My prayers…

Since the news of the nz massacres I’ve been so overwhelmed with sadness I haven’t been able to sleep. Not that I’ve actually ever slept well for the last 5 years, but it’s adding much to the existing anxiety. After hearing the news yesterday I obsessively Googled every 20 mins to an hour to check the death tolls… It happens every single time such a news comes forth really. Each and every time it breaks my heart in ways I cannot process nor explain… so I thought maybe writing it down could help me cope.

And seeing how no one really reads this page it seems like the right place to find my bearings…

I feel guilty for feeling any pain at all because I’m not directly affected. It’s almost as if I have no right to grieve or mourn for the loss of these lives because I didn’t even know them. I read letters and comments fiercely spun into the world wide web with cries of grief, of pain, of justice and it shatters me further. Then I feel guilty again, because I imagine the deep and horrible suffering the families/ loved ones must be feeling and how dare anyone even thinks they know what pain is… I’m at a lost for words. I don’t make sense.

I speak vaguely about it to my husband and I begin to tear up. My voice begins to crack and we both stop. He takes my hand and we silently agree he understands and I love him for it.

As I watch my babies sleep… I cry some more. Mama is so heartbroken… About this world we live in. The endless wars from past to present. The endless massacres. I learnt about the genocide of the Tutsi people in Rwanda from Instagram and I cried from every single post. I read about women in DV relationships from my various mums groups and even that hurts my head. I feel this world doesn’t deserve anymore children… Again, I feel guilty that I brought my own children into this world. Of course I don’t regret it. Never. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t concern me how bleak their future looks. This planet is spoiling and choking itself by the minute, I mean, how much longer do we really have before it shits itself?

But in all my dark and morbid thoughts I also have this naive hope. That our children will be braver than us. That they will put actions to their words and do what we are too comfortable and cowardly to do. I look at children in their elements and they are so so so much braver than us grownups. If only us adults have the fearlessness of a toddler.

My dearest Bosh and Kris. And little Moey. I pray for this world to be a better place by the time you’re old enough to understand it. I pray that you will have the courage to stand up for all that matters to you. I pray that if you are ever scared, that you will rise up and face those fears. I pray that all your hearts and powers combined will infect the world with so much love that your children and children’s children won’t even understand the concept of hate. The same way you will never understand how we used to time radio plays so that we could record music to a cassette. The same way I will never understand how a phonograph could play music. I pray that your generation will find the ctl-alt-delete solution to hate. If all else fails, I pray that you will feel the depth that love is, and be charitable with it. Spread love.

Another nightmare

I guess this is also the age of nightmares? 

This morning Bosh woke up in a tantrum… He was actually crying and screaming, “No!!! I don’t want to go home yet! I want to play!” It was obviously so real to him that he woke up angry (yet again).  He demanded we stay a “little bit more” while also kicking and pushing us out of bed. 

I found it strange that it took him a really long time to realize we were all in our bed. I mean how long do you stay disoriented before you realize you’re in your own bed? 

Being present for them

Before becoming a mother I had a few expectations of myself as a mother. I set these notions in my head.  Little reminders of the things I will do or not do, so I don’t become like my own mother or father. Sounds terrible, but they were not bad parents. I am not ungrateful. They worked extremely hard so that we could live comfortably. They worked ridiculous hours and frequently brought us along to their jobs. We had to help too of course. Truth is, we came from a different era and the family dynamics as I remembered them, were on rocky volcanic foundations. Culture also played its part. My parents divulged little emotion and physical affection was rare and awkward if it was ever deserved. With 4 children and an unending work schedule, it was hard to blame them. 

I said to myself, I will give them something my brothers and I did not have, which was for our parents to be present. After giving birth to my own children, I was wholeheartedly and possibly eternally grateful to hubby for supporting me as a stay-at-home-mum. Financially, we hit some low points in our lives, but he has always insisted we would get through it and continually encourages me to focus on our children. And that I have. In fact, I’ve probably spoiled them a little too much. Not just with clothes and toys, but with weekly outtings, endless fun activities and playtime at the shops. As parents, we have taken them everywhere we possibly can: road trips, museums, aquariums, wild life parks, music concerts, festivals, fun parks and theme parks, water parks, hot springs, you name it! Even though my main mode of transport is public transport, I take them around town on a weekly basis. While I take pride in being this “present” mum, I completely disregarded the part where you should make the time for one-on-one time. 

