Sunday, July 20, 2014

Impatience and fear.

It suddenly dawned on me that I feel wary and apprehensive when the kids are all smiles and playing happily together. And when the kids are all smiles and playing happily together in public, people smile at me and say they are such lovely kids. I, too, think they are lovely. But often not for long. And this stresses me out greatly. Of late, they are more whiny and irritating than angelic. Is it a phase they are going through? Am I not spending quality time with them? Or am I just an impatient mother with a low tolerance level for unreasonable behavior, something which seems common in small children.

Just this morning, the daughter needed 30 minutes of coaxing to get out of bed to brush teeth. I had to prepare their breakfast, and told her to rinse her mouth by herself. She snapped. Ran to the kitchen with her foamy mouth crying. (Why?!) I seriously couldn't take it, but told her to go back to the toilet to rinse. Her grandma helped her. But she was still in "let's agitate mom" mode after. Time was running out. I grabbed her and brought her to her room to change. She insisted she couldn't go to school, and wouldn't wear the cute cheongsam that was to be the attire for today's Racial Harmony Day. After some struggle, I got her into her dress and gave her milk to drink. She screamed and said she didn't want to drink, and that's when I snapped, and smacked her on her hand. She screamed even louder and I smacked her again. (I just know the smacking doesn't work but I still do it – why?!) Thank God the grandma came to the rescue at that point. I stomped away.

This seems to be happening on a daily basis now (not the smacking, just the bouts of screaming). I don't know what to do. Most days I try to calm myself and ignore them. They've been fighting a lot too, which is difficult because I don't know how to mediate without taking sides. When they are on their best behavior, cheery and cooperative, I hold my breath and tread carefully. I hear this voice telling me that this should not be the way, bringing up kids should not entail fear. Everyday I tell myself this is why I cannot have anymore children -- I am a busy and impatient working mother who struggles with anger and stress management issues -- and yet I hang back on making an official announcement, if only to myself. The working mothers with domestic helpers don't understand. They have screaming kids too, but don't have frazzled lives. People say that work-life balance is important. My work-life balance is a fog of fuzzy boundaries -- I spend time with the kids 7 days a week, and I also work 7 days a week, with whatever time I can spare.

And there are other stresses. Financial issues. Outstanding debt. Retirement preparation. Many times I wonder how far I will remain in this world. I don't know what God has in store for me, but what if it's to suffer and die young? Should I be prepared for this?

Maybe I need to talk to somebody with real problems like mine. Most people look at me and think I am doing a great job, but it hardly feels so. I wonder if my kids will grow up high-strung and a bit crazy like I am. I certainly don't wish so but with my own mother's tendency to jump to conclusions, and my own moody outbursts, I know that if they look at me, they will learn from me.

I must endeavour.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Three.

My kids will be turning 3 soon. How time flies indeed, you can never say this enough! I cannot believe I have had NO time to write any blog entry at all. Perhaps it's because of my new job at the very fabulous The Paper Stone. So many things to do, so little time.

It's another few weeks to their birthday, but I am making some notes as a record of the happenings so far. Ever since Chinese New Year in January, I resolved never to spank them again, never scream or raise my voice (yes, I am really high-strung), and to settle issues in a mature and restrained manner. With the one exception of me spanking Amelie for her tantrums before school in the morning, I've kept a good track record.

Now, I do time-ins with them. I speak softly and try to reason to them as best as they can understand. If they refuse to calm down, I threaten them with restriction of privileges -- no going out, no TV, no toys, no sweets. And when they are good, they get rewarded with special things they love. I have also started a star chart, which really works! They have received three rewards already and I think they really love the system!

Hope to keep this up forever. I want them to be happy girls who learn that in life, one has to bear the consequences of their actions, and that there are certain limits to the things they can and cannot do. I want them to be wholesome and obedient children, generous, kind, helpful, friendly, and loving.

Happy birthday A&A! :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bangkok 2013

Just a diary of events that happened. For personal memory.
 
Monday 25/11
Played at Changi playground, ate at lounge happily. Kids helped to push luggage. Walked with us as we took train to hotel.
Meltdown = Amelie unreasonable and crying on plane. 
Stress = Astelle insisting on peepee even tho gonna land already. Fidgeting in seat with seatbelt and tray.

Tuesday 26/11
Had good time at pool and bathtub. Bought a few nice things from platinum and ate nice ramen. Amelie got scratched on back and cheek. 
Meltdown = Amelie cried and complained for nearly one hour before bedtime. Wanted to go home. 
Stress = Astelle kept scratching. Kids didn't like walking. Kept insisting on doing own things, not holding hands. Both fought for luggage pushing and bag carrying.

