Posted in Motherhood

Busy Bee Little Me!

I can’t believe how hectic things have been for the past few months.

As some of you might already know, I’m a freelance writer and I’ve got an offer to be an editor for a Malaysian parenting website.

I get to meet a lot of interesting writers and bloggers out there because one of my tasks is to involve more parents and build an online community for the Malaysian parenting scene. It was challenging at first because I don’t know what to do or how to handle my schedule. The great thing about this is that I get to work from home! I don’t have to leave my kids to go and work in an office and I can schedule my time according to my other household routines, as long as I still meet my deadlines. As much as it was crazy the first few weeks I got the job, it was such a great thing to do because not only I get to do what I love (things that involve writing and meeting people), I also get to do it right in my living room.

 

I don’t know why I still prefer to write on paper even with all the online apps and software and stuff that I can use to make my work easier.

 

June is also a hectic month for me personally because my sister is going to get married in August. I have no idea how could she be getting married when she’s only 8! Since Ramadhan is coming, my mom wants us to get as many things ready as possible because do you know how much work there is to prepare for a wedding? It’s insane. Makes me wonder why anyone wants to get married at all! Oh, wait. I’ve been there. It’s the stress excitement of preparing for the wedding that made it part of the fun. Every weekend I have to go to my mom’s place and help her with bits of here and there before the wedding day arrives. It feels like I‘m living between two houses because before the week ends, I have to go to my mom’s house and just when I thought I’m starting to be helpful around the house, I have to come back home because I need to concentrate on my house as well. It’s nuts!

 

During one of the ceremonies leading up to my sister’s (the one in white robe) wedding.

The kids have been doing great as well. I think they had a bad few weeks too when I first got the editor job because I was literally running from the kitchen to my work station and I think I might have neglected their snack time once or twice during that few bad weeks. But they’re okay now. Or at least they’re not starving or anything. We celebrated Eros birthday few months ago and Sophea is going through her last stages of Terrible Two and reminding us of what Terrifying Three is like. Damien, albeit the most laid-back one among the three, is slowly but surely picking up cues from his brother and sister. Damien’s current favorite word: NO.

 

I don’t know why, but Eros and Sophea are always making faces whenever I take their photos now.

 

But one of the best highlights, well, for me at least, is that I’ve lost 10kg since April!

I’ve started doing Joey Atlas’ lower body workout called The Ultimate Leg, Butt, Hip & Thigh Makeover for about 3 months now and I’ve also started yoga about 1 1/2 month now. I was just doing the lower body workout because I want to fit into my dress during my sister’s wedding. But when I started to see results, I got encouraged and decided to do yoga again. I said again because I used to go to the gym with my friend when I was 18 for a yoga class. She joined the gym and got a package where she pays only half price if she could bring a friend. Obviously I tagged along because then I did everything together with my friend. Then I wasn’t the least interested in yoga, but now, I love it. My sister saw that I was making so much progress, she even got me a proper yoga mat. Before I was just using my kids’ playmat.

Dropped 10kg since end of April and I can fit into my size 14 jeans again! Just another 5kg to go!

 

I guess that’s a lot about me, don’t you think?

So what’s new with you? Would love to hear what you’ve been up to!

 

Posted in Motherhood, Parenting

Time Out, Mommy!

Things have gone from bad to worse since my last post.

Then it went from bad to a little better and good and then bad and then worse.

I’m really confused with the things that I have to do at home with the kids. For one, I can’t seem to know what to do first. Then even if I do know, I don’t get to do it because everything else happens at the same time at the wrong places. Just the other day, I literally feel suffocated.

Damien is going to be 3 months soon (that quick, huh?) and he has seemed to get day and night mixed up. He would be all sleepy in the morning right up to late evening. Then after his evening bath, he would be wide awake until 2am sometimes. I mean, what’s that about? I’m really glad that he sleeps in the afternoon because that’s when I get to do all the housework and looking after Eros and Sophia.

But by nighttime, I’m spent and I felt like crawling to my bed. And that’s when Damien will be wide awake. It’s okay if he just lies on the bed and roll around entertaining himself but nooooo. I have to pick him up and play with him. It was fun for like the first 30 minutes but when my eyelids get heavy, he seems to be wanting more. I can’t put him down next to me either. He likes to sit up and look around. I mean, I can’t blame him for being curious but at 3-freaking-am?