My older one always, I mean always, wants to go shopping with me. Today… he said no. I was surprised, but my daughter Kris was ready to go, and since hubby was home nursing his hangover, I shrugged and left with Kris. Once we left and she realized Bosh was not coming, she actually stopped and asked about him. I told her he wasn’t coming, but she stood there confused. I was confused too, because she is normally very jealous of her brother when I hug him or kiss him, but now she wanted to go back for him. I picked her up and kept walking. Eventually, when she realized he really wasn’t coming, she asked to be put down so she could walk. She then wrapped her tiny little fingers around my hand and skipped happily (most of the way) to the shops. 

It was the first time I listened to her. Of course I always hear what she says, but for once, she was having her two year old conversations with me and I wasn’t distracted. I realized in that moment how much I have to learn from her. I realized she’s a different person without her brother around. She is much sweeter. She doesn’t have to fight for attention. She wasn’t getting teased and pushed by her brother so she didn’t have to yell and scream or bite. We spent most of the day together. She fell asleep in my arms so decided I’d sit down on the grass at the park. When she woke up, we went straight for the swing. She was blissful and it was so wildly apparent that it made me feel awful! I realized I was not as present as I thought. Every one of your child wants your undivided attention. Remember that. I’m positive this mum guilt ensure I will. 

What a nightmare!

Have you ever had a bad dream that was so real you actually woke up angry? Not sure how normal it is, or how often it happens, but it’s happened to me a few times. I’ve had dreams of chasing hubby all around the universe and sometimes it was so exasperating that I would wake up completely annoyed with him. Eeek! How often do we dream and how much of it do we actually remember? I dream a lot. Recurring dreams of losing all of my (crooked) teeth. Which is funny, because other than feeling a bit shocked, it doesn’t actually scare me all that much. Maybe because I have ugly teeth to begin with. Haha! Other recurring dreams include driving and losing control, busting to go toilet and seeing a disgusting one and feeling so grossed out I have to hold it. That one is probably because I have to go in real life. I have had dreams of my exes (when I was with them) cheating on me and I would wake up furious. Hehe oops. 
Anyway this is not about me. This is about my son. 

So Bosh woke up this morning audibly upset. He was on the brink of crying and pulling a mild sleepy tantrum. Kind of a cute one, because he wasn’t trying to wake us (hubby and I) up. I knew he’d had a nightmare. I mumbled quietly that it was okay, and it was just a bad dream. In and out of sleep I can still hear him sulking and I felt a little guilty that I wasn’t fully awake for him. We all co-sleep so I left hubby (who was beside him) to console the poor bugger. When hubby asked him what was wrong, he incoherently murmured something and I said to hubby, “he’s having a nightmare hun. Just give him a cuddle.” 

Hubby is the sweet one, who happened to be much more alert than I was. He pulled him in for a cuddle and asked him what was wrong. In his visibly sleepy trance and trying to make sense of his bad dream, he blurted, “Daddy! You didnt give me my donut! I wanted the donut and you didn’t give it to me. You said I could have a donut…” Half asleep, his morning voice was tiny and squeaky, and the saddest thing we both heard. What a nightmare that must’ve been. It woke me right up. I looked over to hubby and we both had the biggest grin. Yep. He actually said, “I’m so mad!” Over donuts. Haha! Oh baby boy, mama and baba only hope that is as bad as your nightmares go. May your dreams always be as fun and cheerful as your excitement in the face of a donut. 

