid. he’s got my back.

Leaving is Difficult

7 Feb

ever since i’ve made up my mind to go back to work, it’s been extremely hard.  i don’t know if other moms understand how i feel, but it’s very difficult to explain with words how hard it is.

it honestly feels like i’m going through a very difficult break-up where i’ve been extremely attached to someone.  actually, it’s even harder.  breaking up with my husband during our dating days didn’t feel as bad as this.  it’s a mix of negative emotions; fear, anxiety, heartache.  at times i feel depressed and other times, i feel like i’m having an anxiety attack.  i wish i didn’t have to go through this and i also want this to pass quickly.

everyday, i see my daughter’s precious face and think, how am i going to survive a whole eight hours without seeing her beautiful face?  can i really do this?  is she going to be ok?  am i going to be ok?  i’m going to miss her and i’m going to miss holding her.  gosh, it’s much harder than i anticipated!

recently, my daughter started this phase where she is starting to favour her grandma and her dad, over me.  at first, i was happy that she was no longer very attached to me and it felt good to get a break but i quickly felt sad and wanted that closeness with her again.  it saddened me more because i didn’t have too much time to spend with her before returning to work.

i have spent more than a year taking care of her, loving her, being delighted by her and at times frustrated by her.  for a whole year, i haven’t really done anything other than taking care of my daughter and putting her first before anything, or anyone else.  and now, all that’s going to change.  so fast.

this is such an uncomfortable place and i’m holding tightly to god’s promise;

‘trust in the lord with all your heart.  lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’ (proverbs 3:5-6)

i wish time could stop.

I Wish I Was a ‘Mom-type’

3 Feb

most of the time, i consider myself as a secure and confident person. however, there is one area i feel very insecure and not confident about. it’s parenting. it hurts my pride to admit it but it’s true.

my husband is good at many things and one of the things he is good at, is saying things “freely”, without much thought or consideration. i’m not any better and i’m also guilty of saying mean things to my husband, without being considerate. after being married to my husband for almost four years, i have learned to ‘filter’ my husband’s inconsiderate comments and try to take in what he really means to say, rather than focusing on every single word. however, there are times when i’ve got mad at his careless comments and when i get mad, i get really mad. my husband calls it ‘the rage’. it’s like another side of me comes out (holy… that sounds scary!) and i make sure that my point get across, usually by yelling really loud. i’m not proud of this character flaw that i possess and it is one area i wish to change. it’s also an area that steers me away from the image of christ and i’m sadden by this fact.

ok, so. one time, my husband made a very careless, non-intentional comment. he said, ‘honey, i don’t think you are meant to be a mom. you are definitely not a mom-type. my boss’ wife is a true mom. it’s like she’s meant to be a mom. when i hear about her, i can tell that you are definitely not the mom-type’. when i heard this… i was confused and became defensive. it hurt a bit.

i know not to get mad at this type of inconsiderate comment because he doesn’t really mean what he says. i tried to keep my composure and proceeded with ‘oh, why do you say that? and why do you think your boss’ wife is a great mom, but i’m not? what does she do that i don’t?’ ok, i didn’t say this very calmly. it probably sounded very defensive and my voice probably shook a bit. i was trying hard not to be emotional and be rational. my husband answered, ‘oh, it’s because my boss’ wife loves every second that she spends with her son. she wanted to get pregnant as soon as she had her first. btw, she is pregnant again with her second and it happened without her husband’s consent! (apparently, he wasn’t too keen on having a second child so soon). my husband continued, ‘she wants to give up her career and stay home with her kids when her second child arrives’. that really stung. i think at this point, my rage started to kick in a bit.

so i drilled my husband with my ‘defensive’ questions – ‘what’s wrong with me? how do you know that your boss’ wife enjoys every second? come on, every single second? are you sure? how can you be sure? did you see her interact with her child? i do not ‘not-like’ being with our daughter. i love every single second too, but you are never there to help. you come home late, never feed her or take care of her by yourself. what do you know about parenting and being a mom?’ so on and on… the more i spoke, the louder i got. i became very emotional and irrational. you get the picture.

in response to my so called rage, my husband, often times respond by saying, ‘omg, what is your problem?’ yup, that’s it. he doesn’t explain himself or apologize. he just says this one sentence and stops talking. sometimes he adds, ‘are you on pms?’ come on, i need more than that… he can’t just stop talking about it! however, i do know why he responds this way. he’s shocked by my emotional response to something so minuscule and ambiguous.

oftentimes, i shut down at this point. i say, forget it, i don’t want to talk about it because it’s not worth it. i say this because i feel like he won’t understand how i feel, even if i explained, so i don’t want to waste my energy trying to explain and be hurt by the disappointing result.

however, i argued with him this time. i felt that i was misunderstood by him. i didn’t want him to think that i don’t like parenting or taking care of our daughter. i wanted him to authentically view me as the ‘mom-type’ or i wanted to be that ‘mom-type’, although i didn’t really understand the criteria. after a heated discussion, i realized that what he meant to say was that he views me as a career-driven person and not a stay-at-home mom. he doesn’t think that i’m less of a mom or that i don’t do a good job. he knows that i’m a good mom and i do a good job. he was simply commenting on how he perceived me, that’s all.

i knew his intentions were not bad. however, it still bothered me a lot because of these reasons;

1. the fact that i want to further my career and have a job, other than housework and parenting. perhaps, this desire disqualifies me from being that ‘mom-type’

2. i was happy with having just one child. at this point in my life, i do not want a second child. i hope to have a second child in the future, but not right now. maybe the ‘mom-type’ constantly wants more children, because they enjoy it so much.

3. perhaps the reason for feeling this way (point #2) is because there are so much risks in going through pregnancy and labour. due to my condition, portal vein aneurysm, pregnancy and labour are the most dangerous times for me. there is a chance that i may not survive through it. i’m not afraid of dying, but after having my daughter, i’m very scared that i might not be there for her or she may have a very sick mother. i need to live and be healthy for her. so unconsciously, i became very hesitant to be pregnant again. i love kids and as much as parenting is hard, i would totally go through it again because it’s so worth it. my husband’s comment was more hurtful because it seemed like he didn’t care about my concerns. not that he wants a second child right away (he doesn’t either) but i wanted to be understood and comforted by him. i don’t know how he can comfort me but i wanted him to understand that having another child isn’t an easy decision for me, not like other healthy women.

4. in all honesty, part of me does not want a second child at this moment because of my future plans. i want to do and accomplish a couple of things before having another child. i want to enjoy a bit of rest and enjoy my daughter before getting overwhelmed with a needy baby. i worry that this is a big disqualification point in becoming a ‘mom-type’. perhaps, good moms or the ‘meant to be moms’ don’t think about their comfort or their own future plans (or their future plans are more babies). they’d rather spend ‘their time’ with a needy baby.

all these insecurities elicited such an emotional response from me to my husband’s comment. it was a mix of guilt and fear of judgement. and it was also wanting to seem like the perfect mom who is good at parenting.

i’m not good at this mom stuff. it’s hard and i feel like i can never master it. i know that i can only grow from it and i am happy with that.

update: i’m still on the fence with my decision to go back to work. if i do, i would be starting work in 2 weeks. for now, i’m almost sure i’m going back to work.