Yellow-faced Wifey, 黃臉婆

June 2016

The day has come.

I am a 32 year old, yellow-faced wifey.

For those who are unfamiliar with this term, it is just a chinese slang, describing the face of a married woman. It is derogatory, meaning the wife had neglected her outer appearance. The yellow face refers to the yellow skin tone of the wife who has no makeup on. Consequently, her yellow skin tone is showing because she has not used foundation to neutralize the yellowness away.’


I am a 黃臉婆 both on the inside and outside because:

These days, I find myself feeling really grumpy. My default mode seem to be unhappy. I should be doing more but I am just constantly so preoccupied. This year has not been a great year for me… I plough through days because I carry some sort of emotional baggage over some ridiculous incident that happened months ago. I wished I was more aggressive but it would not have been the right thing to do as well. 😦 E have told me to let go of my anger. I can’t. I can only pray that God will give me the grace to just be a bigger person. Being 32 is truly just a number because I still second guess myself as if I were 16.

The number of white hairs of my head seem to be increasing by the years. I never had white hair before I got married! Being an adult, a daughter of aging parents, being a wife, being a mother of three come with its own set of worries. (And no, I am not depressed. In Singaporean language, the best adjective to describe how I feel would be sian.) The reality is as it is and I try my best to be accountable to these people whom I value so much in my life. I feel guilty to my parents in particular. I just have to compartmentalise this feeling because it would be hard to function properly. Sometimes, by the time E returns from work, all I want to do is to just maybe watch mindless TV and not communicate. Instead of being the attentive wife, I really would prefer to finally get some me-time and not care. Like what Rob says in Catastrophe Season 2, ‘Right now, I don’t know that I do care. About that. I mean… we’ve got two kids under the age of three. My job is a nightmare and those things use up all my… daily care units. So sometimes, when you need attention at the end of the day, I’ve got nothing left for you! And I know that’s not fair, but what do I do?

To sum up the entire definition of  黃臉婆 would be my obvious physical neglect. There are days when I wake up, look at myself in the mirror and get a shock from my own reflection! For real. (Who is this monster in front of me!‘) I know this sounds shallow and vain but I am only in my early 30s! That is not really old, right? (No, if you are a millennial and think that 32 is old. You have no idea! It is not old. Yet! 40 is the new 30, which means I am turn 20ish. #justsaying) I was just reading my About page and was really shocked at the rubbish that I have blogged 9 years earlier. When I was 23, I was a real romantic (or maybe just deluded) and probably thought life was all about unicorns, rainbows, eyelash extensions, waist length curled hair, and leading the fabulous life that I always imagined adulthood would be. Note to self: it is about time that I updated that page. I do think I need to put in some effort in dressing up and look less like a slob. E just told me that I smell like chocolate cookies… I don’t think that is a sexy smell. Hahaha. (For the record, before the kids, I used to smell like Burberry Brit Red. Oh-so sensual and feminine!)

What happened?


Life happens.

With kids, it is inevitable my selfish list of desires to take a backseat in my list of priorities. Having this privilege to be a SAHM also comes with material sacrifices. New Prada bag or savings for the kids’ college fund? College fund. Wearing Brit Red or confusing scent of chocolate cookies mixed with undertones of Brit Red? Just chocolate cookies with do.

Hmm… being a 黃臉婆 is not all negative. 黃臉婆 is associated with someone who is loyal and loving to her family, someone who prioritises the family above her needs. I would think that describe me at this point in time. Ideally, I need to cut out the grumpy part which is made worse by my festering unhappiness about the above incident. If possible, please pray for me to be more open-hearted towards E, the kids, my family, people around me and life.


So maybe I do look less awesome than I thought I would be at 32. It is okay but the kids think I am ‘gorgeous’. Hahahha. Yes, they do describe me in that exact word. E still tells me that he loves me everyday. Even with my grumpy attitude and uncaring face, the people who matters the most thinks I am awesome. That vote of confidence should more than suffice and make me want to be a better contributing member of the family.




8 thoughts on “Yellow-faced Wifey, 黃臉婆

  1. Magdalena says:

    May Lee, when I had a privilege to meet you in person last year, I honestly thought what an optimistic and joyful person you are. And here, I read your words, and think: this is it! Life happens, but we are who we are deep down inside. Your joy and happy moments you share with others are still there; you may feel overwhelm with reality, but really you are beautiful inside out, you are wonderful inside out. Don’t let few moments drag you down. We all have that. Think of them as the ones to let you appreciate the good stuff more (that approach helps me:)

    All the best, and hope to see you soon:))

    • eugenemay says:

      Dear Magdalena. Thank you for your encouragement. I would like to think that I am innately quite a happy person but small unhappiness unfortunately festers in me easily and I find it hard in me to forgive. But, what you have shared is also valuable and wise. I need to just see the bigger picture. 🙂 Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Ashley says:

    Omg… this has already happened to me!!! There are days that I really have no mood towards my partner…grumpy, complained even the slightest thing at home 😦

  3. Mummy Ed says:

    I liked this heartfelt post. Being a parent is not easy, especially when you have many kids! I wish I was less grumpy and grouchy (and I’m probably chao bin too), but parenting is tough! Jia you!!!

  4. Les Pommes (Joyce) says:

    Blogging is a good outlet to let out frustration. It is probably harder for you because you are far away without external and additional help. But I think the fact the mummies are more frustrated with domestic affairs is because we are so concerned and centred our life around the big and little ones. The words spoken might be lesser but the volume of care increases without us knowing. You take care there!

    • eugenemay says:

      I like what you said there, ‘The words spoken might be lesser but the volume of care increases without us knowing’

      Right on spot!

      Hope you can continue blogging too! Love your updates!

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