It’s funny until the joke is on you 

I always have funny stories of Bosh because he’s so amusing and talkative now. He kind of takes the limelight, partially because he is older and more because he is much more friendly and approaches nearly everyone for a quick chat. Kris, on the other hand, is much more selective and does not like sharing her little bubble. In terms of play, she’s equally active, but definitely more daring and determined. Having an older sibling is visibly advantageous because she is communicating so much more than Bosh at the same age. In fact, I feel like she’s quite thoughtful and communicative for a nearly 2-year old. She’s quite bitchy, but the word I like to use is emotional. She has always been very emotional, screaming and throwing herself to the floor when things don’t go her way. Extremely feisty and retaliatory. She is not afraid to bite back. Literally. 

The projection of her terrible-two tantrums look strong and steady, and we are kind of prepared. Truthfully, prepared is not realistic a word here, because you will never be prepared enough. Not trying to scare the non-parents, but these little humans are predictably unpredictable. This post isn’t so much the tantrums, but more a recognition that she does have her fair share of funny stories worthy of telling, though I feel guilty for not documenting them enough.

Recently Kris and Bosh decided that it is funny to intentionally fart. We used to laugh when it happened by accident, even though I do tell them it’s ok, just say ‘excuse me’. We were at a Wiggles Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum here in Sydney. There’s a small tiny little teahouse (kind of like a doghouse) where we sat on the floor and had a fake tea party. It was cute until one farted and they both started laughing hysterically. I thought is was super funny, trying to humour them by accusing either of the flatulence. We all took turns pointing and laughing at each other. It was funny until another mum and dad and their 2 toddlers were sitting on the picnic table outside our doghouse when Kris lets one rip. It was loud and audibly vibrated through our tiny little doghouse. At the same moment she yells, “mummy FARTED!” To further entertain our audience, Bosh points at me and says, “mummy so smelly!”

I actually couldn’t feel my face go red, but I got out of there quick-time! Luckily I managed to avoid the shamed face for the remainder of the time there. Can’t believe these guys! The audacity. I still laugh to myself when I replay those moments. Ahhh… bet you got one better!

You can lose yourself, just make sure you find it

I’ve been meaning to write, but it seems I have so much going on in my little neurotic head that I really don’t know what to write about! It’s like a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear! Go figure. So there is my small business that I am working on, though nothing exciting just yet, because I’ve hit a few road blocks. I didn’t really think things through when I decided to embark on this endeavour. My greatest flaw and greatest blessing is my impulsive personality. When I decide I want something, I pretty much dive straight in without too much thought. Although it has gotten me into trouble one too many times to recall, I have many tales of adventure that would truly blow your mind (so I think). I’m the person that does first and thinks later. The person that skips the research and sometimes the planning altogether. I am that stupid friend that goes along with anything. Yep. Stupid. 

As I lay here next to my sleeping beauties, yes, we co-sleep with our children, I decided that I was just going to write and see what comes. So I guess the topic for this post will be about my journey to a small start-up shop. I have been wanting to sell online for a while, but I could never decide on what to sell. That’s probably the most familiar problem with mumpreneurs. The other thing is, anything I want to sell is already so readily available for pennies (familiar problem for ALL of us), but it was a recurring theme. So on my 35th birthday I tuned out my Tweedledum and Tweedledee and decided I was going to do something. In the following weeks, I started setting up all my social media accounts (including this blog) under my prospective name. I applied for a business number, bought a web domain, applied for a business bank account and credit card, the whole nine yards. It was a bit tricky because when asked about my assets and collateral possession, I had nothing. Not even ‘money in the bank’ (in Nicky Minaj voice). Quite honestly I felt pathetic and lonely. Here I am, always preaching about being an independent woman and keeping your sense of self a priority, totally selling out. I am my own biggest hypocrite! 

