Nanny 911

One mama wrote this and I thought it was really a good summary for all mothers...

organizer, housekeeper, cook, nurse, pharmacy, laundromat, nanny911, ... you name it. We have a big shoe to fill yet we don't complain about it. Just some appreciation or recognition would do, right?
An expat mama story

At one of the forums I frequent, this mama shared her story. I guess she must be an expat wife because at this forum, most of them are. In my previous posting, I have already blogged about life as an expat wife, so we should read this with that background in mind.

"my hubby is not those that shows he cares...not even to me but one of his colleague was away on biz trip and he sms her. not hubby's style, he can be working from morning to night and don't sms or call home.

we had dinner (some time back) with his team of staff, he was sitting beside her thru out the night, leaving the kids to play on their own and me talking to his other colleagues.(it wasn't like i know his colleagues as friends, it was my first time meeting them) altho there were two empty seats in between us, hubby continued sitting beside her instead of me.

i asked him about the events, he said his sms was official and the dinner, he was still looking at the kids. i find it a joke that it required him to "abandon" me so that he could look after our kids. i maybe oversensitive but given the environment i was in, how was i to look at them. then a few days later, my hubby sms me to tell me that other women maybe more successful or more beautiful than me but they don't come close and that he is committed to our marriage i trust him. married for ions, this was the first from him, it's kind of a little too late. you see, he is not the expressive type, rarely appreciate what i have done, rarely praise me or compliment me. even when i am sick, he has never stopped work to offer to look after the kids for a day, suddenly these words come in thru sms, do i accept it? when he has time, he would rather choose to sleep early than to talk to me....suddenly, it dawn on me that i have been the giving partner in this marriage while he is the receiving one perhaps that is why i am feeling the hurt even more...if i am oversensitive, then he is insensitive..."

A rather depressing posting in the forum but I believed, there are many more sad stories out there. Sometime back, there were also postings from women asking for lawyers in Shanghai who knows about foreign laws with regards to divorce.

When I was younger, I used to love to read this comic - Peanuts, there was one character called Charlie Brown. His friend, Lucy loved to call him 'block head' and I think sometimes, husbands are like that - 'block head'. (Actually, there are also wives out there who are also 'block head')

Why 'block head'? If in all the years of marriage, you are a scrooge in expressing your love, do you expect your spouse to believe you when you finally did it and did it only when something bad happened? If in the marriage, love is often expressed, perhaps, this expat mama would be able to handle it better. Given the difficulties she has to go through as an expat wife, an expat mum, with no one to talk to but a stupid laptop, of course, depression sets in easily. Bette Miller used to sing this song "you got to laugh a little, give a little...that's the glory of love". Yes, learn to give a little all the time. It's like our stomache, starved it for days and stuffed it all of a sudden, it is going to collapse.

The head of the school which the kids are attending said that it is tough on the mothers because the fathers have to work very hard and long hours, the mother is there to shoulder everything herself. Quite true. The worst is that the mother cannot change her environment while the father can - from home to office, from office to home, while the mother can only change from kitchen to hall, hall to bedroom and wherever she goes, it is still the same place. While the father can engage in intellectual conversation with his bosses and colleagues, the mother can only casual talk with the aiyi and driver and not forgetting, children's talk with the kids. Is it any wonder that some expat wives ended as drinkers and smokers. Thank God, I cannot drink and I hate smoking...maybe I will be a glutton?

Many times, the pastor preached about letting go of the bitterness and anger, forgive and forget and move on. This is easiler said than done. For a woman who has gone through so much for ions, it takes an angel not a human to do just that. Let me illustrate with a life example.

Ann has a scar on one of her knees. Each time she looked at it, she always said, "koko pushed me". You see, it was an accident. They were both running along the pavement when we were still in the US. Kai just leaned towards her and being tiny, she was pushed off the pavement and she fell and had a big bruise on her knee. It has since healed but the scar remains and each time she looked at it, she blamed it on Kai. That's the reality, it is really difficult to forget when the hurt has been inflicted and the scar remained.

So, if you are a husband or wife reading this, head home today and express your love to your spouse, don't wait till something drastic happen then do it, it may be too late. Don't be the Mr Scrooge or Mrs Scrooge today.
My princess is now 5

One of the reasons for my mum's visit was also to celebrate Ann's birthday. The trip was planned in such a way which allowed grandma to celebrate her granddaughter's birthday.

Ann's mini birthday celebration in school and goody bags for all her classmates

The Chinese princess and her big brother

Just last year, we celebrated her 4th birthday at US and my sister, my uncle and gang were there too. Of course, our dear friends, the Loves were also there for the special day. With each passing year, my little girl is slowly blooming into a beautiful flower.
The mama's mama has arrived

Sorry, haven't been able to find time to update the blog as I was busy with my my first group of visitors. They came from Singapore and they were...

Mama 1 (my sister), big mama (my mother) and my uncle. Tucking into delicious hairy crabs.
Oh, all those empty plates...when yours truly cooked, nothing will ever be left behind

It was a busy week as the kids were still having school. So, I was like hanging on to my role as a mum which has always include being a nanny, tutor, chef, housekeeper and on top of that, a tour guide to my visitors and boy, time sure rocketed by.

I am sure you will enjoy the pictures below...

Brought them to visit the oldest temple in Shanghai

This wasn't Chinese opera. It was masking changing performance or what the Chinese called "pian lian".

During the weekends, we headed for an ancient town call Zhujiajiao. A beautiful own not to be missed when visiting Shanghai.

Entrance to the town

Kai trying to shoot...balloons while mummy and kids standing beside a smelly tofu seller. This is a delicacy. Of course, I tried...not too bad

Kai and Ann trying the different sedan chairs. The red one is meant for carrying the bride during a wedding ceremony

A hall in a typical Chinese house. Mama and kids in front of an old library

Inside a house garden and the kids along the river bank

Dressing comes the bride

Malt candy in various animal shapes and pingtanghulu, a fruity, sugar-coated kebabs

Assorted sticky rice cakes and braised pork knuckles

Ancient ways of fishing

This has been one great trip to an ancient town. It was also my first time and it was indeed an eye opener. A few of the old towns have been commercialised, this is the more original one left standing.

A vegetable farm just right at my doorstep. My mum and gang also went to the village next door to have a look. What a beautiful surprise for them

That's it? Well, you don't need me to post all shopping trips do you? Like all Singaporeans, holiday is never complete with shopping trips. The rest of the time, they shopped till they dropped