I feel like I seriously need a break.

Because now, I feel like doing what I do has become obligatory and it’s no longer something that I enjoy doing or something that I get satisfaction from. I feel like I have to do it and I hate that. I don’t want to feel as though I have to look after my kids, I hate to feel like I have to cook for the family. I mean, I know I have to because no one else would but feeling forced into doing it is just, well, sucks.

Oh, well.

Posted in Motherhood, Parenting

The Amazing Race

I can’t believe how many articles there are out there today about being a mother.

I mean one would think that being a mother should come naturally, something that is born primordially into every woman’s instinct.

I never thought much on how difficult or challenging it is to be a mother because my mother is always around. She gave up her job to take care of me and my sisters so the matriarchal figure in our family is really strong without anyone questioning my mother’s role as a housewife.

Housewife.

That’s a word you hardly hear anyone using anymore.

Now we “modern moms” prefer the term SAHM – Stay At Home Mom.

Housewife makes us feel, well, like a drab.

Homemaker is okay. Even house mommy is all right but I don’t think I hear the word housewife as often as I did when I was little.

So what is it really about mothers that gets everyone talking, debating even fighting over about?

To be honest, I don’t think there’s a better time to become a mother than now.

With all the online references about getting pregnant, what to do while you’re pregnant, what not to do if you’re pregnant and once, I even found an article on what to do if you go into labor and you are alone. There’s actually a step-by-step guide on how to deliver your baby if you’re on your own. I mean, how much more informative can you get? I don’t think they share that much during my mother’s time.

And one thing that I am grateful for (and millions other mothers, I’m sure) is the ever so abundant reference and information on babies and how to take care of them.

Did you know that there are 5 different ways to burp a baby? Do you know you can make your own ear drops to cure swimmer’s ears? Do you know you can tell how healthy is your baby’s bowel from the color of his poo?

Who knew right?

I run a Facebook group for new mothers. I call it Tell Me Mommy.

It has a steady number of members with new ones every other week and discuss about everything a mother goes through – housework, baby’s behavior (or misbehavior), recipes on what to cook and money saving home tips, among others, really.

Today a member posted something that made me think of my roles as a mother – the one that used to have a career (let’s call her the FTWM – Full Time Working Mom) and the one now, the one that doesn’t have a professional job but is working nevertheless (for the sake of modern term, let’s call her the SAHM).

I am very glad to say that I have experiences in both roles to actually know what I’m talking about. On top of that, having had post-partum depression (PPD) after the birth of my first son, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that I feel the authority in writing this post tonight.

In a gist, a member who has recently given up her career to become a SAHM feels overwhelmed with what she has to do and vented out by saying that she is envious of SAHM who has nothing else to do but to solely take care of their kids because all other aspect of motherhood is taken care by someone else ie other family members or a maid.

Another member came back to say that how would this mother know that living with other family members (ie in-laws or parents) will make things easier for the mother? Living with other family members, especially in-laws, will probably make things tougher because you would have to comply and tolerate childbearing methods from the elders that you may not agree with.

So they went back and forth justifying what the other has to say since one is a SAHM while the other is FTWM. Even though they are not rude to each other, I can see it was a pretty heated discourse.

What ticked me about the conversation is that how amazing the role of mother is and can be viewed differently even among mothers themselves.

You would think that mothers naturally come together and stand shoulder to shoulder when it comes to anything motherhood.

But being a mother myself now, I can see how sometimes the claws can come out and vicious holier-than-thou behavior surfaces when another mother talks about something that doesn’t agree with what the other mother believes.

For me, if there is one group of people who can afford to be holier-than-thou, it is mothers. And if there is one group of people who shouldn’t be holier-than-thou, it is mothers.

I can understand why mothers can get defensive very easily.

We slave ourselves when no one else seems to care. Or even if someone does, it’s so damn hard sometimes to get acknowledged. A nice gesture of thank you or a hug wouldn’t hurt us but I think we mothers can count how many times we get compliments from those that matters to us on one hand and still have fingers left.

