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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Getting the hang of motherhood (really?)

This is really the most wonderful phase of my life.

I have an amazing hubby, two sweet little children, and a wonderful job.

Sometimes, I will look back at my life of 36 years, and think about all its ups and downs. I have been really fortunate in that I have not had a lot of major turbulences in my life. Of course, some small little setbacks are unavoidable. But all in all, it was a largely uneventful life.
If I compare all the years I gone through so far, the few years since I have been married has been the most happy and fulfilling years in my life. I got married at a relatively late age of 30. And the first child came about two years later. And now I have two children, age two and four.

Motherhood is really such an incredible experience. It is the only experience where you can be both in heaven and in hell at the same time. When I look at my children, sometimes a literally get a “kick”. Thoughts like: “Awww, how sweet they are?” would flash across my brain as I watch them play with one another. Then in the next moment, I have to step in to break up an ugly fight between the two toddlers. (Trust me, the fights can get quite ugly. My young one is quite aggressive and may even bite his older sister. I have been trying to get him to stop doing that, but so far have no major success. Tips, anyone?)

I think the one thing about motherhood that I really do not like is the lack of personal time. Since I am a working mother, most of my time is actually spent on work. After/before work and during weekends, all my time belongs to my family. So to squeeze out some time for myself, I have to change my own lifestyle. 

Nowadays, I wake up one hour earlier than my family on week days, just so that I have some time to myself. But even that one hour is too little for me, as most of it will be spent on the usual morning stuff of brushing teeth and face-washing, eating breakfast, and reading snippets of the newspaper. One hour flies past too quickly, and then I have to change myself into “mother” mode, and get ready to wake the children up and coax them to brush their teeth.

At the start of the motherhood journey, I was stressed and tired most of the time, and became quite bad-tempered. My poor hubby bore the grunt of my bad temper, as I sniped and growled at him.

It is really quite unfair. I can be very sweet and patient with my kids, and be extremely testy with my hubby, all in the same breadth. It felt like those Korean drama, where the mother-in-law hates her daughter-in-law, and every conversation between them is peppered with insults from the former. Maybe not to the extent of that, but you get the picture. My poor hubby felt like nothing he did was enough. It led to a few quarrels, which actually made things better, as I started to understand how he felt.

Nowadays I try my best to control my temper, but sometimes I fail as well. Somehow, I find that I do not get upset with my kids so much (maybe because they are so cute), but my hubby can say really simple or innocent things, and hit my red buttons. Poor guy!

Recently, I thought that things have become better.

Is it because the kids are a bit more grown up (ok, they are still only two and four years old) and easier to manage? Is it because between my husband and I we now have a few years of experience of parenting, so we have “gone up the learning curve”? Or is it just because we have adapted to the new life stage, and can take things easier even when things go wrong?

I am not really sure which is the major reason, but I thought things are getting better.

Recently, the four of us went to Taiwan for holidays and had a wonderful time! Yes, it was more tiring as we may need to carry the toddlers for some parts of the journey. Yes, it was slower as we had to accommodate their nap times in between the holiday itinerary. But it was such an amazing and fun time because I had the best company in the whole world.

And that is the best part of motherhood. You get to love your children, and in the process, love your husband even more.

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