Gratitude Sunday: Independence vs Dependence

April 2014

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Leaving my extended family and job behind in Singapore, starting our lives almost anew and me taking on a new role as a stay at home mom are huge moves. I have my good days and bad days. Good days include managing to get some work done with children, bringing my associates(my children) out for at least an hour, the house being relatively clean and delicious dinner prepared by the time E returns from work. Bad days are me waking up with a bad headache(possibly due sleeping late the night before because I was watching shows with E), the children are sick with a fever/cough/runny nose, the house being in a mess despite cleaning for the umpteenth time, me feeling guilty/horrid for not giving sufficient attention to either of the children and dinner tasting nasty…

I think I have become much more independent in these 4 months, much more than I imagined that I could be. For the first few days at our place in January, E brought us around the area to familiarize. I thought in my head it was just impossible to bring the kids out at all. The preparation was simply too much work- like packing the diaper bag(the bottles, the hot water, the milk powder, the diapers, wet wipes, breastfeeding apron, snacks x2), dressing them up appropriately(two layers, one sweater, one coat, socks and shoes x2), bringing them out in the stroller and i-angel carrier. On top of all these logistics, I have to try to not get lost in the cold. The thought itself was daunting. However, when you see how the rest of the mothers around me are so independent, you learn. Fast.

Nowadays, I can easily plan any ad hoc outings with my fellow adorable associates. The diaper bag is much smaller and compact. I can easily dress both kids in 10 minutes. Max. The first time of doing anything with the kids is scary because I just never know what can possibly happen when I have two kids with me. Looking back, there have been many firsts- first time walking to school, first time going to Greenwich Park, first time bringing kids to see doctor/dentist, first time taking a train with them, first time visiting museums, first time meeting their Dad Dad for lunch, first time going to the farm….After we(the kids and I) crossed our “firsts” time, the subsequent times just gets relatively easier.

When we were in Singapore, E would accompany us to all trips to the pediatrician. If he could not make it, there was always my mother around to help out. Now, because of his work commitments, I will just have visit the doctor alone and pray that the kids don’t fuss in the waiting room. And THANK GOD, so far, nothing has been too bad and all pretty much manageable. Perhaps, my initial fears were all just all in my head. Anyways, E always tells me to take everything easy. All I needed was to ensure two things. 1. The kids are fed. 2. The kids are alive.
So much for his trust in me and my capabilities. (-_-)”’

Looking at the flip side of the coin, I am also becoming more dependent. Unexpectedly. On E. Back home in Singapore, I have my extended family and my network of friends. I have almost their immediate presence and support. On days when I needed some me-time, I could get my parents to baby sit the children. On days when I wanted some conversation or mindless chatter, I could meet up with my girlfriends or my supper friends. Now, E is my everything. I look forward to seeing him home every evening. When he returns from work, I get some time to do some idle net surfing on my phone. He is the one I can talk to about the children’s issues or just random stuff I chat with my mother/friends about earlier. Compared to just months ago, I feel much more dependent on him and I am not sure if I like that feeling. It is not a bad feeling. Perhaps just different.

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