No Valentine’s for us

Almost every Valentine’s for nearly 10 years we did nothing special. In fact being a bit of a anti-romance snob, we’d go for some good old Hainanese chicken rice. There’s no candlelights, no love songs, and obviously no surcharge. 

And we’d walk along the roads looking with amusement at people who were awkwardly carrying flowers and bears.

Its fun and nice for some, but really we are not that kind of couple. 

Today, as parents, no time no time! Forget romance. It’s a feat some days to remember to say Hi and Goodbye and Thank You. 

Love is doing mundane things for each other and for our child. 

Love is stepping in and filling in when the other fall short. 

Love is congratulating each other for successfully catching the projectile vomit when Little Foot is ill (yup, happened just last night) and having a good laugh while one of us is drenched in vomit. 

Love is letting the other sleep in when unwell.

Love is reminding each other about the day to day things we forgot do. 

All the unspoken things that money can’t buy you (actually okay, Chicken Rice does cost a few bucks). 

My point is, there wasn’t romantic over the top gestures over the years, but in the end, the love that lasts is not that kind of love for us. 

It is this…being around, no matter what. And allowing each other to be ourselves and growing (old) together. 

Happy Valentine’s Day & Advanced Happy 10th Anniversary, Long. 

Thanks for all the years spent together!

Mr logical…never let go

“The road ahead is long… you can walk fast, you can walk slow…. but more importantly, as husband and wife, we need to walk side by side at the same pace, helping each other along the way, never letting go.”

On Tuesday, we woke up to what we thought would be a usual work day.

Then our phones kept buzzing. Friends were sending us screenshots of the post “My imperfect husband” which kept appearing all over their Facebook feeds.

Yay, it had gone viral. Which blogger didn’t hope that their blog would go viral? Still, I was having a nagging feeling at the situation. It was a blogpost from April after all. Why did it suddenly spin off?

I guess it got shared so much to a point that it got into the wrong hands. A friend alerted me to a screenshot of a certain trashy news site in Singapore (let’s not drive more traffic to them, since that was their purpose in the first place, with ads plastered all over).

We’re talking bad headline, accompanied by  trashy photos (of a woman in some ridiculous skimpy dress sitting on a man. Sorry, those people don’t look half as good as us IMHO). And we started to see people scolding me and calling me names online both on that page and in comments posted to my blog.

I asked Papa Long, “How?”

Because we were at work, I turned off this blog. The amount of notifications were just too distracting. Friends were asking me if I was okay and rallying around me while concurrently, strangers were condemning me because they missed the whole point of “My imperfect husband”.

Too much buzz around me. I tuned out and concentrated on work.

After work, Papa Long went for dinner and drinks with his buddies. The boys posted a group shot of themselves having coffee together with the caption “Dinner with kakis. We are all imperfect 😛

They sure know how to spin a positive note to the whole situation. I laughed out loud to myself in the darkness of our bedroom while Little Foot was soundly sleeping when I saw the photo and the caption. And I’m sure all the wives at home were laughing too.

When he got home at night, we chatted about it. Logical as usual, Papa Long said “you shouldn’t have made the blog private. It just made people searching for the article go to the trashy site, and gave them more traffic! And they see the distorted version!”

I asked him how he felt. Was he sad? (Since that was the question people were throwing at me online, that I had shamed him and he would be sad that I badmouthed him publicly) He laughed and said “Those people missed your point. It is all about not staying angry and moving on so that you get a better outcome”. As usual, he was never one to make a big deal out of anything. He also happily showed me a photo of one of his buddies who took a photo with our car, as it was now the “celebrity car”.

In the end, he always reads me best, and he’s always the chill one. When I’m unsettled, he provides an anchoring point and clarity. He took the situation, removed the emotions, evaluated it, then presented it in plain simple terms. Then figure out the next steps.

Perhaps that’s all there is to it. Where I am lacking, you fill in those gaps. Where you can’t do well, I help you along. We are all imperfect, but we complement each other.

