Friday, March 22, 2013

A Woman's Gotta Do, What She's Gotta Do

 I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows.
If I fail, if I succeed,
At least I'll live as I believe.
No matter what they take from me,
They can't take away my dignity.
 
Music lyrics excerpt from Whitney Houston's 'Greatest Love of All'

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I was hesitant to share this story because family members are involved. However, I choose to acknowledge that this happened for a reason and I wouldn't be where I am today if it was any different.

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To be very honest, I've always led a good life from young. Perhaps it was because I was the youngest child and only daughter. Spoilt (back then) - perhaps. I grew up never needing to worry about anything. I lived in a very protective world where nothing can come close to hurt me or lead me astray.

When I gave birth to my first child, the plan was that my mum would be around to help me during my confinement for at least a month. I thought I could just take things slow if she was with me but I was wrong. Even though she was with me about 3-4 hours a day for the first week, it had already affected the relationship with a loved one as I was being reproached for being self-centered. It was made clear that mum's time was not just focused on me, since mum and dad lived with my sibling and family. Not wanting to sour relationships, I convinced my mum that I could handle everything myself even though I had not fully recovered from my c-section operation. I allowed maternal instincts to takeover and managed on my own throughout my maternity leave.

A few other related issues on my parents "spending too much time with me" ensued after this episode. I couldn't fathom how a less than 2 hour lunch break on most days would affect anyone since we all need to eat. Or why there are reasons to be upset about if parent and child wants to meet or spend time cuddling their grandchild. There were indication of "unfairness" and accusation of "business income losses" even though I still fail to see how I had contributed to the "losses" which I had never come into contact with. All these emotional tension accumulated till I gave birth to my second child two years later. The caring for myself and baby during first week confinement was better carried out this time with my husband's help and something known as "tingkat delivery".


Days were C-R-A-Z-Y at home. If not for my babies seeking attention, I pretty much didn't look forward to waking up in the mornings. With the husband travelling so much of the time and the feeling of being nitpicked for being insufficient drove me to tears. My heart broke into a million pieces - many times. I found solace and drew strength to carry out my duties as a mom from my children.

On hindsight, I am also thankful that I have a couple of friends who listened me out whenever I was on the verge of breaking down. Motherhood was already so challenging at its early stages and what I felt with the lack of affection from my extended family, made me feel rather incompetent and isolated.

A few years after when the kids went to kindy, I re-discovered myself all over again.  I realized that in life, there will always be people with different perspectives about you. But I am not living my life for people to put me in misery or to be mocked at. I live for myself and my family. After these waves of trials, I feel I've emerged a stronger person.  There are many things I've never thought possible to accomplish but I have shown that I can helm the fort at home and become a pillar of tower for my family.

There is a silver lining after all.


Today, 11 years down the road to being a stay-at-home-mom, I think I've outdone myself.  Starting out my jewelry crafting business 7 years ago was the best decision I ever made. To be recognized in several context also puts the positive beat back into my heart in the hopes of being an inspiration to others. I never used to cook but my skills have improved tremendously. Really, if I can do it, anyone else can too. All you need to do is put your heart into it and you are there.

To many, my tribulations may seem trivial. To me, it was a turning point in my life. I had a choice - to dwell in self pittance and fall into depression or deal with the facts of life and move on.

Our lives - you and me - are governed by our own heart and not what others say about us. The past is past. I choose to forgive (but I can't forget) and move forward.

I am woman. Now hear me roar!



Till the next post, have a blessed week!

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15 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing. i don't think i'll dare to write anything involving my family just yet, cos it's all still too raw - for me at least. can forgive, but cannot forget. sigh.

    my most epic of all epic drama which involves a lot of family members is quite similar to yours (and all are my elders -_-"), except the words were replaced with the likes of "making use of". that and belittling me, nitpicking everything i do in my own house - size of my house their problem, have a pet dog also their problem, announce that i have baby number two also got nasty things to say - when they don't even bother to visit or call me.

    thanks to them, i've build up a fence and told myself to rely on me, myself and i (and my husband, of cos). thanks to them, i make a point to have regular self-appraisal in their faces. seems childish, but to me, it reinforces in their minds that i can do it without any of their help. i feel like i'm quite 'vengeful',= cos of the events that unfolded (also started after the birth of Blake). hopefully i'll be able to attain a certain level of peace like you in time to come.

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    1. Belittling... yes. That's the word. And you know what? I've realized I also have a fence around myself exactly like you after this episode. It's tough I know, Mabel. It took a long time for me too. *hugs*

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  2. Adeline, you have some well! I understand, I can so understand how tough it is. Particularly cos your kids are so close in age!

    Ps B's face never change. 100% the same!!

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    Replies
    1. Think we both went through some similar tough times handling the kids alone. So we can relate. :) Why do you think I don't want a no.3? :p

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    2. *done well.

      No number 3 for me either. I have two hands, I have two kids. No amount of grants or rebates or bonuses will make me grow an extra arm!

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  3. Proud of your achievements Ade.. It must have been a growing experience for you :)

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  4. Hello Adeline...I know how difficult it can be. I am also feeling the challenge of motherhood head on ! I think you are an inspiration to many! Thanks for the sharing.

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  5. I am very inspired by the fact that you channel whatever little spare time you have (after devoting to managing the home and caring for your family) to start your own jewellery venture. It's taking off very well and I am excited at future prospects. Your courage to pursue your dreams is admirable. The littlest girl in the family has grown up amidst the trials. Jia You!!!

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  6. I can imagine how you felt when the very people you thought you could count on, don't come through for you. I sort of have this situation, but with people whom I thought were close friends... At the end of the day, I thank heavens that I have a loving husband and lovely kids! They're the ones that keep us going, eh!

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  7. Hey Adeline, your post make me see HOPE! being a new mommy to a 16mth old has been CRAZY! During the first mth i had no confinement nanny coz we were trying to save n the MIL helped out in the day. That drove me nuts coz of the differences in opinion and the constant "snatching" of my daughter away from me! I insisted that i look after my baby myself at nite n WOW it took insanity to a whole new level! Till tdy the lil one still doesn't sleep well at night. But i push on and have to, since the hub travels a whole lot too. With him around, at the very least i can shower/ eat. But yeah, thanks for sharing. I've been trying really hard these days to discover myself. Trying every way to pursue my dreams. I fail in many, but tell myself to push on, so let us ROAR together!

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  8. Thanks for sharing about your experience Adeline! You've given me the motivation to carry on with the decision to move on from a family business. Yes, indeed it is not easy to be a modern mother that does not choose to live like how the elders managed their lives back then. It is not easy to judge for ourselves how we want to continue here on, especially when it seems like everything we do is wrong. Will have to deal with so-called snatching of our children even though they are technically supposed to be under our stewardship, isn't that one of the duties of a mother, as envisioned by God? Anyway before I go on and on, thanks again for the indirect support for all moms out there (:

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  9. I'm definitely very lucky to have the support of my family when I had my girl so I have to say I'm very spoilt in that sense! Love your business! I definitely wanna order something but I can't decide what I want, still thinking. Will let you know when I have finally decided on something =)

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  10. I think you have done really well despite the challenges you faced managing two young kids. If I were in your shoes, I am not confident to see that I am able to do the same. I guess sometimes we all need to be forced out of our comfort zones and then be forced to think differently and be courageous enough to handle challenges. I think more SAHMs should learn from you, to be able to create a business out of your passion and still find meaning to the responsibility of being available for your kids all the time.

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