Archive | February, 2012

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! ūüôā

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… ūüôā ¬†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! ūüôā

 

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.‚ÄĚ (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‚ÄĒ
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.