And it’s not like we do things because we want compliments but it’s nice to know that what we do is really appreciated.

Then there’s the case of the working mothers.

When I first had a baby and was going through PPD, I wanted nothing but to get away from my son and go back to work. It was that one place where I can feel where the world is for once about me.

Everyone was fussing about the baby and giving me advice from how to comb his hair right down to the color of his scrotum. It was totally overwhelming and it was made worse when Mohen and I sort of drifted apart after our son was born. So being at work allowed me to have a moment when I can center myself and concentrate on what I was really good at because I was feeling useless as a mother.

I took quite some time to get used to my son and when I did, I realized what I missed.

I tried as much as I can to compensate the loss I suffered watching him grow because I was concentrating too much on myself when I was supposed to look after this small helpless creature.

That was the time I felt the true pang of being a FTWM.

I wake up everyday, even weekends, at 6.30am to get all the housework done before my son wakes up. Then when he does, I will concentrate on him, bathing, feeding, reading and letting him have his playtime.

Then there was meals to cook and more housework even though I already tried to do as much as I can when I woke up but no matter how early I wake up, it always seem that I was running out of time.

I can’t tell you how many times I was almost late to work because the ironic thing about being a mother is, the more you rush, the more your baby refused to cooperate with you.

And for the first time I know the apprehensive feeling of leaving your kids with someone else while you’re at work.

True enough that I did have my own time at the office where I get to realize my full potential at something else other than motherhood but I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about my son and how the babysitter is looking after him.

When work was taking over me because I got promoted and I didn’t get to see my son on days end, I decided to resign.

I thought I would have more time and be more relaxed now that I will be a full time SAHM.

Boy, was I wrong (see my other post on staying at home: SAHM – Sanity and Humor Mandatory).

I knew housework like I never knew it before.

All of a sudden there were thousands of things to do. I didn’t get it the first few weeks I was adjusting to being an SAHM.

I figured now that I am at home, I will be less rushed and able to do things on my own time.

In a sense, it is true.

But I found myself waking up, albeit a little late, at 7.30am, and being on my feet up until it was 10pm. I have no idea what it was that made me work around the clock but it seems there is always something to do and everything seems to happen simultaneously (see post Sometimes I Could Just).

All of a sudden I have to cook while my son is calling for a snack, I have to load the laundry while my daughter needs a change, I have to iron Mohen’s shirt when the kids are fighting over a toy.

It was crazy.

So that was what made me realize how mothers can get offended when one mother says the other mother has it easy compared to her.

Because no matter which mother you are – the FTWM, the SAHM, the WAHM (work at home moms), the soccer mom, the yelling mom, the Tigger mom, the tiger mom – it is not easy.

And all mothers want to be perfect.

Even though we tried to live with our flaws and accept the limitation of our maternal abilities, we secretly want to be the best and at times, we secretly wish we are better than other mothers we know, either personally or mutually.

I admit, there are some mothers who really have it easy. I personally know someone whose responsibility is to just literally give birth. Everything else is done by someone else. Her mother cooks every meal, her father bought her a house and a car, she has a maid who waits on her son’s hands and feet, she has a driver to drive her around for her salon appointment or manicure session.

And she doesn’t work.

Most mothers would chop off her arm just to have a life like that but to be frank, I think we wouldn’t want that everyday. Maybe once in a while is great. And by once in a while I do mean about once a month where we get to be pampered and spoiled rotten.

Mothers envy the lax lifestyle of some mothers but we wouldn’t trade our enslaved lives with other mothers.

We really are one amazing race.

That’s right.

We are a breed of our own that drives ourselves crazy with our kids pushing our sanity to its very brink and yet we do it day in day out. We rushed from the kitchen to the living room, juggling bottles and feeding bowls while telling our toddler to stop jumping on the couch, we sped from the house to the daycare, with our mind already at the meeting that will start in half an hour, we jumped from the car right into the kitchen to prepare dinner in our business suit still on.

It’s a wonder how we don’t burn out in half the time we’re supposed to live.

And the great thing is, we get to do this over and over again even until our kids are 30.