While I have a great hubby who looks after us, I realized that I have done little for myself since moving here (Australia). Caught up in this love story I created in my head and living the sensational title of housewife. Yep. So exciting. Wake up, drink coffee, and off I go cleaning, feeding and entertaining the little humans and putting them back to sleep. Except I am so far from being a domestic goddess! I was not made to be a homemaker! My cooking is substandard, thanks to YouTube it’s a little more edible now. I hate cleaning. I especially hate ironing. I hate being told to do anything. It’s a crying wonder I am even married! I got really lucky with him, I know. Anyways that’s not the point. The point is, I have done little for myself and maybe you guessed it, I have lost a little me somewhere. So as I sat across from my bank account manager with my 2-page business plan (maybe 3 pages) I was put on the spot. When I say business plan, I actually mean only an outline of it. A draft of the draft. Ta-da! Impulsive personality takes a bow. I told you. Very little thought. Anyway, while she processed my application for all these things, I was left thinking, I really need to pull my finger out of my bum bum and get my sheepy sheep together. 

Not sure how to keep this story short but I got approved for everything I applied for. Then it was time to source my goodies and teach myself to do my own website (why-oh-why). And that is where I am now. As a non-technical person, it may have been wiser to outsource that, but I thought my brain needed a little jog. I took it for a sprint… And as far as sourcing products go, I have had sooooo many issues. As manufacturers go, I have no buying power for the 1000+ quantity in exchange for cheaper prices. As a result, I will be making some things myself. Handmade with love. Yay!!! I would like to do a vlog soon about the hiccups and road blocks on my YouTube channel GoMummyBubby (yes, I also started a YouTube Channel recently) to highlight the mistakes I made and hopefully save you if you’re thinking to embark on a similar avenue. This journey has been a rollercoaster of sorts but it has also given me a bit of life back. Not that my children don’t do it for me, because they give me life alright. It’s that I am making spontaneous decisions again and following my gut and that alone feels fabulous. I don’t plan on getting rich as this industry is far and wide full of great competition, but I intend on getting myself back.

Have you ever felt like you’ve lost yourself somewhere?

Children, no filter

Bosh and Kris loves watching Peppa Pig among the many popular shows out there. They love it. They even snort on cue. Bosh does for sure! He snorts as soon as the theme song comes on and likes to call us by the names of the characters. For instance, he likes to call hubby Daddy Pig and refers to me as Mummy Pig. We don’t think much of it and sometimes I find it quite adorable really. That was until a couple weeks ago.

So a couple weeks ago the kids and I were on the train, as we are every week. We had finished a big day of fun and was on our way home during the busy period of the day. Our carriage was getting pretty full when the train stopped at one of the designated stations. The doors slide open and an old man, a relatively large man, came walking in with his cane. Just before he walks over to sit on an empty chair, my timely 3 year old points at him and happily calls out, “GRANDPA PIG!” That was not all… he snorted like the piggies in the show. 

As you can imagine, it caused a bit of a hushed gasp in the air, and I was mortified. In all his cute adorable intentions, he innocently made us look like an ass! He wasn’t making fun of the man. He was simply pointing out a physical attribute that was present in this stupid show! I quickly explained that he was referring to a character in his favourite show but that didn’t seem to make it any better. The old man walked away and down the carriage to sit below while everyone else looked down to avoid giving me judgement. I felt terribly bad.

While some might have understood the innocence, not everyone has heard of Peppa Pig (unless you’re a parent). Since my son is now at this fabulous talkative age with a greater understanding of language and communication, he has managed to get me in trouble a handful of times. 😂 Have you ever been dobbed on by your own child or any child? 

It’s getting raw in here

This day, 2 years ago, I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter, and this was one day before boarding a 24 hr flight from Toronto to Sydney. Technically I was not allowed to fly that late. Even my Canadian doctor at the time advised against it. I went to see her a week before my flight to get a doctor’s certificate saying I could travel and she outright refused. I wasn’t surprised but more hopeful that she would, but she didn’t. A big part of me wanted to stay, and tempted to stay and give birth in Canada. I love Australia, but there was a part of me that didn’t want to come back. I was homesick. My family and friends missed the birth of my first born and now they were going to miss the second. The thought often depressed me. Plus, I was not looking forward to coming back to living with extended families. My in laws are actually very nice, but sharing a space with them was/ is hard. I was secretly hoping to be denied at departure. Oops! I didn’t know you can’t travel at 8 months prenatal. But I knew I couldn’t do it to hubby. His heartbreak of missing the kids outweighed my selfish thoughts. So I doned a flowy empire waisted dress and hid it well enough to board our flight.

