Friday, June 23, 2006

Before kids

As I'm in my bed, trying to sleep, my mind began to wander. I started to think about my life before I had kids. That life wasn't that long ago but it seems like a different lifetime ago. I was someone who loved to sleep. I could sleep the whole day and still sleep at night. If I didn't get my 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, I was a grouch. I'm still a grouch when I'm sleepy but I can now survive on less sleep. I don't remember what it's like to sleep the whole night through anymore. I do find myself waking up to see if Laura or Adam has kicked off their blanket. Until recently, Adam still woke up at night to nurse.

I used to be able to wear anything I wanted without having to think if what I was wearing was suitable for nursing on demand. I could wear frilly underwear and not horrible nursing bras. Speaking of nursing bras, someone please explain to me. A woman who had recently given birth to a baby and is still carrying some weight gained during pregnancy. Her body used to be made up of perky breasts, firm tummy and a tight butt. After childbirth, she resembles Jello more than J Lo. With a newborn baby, there is very little time to take a shower, let alone pick out something nice to wear (pre-pregnancy clothes don't fit anyway) and put on some make-up. Her hormones are still out of whack and her self-esteem isn't at the optimum level. She is sleep depraved from taking care of a newborn and probably grumpy. Why are nursing bras so ugly then? Why aren't nursing bras made to look attractive so that there is some semblance of normalcy with postpartum women? This is the time when the bust are up two cup sizes. Vava voom! But I digress...

Before children was also the time when I needed to think only of packing for myself and PT. Go for short holiday at a moment notice. One bag for the both of us. Pack books or trashy gossip magazines to read while on holiday. Laze by the pool and read or just take a nap whilst listening to the lapping waves. No chance of that now. When the children were babies, we had to calculate how many diapers to bring, how many sets of clothes in case our baby dirtied herself, if we need to pack baby food, remember to pack baby shampoo, baby bath, sunblock, nappy rash cream, children paracetamol (just in case), baby toys (to keep her occupied in the car), baby stroller, etc, etc, etc. Fortunately, I breastfed the both of them so no need to deal with hot water bottle, formula, baby bottles, sterilizing container and tablet, washing up liquid and bottle brush. Have to try to relax while keeping an eye on the children, to make sure they're safe.

Before children, we started on our journey whenever we felt was right. Absolutely no hurry. We can choose to drive straight to our destination or make stops whenever we wanted to. When travelling with children, we need to plan the timing for the journey. Start too early and the children haven't had enough sleep so higher chances of them being cranky. Start journey too close to their lunch time, then we'll have think about stopping for lunch. How far is our destination? How many hours will it take to get there? Will I need to pack some snacks and water in case the children got hungry or thirsty? Do they need to make toilet stops? What time is our bus leaving? If we're arriving after the children's dinner time, need to think about packing their dinner.

Before children, we had a whole library of videos. We watched movies after movies in our TV room. We still have a video library. Only now, the library is made up of Barney videos, Richard Scarry's Busy Town videos, Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, Shrek, Cat In The Hat, The Wiggles, Tweenies. Grown-up movies are watched only when the children are in bed, if we're not too tired.

Before children, eating out meant having what we fancied. Now we have to think if the place we're going to will have food suitable for the children. Laura and Adam are quite good. They are not fussy with food and will eat whatever the grown ups eat, except spicy food. Adam does likes roti canai with curry dhal though. Even so, we still have to check ourselves if there is food for the children.

Before children, going to the public toilet meant just going to relieve oneself and wash hands after. With children, the steps to tak: Bring the child into the toilet stall, find a place to hang handbag and child's bag. Make sure the child relieves him/herself without wetting his/her pants then cringe when the child puts his/her hand the toilet wall and on whatever is in the toilet. Pull up the child's pants and instruct child to stand still while you take your turn. Tell child not to open toilet door. Bear embarrassing remarks from child, eg, "Mama, you are wearing pink knickers today!" or "Mama, why you wee wee so much?" (said on top of his/her voice of course). Tell child not to open toilet door again. Then help child put on backpack, grab own bag and head to the sink. Push tap to start water flowing, pick up child who is too short to reach the sink to wash hands, try to reach for handsoap without dropping child while trying to stop handbag from slipping down the shoulder, then try to push tap again to wash soap off the child's hands. Finally, dry hands. Phew!