So when mothers get a little tensed or overwhelmed and started venting off steam and sounding judgmental and one mother gets offended and lashed back, I don’t blame them at all.

You just have to be there to know how amazing mothers are.

Posted in Home Made, Motherhood

Simple Sugar Donuts!

Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes

 Cooking time: 30 minutes

 

My kids were sleepy because of the lazy weather today.

So while they were napping, I was wondering what to do. I was toying with the idea of making another art project (there’s this quote canvas art that I’ve been wanting to do), finish the quilt pillowcase I’m sewing or make some dessert.

I’m thinking of baking cinnamon rolls but it was not something I want to start doing in the middle of a lazy afternoon. But I did feel like having something sweet (I crave a lot of sweet stuffs and anything with almond with this pregnancy!) so I thought, why not sugar donuts?

It has been a while since I have those simple sugar donuts and not those fancy schmancy donuts with buttercream and glaze and chocolate filling or custard cream and all.

So I made me some sugar donuts today and when my kids woke up from their nap, Eros enjoyed these donuts so much I’m tempted to make them again tomorrow!

Here’s what you’ll need:

500g flour (4cups + 2tbsp)
6g yeast (if one pack of yeast is 11g, you can use half of it)
1 tbsp condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
275ml water (90z)
Icing sugar for dusting

– Mix salt and condensed milk into the water. Stir well until condensed milk is fully dissolved
– Add yeast to flour
– Pour in the oil and rub it into the flour. Make sure all lumps are gone for the finer the flour without lumps, the fluffier your donuts will be
– Add the milk mixture into the flour and knead. The dough will be extremely sticky at this point but don’t worry. Get the excess flour off from your hand with a spoon
– Leave the dough uncovered for about 20minutes*
– Knead the dough and balled up into small portions to the size of a golf ball
– Flatten the balled up dough to about 1/2 inch thickness
– Punch a hole through with a bottle cap (I used a milk scoop for my kids’ formula. I cut the handle off and use the scoop to punch a hole through the dough)
– Cover the donut dough with damp towel and let rise for 30minutes*
– Deep fry the donuts in enough vegetable oil until golden brown
– Roll the donuts in icing sugar to coat it before serving

*I live in a warm country where the weather is humid all year long.

I read in a cookbook once that in colder countries, you may need to let the dough rise for a slightly longer time. I can’t really say how long you need to let it rise for this recipe but I think an extra 5-10minutes wouldn’t hurt?

Homemade sugar donuts – so fluffy and soft you’ll love it!
Posted in Motherhood, Parenting

SAHM – Sanity and Humor Mandatory

Today was a good day. A real good day.

Why?

Because for me, a good day means all housework is done on time, I get time to relax for a few hours, I don’t yell at my kids, they don’t get on my nerves and basically, everything goes the way they’re supposed to.

But a real good day means my kids still do get on my nerves but I don’t yell at them for being kids.

It was really something that Mohen said to me the other day.

We were just hanging out in the kitchen, having our ritual coffee before bed. Well, coffee for him and apple juice for me since I don’t take coffee while I’m carrying. And so we were telling each other how each of our day went. Mohen would ask how were the kids and what did they do on that day. Usually I see this as my daily domestic report to keep him in touch with the family despite being away from home a lot because of his work.

But somehow our conversation last night struck a different chord in me.

I have no idea what triggered it but I guess it was just an epiphany, for a lack of a better word. This morning I woke up and the first thing that came to my mind was the conversation I had with Mohen about how our kids were doing the day before.

I started thinking about what they did the whole day – playing with each other, a little screaming to win over their favorite toy, spilled water on the floor, cookies crumbs on the book pages, few episodes of crying, strewn toys all over the place, snacking between meals; basically nothing they have never done before.

Then I started thinking about how I reacted to these.

I lost my temper when Eros had cookie crumbs all over the book that he was reading despite me giving him a plate to catch the crumbs with. I yelled when the water spilled all over the floor because he placed his cup too close to the edge of the table, I scolded Eros and Sophia for screaming at each other because they were fighting over a toy.

At the back of my head, I know that the way I reacted was really base on the reason to have everything in perfect order.

