I’m no professional at this called, “life.” I’m a forever student learning to navigate through the ups and the downs that life throws at me. I wasn’t aware at how I was playing the game of life. I was sitting back being a bystander in my own life… pouting as to why… I wasn’t more. Not taking any responsibility for anything whenever possible. Why? Because then I wouldn’t have to own any responsibility for something that could possibly go wrong. I sat back and watched my life unfold the way “others” wanted it to unravel. I gave up my power to the world. I let my emotions be dictated by someone else’s thoughts and hungered for validation anywhere I could get it. “See me, see me… please. Hear me. I’m here.” But I come to realize … I would never be seen or heard unless I started accepting my own worth. Why would anyone see me or hear me… when I couldn’t even see myself. I gave love but I couldn’t even love myself.
Today, I am a “FEARLESS, RESPONSIBLE, WORTHY WOMAN.” Am I completely reformed because I am going through Choice Center? No, I have struggles and I lose my sh!t still, but I know how to sit with those feelings. I can decipher why I’m feeling this way… but more than any of that… I no longer play VICTIM because I will not relinquish my power over to anyone. As much as I hated it… I put on my big girl panties and am learning to take on life.
I am worthy. I am not an inconvenience. I am a nine cow princess and I will carry myself as such (if you want to know why I keep referring to myself as that… ask me!). I will not always say the right thing, I will not be accepted by everyone, but I am loved and I am love and that’s what I have to constantly remind myself every second I get, especially when old thoughts try to creep in.
Watching my husband transform makes me know, that while I am one person just as my Angel (Renee) helped transform my life, I have helped him enroll into his own vision for himself. It only takes a spark to cause a fire and I wish to be the change I want to see in this world.
I didn’t know. I didn’t know a great deal of things prior to having children. Mainly, I didn’t know myself, my boundaries, or even how I wanted to raise my children. I wasn’t a planner. I didn’t know I would turn out to be what society is now calling “attachment parenter.” I was just doing what felt natural and almost customary in Asian households. You know, just things as I had seen and experienced growing up.
Nowadays, as I sit through play dates, therapy, and parenting classes, I start learning about what I like and can not tolerate by as an individual, a wife, and a mom. I learn more about who I am and who I refuse to become because the world puts so many pressures on moms these days.
I also realize that I’m no longer a product of my environment because I am now in control of building a healthy, happy, grateful, and loving environment for myself and my family.
People ask me all the time, “how come you aren’t resentful that you’re a single mom half the week and how do you fill the void?” Before I would become defensive and then become bitter towards my husband but now I just explain (if I feel the need) that this is “my” family’s dynamics and we make it work. I realized the more accepting I became of the “now,” I allowed myself to be happier, more content, and more grateful for the life I’ve been given. I choose to not wallow in self-pity or view my life as tormented as I had done in the past because it isn’t. I don’t know if that makes much sense but that’s the essence.
It’s like this. I can be content with the time apart from my husband because my husband supports me in anything I want to do and accomplish. He gives me the tools I need to 1) be a better person to myself which in turn allows me to be a better person to my kids and family and 2) he helped me create the life I’ve always wanted and I realized I only have this one life … And I really really really just want to enjoy it NOW.
If you look at my Nook or home library, it will be full of three types of books. Books on self-help, parenting, and nursing textbooks. Okay, so Fifty Shades of Grey may be entwined some where in between. 🙂
Some of my favorite books are Drama of the Gifted Child, which was actually mentioned in The Battle Hymm of the Tiger Mom, Real Marriage, and Loving Kindness. I read four or five books at a time. Right now, I’m reading Reviving Ophelia, Raising Cain, Wild, and just finished Battle Hymm of the Tiger Mom.
In my quest to become the best parent I could be, I realized that WHILE reading these books, I stress out. The stress seems to stem from the notion that I feel like I haven’t done anything these books are suggesting I should do. I start thinking “OMG, thee impressionable first five have gone with my daughter!!!! Is she doomed? Will she resent me for the rest of her life??? Will she suffer from depression due to my parenting??? Will puberty be my payback?” That’s when I have to put the book down and try to convince myself that I can’t look back at what I’ve done.
I always tell O (my daughter) “don’t make the same mistakes momma does or just because someone else says something or does something dumb, doesn’t mean you have to.” Unfortunately, I have made duplicate mistakes with her a number of times. Namely when my patience runs thin or my own frustrations get the best of me and in that moment… I can’t control my own emotions or reactions to the situation. I’m praying daily that I practice what I preach and control myself by giving myself a timeout and a chance to breathe.
I don’t think we should coddle our children from emotions though. We are human and like I tell my mom and sister all the time, “the world is not going to cater to my kids like you guys do.” Tough love. It’s hard, but I refuse to raise entitled and spoiled children.
My daughter is a mini replica of my husband and myself. I see how she gets frustrated sometimes and it sends chills up my spine because I feel like I’m staring into a mirror. Those are the moments I pray she hears my voice again saying “O, do better than momma, teach kindly and patiently.”
