Sunday, September 20, 2015

Guiding Light in Darkness

I guess it’s that time again where I’m quietly lurking in a corner in the middle of the night writing some serious self-reflecting stuff. I call it lurking, because everyone’s asleep except me and the cat.

I think my weakness is not wanting to show people how upset I am, or how bad things are for me. I tend to compartmentalize the bad stuff until it doesn’t seem real until it’s just really bad. For example the fact that I was on the breaking point last year. I was handling the kid, the house, the hot & roll business & the homestay business. It sounds crazy, I had help with all of them but it was still unbearable.

But on the outside, I looked good, I wore makeup, I dressed up, I smiled and I showed up. Plus I cooked and I was a doting mom to my baby. I put on a façade to keep myself from crumbling. How crumbling was I? Well let’s say that I had evil thoughts of just dropping my baby to the ground and running away from everything.

I’ve no idea how to present myself as troubled. It seems like everything was going great, so how could  I even complain of anything? I just felt so alone. Like, nobody else knew what I going through, and who could I talk to? Ugh. I felt so helpless. I hated feeling that way.

In the end, we ended up hiring a full time helper. Alhamdulillah, it took several months to secure her, but we did end up with a good person. This solved 90% of my problems. I learned to let go. To let go of feelings of being the perfect mom, let go of being the perfect housewife.

To be honest, I now cook only whenever I want to. And that’s literally once a month maybe. Some girls really cook up a storm for their husbands and family, yes I feel a tinge of inadequacy, but what the heck, I was earning for the family and I can safely say that I manage the household—I choose the groceries, I choose the daily menu, I teach my helper our favorite meals, and I teach her how I want things to be done in the house. Then I let go. I also have to manage my jealousy of seeing my baby hugging and kissing her ‘ibu’. Yes, we taught my baby to call our helper ibu because you just have to respect her for taking care of us and the house. It’s about managing hard feelings, but at the end of the day, you gain so much more.

I don’t feel tired all the time anymore. I play a lot with my baby, doing all the messy creative stuff. I also have time to go for night dates with hubs. Exercise together. Eat together. Layan doing mint tea for him or something cute like that. There’s a lot you can do when you feel energetic. You learn to do work faster with more gusto because you wanna spend time with your baby.

I guess that’s why when people complain about their maids, I feel abit apprehensive. I hope they treat their maids right. I know first hand how hard it is to take care of a baby while running a household, so I always tell my maid what I expect from her but I try to be very understanding. And we talk a lot. I’m not exaggerating when I say that to me, she’s heaven-sent. Like Mary Poppins. Yes I felt like those lost and listless orphans. Except I’m the mother.

All I can say is that we’ve lost our innocence the moment we stepped into adult shoes. There’s no one to shield you from harsh realities of life, not your parents, not your hubs, not your friends, not your baby. It can feel extremely lonely in that little perfect life. Of course as a Muslim, I have God. He’s my strength, He’s my guiding light in the pitch black darkness. And He brings me out of it, everytime. I’m very thankful.

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