Guilty mom

I felt so guilty.

Amy was watching videos of herself on my phone in our bedroom, and I asked her to pause because it was time for dinner. I told her that we can continue watching downstairs.

When we went down, she was such a good girl at the dinner table. She quietly and happily fed herself and ate up everything! So different from the usual nights where we would have to coax her and chase her around haha.

On and off while she was eating, she asked for my phone, but I explained that her hands were dirty so I would only give her my phone after dinner.

Once she finished her dinner, I gave her fruits and ice cream and she was so happy. We then went to wash her hands, and I was ready to hand her my phone. Since I had to go to work soon, I told her she could watch it for a little while.

But she kinda ignored me and went for her colouring book and crayons instead!

So I thought, OK. Since she wanted to colour, I shall let her colour.

After about 5 minutes, it was time for me to go. I hugged her and said, “Mama needs to go out to work now ya.” She even said a very sweet “Bye byeeeee” to me.

But.

Right after I locked the door and just before I went into my car, I heard her.

“Amy video. Amy video! AMY VIDEO!!!!!!”

I could hear my mother-in-law asking her what was that, but I knew. She suddenly remembered my promise to let her watch her videos on my phone.

Her voice cracked and I could hear her tearing as she continued asking for ‘Amy video’. She ran to the door and looked at me with such a betrayed face.

“Amy video!!!!!!!”

I looked at her very guiltily, and helplessly said, “But mama really need to go to work now…”

She screamed in anger and big tears rolled down her cheeks, and she cried at the top of her lungs.

“Amy video!!!!!!”

She stomped her feet and shook the grill door.

“Amy video!!!!!!”

I was rooted to the spot for a while, not knowing what to do. My heart was breaking because I knew she was referring to my promise since before dinner, that I would let her watch her videos on my phone after dinner.

My mother-in-law told me to just go, and Amy would be OK. I was already late by then, so I had no choice but to get into my car and drive off, with Amy’s angry screams and cries following me.

I felt so guilty the whole night. I felt like I betrayed my daughter. I broke my promise.

My mother-in-law later told me that Amy was really really upset, even after I left. She would stop crying and play, but after awhile she would say “Mama”, and then sounded like she wanted to cry. T__T

When I came home, I wanted to make it up to her by letting her watch the videos on my phone before she went to bed, but she was already asleep! (Unusually early!)

So I had to go to bed feeling guilty T__T

 

Love,

Nat

Bedtime challenge

It is always a challenge to put Amy to bed.

Why is it that toddlers hate sleeping? I would give everything to be able to sleep. I would sleep on her behalf. I would sleep all the time.

Obviously she doesn’t share my sentiment. Bedtime is almost like war. I have to get creative to make her sleep, or we would end up fighting each other to sleep. Sometimes it would end in tears too (both her and me).

So yesterday, while putting her down for her afternoon nap, I discovered that I could actually bore her to sleep.

I told her facts (OK fine, some were made up) about the planets and the stars and the galaxies and the universe again and again in quite a monotonous tone. It was so boring, that I myself nearly dozed off a few times. And finally, after about half an hour of boring chatter, she fell asleep.

Yes!

I thought I could replicate that at night. But this time she was wiser. Once I finished one round of telling her about the planets and the stars and the galaxies and the universe, she interrupted me with a big smile, “Well done mama!”

That effectively ended my perfect plan of repeating the astronomical lesson.

So I changed my tactic. I told her fictional bedtime stories. I started with the story of the three little ducks, but she requested for a story about Angry Birds.

OK, I can do that. So I started my make-up-as-we-go-along story about Angry Birds. And then she requested that my story be about Angry Birds flying. I put that in. And then she asked for Angry Birds to go swimming. I incorporated that too.

I tried my very best to tell a very long and boring story, making sure that it ended with Angry Birds feeling tired and going to sleep. The end.

But, oh no, she seemed to be quite excited about it. And asked me to tell the story again.

So I did. And she asked for more. And I repeated. And she wanted more. This went on for. One. Whole. Hour.

My bedtime stories were putting myself to sleep, and my daughter didn’t seem to be anywhere close to dozing off!

Finally. After telling the same story for I-don’t-know-how-many-times, with the lights turned off for the past half an hour, and with me emphasizing that Angry Bird was tired and sleepy and had gone to bed to sleep and had told everyone goodnight…

Amy slept.