The postcard photo I posted rings so true for me and most of my girlfriends I’m sure (J. Peddy… I know you feel me). I think we all think we are damaging our kids to a certain degree especially when we read these books and aren’t doing half of the suggested material. What I come to learn is that I can pick and choose what works in MY household and reiterate to myself every second of the day that I am doing the best that I can and reinforcing more than anything else that “I love you, O. I love you Husb. I love you, Will.”
These books are tools and guidance materials, not the bible.
This picture was from Sunday night. My husband asked me out to the UCLA game. They lost. Unbelievable being they were up like 18 points at one point. They became complacent. The irony right? I think that’s like marriage and relationships. You give it your all at the beginning because you want the relationship to go some place, so you work hard. Then once you achieve a sense of security, that tenaciousness and vivacity kind of disappears. Am I right? So one person starts to revolt. That person being me. Haha.
But we are married. We have a child. We still love each other immensely. He is after all the love of my life… and I would like to presume, I am his. But, life gets in the way of our abilities to show one another the worth in them from our eyes. We forego the simple gestures of kindness with the thought, “oh he should know.” But maybe they don’t.
We hit a rough patch. And it wasn’t easy to overcome. But these are some of the small steps we were forgetting about to help always keep the fire going.
- we ask each other on dates
- we pray
- we go to church
- and we keep the focus on us
- we express our thoughts and feelings more freely without fear of judgment
- we don’t compare ourselves to that of others
I had to practice the last one. Why? Because I am innately a competitive person. I want to do great things. Not for outside accolades but because internally I feel good. And with this, I had to clean house again. There were people in my life that weren’t bringing out the best in me. They wanted all of me, but would only give me a piece of them. It was about their convenience. Their life. Their time. I’m okay with that to a certain degree, but after awhile, you just realize that that friendship isn’t as fulfilling as you had hoped it would be.
I had a few friends whom I loved dearly. But I don’t think I have enough room in my heart for them anymore. I didn’t like the way I felt around them and it was eating away at the core of me. I think it was because all along I knew these people would walk away once they got what they needed from me. Which I believe was a tiny bit of comfort during a time of loneliness. And I don’t blame them, because I can so relate to those feelings. But I need continuity. And a sense of belonging to one another for one another. Does that make sense? My husband is like, “you can still be friends with them.” But for me, I’m not like that. Either you are my friend or you aren’t. And for the most part, they weren’t really my friends to begin with. Why I put so much energy into building friendships with people stems from my own need to feel that close knit tie… the sense of family and comradery. But now, I don’t really feel inclined to need it so much. I have my own little unit… and a great sister, mom, and dad. And more and more, I feel the few great friends that I have are just icing on the cake.
Anyways, it was a nice night. It was cute because he kept commenting on how he liked my look. I felt bashful. And my sarcastic ass wanted to say something snide, because that’s how I accept compliments. But this night, I just absorbed it. I could tell he wasn’t just shooting hot air up my butt, because he mentioned a few times how he liked my “hoop” earrings. Ahahahahahaha. He’s so random.
So my BFF, Suj, and I have been having random meltdowns for this and that. And yes, to some, we may seem like spoiled little brats. But we are not. We are human. Like you. Like anyone else.
We have a texting love affair going on. So, she’s the first person and last person I contact throughout the day. Yes, it’s crazy. But yes, we are addicted to each other and as my sister said… “we are making up for lost time.”
Well, Friday night during our texting session… she was having a colossal meltdown. Just tired of the same ole dinner and bedtime routine. (Let me tell you… that’s one of the most drawn out routines in my household as well). Can you imagine what that is like having four different bedtime routines for four kids all under the age of 5? So, she was going to make a clean break and get a breather. Then… mission aborted. Why? Because her husband decided to do the “Oh but when you want to meet your friends, you get a burst of energy.” Oh man… I’m doing the Shanaynay…”no, you di n’t” finger shake, hip tilt, with head roll. Yep. No he didn’t.
But it’s funny… I say the same thing to my husband. He’s tired all the time after work. And so, I find it ironic how every time he has a poker night or wants to hang with the boys… all of a sudden a second wind. So maybe, I shouldn’t say it to him. I know it didn’t feel good for my BFF when her husbinator said that to her, right? Well, here’s the difference. My husband and her husband (yes, they work hard!!! Good God… I get it. I give it up to him/them…they deserve a Nobel Prize for the Art of Working hard… Ok… I’m being facetious. They do. They work hard to afford us all a great life)… did not pop out four kids or even one for that matter out of their bodies. Making a human being for ten months inside your belly wasn’t easy work. Nope… not at all. And even though, they are not physically in our bodies anymore… making a good, moral having human being on a daily basis is also hard work.
So men/partners, if the lady gets a second wind!!!!…. CONGRATULATE HER. End of story.