I don’t want cookie crumbs all over my son’s book because I am an anal bibliophile. He’s 3. He doesn’t even know what a bibliophile is. It’s great enough that he’s interested to read at all.

I yelled when the water spilled because I just mopped the floor and I hate having to do it again. He didn’t do it on purpose. He’s 3 and was eager to get back to the cartoon he was watching.

I scolded my kids for fighting over a toy because it was too noisy and I was trying to read. He’s 3 and she’s 10months old.

All of a sudden I felt really, really foolish. No, wait. I was being too nice to myself – I felt stupid, really.

I can’t believe that I allowed myself to be dragged into behaving childishly over things that are out of a toddler’s control.

I mean, how much can Eros really behave as a mature adult when he’s barely 4 and how quiet can Sophia be when she’s 10months old and learning to talk? Everything they do is because they are growing up. Not because they are bad kids or they are trying to get on my nerves.

Okay, I know toddlers are at that stage where they will try to push you just to see how worse can certain things get just to satisfy their burning curiosity. But as a parent, I should’ve realized that my son is only 3 years old.

I can’t stress enough how foolish it feels to know a 3 year old get to beat you.

So today I decided to do things differently. Before my kids woke up, I told myself these few things:

1. No matter what they do, it’s because they are kids. Not because they are trying to pick a fight with me.

2. If anything goes wrong, it’s not because they are wrong. It’s because it didn’t happen the way I want them to.

When they are not fighting, Eros and Sophia are the best of friends.

Eros had some M&Ms while he watched cartoon. I always put his snacks in a small cup so he doesn’t finish everything in one day. When he wanted to return the cup to the kitchen, he placed it on the kitchen counter but it missed and the remaining candies scattered everywhere.

He shot me a worried look because I will usually yell at him.

Instead, I shook my head and told him to be more careful the next time. Eros almost didn’t believe it was me for he stopped to look at me for a few seconds. He said “Okay!,” cheerfully and went back to the living room.

Me? All I had to do was pick up the candies and give the floor a quick wipe. No yelling, no stress – nothing.

Later in the evening Eros and Sophia was getting bored and started fighting over toys. I was reading on the couch and it was starting to get on my nerves. I tried to stay calm for as long as I could just to see how much I can take.

When I feel like yelling, I called their names firmly and asked what was going on  even though I know I won’t get a straight answer, what more from a baby. But that was enough to get their attention so I told them that there are plenty of toys to go around and that they should share.

Eros grumbled a little but he let Sophia played with his toy truck while he picked up another action figure. After a few seconds, Sophia lost interest in the toy truck and went to play with the bricks, Eros took the truck and started playing on his own.

No screaming, no crying, no yelling – nothing.

Me? I went back to reading and managed to finish 4 chapters before it was time for their evening bath.

During dinner, Eros was drinking and talking at the same time so his drink spilled onto his pajamas. Of course on any other day, I would scream at him because I don’t want to change him again and it would be a waste to put a fresh pajama in the laundry hamper.

Today, I laughed because it was really funny watching him trying to talk with a mouthful of water. He laughed too and wanted to do it again because he thought I approved of what he did. I didn’t yell, if that was what you thought I did. Although I did laugh the first time, the second time he tried to do it, I told him firmly that it wasn’t a funny thing to do and I don’t want him to wet his pajama.

No screaming, no spoiled dinnertime – nothing.

Me? I went back to listening to Eros talking and we finished our dinner in peace.

By changing the way I reacted to what my kids are doing, I managed to stay stress free and my kids seem to be happier too.

Eros is really cooperative and helpful with the simple house chores today. Sure he has a few episodes of retaliation but I thought I handled them pretty well. He listens to my instructions more willingly when I’m not the Yelling Mom and I do get more things done today than I did the whole week. Sophia is well, 10 months old so I can’t say much about her.

By the time my kids are in bed for the day, I actually feel better about myself and truly feel happy about being a mother.

I mean, I’ve always love being a mother but today, it make me realize that I can actually really do this without being as stressed out as so many people said mothers with toddlers are.

