2019年10月20日星期日

A Dark Place

I have bad thoughts, sometimes I sink into my dark place and think of all the things I admit might not even happen in my future, but I'm scared as hell.

I thought of how in years to come, I still have to handle my son's meltdown in the public. (Let's face it, this is going to happen)

I thought of possibly in my 80s (if I were well and strong), I still have to take care of my son. And if I really want to have a holiday, I have to bring him along.

I thought of possibly I were not as healthy as I hope to be, who's going to take care of him? Will he be bullied? Will someone actually torture him?

I thought of how I am not mentally strong to handle this on daily basis, and breakdown and eventually do something stupid and regretful.

I thought of many things, I fear for many things.

When your days repeat itself, to the point sometimes you don't know the exact date, it can be scary. Everyday I do the same thing, with sole purpose to keep my children well fed and well kept. There's almost nothing to look forward for the day, except the moments after they go to bed. And you know, the next day, you're going to wake up with the same shit.

You know how people condemn stay at home mom? Thinking we're so free to do our things? Sometimes I condemn myself too. I have this crazy shit guilt that when I have a little time to myself, I tell myself it's not right, I shouldn't be free. I should be busy because my husband is working his ass off at work to provide a life for all of us. I shouldn't be relaxing. I feel guilty for having a time to myself. I'm very f888ed up.

I'm 36 this year. I've achieved nothing in my life. I was merely an engineer when I resigned to stay home. It didn't seem like the job has any prospect if I stayed. And sometimes I think I might continue to rot in the place if I didn't resign.

But at the same time, look at what resignation brought me? Nothing I'm proud of. Some people told me, don't worry, you're great, you gave birth to two kids, you take good care of them etc etc.

My sole identity--MOTHER.

I'm 36, I'm struggling to keep my mental strength at the bay, and I'm struggling to have an identity and I don't even know how.

I can't admit this to anybody. How do you tell people you're having all this crazy shit in your mind? So yeah I have friends but I hardly discuss this.

I wrote it here because I know, nobody is reading blog anymore. Even if you do, what are you going to do? I bet not asking me how I am doing. Because you do not know what to do when it gets awkward. Nobody like this kind of conversation.

I keep going because I cannot leave my daughter. I can leave my son, I can leave my husband, I can't leave my daughter. She's the best thing in my daily life (apart from coffee). But if I were given a choice to start over knowing what's the end, will I ever have kids? No.

2019年9月14日星期六

The Californian Redwoods at Otways

Haven't been writing anything for more than a year. However, I decided to log in to my blog because of this Californian Redwoods.



Before I tried to do any homework for the trip, I thought all we'd do are endless oceans and beaches and capes. But as I read more and more, I realised there are more than ocean to that Great Ocean Road. There are forest, national parks and waterfalls.

And then, I stumbled upon photos of redwoods forest. Then I was hooked. Very hooked. However, I had my concerns too because I was bringing my two very young kids and I wasn't sure what was there to expect.

So I tried to find blogs, vlogs, official site of Great Ocean Road etc, but information given was mostly very basic and brief. I left a few comments here and there on Youtube videos, and PM certain accounts which showed they've recently been there. But only one very kind person reached back to put me at ease.

So, here I am to write some information about this very beautiful forest.

Tips:

  1. Plan to go in the morning, when it's bright. The road to redwoods forest is winding, and the last 15-20 mins of the journey is gravel, so do plan to do this in the morning for your own safety.
  2. While four wheel drive is not required, it's a good to have.
  3. It's about 40 mins drive from Apollo Bay
  4. You can plan it with Twelve Apostles if you depart from Apollo Bay (or Marengo Bay for us) in the morning.
    Our initial plan was to take Binns Road to the forest in the morning, and then continue with Binns Road and Beech Forest Mount Sabine Road (C159) to Twelve Apostles.
    (Note: We didn't do it as plan because the weather wasn't on our side, so we actually did a return trip of Redwoods Forest to Apollo Bay on our last day and continued our journey back to Melbourne.)
    If you do take this route Apollo Bay-Redwoods Forest-C159-Twelve Apostles, do make sure you have packed simple lunches for yourself. The only stop that might have food is Princetown. (Do your research before you go!)
  5. The GPS in the forest disconnects easily. So do save the route in your mobile phone so that it's available offline. Save yourself from being panic
  6. Try not to go if it's raining or it has been raining a lot prior to the day you plan to visit.
  7. You can also make a turn to Hopetoun Falls, we didn't do it because time was tight.
  8. Drive slowly, you might spot a wild koala crossing the road! Like we did =)
Hope you enjoy this place as much as we did. You'll find a lot of peace in the forest. When we were there, at one time there were only max 5 cars of tourists. So it's quiet and serene. 




