July 2016

Sometimes, I feel that my life is in a limbo. There is nothing absolute or certain. This leaves me feeling fairly nervous every time when I get a chance, sitting down with a nice cuppa’ tea and my thoughts start to wander…

Having an overseas experience always have been one of the things that I would like to do in my life. Having missed this window of opportunity when I was in university, I was more than delighted when E told me that we would be relocating to London for a short period of time. United Kingdom! The birth place of Shakespeare, West End musicals, of Premier League games, Sherlock Holmes, strawberry farms, Cambridge, Oxford, Cotswold…

This is our 3rd year in this beautiful city. Ryan started his formal education in London. Gillian almost grew up in London, considering how we relocated when she was barely 9 months old. Megan is born in London. So, you can imagine my anxiety when I think about how they would have to adjust to the education system and lifestyle should we decide to head back to Singapore.

We have to make a decision soon, at least before Ryan turns 7, which will mark his first year in primary school in Singapore. I love Singapore for so many things- the fact that we have strong family support, is a major plus point. Prior to living in London, E and I popped down my mum’s place for dinner on weekdays. That is like 5 out of 7 days a week! The family members were always home and hence child-rearing is really more of a village’s effort than just E and myself. E and I always could just go for date-night as and when. (Thank you, Mummy!) Don’t get me started on food because I am truly a born and bred Singaporean girl who loves her hawker fare. While going to those top-notch restaurants is a nice treat, give me my plate of Nasi Padang or my bowl Mee-Pok anytime!

There is always the other side of the coin where returning also means we will have to be more committed to the children’s learning of Mandarin. Mandarin is one of the more challenging subjects for E and myself.. *sigh* (So, if any your younger siblings are gloating about never having to do Mandarin after their A levels, you just got to wake them up from their dream-land. The pain of learning this second language returns with parenthood. It is just going to be more diabolical because parents usually have to pretend to like the language so that the kids will feel more encouraged. Wow wow!) So, I can imagine signing the children up for Berries(?!?), which I heard is real good but expensive Mandarin lessons catered to children. *sigh*

Being a SAHM in London has given me so much in these 3 years. We had our lives enriched much more compared for the first 3 years of our family life. I, fulfilled my dream to be a full-time mother to all my three children. Yes, I complain about my work as a home-maker all the time but most of the time, I feel great(in Singaporean language, ‘shiok’) about it. Anyone who knows my mother will know that she is a fantastic mother and grandmother. Being away from her and just having to do everything myself is surprisingly a blessing in disguise. I get to step out of my mom’s huge shadow, be more of a mother to my children and not just a supporting character in their early lives. Our childhood lullaby is ‘Rainbow Connection’ instead my mother’s Teochew ‘Oi ah Oi’. So, it is nice to have something of my own.

(This is how fabulous I look everyday with 3 kids. Full make-up(brow game strong) and kids dressed in nice, decent clothes.)

Being a grouser, I imagine most of you heard of how ‘bone-shattering’ my daily life is. I don’t tell you guys about, is how Ryan tells me everyday in this tiny, boyish voice that he loves me the most. He is such a Mummy’s boy. I get to see how mischievous Gillian is first hand. These day, she is insisting that everyone calls her Mummy and how she smeared baby powder all over the toilet floor last Thursday. And there is Megan, whom I literally brought her up since Day 1, watching her every single milestone. The best thing is that I can have her waking up at nights, knowing that I possibly can snooze for a bit later in the afternoon. No work-guilt. What I have watched, experienced, the hugs, the kisses, the ‘I love you’s…. how can I put a price tag on that? If I have to describe in one word what my experience as SAHM is, it would be price-less. It is worth so much more than anyone can imagine. (Okay, maybe I would exchange these memories for £1 million.)

Another awesome thing about London would be the weekend plans. So much to do, especially in the summer. Having lived in Singapore for 28/29 years, weekends are usually limited since our country is so small. Small but still good lah! Everything is like 15 minutes away. We lived near the seaside and could always walk/cycle there with Ryan and Gillian then. Most of the time, we prefer to be indoors(e.g. shopping malls, indoor playgrounds, or just anywhere air-conditioned) since temperatures are burning outside. In London, the options are so much more varied, given the amount of space. During half-terms and holidays, we can always drive out for an extended trip without leaving the country.

This post is going to be endless if I were to list out the pros and cons- the folks back home are growing older and I would love for the kids to have close relationships with their grandparents, there is Brexit(!!!) which has implications, life in London feels more carefree than in Singapore, children’s tuition sessions are so costly and stressful for parents and children, no more baking(which I just started and am loving it) at home since I probably got to get a job when I return to Singapore, the conundrum of maid versus no maid, yay! to being able to enjoy local fare(at low, low prices) if we return, the church that we attend currently feels like it has made a positive difference in our faith beliefs and family life, education system in London feels more creative than in Singapore which I like…



As you can see from this post, I am just rambling on since E asked the question last night on where do we see ourselves in the next 5 years. At this point in time, everything just confusing. 😦 For now, I honestly do not know what the future brings but I just hope to leave it to God and He knows.



2 thoughts on “Limbo.

  1. ligurl27 says:

    I love this personal reflection and it is such a difficult decision, as both options have so much merit. I’m Malaysian and my husband is Australian, so it’s a no brainer that we’d bring our kids up here, but sometimes I do wonder what things would be like on the other end. Hubby is a teacher so he could gain work at an international school and still earn a fair bit, and then my boys could spend time with their maternal grandparents (though they’d then miss out on their relatives here in Australia especially their 3 cousins who they love so much). That being said, I think that no matter what the circumstances, so long as our kids have us to support them, they will adapt and will find the good anywhere they are. I wish you all the best with your decision.

    • eugenemay says:

      Dear Ligurl27. Thank you for this comment. Just read your blog as well! Love your style of blogging. I suppose it is just us, trying to make peace with the decision that we make. Blogging is a wa of me making my thoughts less incoherent since I am such a scatter brained.
      Here, me wishing you and your family the best as well. x

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