When Moms Attack

My Mom has come to visit and she has been staying with my sister, who needs her more. And it is fine by me. I see her occasionally, she comes over or we talk on the phone and chat about Korean dramas, my sister, my nieces and my Mom’s siblings.
I forgot how my Mom is. How she reacts to certain situations, her views about life and everything else and how negative, how much of a pessimist she can become.
Recently, she posted a picture of the family celebrating my son’s bday party. And I have given her explicit instructions not to post pictures of me because right now I do not look my best – I hate my hair, I am overweight and depressed.
Imagine my surprise and dread when I opened up my mail (I do not go on Facebook anymore) and got an email notification that I have been tagged in a posted picture. Sure enough, there I was in my most unflattering glory – fat hanging out, face as big as a dinner plate, guts spilling. Talk about reality staring at you right in the face.
I then immediately sent a text message to my Mom: ” OMG! I am so fat and ugly in that picture you posted!” Her reply: “hahaha, you really need to lose weight. I am watching a Korean drama”.
My co-workers tried their best to cheer me up after they saw my crest-fallen face and got the story but it just really bothered me.
I decided then and there that I will not go back home to subject myself to more criticism and negativity. I refuse to give in.

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Welcome Back

You’re back
After 5 months, you’re back
I should be happy,
with a smile on my face
and a positive vibe

But –
why do I feel sad?
I feel like you are leaving a piece of you behind
the place you used to live
and I am sad for you.

I can feel your pain
the isolation
the lost nights and days

I am helpless.

If I can take your pain
if I can shelter you under my arms forever
if I can chase the bad dreams away
if I can shield you from anything bad
I will.

I know that this is a part of growing up,
of life
something that you must face
but I feel what you feel
I can feel the anguish
the uncertainty
the remorse
of leaving something, 
someone
behind. 

And I die with you
my heart is breaking into little pieces
and the tears keep falling

You’re back
and I am sad. 
© Greymom 

Published in: on February 28, 2016 at 10:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Mother’s Concerns

I worry about him constantly, endlessly

Is he eating okay?

When he’s driving in the rain, does he turn his lights on?

When he comes home late, is it safe for him to walk to his apartment?

Is he working too much? Taking on extra shifts?

Does he get along well with his roommates? 

Do they all chip in and doesn’t let him cook all the time?

Does he miss us as much as we miss him?

Will he ever come back home? 

Does this get any easier? 
© Greymom 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy 

  

My older son recently moved out. He has been out of our home for a little over a month now and I can finally talk about it without my eyes glossing over. 

It was bittersweet when he asked our permission that he was moving out. We were happy that he is spreading his wings and broadening his horizons. That he will finally learn to be independent. After all, one of my daily sermons was: “your Dad and I will not be here forever so try to learn how to fend for yourself”. But suddenly when you are in that moment, no matter how much you prepare, it is still a sad event. 

The first 3 days went on, my husband broke down on the 3rd day. He was bawling like I’ve never seen him since his Dad’s death 20 years ago. I comforted him and he was impressed that I was taking it much better than he is. 

Until the 7th day. 

It hit me at the cleaning aisle of the Home Depot, which, thank God, ws empty. Turns out mine was a delayed reaction. 

Fast forward and today marks the 38th day and my younger son’s bday. We all met at the restaurant. He came in hurriedly from work. “Sorry”, he says “I hope you all didn’t have to wait long”. He looked happy as he animatedly recounted his kitchen adventures and how he is teaching his 2 roommates how to cook as well. How he started his work-out regime and his “portion-control-and-not-a-lot-of-carbs/rice” diet. He looked good, healthy and happy. 

And just like that – everything is alright with my world again.

 

Published in: on November 8, 2015 at 9:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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Thanksgiving and Things To Be Thankful For

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Thanksgiving is a day when we look forward to a lot of things – vacation time, being with family and close friends, and pigging out on turkey , pumpkin pie and all the yummy stuff Thanksgiving is made of.

It is also the time when traffic is horrible, long lines at the grocery store, a lot of cooking and a lot of leftovers.

Time was when we didn’t prepare much for Thanksgiving. As long as we have either turkey or ham or both, sweet potato pie, cranberries and stuffing. we’re all good! But as time went by, Thanksgiving has “evolved” in my family. We serve both turkey and ham, TheFisherman prepares turkey like preparing for a tournament – he soaks it in brine for about 2 days, painstakingly mix a concoction of some sorts (herbs, spices and lots and lots of butter), then he bakes it for about 3-4 hours depending on the turkey’s weight. I, on the other hand, prepare the cranberries, the pies, the stuffing and everything else. Which, I am realizing just now is not fair! He prepares one thing while I take care of the rest. He does help out with a lot of things so I don’t mind.

Guests have been a toss between family, friends, and friends of friends. It has so far, been a lot of fun, a lot of work, and let me say it one more time – a lot of leftovers. No matter how much food I let our guests take home, we always end up having piles of containerful of food piled high in the fridge.

Did I say I overeat during these times too? Yup. Me feel real bad!

Amidst all the food, the company, and the sleepy feeling you get from the turkey, I would like to list some of the things/people I am thankful for:

1. My family – we have our ups and downs, our good and bad but we are and will always be together. We do almost everything together and even though the Tweens are at times retreating to their own little corner once in a while, they still want to do things with us. They call us when they need help, ask permission if they can eat candies or ice cream, shares with us things that happened in school, etc. I hope this will continue on until we are old and gray.