Another hard won victory!

 

 

Love,

Nat

#preggersandmamabrain

Pregnancy brain. Does it exist?

Some say yes emphatically. Some deny it fervently. I like how WhatToExpect.com puts it:

“Pregnancy-induced brain fog is a true (and truly frustrating) hallmark of pregnancy.” 

WebMD though is quick to clarify that:

“Pregnancy does not change a woman’s brain even though some women don’t feel as sharp as usual when they’re pregnant.” 

For those who have totally no clue what it means, this is basically it:


preg-gers brain

/ˈpreɡərz brān/

adjective

  1. the state of the brain which is more forgetful, less sharp, and more tired.
  2. usually only affects pregnant women

(source: Nat’s made-up dictionary)


Well, whether or not it is scientifically or philosophically or medically or whatever-ally proven, I can’t deny that I do have one.

Worse. You’d think that since it’s coined as “preggers brain”, it will all be back to normal once baby is born, right?

Wrong.

You then graduate to the “mama brain”. Which is pretty much the same, but it also means that this new brain of yours will stick with you from henceforth till forever more.

And now, I have both.

I guess I have many scenarios to prove it, but let me just share two of my recent ones.

Scenario 1

It was shower time. I washed my hair with my shampoo, and then lathered it with conditioner. I proceeded to take the shower gel. But instead of washing my body, I washed my hair. With the shower gel. Never happened before.

Scenario 2

I went for brunch with a friend, and I had my laptop with me. I put my laptop with my handbag on my chair, behind my back. When we were done, I took my bag, and somehow just completely not see my laptop. And we left.

Fortunately I realized my mistake when we were just a few steps out of the restaurant, and my friend kindly ran back to get my laptop for me.

So yea. I now have preggers and mama brain.

BUT. Disclaimer: this does not in any way render us less useful to the society. In fact, the UK Daily Mail said this syndrome makes us a better mother!

“Pregnant women DO suffer short-term memory loss, new research claims… but that’s so your brain can focus on the needs of your baby.

The suggestion is that women’s brains change during pregnancy so that they will be better able to concentrate on their newborn’s needs after the birth, with the result that they become less focused on other things, such as where the car keys might be.” 

Mothers, we are so sacrificial. Let’s give ourselves a pat on the back.

 

Love,

Nat

Number 3: Week 22

amy

Happy Monday!

I have been really bad in taking bump pictures this time round. It’s just that the stars in the universe somehow don’t seem to line up to make the right opportunity for me to take such pictures. *blames the universe*

Here’s one kinda sorta bump picture…

Since my last pregnancy update, I don’t feel a whole lot different. Baby’s movements have been increasing both in frequency and strength, so that pleases me much. I look forward to feeling him move all the time.

I’ve also had to work harder to shield my tummy from being kicked or hit by Amy, which she does, usually unintentionally. My cravings are not as bad, though at times, I would still have a strong urge to eat something specific at random moments. Like, the other night I really wanted to eat ‘bak kua’ (something like meat jerky) right before I went to bed. Unfortunately, it was already midnight, and the hubby was already snoring, so I had to ignore the craving.

My bump is so huge now, I am running out of things to wear. As you can see, my buttons are almost popping off in the picture above. I am also feeling tired all the time. I guess it’s because I have way less sleep nowadays, plus I’ve been running around after my toddler.

Speaking of toddlers.

Amy has been a tantrum queen. Her mood swings up and down in a matter of seconds, and she would throw tantrums all the time. Sometimes she really wears me out, and I don’t know what to do with her. I am already exhausted with her clinging to me all the time. It’s way worse when she throws her tantrums too.

I have never been known to be patient, especially to kids. Now with her, I have to dig out every ounce of patience within my entire being.

On another note, when she is in a good mood, she is such a joy. A few nights I ago, I spent two hours putting her to bed, but it was not too much of a drag. We sang and made up bedtime stories. Then I started massaging her legs, hoping that it would send her to sleep faster (as it usually does). Amusingly, she asked for me to massage her head. And face. So I did. Until my hands got tired. But when I stopped, she asked me to massage again. That went on three or four times.

Then the cutest thing happened. She tried massaging me back! But instead of rubbing, she used her nails so it was too ticklish for me. I tried to stop her but she threw my hand away and resumed her “massage”. In the end I couldn’t take it any more – I sat up and told her to please stop massaging mama because it was too ticklish. And I quickly patted her to sleep.

