30 August 2019, by Flora Isabelle
This month’s blog post was supposed to be about work-life balance but for me in real life, it was just about getting any form of balance – if I even did.
You see, the husband has been away for an entire month now and truth is, it has been a total nightmare.
I don’t know why or how… but it was just sooooo difficult to function without him around the house. I found myself asking myself why – I mean, even if he’s around, he’s away for work most of the day. But I’ve come to realise that, the little pockets of time he has to help me, just so that I can take a proper shower and enjoy my cup of bubble tea… are worth a lot.
It’s not so much of the physical help, but the mental relief of knowing that you have somebody you can offload to and who is around for you to commiserate with.
Sundays are the worst, because that’s when my helper’s having her day off. Between prepping Nate’s meals and bringing him out for his weekly morning trip to the zoo followed by gatherings and/or classes in the afternoon, and knowing that you have to do them alone, it can get incredibly lonely.
I mean, I love my son and all but conversations with a two-year-old aren’t exactly about politics and world news. Of course I know that I’m fortunate enough to have a dependable helper and I give all my hats off to moms who manage without helpers.
Just the other day, my routine health checkup brought up something which requires a more thorough procedure and the conversation with the doctor went something like this,
“So we would need to ward you for a night, when would you like to do it?”
“My husband is away for the month… and I need to be around for my boy at night.”
“When can your mom or mom-in-law come and take over?”
That’s when I realise that, unfortunately, I just don’t have the luxury of this village that was supposedly necessary to raise a child.
I mean, they love Nate like anything but to actually look after him… overnight? It would make Mission Impossible look like a walk in the park.
My friends and I were once thinking about this – that no Moms have it easy.
Working Moms get all the Mom guilt for leaving the care of their children in the hands of others.
Stay-at-Home Moms, not only do they have to wonder if they have made the right choice by putting their career on hold, but are also always so physically exhausted from handling everything in the household.
And then you have the part-time or flexi-work Moms like myself who feel guilty every time they work and every time they don’t work.
Life. You just can’t win it.
The good news is, the husband surprised me by successfully changing to an earlier flight and will be back in time for our boy’s birthday celebration! (Yes, I had planned for an entire birthday party to happen without him around :'( )
Unfortunately, he will only be back for 3 weeks before he goes away again for more than a month. Missing my birthday (and his own birthday too!) this time round.
I don’t know how am I gonna survive the next haul… but I guess I will somehow right? Haha…
So to all Moms out there in the same position as me, we may be running around like crazy trying to put everything together. And we may forget what it’s like to have a life beyond what we have now… And not to mention the anxiety, sheer exhaustion and lack of energy to even function.
But you know what? We can and will own our strengths <3
And we will more than just survive.
(Lastly, a quick note, I have since learnt that we should not believe everything we see on social media… especially on motherhood. There are too many photos and videos of how perfect moms juggle their work, kids and 100,001 other activities and are basically better at mothering than you are. Well, remember that motherhood isn’t a competition. We are not aiming to be the best mother out there… but to be the best mother we can be for our children. And if it means just barely surviving, well, we do what we can do. And I’m sure they will love us with all they have regardless.)