2018年6月4日星期一

Beyond The Overloaded Cuteness

Her cuteness is just overwhelming!

I spent a lot more time with my second child than any other human being in this world. I teach her everything she's interested in, I spend my time making sure she runs around, mess around as much as she likes. I try my best to make sure she has a happy childhood, and not a lonely one.

Sometimes I watch her sleep, and I told myself I'm such a lucky mother to have her. Before her, I was a mess. I spent a lot of time having emotional roller coasters, crying and stressing over how I should handle my first child and what future is like for him.

When I was carrying her, I made sure my emotion was as stable as it could be. I didn't want to cause her any damage from the starting line. And now that she's communicating in her baby way, I no longer feel that I am talking to the wall the whole day. I am finally getting responses, even though not from both kids.

Sometimes I feel worried for her, does she feel lonely when the big brother doesn't want to play with her? Did I put too much invisible stress on her for hoping that she will be the one who leads the big brother for more and better progress? Do I sometimes neglect her needs of being a small baby for more cuddling and pampering because I have to focus on the elder one?

I find it hard to find a balance. On one hand, I am afraid of putting on too much attention playing with her and neglect the non communicating brother. On another hand, I am afraid that I give in to the brother more often than her, that will result her to feel neglected. And often, I fall in the the pit we call "mom guilt" and it sucks.

Beyond this cuteness, I'm always worried if anything I do or did wrongly would damage her one way or another. And most of all, sometimes I have a strong feeling that, I cannot lose this child. She is the most important thing to me.

2018年3月10日星期六

Over The Years

It's been a while since I blog, and sometimes I wonder who are still blogging. With so much social media, blogging is hardly a thing anymore.

But I still want to keep my blog, I take it as a public diary. A record of my growth.

And today, I want to record a little about myself.

When I was single, no kids, when I was an engineer, I had this thought that bothered me a lot. Was I going to be in this job forever? I didn't hate my job (I might hate some of aspects of the jobs, and.... some people??!!), but since a long time ago I always wanted to have a job, that I could wake up, cracking up work in my pajamas and a hot cup of coffee at my own dining table.

Engineer, was not the answer for me.

But I was lazy, I procrastinate(d), I was too comfortable in my job, I put the thought at the corner of my mind. Only examined it occasionally, not enough to start an engine to push myself.

So the thought sat for a while.

Then one day, I told my friend I was afraid. What if one day, I got married with kids and I blamed them, telling them they're the reason I sacrificed myself and didn't achieve what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be.

My friend said I was having a quarter life crisis, I thought I was.

Then, I started to be a little bit more serious about this thought of mine.

I took a short course of introduction to journalism. I didn't want to spend a lot of money in a part time course in something I wasn't sure. So I took a cheap one, short one, and as you can guess, cheap and high quality are mutually exclusive of each other, the course wasn't fantastic. But I learned that I have my limitations in this field. My language. My vocab. My grammar. They're all so messed up.

Journalism wasn't for me. But I was glad I tried, I even bought a book to improve vocabulary for daily practice. (And then I stopped....)

Then things sat around for a long time. I planned my wedding, I got married, we bought a house, we took care of the renovation, I got pregnant, I gave birth and I quitted.

When I finally got the rhythm of my daily life with my elder child. I started to play with food photography. I always like photography. I always travel with my DSLR. And before I had my children, I sometimes go for walks with my DSLR, just to snap and practice. As I was playing with food photography, I again realised my limitations.

Food photography needs a lot of set up. I don't have so much space for a set up at my small little home. My home is filled with toys, books, play yard etc. Besides, I need to prepare and learn food styling. Which was almost impossible!!! I only have a window of 1.5hour averagely to do cleaning, preparing the food, taking photographs, eating the food, cleaning up, showering. It's a mission impossible.