Wednesday 27/11
Good girls. Walked, shopped, looked at things. Ate properly. Snacked a lot. Went toilet by asking. Made it through a night market.
Meltdown = 0
Stress = minimal

Thursday 28/11
Went Siam malls. Saw a protest on street. Astelle ask for toilet at wrong times and the toilets so freakin far away. Had to carry so heavy. Kids were otherwise fine coz had nap at food court. Bought stuff at least. 
Meltdown = 0.5
Stress = some due to long walks up and down malls

Friday 29/11
Hung out at Terminal 21 and hotel. Kids noisy coz tired and needed naps. Amelie got a scratch on her arm. Made it to railway station in one piece. Airport sucks. Food shops so far away. Girls very good on plane. No crying. 
Meltdown = 0
Stress = minimal

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Apologize?

Today he asked me to apologize. For something which I felt was not wrong, and possibly not unexpected by me. It was a wrongly ordered hor fun, wrongly ordered due to his bad hearing. It was a noisy food court and the kids were screaming and talking at the top of their voices. I didn't understand how he could order a meal with tough meat and Sotong for the children. Completely ridiculous. If you know me, you know I'm not adverse to having a slightly raised or even shrieky voice. (it's something I inherited from mom.) All it took was one sentence and he's pissed off for 24hrs.

I just think he's one of the most unkind people around.

And I'm always the one having to apologize. I don't understand.

There's no happiness in my heart now. Only despair and sadness at a bleak future.

Woman

I wish there was someone out there who would think that I am unpredictable, exciting, witty, fun, cute, and funny. Womanly, girlish, smart, intelligent, interesting, and engaging. Mature and innocent, old yet beautiful, young and impulsive. That I am someone to talk to, whether fluffy stuff or deep conversations.

And of course love me for all these and more.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

If only.

My husband hates me, and so does my mum. Perhaps hate is too much of a word, but amidst a flurry of heated emotions, and misunderstood quarrels, it certainly feels that way. Coupled with screaming, whiney, attention-seeking kids, and the fleeting thought of suicide crossed my mind. It would be so easy to think checking out of this world was the answer for my hurt emotions. Let someone else worry about the kids' future and well-being. Let them work their ass off and earn the money. Let them see how difficult it is to juggle life and be unappreciated.

If only...

But I don't have the guts. And the thought of children growing up without a mother is too despairing a life. I imagine little girls fraught with sadness, rebelling against their grandparents and a father who always thinks he's right. And I do love my kids and would love to see their grandchildren.

God grant me peace, solace, and patience to deal with the anxieties of life.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Austerity measures. A soliloquy.

From 1st January 2013, I have been adopting austerity measures in a bid to save more money. The need to save more money is important to my husband's and my life goals, retirement plans, and my children's future. It's been four months and I am feeling the strain.

I was very determined in the beginning. I ate cheap, skipped lunch if I had a heavy breakfast, and never paid for someone to make coffee for me. I also stopped shopping for myself after Chinese new year. I do buy toiletries and necessities, but only when in dire need.

Recently, I realised my average lunch cost was getting higher and higher. I simply could not bring myself to eat some crappy food court meal at $4 anymore. $4 by many's standards is high for a lousy meal. But nowadays I was paying $6-12. I also spent a lot on my kids' birthday gifts. It felt like I was let loose. Consoling myself that it was a valid reason to shop, I bought anything on a whim. You can't blame me, I was shopping-repressed.

Just today, I had a disagreement with the husband on travelling by budget airlines for a holiday. A friend advised against budget airlines for an 8-hour flight. I totally understand the pain, especially with two 2-year olds in tow. But the hubs balks at the few thousand dollar bill just for flights. I understand that pain too. It seems so much for a one week's worth of gratification. But I'm angry still. Whatever it is, I'm disappointed and angry.

You see, I've been working very hard these last four months. Working my ass off in whatever time I had. I've had numerous jobs and they pay me alright. I earn a good keep, not great but good. I am tired working two jobs (the other being a full time mom!) in 16 hour shifts (or 24 hour if you consider a mom's job), and here I am, not able to reap any reward for my hard work. I don't have time for pedicures, I don't go for facials or spa treatments. I don't shop. I hardly have time for lunch chats or tea sessions with friends. I don't go on holidays. And I always feel pressured to eat the cheapest food available.

Am I normal to feel the need for instant gratification? I know If I wait, better things will come. But this wait makes my patience grow thin. It's also sad to see how everyone else around me seemingly having a much more fun time than I am. I feel entitled and I know that is quite wrong too.

As I wrestle with these feelings, the dawn of a new day beckons. And it's back to the grind again...