The road ahead is long… you can walk fast, you can walk slow…. but more importantly, as husband and wife, we need to walk side by side at the same pace, helping each other along the way, never letting go. Along the way we will continue to have debates and bickers e.g. whether we should have ice cubes in our freezer again, or whether organic foods are just a marketing ploy to cheat our money (I still buy organic veggies for Little Foot).

The important thing is to keep walking together, and be good role models for Little Foot.

And we hope that when we reach the sunset at the end of the journey, it would have been a meaningful walk together… then we could sit down, pat each other on the back and say “I guess we didn’t do too badly”.

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P.S. We won the battle in some way as the post of the offensive article was removed from the trashy site’s Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon (thanks to strength in numbers), and the article was removed last evening.

 

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Missing Papa already

Papa Long just left for the airport… headed for a work trip. As I lay in bed with Little Foot, I am acutely aware of the empty futon on the floor where he usually sleeps.

Unlike other jetsetting couples, I hate being apart from Long. The first time he went away without me after our wedding (Taiwan with his parents), I cried myself to sleep alone in our house that suddenly felt too big. He cried himself to sleep in Taiwan too.

Months later, he went to chase the aurora in Iceland without me. Again, I cried myself to sleep for days… even though I was to meet him in Paris a week later.

After that trip, we tried for Little Foot and conceived her a couple of months later. We never left each other for trips.

Our work usually don’t bring us overseas. That’s one of the things I avoid. I hate work trips. And the nature of his work don’t usually require him to travel.

This week he was given short notice to fly to Europe… so he packed last night and left tonight. Being the explorer that he is, I know he’ll be fine.

I just feel so down though…. not having him around unsettles me. This is the first time he is away from me, from us, since Little Foot came into existence. 

Sighh…mummy’s gotta be brave and survive this week. His plane hasn’t taken off and I miss him so much already.

Even Little Foot cried and screamed when we said goodbye and closed the gate.

Time to learn to stand on our own feet this week.

Come home soon,  Papa!

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From no kids to one… why I changed my mind

This week, a fellow mummy whose baby was born on the same day as Little Foot gave birth again to her second child.

I felt happy for her. Yet it triggered many thoughts in my head including the impending questions that will keep popping up in my head in the days ahead as more and more in my fellow mummy group will start having their next child.

When will I have a second child?  Should I change my mind and have another baby?

To put things into perspective, I was one of those women who refused to entertain the idea of children in my life.

When we entered into marriage, I was adamant that ours would be a 2-person only family.  No kids.

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My list of defence goes on and on:
I don’t want to complicate my life…
It’s a losing investment…
It’s going to affect my career/work…
When the kids grow up,  they will break my heart (thinking of how I would give my own mother grief over stupid things in my teenage and adult years)…
I’m not healthy, my child might inherit my bad genes…
I feel complete without a child…

In essence, deep down was a fear, that I would no longer be in control of my life, our lives. Yet, by God’s grace, a death in the family changed my mind. If Pico our old dog didn’t pass away, I wouldn’t have pondered what it meant to leave. Forever.

When he left, we shared photos and videos, and spoke fondly about his antics and silly ways. Yet, it was just not enough. We were grasping at sand in the wind… helpless.

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I remembered I looked at Long and thought, if I leave, what would he have to hold onto of me? This empty house? A memory card full of photos and videos? How would I deal with it if he left me first? It was such a sad and despairing thought that it broke my heart.

Long always knew what marriage should lead to, but never articulated it well. He wanted a child, but couldn’t justify why except tell me my religion said I should. When I voiced my thoughts,  I guess it finally provided him the words that failed him.

And so we started trying for our little one. Two months later, testing positive felt like striking 4D.

Fast forward 13 months later to present time, I look back at all the times spent with Little Foot… from the pregnancy to the newborn days to colic times to now. She grew and we grew with her.

There are days I remind Papa Long that he wanted a child… (and by that logic he should be more hands on and “siao on” as a father. There are days I throw my hands up and ask myself why the F*** I agreed to put myself in this parenting situation. However, the good times and all the fulfilling moments greatly outweighed those.