Even with the big lifestyle changes, if I could turn back the clock I wouldn't change a minute of my life. I cannot imagine myself not having children. Laura and Adam bring so much joy in my life just being themselves. Laura does a perfect impersonation of Mater when he said, "Tractors are so dumb" which cracks me up. Adam's laughter is so infectious and he does love to laugh. I wouldn't trade anything for the cuddles I get from the both of them. I love being the "Best mama in the whole wide world" and "The most beautiful mama in the world". Only my children will tell me things like that! LOL I love how Laura thinks I know everything (if only she knew!). Adam also told me once that "Mama is the best fixer in the whole world" because I fixed up his train tracks for him. I may have been sleep depraved but nothing can match the times when I've held them in my arms or lay down side by side with my kids, nursing them and seeing their beautiful face. The look on their face when they're nursing. PRICELESS!


Blogger Min said...

This is my 101st post! Wow! I still remember Lisa aka Siao Cha Bor blogging about her 100th entry. SCB slipped into a coma in April. She is out of the coma but still a long way from full recovery. Read here:

2:44 am  
Blogger Vien said...

That was such a beautiful blog entry. :)

7:22 am  
Blogger Min said...

Thanks for visiting, Vien.

8:54 am  
Blogger mumsgather said...

I couldn't help but laugh aloud when I read that part about going to public toilets. Its so true!

8:57 am  
Blogger me said...

hahahaha. like a page from my life. exactly the same. welcome to motherhood. the good news is......a few more years down the road, you'll have some of your old life back. but forget the sleep and worry bit. that's for life. hahaha. but they are soooooo innocent and sweet. just imagine life without them. how boring, meaningless. another year will be just another year, instead of now, watching them grow older and bigger. you'll have much more fun coming your way. when they are older, remember to start getting back some of your life, otherwise you will have the empty nest thing pretty hard.

9:05 am  
Anonymous Hijackqueen said...

Can't agree with you more. These are all joy of parenthood. But don't you agree kids grow up too fast? Tomorrow they might not want your cuddle anymore.

9:45 am  
Anonymous myrina said...

hi min... glad that u r back bloggingggg againnn.. yeehaaa!!! this month is d bz'iest month for me... bz preparing besday party for my dear hubby & my son since their birthday is on the same date (n mine is 3 days later). Which means lots of time & "fulus" kena sacrifice hehheh. Anyway the party waz great , all the famili members attended it.

But this week kinda blew my hepi mood away :( Currently i'm 33 weeks pregnat n the doc told me that my baby's head is in up position hmmm n if this position remain looks like i'm going to face the c-sec.... waaaa!!!!! it fears me a lot min ... got any advise to positive my mood n tought?...

4:20 pm  
Blogger Inner-Me said...

tat was a great blog you posted for my boring sat morning and working! though i don't have kids yet nor married but some paragraphs apply to having nieces and nephews. I totally understand the PUBLIC TOILETS part. Especially the public toilets at those highway rest areas. WOAH! Those are what you called breathe in, do your job fast and get out! haha

I definitely agree that you have lovely kids. Smart too. When I get married (hopefully) and have kids, I want to learn from you and be a good mama too.

happy working in singapore, Min!

9:22 am  
Anonymous Yee Peng said...

Hi, I have been following your blog for quite some time. It is very interesting indeed. As I am still a struggling not-so-young student, I am really putting a deep thought of the what kind of life that I want for the future. Your blog has indeed helped alot, providing additional information on many thing a person have to face in life. Please keep blogging :) Thanks.

10:33 am  
Anonymous a&a'smom said...

Yes u r so right!! I too went thru all that when boys were younger. Now life is getting better but now more school coaching headaches & me & Hubs got my boobs back (hehehe u forgot to blog on sex b4 kids lah, LOL!)

