how do you (I) do it? – two years later

I vaguely remembered writing a post on this. And I Googled myself. hahah. Eh, that is the fastest way to find a post okay.

And so I did. I wrote a similar post 2 years ago. Has anything changed since then? Well…we added a new member to the family and boy, are things even more hectic. I was ‘inspired’ to write this post because in a span of a couple of weeks, I had this question posed to me: how do I do it, with 4 kids? 

I don’t. Let me tell you as it is now: I’m seriously sleep deprived, clocking 5-6 hours each night. I have been shoving the kids to their father because I cannot deal carrying a newborn and 3 kids having a shouting match. The last 3 weeks was probably a vacation for me cos at least I have the option to simply tell my husband that I was going to take a nap and just waltz off and do it.

Except I got a shit brain who makes me a light sleeper and it takes me forever to settle and by the time I actually wind down enough to sleep, the baby wails for a feed and I gotta restart all over again. BOO.

The same shit brain also makes me feel inadequate, makes me feel that I am not doing enough despite knowing that I have clocked a lot of stuff in an hour, just cause there are still veggie peels in the sink, breakfast dishes not washed, I am stuck on a chair nursing the baby with my now lukewarm yoghurt sitting in front of me, and a toddler sitting outside playing by herself. START PACKING FOR YOUR GUILT TRIP  says the brain.

And I do just that. Why are there stuff still not done? And oh, your shit eyes also decide to spy a dried patch of god-knows-what on the floor and you add mopping the dining room to your never-ending list of stuff to do. But you know what? The smart thing to do would be to practise self-care. To say it is okay to leave some of the stuff to be cleared after you are home from running errands outside.

That you have done just enough, and it is okay. That it is time to head out with your kids and spend some time with them, away from the chores. Those chores CAN wait, well, except if everyone is running out of undies, then sorry that cannot wait. Hahahaha.

But how do I do it some days? I do it because of this man who makes me feel I can do it.

Daddy Ting and his minions

I laugh to myself recounting the messages between him and me whilst I gave birth to Alex, and him missing out on the birth. All because we thought the labour would take a while, and he could go home, check on the kids a little and come back to the hospital again. Oh what a story to tell Alex when she grows up.

This man handled 3 sick kids and looked after me after we got discharged from the hospital. He tried cooking my meals for me, but I kicked him out of the kitchen on day 5PP. Hmph. I want the food I want to eat! Then he had to handle the 3 sick kids AND keep them away from the newborn. That was week #1

sick kids means mask on all the time!

Week #2, he fell sick but still looked after the recovering kids sans Sarah who stayed over at my parents’ place so he could rest more. Then things got better, we still stayed home a lot. Sorta, this momma went out a bit cos I was getting cabin fever. I got to meet some friends! Oh happiness. Trips to the polyclinics for jaundice checks were the highlights of my week!

Week #3, Ollie broke his toe. Sigh. So dunno who kena confinement siah. Daddy Ting really got his work cut out for him lifting his 20kg son around cos we were trying to keep the cast clean (else how to sleep in bed?? Yucks). On the other hand…Quentin had a lot more opportunity to be out of his brother’s shadows cos Oliver is out of action. That would be another post in itself.

bai-kah-chu

We are into week #4 and we are catching up on errands. A LOT of errands plus sending Quentin to his day camp. This is a trial run of how it would be like when the kids go back to school next year, esp when Oliver commences primary school. I told Daddy Ting that we cannot do enrichment classes for the kids, cos it is just not our style. We are way to chill to do the mad rush on weekends. Even swimming classes was pushing it a little (5-6pm, and then the rush back to have dinner wth).

But this man, my husband, takes all these in stride, and still takes time to make sure that my mental well being is taken care of. Once that is taken care of, everything else goes. He was there when I needed him (well, except when he missed out on Alex’s birth hahahahahah.) He is almost at my beck and call, at this time, if the kids are not all piled on him, hounding him to play Uno with them.

mummy not free, nehmind, teh-bao daddy!

we played copious amounts of Uno.

Etched in my memory forever:

1) Watching him put Sarah on the toilet and him squatting next to her waiting for her to be done, and then cleaning her up. I laughed, and he chuckled as well, shaking his head. There was just something about that scene that made it endearing and funny.

2) We have a recycling box at home, and he spied some ziplock bags in the box earlier today.

Him: are those ziplock bags in the box??
Me: oh yeah, they are the ones that the clothes came in. I didn’t know what to do with them, but they are in pretty good condition eh?
Him: yeah, I was surprised to see them there. I thought you would use them to store something.
Me: waaah, not bad hor. You noticed!
Him: Of course, I was thinking how can it be that you would put those bags into the box?? Where’s my wife and what have you done with her??
Me: Bwhahahahaha. You’re an idiot.

The little actions he does to support the things that I do or want to do. They remind me that we have a thing going on always.

So how do I do it with 4 kids? I will run solo with them when Daddy Ting goes back to work, but I do it with some help from the village I have behind my back. It pays to have a big family and have the kids close to them.