I never admitted to hubby, though he will soon find out from this post, that I did in fact have postpartum depression. I never told him because I knew there was not much he could do. I had no way of explaining it without sounding like a complete selfish bitch. I have read about it, I was aware of it, and I even knew to expect it. I thought I was prepared, but nothing could have prepared me for it. The emotions were… chaotic. I don’t know if it is only mothers that can relate, but the moment the nurse hands you that baby… everything that was ever painful, or dark, or confusing, or anything that you were ever unsure of, was made so crystal clear. Your very purpose, was and is now for these precious little hands and feet. This painfully sweet emotion deep in your soul is so profound and so wild, yet you understand it all so clearly. You get it now. You think true love is meeting your partner? Maybe it is for some, but no, it’s not. True love, is meeting your child for the first time. 

The moment was interrupted when I had to push a second time. Hubby had already informed his family of the grand news, when my placenta was making it’s birthing debut. I don’t blame him. His excitement was natural and I reluctantly agreed to it. So not long after that, the whole family was in my delivery room. We live 10 minutes from the hospital so it was quick. I was still covered in blood, my face was still burning hot from the popped capillaries (from all the pushing), and physically I was drained. All I wanted to do was hold my baby. The one I carried for nine months and went through all that pain for. I wanted our own time. Our special time. I didn’t want to have to share every – single – moment of his life with everyone else. Besides his dad of course. I know he is undoubtedly a part of them and they will be a big part of his life, and that’s fine. But it all happened so soon and so quickly. I felt a complete loss of control, not from being a new mother, but from being forced to share something that was so dear and precious to me. We were all obsessed with this baby and I get it. I understood why they were the way they were, but that didn’t stop it from hurting. Every day, I was forced to bring him down to them and when I didn’t they would come up. I was fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed with no problems so that was really the only time I didn’t have to share him. That was until he took the bottle, so they could have a turn feeding him. I was able to rationalize some of those negative thoughts, because realistically, getting him on the bottle meant hubby and I can go on date nights again (even though we’d be looking at his photos or talking about him anyways). 

I avoided hubby’s grandma during the day, but instead it gave her incentives to exercise because she would walk up the stairs to come see us. So I’d feel bad and bring him down to her instead. Then she would tell me to leave him with her and go get some sleep. Go lie down. As if I can sleep! This is my first child and he’s only a few weeks old, surely I can’t be the only one with attachment issues! That was probably her favourite line. My conscience was constantly at battle. While I was so extremely annoyed and irritated about having to give him up a few times a day, I also felt terribly guilty and bad that my mil worked undeniably hard and getting to hold him after work was the light at the end of her day. How can I be so cruel to take that away from her? It was a daily effing battle. Every. Single. Damn. Day.

I mean it all worked out in the end. As mental as I was, I somehow managed to reason myself out of some horrible feelings. I cried to myself. I cried in the shower. I cried when I was breastfeeding, looking at my baby and asking him not to think his mama was crazy. Eventually, I cried to friends. Things got ugly sometimes, but miraculously I made it. Not much has changed really. We are still all living together, and sharing the love of a big family as you would, but the only difference now is I say whatever is on my mind when it appears and how it appears. Sometimes it comes off quite disrespectful, but I know how I intended it, and that’s enough for me. 

I don’t have any real advice for postpartum depression other than, speak out. Tell someone. Being able to offload your feelings will help you make sense of them. Most importantly, reach out for help. 

