The weight of kids

A few days ago, on our drive to work, I mentioned to the hubs that there are three pregnant ladies in my business unit, which is quite amazing. Even more amazing is how they are all 4-5 months into their pregnancy.

This of course sparked the question on why I am so adamant about not having a third baby.

We’ve discussed and agreed on it, and I’m glad the hubs respects my decision.

But of course it shouldn’t stop us from talking about it or him from asking questions from time to time.

He went into interview mode, “So what aspect of pregnancy is the worst? Is it the pregnancy itself, the delivery dramas or is it after delivery?”

Well, they are all something that sends shudders down my spine (and my body still aches everyday 😂) when I think about how I went through it.

“I think the worst is probably after delivery. I feel pain all over, boobs pain, downstairs pain, upstairs pain, downstairs pain,” I said. “And then my body doesn’t feel right. My boobs hurt. And I don’t know why the baby is crying.”

(Nor why I’m crying too.)

In fact if I think about it, the entire “down time” is nearly two years – one year of pregnancy (oh, I can’t forget how I even needed physiotherapy because I couldn’t sit or stand properly) and one year to recover from post-delivery blues and body.

He was surprised it wasn’t the dramas I went through pre and during the deliver(ies) that put me off the most.

“Well, I guess I am going by duration? Post delivery is the longest, then pregnancy, and then delivery?” As usual, I think my answer was logical.

I thought about it after I alighted from the car and went off to work.

I knew it’s more than any of these three factors combined but as usual I didn’t get to complete my train of thought.

But today, Sim shared this article with me.

There are many articles about motherhood, working mothers, articles asking mothers to support mothers instead of judging one another.. but this article is by far the most spot on.

The weight of a baby (or two, or three babies):

I wanted so badly to tell her my truth: that it’s complicated to become a mother. That you gain so much, but give up so much in return.

***

“Then I went back to work, and the wheels fell off. It was not that having a second child was more difficult than having just one. Though, of course, it was.

It was not so much that I had a demanding career, and a demanding home life now with two children under three years old. It was not solely that I had a job that didn’t have a culture of or structure for parental support, or that my partner had even less of one. It was the accumulation of ever-increasing pressures that, over time, became an impossible weight to carry. A weight that most women carry.

This is the weight that becomes a stone on my tongue as I struggle to articulate the complicated multitudes of motherhood to my friend.”

***

“In almost every industry, men are asked to forgo their stake in fatherhood for their careers.

Any time the kids are sick. They don’t have to be it. When the kids cry out at night. Not it. School functions or meetings or parenting events. Not it. Planning or decisions about daycare, doctors or dentists. Not it. Birthday parties, holiday gifts, and spirit weeks. Not it. Clothing, seasonal wardrobe changes, outgrown clothing, washing, folding, putting away of clothing, and all those endless tiny mismatched socks. Not it. Schedules, extracurriculars. Medicine types and amounts, vitamins, allergy pills, potty training. Not it. Who likes what, who is afraid of what, who won’t eat this but loves that, and the lengthy, detailed, ever-changing bedtime routines. Not it. Menu planning. Meal prepping. Not it. Eventually, all the decisions involving children and home management are left to mothers. Women are not allowed to not be it.

This. This is the suffocating weight women bear. Are expected to bear. Not just by fathers but by society. Men, women, employers, other mothers, their own mothers. Because if the fathers aren’t doing it, the mothers must.

Silently, gratefully, gracefully and with Instagram-worthy aplomb.”

It’s true that some men, like the hubs, do share the load.

But the weight to bear goes beyond just shower duties or play duties.

The need to provide and to care. To ensure homework is done. Grocery is done. Toilet paper is getting topped up. That the girls eat well, sleep well. That the hubs doesn’t feel left out. To remind/nag/both so things get done. To do them myself if they are still not done.

Sometimes my mind feels like it’s in such an overdrive I actually feel quite.. empty.

I am genuinely happy spending time with the girls and chatting with the hubs on our drive to work or on our drive back home.

I love our little family and I love the girls.

Yet I also feel I’ve lost my mind space.. and myself.

Who am I? And what do I want to be when I grow up?

Am I working for the money? Or am I doing something I genuinely enjoy? How hard should I work? Should I work even harder for a promotion? Would I feel bad if I don’t?

Am I doing my best as a mother?

Am I doing my best as a wife?

Am I doing my best as a daughter, a sister, and a friend?

How is it that every day can be so full and so happy and so hectic.. and yet quite empty?

So I buy stuff online to fill the void and to destress, I go for my once-a-month facials despite getting questioned about it, I squeeze in a short massage before going home, I try my best to stick to my twice a week jogs.. and sometimes I feel like “I’m back!” but sometimes I feel I need a break.

I’m tired and I’m tired of being tired.

Ah, the complexity of a woman’s mind.

I obviously do not have an answer nor is there any point to this post.

I guess writing always helps.

And photos of my girl and my “handsome man” help too.

One dressed up as Curious George for her school’s Book Week and one trying to hold up the tail so I can take a photo but looking like he’s holding a long trail of poop. 😆🙈

I thought for quite some time, what book which character how to dress up.. and after looking through her book shelves and searching the internet for ideas, this is the best solution – easy, cheap and cute. I threw in 2 bags of chocolates for her to give away after she tells the story to her friends, since the book is titled “Curious George goes to the Chocolate Factory”.

I guess some might see this as unnecessary but I really want the girls to enjoy their learning experience in school.

And I feel kinda proud when the hubs spots a Spiderman / Superman / Elsa and says to me, “Spiderman is a book meh?” Or when Clarissa comes home and tells me, “Mummy, there are four Elsas in my class today leh!”

😆🙈😆

Oh and FB reminders like this help too. Our Michelin baby!

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