Monday, June 30, 2014

Single mamas and preschool teachers are saints.

Ready for school after the long June holiday.
I feel like today is a national holiday for many mamas in Singapore. School is back in session!

Praise Jesus.

After having my 2.5-year-old on school holiday for the month of June, and Papa Saigh traveling for work, I have been NEEDING today to come. For almost two months, Linna and I have been in and out of doctor's offices in Singapore, trying to figure out why we've been so sick. This morning, I got a call from my doctor to confirm that my blood tested positive for Mycoplasma. I have been so run down, Linna has been all out of sorts, and we've both been on countless medications to treat our symptoms. This diagnosis is a sigh of relief. While I thought we just had a bad bug that would eventually run its course, I knew something just wasn't right. With a recommendation from another mom here in Singapore, I finally found a fantastically helpful doctor who took the time to figure out what was wrong with us. Last week, he sent me in for a blood test, put both Linna and I on our second round of antibiotics which we'll continue for another week, in hopes of us finally being healthy again.

While battling this sh*tty infection, I've been with Linna almost every second of every day for an entire month. We've dragged our sick selves on our daily errands together (usually resulting in public meltdowns), I've been up with her at all hours of the night, dealt with some fun symptoms such as diarrhea, green snot, stomach aches... the list goes on and on. At times I've felt like I have a newborn again due to our lack of sleep. I needed this three-hour school day so I could breathe. Single mamas and preschool teachers are absolute SAINTS in my eyes. There should be some kind of global medal for the sh*t these super humans have to put up with... EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I know that I am very lucky to be able to stay home with our daughter, but I am SO not cut out to be a single mama. While Papa Saigh has been very busy with work and traveling out of the country for the next month, I've been "on my own" for about a week, which is enough to make me want to pull my hair out. When my husband isn't traveling for work, I have my co-parent (my wonderful partner) there to step in when I need a break. When I say "break", I don't mean a trip to the spa. A "break" is being able to go grocery shopping alone, cook dinner without having a little human hanging on your leg demanding you to play with them, and a chance to have a couple kid-free hours to catch up on cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.

I love being a mama, but I'm not cut out to play with a 2.5-year-old... ALL. DAY. LONG.

Preschool teachers that have the patience to deal with these unreasonable, sometimes annoying, yet adorable little people that we call our children, are my heroes. How they all don't have serious drinking problems is beyond me (I'm kidding... kind of... but not really). And the single moms that do it without much or any support... you deserve some kind of global recognition (and a lifetime supply of Fat Bird).

This face says it all. Being sick sucks.
This month, I found myself seriously losing it with my kid. When I say "losing it", I don't mean physically harming my kid, but I've honestly been very close to the edge. Call me a "sh*tty parent" for admitting that, but I know I'm not the only mom who has been there. I've always told myself that I would never become "that" mom. You know, the mom that becomes easily frustrated, annoyed, and impatient with their kid(s). Well, I'm speaking from personal experience when I say that when you're with your kid ALL day, EVERY day, without family or a co-parent to step in to give you some relief, you start to become "that" mom. When my 2.5-year-old recently started telling me, "don't be angry" or "don't be frustrated", after I'd completely overreacted to a mess she made or a tantrum she was having, I knew something had to change. I'm supposed to be her role model, teaching our kid the proper way to react in these types of situations. My stressed-out displays of frustration are NOT the example I want to be setting for our daughter.

I learned a HUGE lesson after my struggle with postpartum depression when Linna was a newborn, on how incredibly important it is to admit when you need help from others. Every mom needs a break every now and then. Even when my husband wasn't traveling for work, I hit a "mommy wall" when we first moved to Singapore. Before we moved to this foreign country, I had my parents, in-laws, siblings, and husband around ANY time I needed help. With my husband now traveling for work and my family (my support-system) back home in Minnesota, my husband was fantastic enough to demand that I hire a babysitter, a cleaner, or to simply order take-out. Although he's currently in a different country, he could see that I needed a break, and he didn't make me feel guilty about hiring someone to help me out. I know that spending money on "relief" isn't always an option for many families, but thankfully I have this support. My brother and I were raised by an incredible woman, who worked 60+ hours a week to support us as a single mom. My mom's parents weren't right down the street and she didn't have a co-parent in the picture when we were younger, so she had to rely on daycare, and actually took us to her office when she had no other options. My brother and I spent a few summers living with my grandparents, aunts, and uncles in Worthington, MN (three hours from where we lived), and I now completely understand why she sent us there. She was overwhelmed, had reached her "limit", and she is such a good mom for knowing when she needed a "break". I am so thankful that she reached out for help.
Passed out, waiting to see the doctor. Poor girl!

We're not a bad moms when we become "that" mom. Unless you're Jesus, or Mother Teresa, it happens. Whether you're a single mom, full-time working mom, stay-at-home mom, work-from-home mom, we've all been there... and if you haven't, well... good on you (PLEASE teach us your miraculous ways). It takes a GOOD mom to realize that you're teetering on the edge, and to ask for help from others, because you have your kids' best interest at heart. While this may seem pathetic to some people, I seriously have to remind myself some days how lucky I am to A. be a mom to an incredible kid, and B. not have to work (although I do work part-time), and be able to stay home with her. I know I have it easier than a lot of other moms out there, but I'm still a human being with limits. Nobody should ever make a mom feel like she should just "suck it up" because there are other moms out there who have it "way worse". Shame on anyone who belittles a mom's struggles, no matter how "small" you might feel your problems are. As long as you know how incredibly lucky you are to be a mom, there's no reason to ever feel ashamed about needing a "break". While we may feel sh*tty about not being able to "do it all", just know that NO ONE can do it all... and those that "can" are probably heavily medicated.

I, for one, would have to be.

It's amazing how rejuvenated I feel after today's break away from my kid. This much-needed few hours alone made me realize how sad I'd be if I didn't have the opportunity to stay at home with her. I needed this kid-free time to make me feel like my job as a mom isn't a "chore". Being a mom should be enjoyable. When it becomes a "chore", it's time for a break. Our kids will thank us for it one day.

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