Two good reads which coincidentally talk about the mental load of mothers.
You should’ve asked (Thanks to @/onshouldersofgiants for sharing!)
I was feeling quite depressed by late afternoon yesterday, due to a series of events.
1. SMS from the bank informing me about 2 big sums of money deducted from my credit card.
They are for the insurance and education plans for Allie, so it’s not unexpected spending.
It’s not that they are unaffordable either.
But somehow I felt stressed about needing to keep my job and wondering if it’d be possible to do that if I had to rush home at 5pm everyday.
And then I felt somewhat resentful about being a woman, because I have to do everything.
2. In a bid to weigh Allie, I weighed myself and found out that I have gained weight since the last weigh-in at my gynae’s clinic a month ago.
I’ve never been skinny my entire life.
While my mum gave my sisters cute nicknames like “Nana” (which has no link to their real names whatsoever 😂), she called me Ah Bui throughout my primary and secondary school years.
I only lost weight during my A levels, because I fell horribly sick.
Still I wasn’t skinny.
Just nice enough not to be called fat. 😂
In short, I’m realistic about my body.
I know that what took 9 months to evolve would probably need 9 months or more to revert.. to perhaps 80% of its original state, maybe less.
I know it’d never be the same again.
With Clarissa, I went back to work 5 months post partum slightly lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight. But I was pumping a lot more regularly back then.
With Allie, I went back to my first trimester weight after two months. My total weight gain from first to last trimester was around 8kg?
I’m not sure what my pre-pregnancy weight was because I don’t weigh myself regularly.
So I was quite shocked to see that I’ve gained the weight I lost.. even though I was down with flu, I didn’t eat much, I don’t snack, I don’t take sweet stuff, and I have been eating less rice at night.
As it is I’m already very dismayed by the mum-tum that seems to be sticking around (and sticking out, fml).
That means half of my pants/clothes won’t fit.
That means I look frumpy.
Again I don’t need to look sexy or skinny (or be skinny) but at least, let me be able to hide some of the wobbly bits?
3. Which leads me to feel very bad about my health in general.
I suspect my thyroid function has gone haywire again, this time on the other end.
I had hyperthyroidism way back in 2007, recovered but it came back in from 2010 after a stressful wedding preparation period. I was ok again in 2013, and my doctor back then urged me to have kids soon lol.
So I did.
Two kids later, I find myself gaining weight for no apparent reason, feeling cold and lethargic, having muscle cramps.. etc, etc.
Which are symptoms for hypothyroidism.
The complicated part about this is that I’m also on medication given by my gynae for another condition.. Which can only be reviewed in May.
The medication comes with side effects. Nausea, migraine, weight gain, which supposedly might happen to </=1% of people who take it.
But somehow they all seem to be happening to me just 2 weeks into taking the pills, because I’m lucky like that.
I feel like shit, and more so than ever because I’ve not stopped feeling like shit since.. a year ago.
4. I went to pick Clarissa up from the school bus, and when she saw me she showed me her hand and frowned.
I’ve put cream on it the night before and it looked fine.
And so she was upset and whiny.
Which meant I had to be very patient and accommodating and smiley.
I let her watch 2 videos as requested while I made Allie nap.
After I was done I wanted to take a shower but Clarissa wouldn’t let me.
I was desperate for a shower, just 5 minutes of it.
So I turned on the TV for her to watch something on Nat Geo.. something which I try not to do, on most days.
5. Redmart came later than the expected delivery time, which meant the rice cereal and food jars I ordered were only in time before dinner.
So with just 15 minutes to Clarissa’s dinner time, I made the rice cereal and set Allie up for her first food tasting experience.
It turned out to be the best part of my day. I’ll come to it in another entry. :)
6. And then it was the usual night routine for Clarissa to brush her teeth and get a shower.
In the midst of getting her changed, she became sad again and said to me, “I miss Daddy. Why is Daddy not home yet?”
As usual I explained to her very nicely, “Daddy is still working.”
Though I wondered why she even asked the question, because most of the time, he won’t be back yet during shower time.
On an average day, he’d be back after 830pm. On a bad day, he’d barely catch Clarissa before she sleeps.
Which is all normal to me by now.
And it’s not like he wants to work late.
But last night I wondered why and how it has become “normal”, and I wondered if I’d be ok with this two months down the road, if I’m always the one rushing home from work and doing everything on my own.
I want to be the bigger person, the supportive wife, the supermum who can do it all, because I know he loves his current job and the people there.
But who is going to support me then?
“No one asked you to take on everything,” a voice said to me.
But who’s going to do it then?
That’s why the two articles resonated with me.
Because even I take it upon myself to own these things.
I feel bad when my FIL visits while I’m out on #jailbreak. I wonder if he’s going to judge me for sneaking out.
I feel bad when my helper seems to be the only person who manages to make Allie drink more milk, albeit also after some struggling.
I’ve been wanting to do a 2D1N kinda of staycation on my own, just to be with myself, since I was pregnant with Allie.
But I never got down to doing it because the hubs was like, “You can do all these things at home?” when I told him my staycation plan was to sleep, read, shop and eat, rinse, repeat.
And yes, of course I feel bad for wanting to go away for 2 days.
And then I feel resentful, that it seems so much easier for dads to go on trips and mini adventures, and so irresponsible for mums to want to do the same.
7. On top of everything else, I’m still not sure when the milk strike will end. I’m still not convinced that a 4.5mo is ready to go 12 hours without milk, solids or not.
So I was thankful (and surprised) when our helper asked me last night to wake her up in the morning so she could help to try feeding Allie.
I told her it might be 4am or 5am or 6am, depending on Allie’s mood, but anyhow, it is very early.
But she said it’s ok, she can get up.
I thanked her, even though at the back of my mind I decided I’d still try feeding her on my own first and only ask for help if I’m unsuccessful.
But what a nice and sweet offer!
8. The hubs came home just before Clarissa fell asleep. He knew I was upset and he wanted to talk.
I appreciate the gesture, I really do.
I know some husbands don’t help, or even care.
But I wasn’t really ready to talk, because I didn’t really know what to say? I haven’t had the mind space or time to sort out my thoughts.
I didn’t know what I want, either.
I woke up this morning feeling calmer, even though I didn’t exactly sleep very well (yet again).
Got out of the room at 6am to make milk for Allie, after she tried to suck my hand.
Our helper was already waiting for me, so she went to make milk while I attended to Clarissa who somehow woke up too early.
Allie drank her morning feed for the first time in a week, after a few attempts and a lot of coaxing.
I went to the clinic to see the doctor and to do a basic health screening test.
Hopefully I’d be all good again, soon.