I’m really glad that I realized this now and not when my kids are teenagers and they’ve known me as the Yelling Mom all their childhood. I know now how to handle my own anger and not lash it out on my kids just because they are being kids and not doing things the way I want.

I will try to practice this everyday from now on and hope it will too soon become a second nature to me. Just like when I first adapted to being an SAHM after I quit work. I know it takes time but I believe in my own capability to know that it’ll be something that I can do.

And just in case you’re still wondering, SAHM actually stands for “stay at home mother” but yes, sanity and humor are mandatory in being one.

Posted in Motherhood

The Last Lap. Again.

Runners will run their last lap with any last ounce of energy and speed they have in them to win the race.

That, is of course, easier said than done in my case. Not that I have any intention of doing any running at this stage. I can hardly get out of bed without huffing and puffing for 5 minutes, thank you very much.

But with less than 2 weeks to go, it does feel like running the last lap where the finishing line is just there at the end of the horizon that you can almost feel yourself collapsing after you’ve crossed it. I can see the labor room, the bustling nurses and sound of electronic beeping coming from machines and whatnot and the highly anticipated shrill cry of the prize after the race – the baby.

Sophia is doing well and progressing as she should during her gestation. There weren’t as many complications as Eros’ was and there were less false alarm scares with her.

But then I think it’s because it’s the second time around for me, I don’t know.

Other than knowing pretty much what to expect, I don’t freak out that often when a stomachache spell lasted more than 20minutes or that my back feel like someone just put a sledgehammer right through it or that I feel drowsy all of a sudden and there’s this burning itch in my chest that just won’t go away.

Eros on the day he was born.

My previous last lap was nerve-wrecking with every other slight cramp is timed and recorded. I tread each step with care and watch out for any sign at all that indicate the baby is ready. At the point, no matter how much I’ve read on being prepared, I have no idea what to expect.

Sure the book explain which part of your body will feel the pain and how the pain is like but it didn’t and couldn’t possible make you feel the pain. So I can only imagine what it would be like. So nervous I was at that time, I was even scared to go to the toilet just in case I mistake my bowel movement for labor.

It’s a heck a lot more relaxed this time around, I’m glad to say.

Even Mohen is not a bundle of nerves. He was calm enough during our first time and when my water broke, he didn’t panic and took me to the hospital serenely enough. I don’t know if he was going wild inside to keep himself from freaking out as well but thanks to him, I was relaxed and didn’t panic.

I think he did that for me, even if he was panicking. I mean, he must’ve felt something as well. He can’t be all that cool and composed over the birth of his first child, can he? Either he wants to jump for joy or pace the floor incessantly, he kept it under wraps. He was there for me the way he was expected to and handled everything else other than the birth for me like how he was meant to.

As I write this, I have never really thought about it then.

Eros is a natural with the camera even at 2 days old.

I was so wrapped up in delivering and having Eros that I think I didn’t really thank Mohen for being there for me. We were together at every step of the way but I didn’t take the time to really say how glad I was to have him around.

I know he gave without asking anything in return but I must remember to thank him when I see him tonight when he comes back from work. We are going through this again very soon and I don’t want him to think that I don’t appreciate him being around or doing anything he can to make me feel better.

We have yet to get much of Sophia’s things ready, to be honest. Other than the things that are still very usable from Eros’ time, we’re only going to get more items for her next week.

And I don’t feel bad about it. Hang on – I mean, I feel bad to some extent, thinking that we don’t go all out to get everything new for Sophia the way we did for Eros but with so many things still can be used and knowing what to expect and get for a newborn, I’m surprised at how relaxed we are this time around.

I think this is what my mother meant when she says you get better with each children. You make all the mistakes you can with the first, you do a couple more with the next and correct yourself as more children comes along and finally get the idea of what the hell is going on with the last one.

Our first glimpse of Sophia.

For me, with Sophia, I would like to think that we are more prepared and mature to receive her.

I feel that she would be in better hands now that I know what breastfeeding is, how much a baby can poop, how to make a newborn feel better if she is colicky or understand the tone of her voice when she cries or whimpers.