It pays to have married my soul mate and knowing he has my back. 😘

 

Category: Special

right here, right now

This is more of a reminder post to myself I guess. I have been thinking about writing a post for the past few days, and more thoughts just got added on to it. I think I better type them down now before I forgot about the moment.

ALEX

We are currently at 28 weeks with Alex. It is harder to move around, I constantly have the maternity belt on so that it provides some form of back support. I mentally wrote a letter to Alex, one that I intend to type out, and one that the other kids didn’t really have whilst they were ‘baking’ in my womb.

Dearest Alex. 

The other day, as your father and I looked at your elder sister, I told him, Sarah, would always be the first daughter in the family, as Oliver had been the first son. Firsts..are always a little different cos of the novelty. But I hope it would be the same for you as you eventually become the baby of the family. The last baby. Good grief, definitely the last baby. I honestly don’t think I can go through another pregnancy. Haha. 

This pregnancy is a lot different to the rest. See, we wanted four kids. But we then decided that we would be happy with 3. And we were sorta settled. Then you happened. At the first whimsical test, I half hoped that we were pregnant. But I was also okay if we weren’t. I mean we were ready to move on with our lives. I had spent $300 on a wardrobe overhaul. Moving on meant I no longer have to deal with breastfeeding. There was a faint line, but it was after 2 hours. We decided that it was an evap line. 

Life went on.

Then the real test. I went through an emotional rollercoaster. Afterall, we had decided that the first test was inconclusive and it wasn’t a positive. This time, it was a positive test. I went through some elation, to then being really stressed about our financial situation, and then mourning the loss of freedom. It was a bad rollercoaster ride. We also didn’t want to share it with family cos we weren’t even sure if we were going to keep you. I needed signs that you were meant to stay. 

I saw you as a disability. At a point of time in my life where my kids are very mobile. Pregnancy eczema came back with a vengence and I was losing a lot of sleep. Your daddy took care of a lot of things; he took over putting Sarah to bed so that I would get a lesser disrupted night of sleep. He had to care alot about my mental well-being. I was in a state where I felt hard to relate to anyone..cos none of my friends have four kids. Haha. I felt a lot on my own. And I had a lot of expectations to meet to try and cope. These expectations were set by myself. Expectations to make sure that everything else was status quo. It was tough, but I think we are falling into a better routine now.

It didn’t help that the day we first saw you on the ultrasound, the day your paternal great grandmother passed away. I didn’t know if I should be happy to see your heart beating, or mourn the loss of someone I cared for dearly. I wished that she could have hung on long enough to see you. Just once. It was another bad rollercoaster ride cos it took me awhile to slowly let her go and finally say goodbye. 

Your brothers are amazing and have been filling up some gaps. And I know I am blessed. And I will need to constantly remind myself that your brothers are still kids at the end of the day. There were bad days where I felt like an utter failure as a parent. The tiredness and frustration wore me down and I felt like I failed, despite all the readings I had done to prepare myself for parenthood. The term supermom was a farce. I don’t want to be a supermom. I just wanted to be a normal mom, coping as best. 

But you made you presence known. Your elder sister adores you already. She would sing to you just before her naps, she would cuddle my belly and pat it absently. Ask her what your name is and she would cheekily say ‘ABCD.’  On good days, she would reply, baby meimei or A-yek. You would get kisses from your brothers before bedtime. 

You are here to stay, despite my mental struggles. You are here to make your momma walk out of this stronger. And you are here to make our family complete. Come out strong, my baby girl. We can’t wait to meet you in 12 weeks time!

love,
your mommy. 

 

Category: Daily

today

We had almost a day together. My parents came over to watch the kids and pick/drop off the boys.

We went off running errands, restocking and doing deliveries. We pondered what to have lunch. I mean no kids! Hahaha, the options were limitless. We could have spicy food, steamboat, anything! But that is the difficult part. We ended up having something safe, haha, a bowl of ramen. The ah pek had wanted something soupy that afternoon.

We had a lovely lunch, no interruptions. The conversation veered slightly towards work. Then I stopped you, because I wanted us to be talking something else apart from our work. Sure, if we talked about finances, it would veer back towards work again, cos we would discuss about how I could grow the business so that we could look after the kids’ future.

We talked about the kids, we talked about travelling, we talked about our friends, we talked about us, we talked about Alex and what we still had to prepare for Alex. I mean, we were experienced, but we might have missed out on something.

We then headed for a car servicing after lunch. My first with you. I wasn’t big about sitting at the workshop for an hour or so, just waiting. But you convinced me that we could have a drink and chat more. And we did.

You told me it was one of the best days you had with me in a long while. I was abit zonked out from interrupted sleep, had catnapped a couple of times in the car. And probably was sharing random thoughts or offloading some of the mental load. To be honest, it was hard getting used to the lack of noise around me. hahah. I spend a lot of time with noise. I think I am getting hard of hearing. That’s what having 3 kids yelling away, on top of me yelling at them, probably does to my ears.

But it was a good time out. I got to hold hands with you, without anyone complaining. I got you all to myself for 7 hours. It was nice. Life is going to get busier soon. I don’t think I’ll have a lot of you left to myself once Alex is here! Better enjoy it whilst I can. haha.

Category: Daily