Toddlers. They have the wonderful ability to make you go from “aww they’re so cute” to “argh I’ve had enough” to “but they’re such poor things they’re learning about their own emotions” to “I need some time out!!” to “I love you so much I just want to spend all my time with you”.

Back to number three. I still haven’t started getting the baby items sorted and ready. The fear and phobia are still there, and I guess a part of me just wants to get the stuff done only when baby has been born safely. But then, would that be considered a lack of faith?

The hubby and I recently agreed to not bring Alexa up in polite conversations with strangers, to save them the awkward moments. I told him I now feel completely okay with that, and that we should just talk about Alexa if and when the conversations get bit deeper. Most people would ask “Oh are you expecting your first?” just to make a conversation, so I really don’t want to hit them with the whole story.

Anyway. I am trying to enjoy this pregnancy as much as I can, and am trying to give baby number three as much attention as I can, though it is proving to be very difficult so far. Still, I am not complaining.

 

Love,

Nat

Warm welcome

“Mama home! Mama home!”

Her happy shouts echoed through the house, traveled out the door, and reached my ears at the car porch like the sweetest music I’ve ever heard.

That must be the best welcome home ever. To see her running happily to the door, exclaiming that mama is home, and smiling ear-to-ear at me.

It makes any long day at work more than bearable. It causes my heart to swell with love and pride.

Amy has also been saying “I love you” to me at the most unexpected moments, and she sometimes runs up to me and says she wants to give me a hug. Some nights, I caught her caressing my head and my arm, just like how I love to caress her to sleep.

A mother’s love is often talked about, but not enough is being said about how a mother can feel so loved by her child(ren).

I am blessed.

 

Love,

Nat

Being stretched

Taking care of a sick toddler is no joke.

Taking care of a sick toddler while 5 months pregnant is crazy.

Taking care of a sick toddler while 5 months pregnant while juggling two jobs and other projects is madness.

I completely salute moms with more kids and more responsibilities.

Amy seldom falls sick, but she did last Thursday. It started off with quite a high fever, which subsided after two days. The doctor said it could be a viral infection. We took a blood test, and I will get the result tomorrow.

In the mean time, she has no more fever, but I guess she’s experiencing an overall discomfort. She seems to cough a little especially when sleeping too. But here’s the thing – she refuses to cough. Since she was a baby, she always tries to swallow her coughs back. And you and I know that when you try not to cough, sometimes it gets worse.

So she would try to swallow her coughs back, and then she would cry. And when she cries, it aggravates the cough. Last night, she ended up throwing up all over herself and me because of her cries and coughs. And she just wouldn’t stay still even while throwing up. She would be kicking and throwing a tantrum, while I was carrying her. Which means, she was effectively bouncing on my pregnant belly.

Since she fell sick, she has also become exceptionally clingy to me. Everything must be done by mama. Everything must be with mama. Mama must be the one who carries her. In other circumstances, I guess I would be flattered. But instead, I am flat out exhausted.

I have been carrying her almost the whole day for the past few days, and I had to do everything for her. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, I had to be there for her. No one else will do.

Not only am I tired, I am also worried. Would I be over-exerting myself? Would it harm baby number 3?

Yet, how can I turn my daughter away? Especially when she is not well? Especially when there’s no one else who would and could step in?

At times like this, I sometimes wonder what have I gotten myself into. Why did I have kids? And why did I get myself pregnant again? Can I really do this? Do I really want to do this?

Then I get so guilty that I even had such thoughts. Me, of all people, should be so thankful for my children. Having gone through the pain of losing one, how can I even allow a little inconvenience, a little exhaustion, a little stress and a little annoyance, to make me regret having kids?

So then I remind myself, that this too shall pass. It might be stressful, it might be tough, it might drive me crazy (for a while), but this too shall pass.

And at the end of the day, it’s about these little miracles called children that God has given to me. I will have to expand my capacity. I will have to learn to manage. I will love them, and appreciate them.

Because if I don’t, then who will?

I will do my best to raise these little the ones the best I can. I want to instil the right principles and values to them. I want to show them that love is the strongest when it’s inconvenient, and patience is the most needed when it’s challenging.

 

Love,

Nat