I feel good to know that I am not as scared now as I was with Eros. I’m happy to realize that this time around I can look for signs of post-partum depression, having to go through one with my first baby. I’m glad now that I don’t feel awkward being up to my elbows with diapers and vomit and enjoy to be doing it at that for I realized those things didn’t matter when you’re bringing up a person into this world.

Deep inside, I think Mohen feels the same way about being a parent. Sure he has less domestic worries like I do because he has to think about finances now that there are more mouths to feed but I’m certain he’s looking forward to feel like a father to a newborn again.

I may not be running to my finishing line but I’m sure as hell getting there fast.

Bringing Eros into this world was one of the best things Mohen and I have ever done.
Posted in Motherhood

This Might Be Why

I think by now a lot of people know that I love to read. I mean, it’s one of the things that people notice about me. So naturally when I got pregnant and going through a phase as important as pregnancy, I read up on as much as I can. One of the books that has become my bible is the timeless What To Expect When You’re Expecting. My mom read it when she was carrying me, I read it when I was carrying Eros and I’ve told all my expecting friends to get this book and so far none has not send me a thank you note for introducing the great book to them.

So when I started feeling different, depressed or moody, I always read up on why these changes are happening to me. I can know that there is something different with me because I’ve always been attuned to my body and the way I feel. By reading up on them, I simply put a name to my condition so I know what I’m going through.

When I was carrying Eros, I didn’t have much pregnancy maladies except for occasional weepy episodes during the first trimester when my body was getting used to having a baby growing inside it. I was not moody but I sure was emotional over every little thing. I cried over someone voted out on American Idol, I cried reading a touching excerpt someone posted on the Internet, I cried when Mohen didn’t call me during his usual break time, I cried when he doesn’t talk to me before he goes to bed, I cried because he was talking to me because I felt so annoyed with voices – I cried over everything.

Me pregnant at 32weeks and 3days with my first.

But as soon as the first trimester was over, I was the epitome of beautiful pregnancy. I enjoyed every single bit of being pregnant with my first baby. Despite gaining so much weight, I felt every bit sexy and beautiful. I love how my skin was glowing and how glossy my hair is.

I thought if this is how great pregnancy is, I wouldn’t mind doing it at all! I was, of course, rather apprehensive when we knew we were pregnant but I thought if I don’t do it now, I would have to do it 5 years down the road. And during my first pregnancy, I was glad that I decide to stay pregnant.

At the time I was about to deliver Eros, I was 245lbs (98kg), which means I gained about 95lbs (38kg) throughout the 9months. I know it was way too much but my appetite was blooming when I was carrying Eros and I ate nothing but dairy, sandwiches, fresh cut fruits, yogurts, ice creams, muesli bars and fruit juices.

Even with my body as large as a Hindenburg I wasn’t feeling fat at all. I felt

36weeks pregnant. Minutes before going into operation room.

fabulous. I felt how I feel pregnant moms supposed to be, what more with me being a first-time mother. Sure people thought I gained a tremendous amount of weight but mostly put it on me being pregnant so I don’t feel anything wrong with it either.

After all the fuss of delivering and welcoming a newborn, I started telling myself that I need to lose weight. I need to seriously shed this pounds that I’ve gained so much during pregnancy.

It wasn’t hard for me because I really wanted to do it. So unlike my previous stints in dieting, I stuck to this routine and manage to slowly lose weight. It was great to see how I can finally fit into my old jeans again and feeling how the ones I bought right after delivery was starting to slip off my waist.

Slowly trying to shed all those pounds. Started to see the result of my dieting plan.

One of the main reasons I wanted to lose all those weight was because I can literally feel how hard it was for me to move about swiftly. Especially when I have a baby to take care of. Although I didn’t drop to my old size overnight, it didn’t affect my confidence at all.

I was still very happy over being a new mom, having a great partner in taking care both me and our son and I still feel beautiful if not sexier.

The acme of my weight-loss regime was when I was able to bring down my weight lower than I was before I was pregnant with Eros. It has always been my proudest achievement when friends asked me how much weight I lost because it was so obvious I was much skinnier than I ever was.

I mean, ever since a little girl, I’ve always been that chubby one. Skinny and me is like water and oil. Everyone who knows me will describe me as “that bubbly and loud chubby girl” when they talk about me to others.

