The key to

.. my suitcase is missing.

The last time I used this medium sized case was probably in March, on a business trip to Sydney.

I thought I’d placed the key somewhere in the luggage or on top of the shoe cabinet or in my passport pouch.

But it was nowhere to be found.

It was mind-boggling and while I had the urge to turn the house upside down to look for it, I did not.

Instead, I did a word puzzle with Clarissa, read to her, made milk for her, chit-chatted with her, and watched her sleep.. while the hubs hunted high and low for the key.

Then I started packing at 10pm, after I was sure she was sound asleep.

It was just a tiny key, but it triggered so many thoughts.

When it could not be found in any of the three “usual”, logical places, I felt so lousy about myself.

I guess I must have unlocked the luggage, walked somewhere to unpack stuff, got distracted by something else, left the key in some important place and promptly forgot where that important place was.

Many other thoughts came to mind, such as how I feel like I really need to get my act together, train my brains to have more capacity and basically, toughen up. Many parts of the house are messier than I’d like them to be, and I really should muster some energy and time to clean up.

I also felt like I was somewhat of a disaster, not being able to keep a key properly.

But then again, it was just.. a key.

So I decided I’d not let it make me feel worse than I should.

As it is, having to fly off on a Friday and spend the weekend working and away from the girls and the hubs is bad enough.

There must be solutions to this.

For example, I could get a replacement key.I could change the lock.

Or I could get a new suitcase.

And the hubs said this morning, “Let’s get it bubble wrapped.”

So bubble wrapped, it got.

A problem partially solved with $26.

I’m glad I chose a later flight timing and managed to dropped the two girls off in school before going to the airport.

Day 3 of marching into the classroom without crying.

She’d turn back to wave goodbye to us after every few steps. 😍😍

I thought we’d be back to Square 1 in school this morning, seeing the kind of tantrums we had to deal with at home.

She didn’t want to change out of her Minnie Mouse t-shirt. The Mickey Mouse sticker we tried to stick on her uniform didn’t work today.

She whined and cried.

Then we managed to distract her with something else.

We put on Minnie Mouse socks for her. That made her happy.

Until I tried to put on her shoes for her. That made her upset, because it covered the Minnie Mouse socks.



Other than that she was basically very clingy and kept wanting to be carried.

I guess she saw the suitcase and kinda knew.

Clarissa knew too, but she dealt with it in her own, articulate ways.

She was up at 6am this morning, 10 minutes ahead of my alarm.

As she cuddled up to me, I asked her, “Why are you up so early? You want to sleep a bit more?”

“No, Mummy, I can’t sleep already.” She said with a sweet smile as she put her arms around me.

“Oh, how come? You are not tired?” I asked.

“It’s because I’m thinking a lot,” She answered.

I laughed, “Oh? What are you thinking about?”

“I’m thinking I’m going to miss you a lot when you are in Australia,” she said, before smiling at me cheekily.

Later at breakfast, she asked me, “Mummy, why do you always need to go to another country to work?”

I didn’t want to give her the standard answer of “so that we can send you and Allie to school” or “so that we can buy toys and go on holidays”.

I’ve been a little triggered by a recent Dayre debate, on how working in order to feed your children organic food is not as important as being present in their lives, because feeding their hearts is more important than feeding them organic food.

Of course I understand it’s figurative and the point of the writer isn’t so much about bashing mums who choose to work even though they can afford not to.

I cannot afford not to work, for sure. Both financially and emotionally.

Working takes up a lot of mental and physical capability (and as a result I misplaced my luggage key). But I need to work as much as I need my girls and the hubs and my family.

I can’t say I love my job, but I love what I do, and the fact that I have something to do. 😂

I’ve been feeling down at work, but perhaps it is not a bad thing because this means I still care, to a certain extent, and I hope I can be proud of what I do.

So I turned the conversation around and asked her, “Do you want to be like Mummy next time? Fly around the world to go to work?”

Without much consideration or hesitation she said, “No, I want to be a Mummy who picks my kids up everyday.”



“Oh? You really want Mummy to stay at home just to pick you up everyday? Then I won’t be able to share stories about what I do in Australia or at work, you know?” I countered.

She laughed. “It’s ok! You can lie down in bed when we go to school. Then when we come home, you can tell me, oh I saw an aeroplane flying past our window today!”

I laughed.

I can only hope she’s joking.


She has my full support, whether she chooses to be a mom, or not to be a mom, or to be a stay-at-home mom, or not to be a stay-at-home mom.

As long as it is what she really wants to do, and what would make her happy and fulfilled.

To be frank, I don’t feel bad about not staying at home and not being able to pick her up everyday, so I’m not going to go all melodramatic and start thinking about quitting my job. 😂

In fact I think Clarissa is going to change her mind when she’s 16.

I work hard, but my priority would always be family before career.

I might not be with them all the time, but I try to be present when I am with them. I’d like to think I’m more effective as a mum who shares experiences with them, and nurtures them through these experiences.

I know I can always do better, like spending more time on their learning instead of letting them watch Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol, or going outdoors more often instead of staying at home.

We all do things we think are in the best interests of our kids, even though our kids might not agree, and even though we might get dissed by people who feel the need to impose their values and opinions on us.

It doesn’t change the fact that we love our kids and that we will do anything for them.

The key is to keep learning, and to keep trying to do our best.