4:59 pm  
Anonymous Min said...

mumsgather, going to toilet with two kids definitely more "fun" right? LOL

me aka lenglui, now that my kids are 6 and 3, I do have more time for some "me" activities. I'm enjoying a few days in Singapore with PT. It may be work but this is the first time when it's just the two of us in a looooooooong time and we miss the kids like crazy! :D

Hijackqueen, yes they do grow up too quickly. I can't believe my baby who was perpetually attached to my boobs is now 3 and on the way to weaning! He has kept his word to stop nan nan from the time he blew out the candles on his birthday cake (which was two weeks ago) but he still wants me close. I'll be really upset if he doesn't want me next to him now. Both my kids love cuddles, so they're getting lots of cuddles now. I'm not looking forward to when they think cuddling with mama and papa isn't cool anymore.

Myrina, check websites like and read books like "What to expect when you're expecting" for reassurance. 33 weeks may be too soon to tell yet. Knowledge will give you confidence to deal with "hiccups".

Yee Peng, I'm glad you find my blog informative :D I'm just blogging from the heart and thinking aloud. Blogging is so therapeutic 'coz I really do think too much sometimes!

a&a'smom, sex before kids? Any time and anywhere! With kids, must plan lor! :D

12:56 am  
Blogger Lian said...

Hi Min,
Just shows we just get smarter with kids coz' we have to do more thinking. Hahahaha.

11:35 am  
Blogger Min said...

inner-me, when the time comes I'm sure you'll be a fabulous mother. I've seen how you take care of your nieces and nephews.

Lian, that's true!

10:17 pm  
Blogger Cuddly Family said...

beautiful post Min :) Just like you and your kids!
The public toilets point was soooooooo common it was funny..
best moments is when the kids dash over and hug you and say "I love you mummy!" Josh told me today I have to give ua thank u hug mummmy! I said why, he replied "cos u r my mummy."

aiyoo make me cry!

9:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:27 pm  
Blogger Min said...

Errr... Anonymous... Is there a reason for the link?

11:36 pm  
Blogger Min said...

cuddlyfamily aka Lia, I love how kids are so spontaneous about showing their feelings. That nature also puts us parents in embarrassing situations. Don't you agree?

11:38 pm  
Blogger babe_kl said...

i guess all parents or rather moms would be able to relate this. the toilet episodes are sooo true. last month when i was having my menses my boiboi saw the pad whilst i was relieving myself, he asked out loud "mummy why are you bleeding??!!!???" adui

10:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, this is my first time. i was gooling something and ended up here. like ur post.
i dont have any children of my own yet. but i oso understand the toilet session cos used to take my niece and nephew. so 3 of us all have to take turn to pee. ;-) Have to warn them too, dint turn around, dont open the door. and they dont allow the other sibbling to peep when any of them doing the bussiness ;-)
now the boy is big enuf to go in on his own,lega for me, otherwise i pai sei lo. i wonder how a Daddy take his daughter to toilet. imagine taking her walking pass all the guy w their dick sticking out.
recently i have to take both into the changing room when i was trying out new clothes. guess what, both start to ask why i have this or have that on my body and they'll giggle. aiyo, malunya i, habisla all my secret identity.
i luv it so much when they run to me and hug me so tightly and non stop kissing me and manja w me.
My mom always tell me no matter how great we are, their mom will always be first....forever, and when they grow up they will forget and wont be so close anymore. Hmmm... i wonder to what extend of truth the last part will be "when they grow up they forget and wont be so close anymore" oh, i miss them so much. wish they are mine. ops!!! hope their parent dont read this and keep the kids away from me. Hahahaha...

10:05 pm  
Blogger Min said...

Anon, I have wondered also how daddies bring their daughters to toilet. Use the disabled toilet maybe? Most times the disabled toilets are locked wor. Good question.

You must be your niece and nephew's favourite aunty. Their mother will always be the BEST *ahem* but I'm sure you have a special place in their hearts. Who knows? What they feel they can't tell their parents they may confide in you. I won't be surprised if you find out they have a boyfriend/girlfriend first before their parents do :D

10:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disabled toilet!! i never thought of that. unfortunately, not all places have them. Luckily i'm their aunty and not uncle. haha. Yup, i'm their fav aunty. when they overnite at my place they only want to sleep w me, as close as possible. ;-)

11:36 pm  

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