Almost about 2 years ago, I wrote a blog post on “One Day As a Mom“, when Junya was first born.
Now I am writing as a mom of a toddler and a soon-to-be-born baby. So… technically not mom of two yet XD.
Thank you for sharing all your experiences in my previous post, thank you for the emails, messages, and comments. I never expected that so many mothers are facing similar helper situation and were stuck in the same emotional stress. Thanks for letting me know that you guys are doing so well and that I can do it too.
I have been coping for more than two weeks (one month actually, if I count the two weeks we spent in Japan!) to take care of the house and Junya and the pregnancy almost all on my own, and the moral of the story is… as cheesy as it sounds:
Never try, never know.
If you think you cannot do it, you really forever cannot. And don’t let people scare you into thinking that you can’t do it.
In fact, I felt really thankful for her to choose to not come back, because if she did, I would still be torn between complicated emotions and not realize that it was really, really not how I wanted our family to be. It is truly a blessing in disguise.
Because I am so much happier now.
All the mothers who chose not to have a helper anymore after similar experience told me the same thing: they are tired, but happy. In fact that should be the title of this post.
TIRED BUT HAPPY!!!!!!!!
Because that is exactly how I feel now. The danna came back from Singapore just in time for my birthday last night, and I just felt so so thankful. He must have been really worried (probably guilty too) about me handling all these by myself, and must have been thinking for many different kinds of solutions to this situation as well, so that our family can always be together (I’ll be traveling to Singapore tomorrow so we can stay together for at least the next week!)
It also make me realize how many 贵人 I have in my life to offer selfless help during times like this. My own mother of course, Junya’s school, good friends who helped me babysit Junya when I had work, and clients who are ever so understanding to accommodate meetings to my convenience and let me go back early from events.
The first day I was alone, it was for real one of the worst nights I’ve ever had. They say moms have it the worst when their children are sick. Well, try having a sick child, and being sick yourself T__T.
I was down with a bad flu and barely had the energy to even get out of the bed, when Junya had a massive vomitting in the middle of the night all over the bed, himself, and me, and waking up every 15 minutes crying. I dragged myself up to shower ourselves, change the bedsheet, put on fresh clothes, only to have to do it all over again when Junya vommitted the second time. And then the third time. I already ran out of bedsheets and had to make do with towels and for the rest of the night neither of us got any sleep. The very next morning I had a whole wardrobe of puke-filled laundry to do and two of us were feeling like headless zombies. I don’t ever wish any mother to have to experience this in their lives. At least don’t get all sick at the same time T____T.
But we soon recovered and things got so so so SO much better then.
So here’s just to document my daily life as a mother of 1.5, so that few years later I can come back to this post and totally point and my old self and laugh: “Goddamn amateur LOL” because I will be SO DAMN PRO BY THEN. You just wait, weakling me.
One Day as a Mom of 1.5
I don’t even have to wake up extra early. Unless Junya wakes me up any earlier. I change Junya, myself, make the bed, fill Champon’s food and water bowl, make myself some shabby breakfast (cereal and milk and bread) and Junya’s usual breakfast (porridge cooked overnight or yogurt and bread), throw laundry into the washer, feed the both of us, put on 2 minutes make-up (TOTALLY POSSIBLE lol. But my hair is always shit and in a ponytail la), and then send Junya to school by 08:00.
If we have extra time we would FaceTime papa, because that’s the only time papa is not at work yet and JunJun is still awake.
Reach Junya’s school and drop him off.
I am just so so thankful for his school. Initially Junya went to school for only about 3.5 hours, but after knowing my situation, the school let me extend and keep him there until after lunch time, which is usually 1-2pm. So I actually have the whole morning to do my own stuff. So for this new term I have enrolled him for extension so I have the flexibility to do my stuff. It’s all working out quite perfectly.
In the afternoon the teachers will send me pictures of him doing activities in school. It’s just such a relief to know that he is taken great care of by a great professional team instead of being paranoid worrying dunno what he’s doing at home with the helper while I am away for work. Thank you Daisy, you don’t know how much you have helped me!!!
I get back home to do some work, or use these few precious free hours to run all the errands. Go to the bank, attend meetings, do the groceries, go for morning work events, or even sometimes for pampering like eyelash extensions! Quite a luxurious life lol. It’s an investment cuz in the end you save time for make up hahahah.
Actually to be honest every day by 9AM I feel like I just battled a war lol. I’m not someone who enjoys driving (especially rush hour in KL) so if I have to do more driving after that it is really quite torturous T_T.
I will also tapao lunch for myself cuz really very lazy to cook T__T. I do feel a bit guilty cuz now I am eating for two, not just myself.
So on a good day I do make some quick cooking and will have that for both lunch and dinner.
Quick spinach risotto (with boiled rice) in consomme powder and butter, air-fryer grilled herb chicken (to save time) and avocado.
Keeping it for Junya’s dinner also.
Pick up Junya from school. His nap schedule is unpredictable (depends on how tired he was the night before and how early he wakes up).
Sometimes he does nap in the school or car and that’s the difficult part for me now. I can barely even bend down to pick something up (when nobody is looking i just use my feet to pick things off the floor LOLOL) so the hardest part is to pick him up from nap and carry all the way to the car and back to our house and bend down to lay him on the bed, if there are groceries then it’s game over lol.
If Junya naps at home
I am very lucky when Junya can tahan his whole school time and then nap at home, which meaaaaaanssssss I have another 1-2 hours free time to do stuff!!!!
That’s when I get to actually do some cleaning. Air laundry, magiclean the floor, wash the dishes etc.
Then brush Champon and discuss with him about life in general.
