Today marks the first anniversary of my stint as a stay-at-home mom.

A year ago today, my mother packed her bags, pushed then-one-year old Skyler into my arms (Raeven was with my in-laws, one floor down of our condo in SS2, Petaling Jaya), and bade me a hasty farewell. She had been confinement lady, nanny and part-time cook for me since Skyler was born as I was still working from home, and the magazine had been taking more of my time, not to mention the fact that I’d given birth ten weeks early, throwing our best-laid plans way off.

One year. What have I learnt? That for the first time in my life, I’m doing something that really takes everything I have. That I had underestimated the job. That far too few people truly appreciate and recognise what it is we mothers have to put up with to stay sane.

Add to that all the things I’ve had to learn coming to the US, and you have one very frazzled woman who constantly wonders if she’s made a Very Big Mistake.

The answer is no. My life is now for my girls. They make me laugh, cry, want to start smoking and drinking again. But I will never trade the time I now have to watch Skyler shake her bootie to Like a Virgin, or to marvel at how Raeven is changing from a somewhat spoilt little princess into a loving, thoughtful, slightly less spoilt preschooler er, princess.

Each time I witness something I’d never seen before, like when Skyler first danced to music or when Raeven first began using her imagination and introduced us to ‘Stopes‘, I know in my heart of hearts that I’ve made the right choice. And I realise, yet again, how blessed I am to be able to do this.

But Lord knows it has not been easy. I’ve burnt dinner, set the fire alarm off, scalded the roofs of both my girls’ mouths, screamed at my husband, cried in the shower and felt loneliness and emptiness so severe I thought I would never be whole again.

And yet, I’ve survived two moves, two kids and even two whole months without anyone to help me out when Lokes was traveling.

For these achievements, I am very, very, VERY proud of me. For now I truly grasp what my mom once said to me, that simply having children does not make mothers.

Trust a mother, MY mother, to know what REALLY matters.

Here’s to many more years of imperfect mothering.


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