Little Foot has a priceless smile that would melt all doubts away. She has those eyes that spoke a thousand words.  Even the frowns she used to present so often in her early days make me sit there and just get lost in the moment. The bond we share, especially because of breastfeeding and how we battled gestational diabetes and colic together, it replaced all the superficial things I thought was all I needed.

– Forget dates and movies.

– Forget cafe hopping.

– Forget beers on Friday nights.

– Forget one-luggage, hardly planned last-minute trips.

– Forget hobbies and couch potato time.

I’ve forgotten my old lifestyle where these were things I do without planning and without much thought.

Yes,  we still yearn for these and we will still attempt to keep a semblance of the old lifestyle, so Little Foot goes out with us for “Flower legs” sessions every weekend, finding a cafe with coffee that had latte art for Papa Long. (He’s obsessed with it), and I occasionally drag my scrapbook materials out to try to use them.

For now, I’m at the #onechildpolicy mentality. The next hurdle is overcoming my fear of going through it all over again.

The fear of going through all the unknowns in pregnancy (including not doing an Oscar test, because I will keep the baby whatever happened), the lethargy, the crazy newborn days, the milk woes, and then the thought of putting Little Foot on the sidelines if there is another child… how is that possible?

A few of the second-time mummies in my group shared how it was for them… “you may think by having a second child, the love would be halved… no, actually your heart will be able to become double big so you love both as much as you love her now.”

Wise words.

Have I thought about it?

Yes. Because I go back to the “all alone in the world” fear that sparked my journey into motherhood. Eventually, time will take Papa Long and I away from Little Foot. The thought of leaving her all alone in this world without a support system like what I enjoy (having 4 siblings) also breaks my heart.

But I fear.

I fear that I won’t make it the next time round… irrational fears but there is a real-life example in my sis’ friend who is now in a vegetative state, a result of complications during the delivery of her third child. I can’t overcome the fear that I may leave Long and Little Foot behind.

Until I overcome the fears and learn to trust God to lead the way, I will continue to be overly anxious about this.

No second child for now… let me enjoy Little Foot’s company for now. Our family of three seems complete to me.

Who knows,  God will open that door for me when the time is appropriate. And if he doesn’t, I think we will just have to prepare Little Foot for the journey ahead on her own.

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Revisiting our wedding place

Our little family of three attended our first wedding for 2016 on 2nd Jan.

It was a rainy day.

One of my very dear friends, the young girl who used to work with me while waiting for her A Level results, and later became my very good friend and scrapbooking kaki was getting married to a boy whom I know will take the bestest care of her forever and ever.

How nice that the wedding was held at St Teresa Church,  the place where Papa Long and I got married in 2012. We haven’t been back since the wedding, since this was not the parish I belonged to.

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Many moments of the wedding mass (more seriously known as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony) moved me….especially served as a timely reminder to me about the marital vows I had said in His presence. It was a peaceful mass for me.

Little Foot started out well when we arrived, fascinated and intrigued by the people, the flowers and the many things going on in the church as everyone settled down and prepared for the ceremony to begin.

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Her patience wore thin however, as we neared her nap time…  so for the better part of the ceremony, Papa Long stood outside the church with her in the Tula,  patting, rocking, singing to her, and finally got her to nap. As I sat inside and looked out at the man I married in this very place, fulfilling his vows in his own ways, I silently thanked him and Him.

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After the starry-eyed romantic church wedding that many women hankered after, I sat there in the pews of the same church comprehending what this Sacrament meant. It wasn’t about the perfect proposal or the most beautiful gown, ring, flowers or music. It was about what comes after….the long long walk together in life that as a couple we will take, sometimes sacrificing for the other person, propping each other up. He has done the propping up more than me most days.

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Our wedding in 2012…

Thank you, my friend, for the chance you gave us to revisit the place we got married, and refreshing my memory of all the promises I made at the Altar.

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I pray that your marriage too, will be a love-filled and fulfilling one too 🙂

 

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