AND THEN STILL GOT EXTRA TIME TO DO MY SOCIAL MEDIA NONSENSE LEH. Lihai or not!!! Looks like I don’t even have to quit my job lolol.
If Junya naps in school
Then… I just have extra work and just have to do it double the speed. XD
Sometimes my little helper decides make himself very useful with the house chores, but always end up giving me more work to do XD.
He has somehow outsmarted all the safety-locks for drawers and cabinets -_____-. And that’s when you are constantly on a “picking things up with your feet” mode.
Note to self: When it comes to housekeeping, I realize it is so much easier to never let things pile up and adopt the “use one plate, wash one plate” approach. If I keep things tidy little by little frequently, it is much better than having to wash a whole sink full of oily dishes. It could be a little depressing to see things pile up.
Junya (wakes and) eats his snack. Put a few toys on the table and he can be there for a good 20 minutes while I go prepare dinner.
Fold laundry while Junya plays with Champon.
I have also realized one thing.
Ever since the helper is gone, I noticed Junya has become more independent. Before that he always needs a play companion, either mama or the helper had to sit down and play with him, build blocks, do coloring/drawings, etc. But he is now capable of playing with the toys by himself or the Shiba.
I always thought (as with most mothers who hire helpers) that if a helper is around to do the house work, the mother gets to spend more quality time with her child together, playing, reading, etc. But I realized it is the opposite. When she was around, I had extra time, but I always ended up doing my own work. And I admit sometimes I even just wanted to take a rest and be lazy. And now that she is gone, instead of having no time for Junya because of all the housework, I actually spend EXTRA time with him because while i’m doing housework he is always around me anyway. We communicate and learn new things. “You wanna see how a chicken is grilled?” “You want to wash your own water bottle?” “Can you please help mama throw this in the garbage bin?” True, sometimes his help is totally the complete opposite of “help” and is just giving me more work to do, but that’s how he learns.
And he understands. When I told him i have to wash the dishes/cook his dinner, he does not ever protest and ask me to play with him instead. Honestly I am a little impressed. I didn’t even realized things could change so much in a short time.
I suspect that is also the reason why in Japan the kids are sooooo good with helping their mothers with housework. I know 4-year-olds who could air the laundry, fold clothes, and look after younger siblings, instead of having everything done by the nanny/helper.
Eat dinner with JunJun.
Either we eat the same thing I made for lunch, or I just cook something ridiculously Cheat One™ easy.
Throw cooked mixed grain rice (with konbu, hijiki, barley, etc, you can buy the mix grain packs from Japanese section in the markets), into pot, add water, add Konbu Cha powder for taste, add Aosa (a kind of green algae), and then eat with salmon flakes, or batch-made frozen hamburg, tamagoyaki, etc. Don’t even need to cook extra veggies or meat dishes. I eat right from the pot so I also have less dishes to wash lol.
And then wash dishes and clean up the mess. -_-. This is maybe my least favorite part of the day lol.
It is impossible to be mess-free because Junya now says things like “don’t want mama feed. JunJun feed.” And he has a lot of creative ways of eating, trust me.
Shower (if no time) or go for a long bath (if damn free) with Junya. The danna says that the Japanese culture of the whole family going into ofuro (when the kids are young la) together is a very important “naked bonding”. I sort of understand that. JunJun is just extra adorable in the shower and I get to relax (with all sort bath salt!!!) for a good 20 minutes. 🙂
After shower, we play a bit, he brushes his teeth, we watch some videos, read some books, sing some songs.
Sometimes I even have time to catch Japanese drama (omg I’m probably very late but I just discovered the website www.kissasian.com that lets you watch alllllll the Japanese drama and anime it’s too awesome T__T). This one is “Beautiful Life”, which inspired the whole hairstyling industry in Japan 15 years ago. So nostalgic T_____T. Brainwashing JunJun from 1 year old lol.
JunJun goes to sleep (hopefully).
If he is tired sometimes he falls asleep on his own. I will tell him I’ll have to wash his bottle, and take exxxxxxtra long time to wash so he’ll just doze off lol. Damn cheat this mama.
If he is not that sleepy I’ll end up having to spend extra time with him on the bed, but that’s my favorite part of the day anyway, because it’s all hugs and kisses and repeat again until he falls asleep hehe.
21:00 or anytime after Junya’s sleep time
I blog. You are welcome. 😀
And that’s my day, as a mom of 1.5. Totally awesome.
There are challenges, of course. Like when I have work during evening time or weekends and it’s not a kid-friendly event. Sometimes I turn it down, sometimes I am really lucky because I do have awesome friends, who stays in the same apartment and are so willing to offer help.
Eve babysits Junya, feeds him good food and he plays with her kids. And I can always trust her because she has always been an awesome Senpai mother.
So, I am truly thankful. For now, everything is going perfectly well.
I am writing this because I read about all the other mothers who were facing the same issue. For those who live with helpers and have a happy life, of course that’s perfect for you. But for those who are struggling emotionally and are considering living without one, I hope this blog post can give you some encouragement, if you decide to be taking care of your child fully on your own. Because once you try, you will know that you can do it. And with a happy heart.
We have all our privacy again. Our family feels like a family again. I can let my guard down again.
We can walk around in underwear again. I am so so so so much more relaxed again. I feel like my son’s mother again.
I am tired, but happy.
And I think that’s what everyone who has gone through this will tell you.
I think that once the universe makes one a mother, it also gives you a special power that nobody else has. There’s nothing we cannot do!!
True, I have many other challenges to face once the new baby arrives (nobody can send Junya to school anymore and that will be the biggest problem), but that’s for the next post titled “One Day as a Mom of Two”, if I ever have the time to write one. XD