The age of why’s and because

My son turned 3 a few days ago. Might sound odd, but I was looking forward to it. He’s at this interesting, talkative, thoughtful, engaging, but all with a hint of rebellion and tantrums age. The why age. Get dressed! Why? Eat your food. Why? Stop hitting your sister, it hurts. Why? Stop stuffing Playdoh in your Legos! Why? Omg! Stop pouring milk on our sheets!!! Why? It’s… non-stop. There is truly never a dull moment and I get it now. I’ve been forewarned by other mothers and I finally get it. It’s beautiful. And crazy… but beautiful. Sort of. Maybe? They’re little ticking time bombs. A full melt down can surprise-attack you at any given moment and over anything. I mean anything. Dear mamas before me, I get it now. However, the main reason I was looking forward to this age was because we now have relatively informative, and sometimes very insightful, conversations. I actually tried to remember some of our engaging convos, but mommy brain is productively at work, so here’s a couple of his short observations for giggles…

While hiking on our day trip, hubby decides to ‘get back to nature’ by relieving his bladder on the side of the trail. Bosh goes to stand beside him and looks attentively at hubby’s hosing execution. As hubby winds down to a finish, Bosh points at his stream and encourages, “Daddy! You would be a great fireman!” 

We listen to a lot of pop music together and among the many that he likes, there is a song called, Lust for Life, by Lana Del Rey and The Weekend. There’s a line in the chorus that says, “take off, take off, take off all your clothes.” When this particular song came on the radio he was ecstatic and he recognizes it right away. We ask him what the song is called and he screams with excitement, “Take off your pants!!!” 

I take them to Monkey Mania (kids indoor playground) often. Almost weekly, because I get coupons and deals for it whenever I can. The kids absolutely love it and I love it because it keeps them busy and active. It’s securely gated and I can catch up with friends or my work (social media time) over a coffee. One day, Bosh met a little girl and they were inseparable. They were in the “racetrack” riding around in their Fisher Price and Little Tikes and I see little girl standing on the back of his car. He tuk tuks with his feet around the course and he stops and gets out of the car. I usually leave him to play but I decided to be present at that moment and ask him what happened. He replies, “mommy, I’m out of petrol! I need to pour petrol so I can drive my girlfriend home!” 

These are the little bloopers I get to hear now. They’re entertaining and awe inspiring, as any mother of 3 year olds can confirm. I had the opportunity to take him and his sister to the aquarium for his birthday so they could find Nemo and Dory and it was such a fun experience even for me. Their curious nature and simple observations really puts things in perspective. Especially now that he can communicate kind of clearly, I find myself holding on a little more. I am feeling the bittersweetness of our children growing up. I feel it mamas. I am not looking forward to him outgrowing me. Not looking forward to the day he no longer needs me to take him out. How does one deal with all these emotions? 

Keep on swimming, keep on swimming – Dory (the fish)

“Every adventure requires a first step,” said the cat. The cartoon cat, whose name I don’t remember. I like to believe I am an adventurous person and I take much pride in the many interesting journeys I have undertaken and completed. I love spontaneous projects, trips and the heart pumping action of facing the unknown. At the moment I am trying to build an online business which is providing me a combination of all those exciting feelings. Except it is also throwing in a discount of hopelessness and defeat. Bonus. Yay… 

Since starting this blog a few weeks ago, I have slowly but surely came to a decision to do something. So, I went and ordered hundreds of goods over the internet as “product research” for my pending shop, and it has been awful! Terrible. The quality out there is abhorrent. Very  discouraging and nearly impossible to deal with in some cases. I know people are willing to pay a little more for quality but I don’t want to present exorbitant prices either. As a mother, a stay-at-home mama, I am extra careful on my expenditures and I am passionate about putting out what I would use and pay for myself. 

Originally, I wanted to make these “things” myself because they are actually quite easy to make. Then reality showed up and scoffed at me. Oh that’s funny. How many do you think you can make? When do you plan on making them? What time do you have to go buy the materials? Cut it? Sew it? Pack it and send it?  Vibe killer right? But she was spot on. While I can make some of these things myself, and handcrafted products are almost always more special and valuable, I am time poor. Which leads me to where I am at now. 

In search of a manufacturer that I can trust and allow me a degree of control is a lot harder than I gave it credit for, so kudos to all you business folks that stuck it out and succeeded. I am now forecasting mid September to go live as I will be trialing-and-erroring with a few more leads. Painstaking but exciting nonetheless. Stay tuned for some cute, stylish and functional products for mums and bubs. 

In need of positive vibes. Xoxo