And so, I started to tuck my stuffs away again...

Then I was pregnant for the second time. During the pregnancy I had to spent 9 hours a week out of the house, waiting for my son to finish his class. During that time, I started to pick up hand lettering and drawing. And I realized, that's somethingI can do. I can do it for half an hour in the afternoon, and continue the rest at night, or tomorrow, or even after a week. I can work on it on computer. I can work on a minimal tools (a black brush pen and paper). I can do just drafting. I can.... Time can by easily planned. If I'm disturbed in the middle of my work, it's frustrating, but it's fine. I can continue.

When I first started, the letters and spaces were very poorly planned. I didn't control the brush very well too!

While these still need a lot of improvements, but I'm happy I actually made some progress. Look at the same quote at bottom left, I'm happily giving it away to the person who inspired me to write the quote as a gift. She's my boss, she's always been inspiring and encouraging. 

So now, I'm being one of the most greedy person in the world, trying to learn everything, doodle, hand lettering, watercolour, design on Illustrator. Reading bits and pieces, browsing Instagram and Pinterest.

I wish this time, this will really bring me somewhere I wanted to be. I promise myself I'll work for it.

Some time ago, I wrote in my personal diary (Yes, I still keep one even though I hardly wrote anything), 为不是妈妈的自己加油。

2018年2月2日星期五

I know, life is not always good. 

And right now, life is terrible. I'm tired, mentally. I hate partial of my motherhood experience. And I am struggling to give myself an identity apart from being a mother. 

It's so hard sometimes I want to quit. And it's even harder when I blame myself for wanting to quit. 

And all the guilt I carry with me all the time. 

I regret when I scold him, I regret when I beat him, I regret when I lost it and snap. 
I feel guilty when I do not manage to get him to work with him, I feel self conscious when other people try to communicate with him, I feel worry when he doesn't seem to move forward.

I feel nobody will ever understand what I am actually going through. 
I hate it when other parents share the accomplishments of their children. And yet it's a very stupid hate, my second child is achieving her milestones too. Shall I hate myself?
And then, I feel stupid for feeling angry and envious.

And most of all, the loneliness. I thought I was stupid to feel this way but only to find blogs of other mothers feeling the same too. 

Sometimes I do not know what I want more, to have my friends to ask me openly how I am holding up, or to have friends talk about other things like everything is okay. I don't even know what I want. 

I want to find a better way to cope with myself. I need one. 

2018年1月6日星期六

Hello 2018!

I know it's a little late for a new year post, but the year started a little rough. My son's been sick the second day we got back from hometown. Nursing him to recovery, and caring for the both of them have taken up all the time. He's still recovering, hope he gets well really soon!

While the Facebook flooded with comics and memes of how tough was 2017, I thought to myself, it wasn't that bad. Like what I wrote in my Instagram post, I was a little low because I thought I didn't achieve anything for the year, but I didn't particularly think that 2017 has been bad to me. Also, reminded by my friends, that I actually did quite a few things, even though I do not call them achievements. 

Not until my husband reminded me of a few things that happened in 2017.

My son was hospitalised due to complex seizures. And worse, it was during my confinement. I was tired all the time, and feeling guilty that I could not be with my newborn. 

He had a couple more seizures throughout the year, we've seen neurologist a few times. And he's been confirmed to have epilepsy.

He started on his first epilepsy medication, Epilim and the side effects got the worst on him. He can't control himself, cry several hours and we had to get him to A & E. We're just very very tired, but really thankful my mother was around.

After he listed out the events, I thought to myself, how can I forget all these? But again why not? Ignorance (or lack of good memory in this case) can sometimes be a bliss. I do not remember not because I do not care for him, but I guess my brain protect myself from such pain by hiding these information.

Instead I reminded myself he enrolled to the center since February last year, and made some improvements. He's not talking but at least he can sometimes try to communicate. He's not running, but he's walking much better and more confident with stairs. He's not on par with his growth, but he has better awareness.

Besides, I'm thankful that after Epilim failed, we tried Keppra and it works. We can go on a family vacation like it used to be!

It's never been easy, whether it's 2017 or 2016 or 1999... that's life! We face challenges every year, every month, every day.

All I can tell myself is to move on, work hard and don't give up!