Early 2007, I had a 6 months trial period of becoming a SAHM aka full time housewife.
Ok ah, so you really want to quit work? I have to work very hard you know. Do not complain okay.
I’ll be the one paying the bills, you will do everything else,” he said.
I nodded my head enthusiastically!
Unfortunately ‘everything else’ grew even faster than Nyla sia!
I still remembered that particular evening after serving food on the dinner table, I was doing laundry, exhausted and resentful that Mr E had time to sit down, enjoy his food, lick his fingers one by one.
Ten minutes later, as I was sitting cross legged on the floor, (folding clothes this time) Mr E said," Can make for me coffee?"
But I still made for him that cup of Nescafe anyway.
He then proceeded to sit on the couch, watched television with his two long and hairy legs on the table and then wailed,
"Nylaaaaaa, come and join me! I want to hug you!"
My heart pain can?!
I felt invisible. :(
All of a sudden, it dawned on me that my life was a trap of my own creation.
Pre- SAHM, I was envisioning the ideal and perfect world where:
At 6 p.m., Nyla and I will look out of our windows and anticipate Mr E's car to turn right into the carpark.
The house will be spick and span.
A wonderful dinner complete with appetizer, main course and dessert will be served on the table.
As we hear ‘ding dong’, Nyla and I will rush to the door and greet Daddy with our megawatt smiles, hugs and wet kisses.
We have a nice family dinner.
Daddy will make up the lost time and read to Nyla with me looking at them over my shoulders as I wash the dishes and telling myself how blessed I am.
Just like those fuzzy wuzzy scenes from Seventh Heaven.
The above scenario NEVER happened.
So what was it really like?
The house was a constant disaster.
Occasionally, there wasn't even a hint of dinner in sight, smell or sound.
Mr E got the best of Nyla and worst of me, complete with bushy eyebrows and she-man hairy legs.
Looking at the nasty pandemonium, Mr E asked me ‘Hon, what did you do all day man?"
WARNING:Never ever say this to any housewife.
At that low point of my life, I felt that motherhood ranks as one of the universe’s most thankless jobs. :(
What did I do all day?
In the morning,
I prepared Nyla’s breakfast and lunch.
I showered her.
I did three loads of laundry, the direct result of the same one girl changing her clothes like 8 times a day. Then I had to hang the laundry. Now, before there was space to hang the wet laundry, I would have to remove the dry clothes and fold them.
I made the bed.
I vaccummed and mopped the floor.
I played teacher teacher, masak masak with Nyla.
I played dough with Nyla. (Oh did I also mention that we made the dough ourselves using flour, oil, salt and colouring. Again, like you give a damn lor Mr E!)
In the afternoon,
I sent Nyla to school.
I waited until her school ends. (Nope. Of course I didn't mention to him about the ‘me-time’ I had reading tabloid magazines. Kwang kwang kwang.)
In the evening,
I fetched Nyla from school.
I prepared dinner.
I showered Nyla.
I read her books.
I put her (plus you!) to sleep.
And you dared ask me ,”What did I do all day?”
No insurance ah your mouth.
I wasn't at all the happy woman I thought I'd be.
I became a needy person.
I was so dependent on Mr E.
I felt so unappreciated.
I cried the day before I returned to work when the childcare leave was up.
I cried for 2 reasons:
1) I'd miss Nyla.
2) I'd never have the option of staying at home because I tried that and I didn't like the person I had turned out to be: That miserable person.
Mr E was definitely the happiest person when the six months of childcare leave was up because it was time for his wife to go back to work, which meant there would be no 99 missed calls from 'Wify'.
So you imagine the look on his face when a year later (2009), I dropped the bombshell telling him that I seriously wanted to resign.
"Babe, don't stop teaching, man. Not only will you end up crazy, you'll drive me crazy too."
Obviously, member flashbacked to 2007.
I was initially upset when he said that and accused him of not being a supportive husband.
But, yeah, I totally understood what he meant.
Indeed, I was a nightmare.
We sat down and discussed how to make sure I ( and him) keep sane when I quit work.
Together, we sat down and planned my exit strategy.
2 very fruitful years have since passed since I quit the civil service.
If Amy Chua is a Tiger Mother, Esman is a Tiger Husband -
For those times he refused to lend me a helping hand because he wanted me to be independent.
For those times I refused to take any more jobs because I was overwhelmed, he'd push me and say,"Don't slack babe!"
For those times I felt like giving up, (eg: distribute Nyla's book to the bookstores), Mr E would call, email, sms me this: 'Have you contacted so and so? Did they get back to you?'
For those times he appeared unsupportive by asking so many critical questions about my business plan.
So Mr E, thank you for helping me snap out of the 'nightmare' and unfold my dreams into reality! :)
And please forgive me for all the curses I've muttered under my breath. Heeeee!
While we were busy discussing this blog entry.
Nyla asked what were we talking about.
So I explained that I intended to write an entry which begins with Real Love is all about...........
The babe got excited and exclaimed,"Eh I also want to do!"
So click here for hers.
Very simple but true.