2.  Our home – in this turbulent time of economic downfall, we still have a roof over our heads. It has given us few problems – repair wise. The pipes haven’t burst, the basement haven’t been flooded, and a tree hasn’t fallen over our roof.

3. Our health – apart from my boys’ asthma, TheFisherman’s arthritis and my occassional migraines, we are in tip-top shape.

4. My job – yes, a job. I have been working for about 3 weeks now. And I am very thankful and feel that I am truly blessed to be able to snag a job in this tough time. (more about my job in another post)

5. My friends – I have been blessed with lifelong friends, new friends, and old friends. I am very lucky to be able to sustain friendships with people who I have known since childhood, friends I met a few years ago, and friends I just met. They touch my life in many ways and I am hoping I have touched their lives as well.

I have a lot to be thankful for and so even though I am not the type who does these things, I am doing it now. Not because I might forget but because I want to always remember.

Published in: on December 19, 2008 at 7:57 pm  Comments (8)  
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Back to School Routine

And so goes a month of school and I slowly fell in a routine. At least I tried to. I’ve been back to the gym for 2 months now and I can finally appreciate the results. Thanks to my gym membership, I lost a dress size and would have probably lost more had TheFisherman and the Tweens decided not to try all the buffet places. But I somehow managed to stick to my 3 plate limit. Piled about 2 feet high. LOL, kidding!

Tween1 is now in middle school and I feel bad for him, waking up at 5 in the morning. I am just so glad that he fixes his own breakfast now and doesn’t wake his Dad up until it’s time for him to be driven to the bus stop. Yep, his Dad. Wise kid knows not to wake me up before 7am unless it’s an after Thanksgiving sale or a big yard sale. TheFisherman gets back to sleep and I wake up at 7:15 to rouse Tween2 from dreamland and prepare his breakfast. I drive him to school and my day officially starts. Which is around 8 am. I prepare TheFisherman’s lunch and when he leaves I do errands and housework. 

And so goes my daily ritual. 

Let me just say how happy I am to be back to exercising. The release of endorphins from the work-out is worth the monthly membership fee. And the fact that I fit into my clothes better makes me do happy dances. I was so happy, I even bought skinny jeans to celebrate! Never mind that I am not my ideal size and weight yet, I am celebrating today!

The Tweens are finally out of my hair during the day. My MIL is in FL for now and I am enjoying the peace and quiet. I even told my sister I can walk around the house naked now. To which she replied: “you wouldn’t dare!”. I said I wouldn’t but just the thought that I can do it if I want to is very liberating! Kind of reminds me of that “Friends” episode when Rachel did just that. 

I haven’t been baking much. Nor cooking for that matter. TheFisherman takes up the slack and does it himself. That or frozen pizza and take-out. But now that it’s getting colder, I will definitely get back to cooking and baking. And the smell of home will be back again in this household.

Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 11:44 am  Comments (8)  
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The Continuing Saga of the Insensitive Friend

Insensitive friend strikes again!
IF: Hey, whatchadoin?
Me: Oh, you know, puttering around the house.
IF: I am so bored! I don’t know how you do it!
Me: Well…
IF: I mean, how can you stay at home day in and day out, attending to your children’s and husband’s needs? Don’t you get bored? I am so glad my maternity leave ends in a few weeks. But you! You’re stuck there for the long haul.
Me: You see, (formulating a snappy comeback)
IF: Well, gotta go, the baby needs to be fed.
Me: (reluctantly)Bye.

Published in: on April 28, 2008 at 10:42 am  Comments (22)  
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“What a Waste!”

I was with some of my friends and in the course of the conversation , somebody mentioned a friend of ours who suddenly had to stop working. Here’s how the conversation went:

Friend1: Is she working right now?
Me: No. She’s staying home with her 3 year old. (she has another daughter who’s in school)
Friend2: She said she enroled her 3 year old at the daycare center and her daughter didn’t like it there.
Friend1: Really? What a waste!
Me: Well, that’s fine as it’s a temporary thing. (They were going to move so it wouldn’t make sense. But she didn’t want to divulge details)
Friend2: Yes, it’s fine by her. It’s her choice.
Friend1: Such a shame because she’s a nurse.
But Friend1 kept on saying that it’s such a shame that this friend of hers is staying at home and not working. She kept saying that it’s such a waste. I was deeply affected by this because hello! Number one, I am not working either. So does that make me a waste too? Does she feel that I am wasting my time staying at home with my kids? Doesn’t she understand that there are sacrifices parents do for their children? That it’s a temporary thing and one day she’s going back to work again? I was reeling from shock because I did not expect that this friend of ours had the audacity to say those things in front of me. I was the only SAHM present and I was too dumbfounded to say anything. I let it slide but told my husband about it that night.
Me: Babe, did you know that Friend1 thought that it’s such a shame that our friend is staying at home with her kids right now? She kept saying “what a waste” as if that’s a forever thing.
TheFisherman: Well, sometimes other people do not see beyond the here and now.

That was food for thought. And I had to agree. There are people who thinks that just because I’m a SAHM I have all the time in the world. The reactions usually is of :
a) envy – wow, how lucky you are! you get to stay at home all day and shop and do lots of fun things!
b) disgust – well, can’t you work part time? your kids are tweens now, they can handle themselves.
c) demeaning – oh really? I guess not all of us wants a career and earn money
I do not know how to reply every time because it’s none of their business. I do not feel the need to explain myself and enumerating all the reasons and stating all the pros and cons. Nor do I feel like going through the financial report of our household. But there are times when I am so tempted to step up to my soapbox and really tell them everything. But that’s a waste of my time and energy. 

Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 10:26 am  Comments (12)