But not anymore. During my adult life (pre-pregnancy), the “lowest” weight I’ve ever been at was at 150lbs (60kg). After having my first baby, I was so into losing weight and enjoyed seeing my body getting smaller, I managed to bring myself to 140lbs (56kg).

Proud of my new figure!

Now being pregnant for the second time, I learnt the hard way that it wasn’t as rainbows and butterflies as it was with my first one.

We were pregnant the second time after I’ve resigned from my job. I decided it was about time I focus on my family’s well-being and Eros’ development as I was doing 17hours daily at the office and hardly get to be with my son except on weekends. I think we conceived Sophia about 4 months after I’ve resigned and since I’m at home and Mohen is doing pretty well, we decided to keep the baby.

I was excited to feel all glowing and beautiful again after almost 3 years not being pregnant. What I wasn’t prepared for, or even thought of was that when I was pregnant with Eros, there wasn’t any other child to take care of, there wasn’t much laundry to be done, there wasn’t much meals need to be prepared, there wasn’t any spilled milk to clean up or breadcrumbs to dust.

Sadly, with this second pregnancy, I am feeling anything but pretty.

To be honest, I feel fat, ugly, unattractive and sometimes I think I smell.

I don’t know if it’s the feeling of now being domesticated at home has left me feeling as such but the sunshine and happiness of pregnancy that was so abundant in my first one was sure absent with this second one. I mean, sure there were times when I feel absolutely great and to some extent pretty but it wasn’t as often as I did with my first pregnancy.

I was really proud with how much weight I lost.

Most of the times I’m stressful and perhaps bordering on depression. I felt so alone, that I had to do everything on my own. Especially with Mohen at work, I felt like I had to be pregnant and take care of Eros as well. I know it’s not an onus job because every mother of a second child does it so I know I wouldn’t die doing it. There was once or twice in which I thought I felt suicidal but of course I brushed the thought off immediately because I couldn’t possibly imagine leaving Eros behind just because I was depressed.

It’s all probably hormonal imbalance, especially with so many things to do at home while I’m pregnant and me feeling unattractive. And I think the reason why I feel unattractive is that I don’t go out as much as I did when I was working, there is not much need for me to do my hair up all the time and wear make up from morning to night.

Although I do dress up sometimes just to make me feel pretty and look good when Mohen comes home, I don’t need to be doing it everyday. I just make sure that I always look presentable, clean and smell good when he’s home. Other than that all my power suits and mini skirts and satin blouses are just hanging there in the closet.

You may think it’s shallow for me to feel this way but as a woman, especially one that gained so much weight and then managed to lose it into a figure that she wanted and was happy with and then gained weight again no matter what the reason is, I feel it’s a big enough reason for me to feel depressed. Sure I’m aware of all the bodily changes in the third trimester but somehow I felt like I wasn’t quite satisfied having a figure I worked hard for long enough before I was pregnant again.

I don't feel attractive at all with this second pregnancy. And I think it shows on my face how I feel.

Most of the times I’m just sad that my body changed so much so rapidly when it took me long to lose all the weight I’ve gain in my first pregnancy. Perhaps it teaches me now not to gain so much weight when pregnant but I can’t help how much I put on. Although I can control what I eat but I’ve always love to eat and I love to eat more when I’m pregnant. Sigh..

I’m not in anyway regretting being pregnant but I wished it didn’t bug me so much about gaining weight again. My mom feels I’m superficial for letting such trivial thing to bug me and cause me all these frustration but I can’t say that I can be as indifferent to it as she can. Her argument is always that I should be grateful that at least I’m pregnant where there’s a lot of people who wants to be pregnant but can’t. I know this but to hear it and feel as low as I am, it just makes me feel worse.

I’m annoyed that I get more stretchmarks now than I did before, I’m frustrated that my hair isn’t as glossy as it was when I was pregnant the first time.

I know I have a chance to lose weight again after this but you can’t blame me for thinking that these might be why I’m so easily frustrated and feeling depressed with this pregnancy.

Then again, maybe my mom is right. I shouldn’t let such thing bother me so much and concentrate on the baby instead.

I shall get back in shape soon enough!