Sunday, August 13, 2017

Depressed Michelle

I haven't had the time to post anything for more than a year because life has been pretty hectic. Being a new mom is no walk in the park; life goes on with no sleep and I still don't understand why would anyone, would want to be a parent (willingly!)? I've been lecturing for almost 5 years (In April 2018) and I've been writing for The Asian Parent Malaysia for 1 year already. 

Instead of blogging, I kinda advice parents on parenting tips, trends, news and everything parenting for the company. Juggling 2 full time jobs, raising a family and being OCD about a clean house really can get you down. Throughout the whole year, I worked weekends, I didn't take leave, I didn't spend even a minute on myself. 80% of the time I was working, writing, and the remaining 20% was divided between my family, cleaning the house, cooking and running errands. Sleep was non-existent and a luxury. 

Looking back, I wondered, "How on Earth I managed to do all that with no sleep or rest?" I thought everything was going well until I received a SMS from my editor with, "Hey Michelle, we need to talk." and next thing I know, all I can read from her SMS was ".... So, this is your last and final month with us." 

I reeled in shock and next thing I know, i cried. I can't remember the last time I cried. I cried and cried. For 1 year I sacrificed everything for my job. I'm on call 24/7, I didn't take leave when I was sick, I didn't have lunch most days because I would rather spend 1 hour writing my articles than going out to eat. AND TO BE UNCEREMONIOUSLY dropped? It was horrible. 

Since that faithful day, I never really recovered. I got really sick, mentally. Most of the time, I feel over whelming and immobilizing sadness. I can't wake up in the morning, I feel suicidal and I feel tired, tired of life. Depression isn't the feeling of constant sadness, it's a fight to be happy, because everytime you think you're past that immobilizing sadness, it hits you harder and stronger.

Most of the time I don't know what I'm doing, where I'm going or what I've done. Part of me is disgusted that I could stoop so low and be so weak. Another part of me? Just wanted to die. 

Everyone thinks that being a lecturer is really fun, all we do is teach, we have flexi hours and we have long semester breaks. I really wish that was true. My normal day is, solving student's problems, marking papers, doing paperwork, settling fights between students, listening to their problems and showing that I care. 

For years, I've absorbed all their negative feelings and honestly, it does take a toll on someone, mentally and physically. I continuously absorb all their anger, sadness and negativity and I just keep taking it in. Why? Because I hate myself for caring. I hate myself for caring so much. 

I decided to take 1 week off work. I spent most of the time just staring into space. Which is freaking the hubby out. I'm constantly crying, which is freaking my mom out. When I tried to talk to my friends, no one understands. You know that feeling when you're moody? Imagine an intense and long term moodiness. 

It's difficult to go out or meet anyone because they think that you're being dramatic or over reacting. Most of them, would rather not talk to you because you're being too "moody" for their liking. They think depression is a switch, that you could just turn off and be "normal". I've never felt suicidal since I was 16 years old, these feelings just embraced me like an old friend. An old friend, I hated. 

It started bringing forth so many emotions I've suppressed all these years. I've counselled my fair share of depressed students these past years despite having no experience, cause most of them just wanted someone to listen to their problems and just listening to them talk, you already show that you care. 

The disappointing part was, no one could help me except myself. 

Will update more once I feel better. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Not Your Quintessential Tiger Mom

I would never consider myself a quintessential Tiger mom. I was not raised by one, nor have I experienced what it means to be in contact with a Tiger mom. In fact, my mom is the epitome of understanding. I got 2A's for my SPM, the first thing she asked me when she saw my results were, "Did you put in the effort to study?" I said "Yes" and she was proud... The next thing she told me was, "Well, at least 2A's is better than none"

When I started college, she never once nagged me to study even though i preferred going out and hanging out with friends. Despite not studying I still got a CGPA of 3.87 upon graduation. This went on until I got my Masters in Political Science and as I'm writing this today, I've been a lecturer for 4 years, I'm married and my little boy is 18 months. And I'm your quintessential Tiger mom.

I do not know how I got here, I do not know what came over me, but, I realized that no one becomes a Tiger mom overnight. Its an amalgamation of events that caused them to be so hard on their loved ones just because of LOVE.

Us, Tiger moms are not slave drivers. We have emotions, feelings and frustrations. I started out being hard on my then 1 year old son. He's rambunctious and very spirited. He's also very stubborn; a trait he inherited from the both of us and I was getting concerned on his discipline.

I'm a first time mom and I never really liked kids, I expected a 1 year old to reason and understand like an adult, I expected him to behave appropriately, like an adult, but, in reality, I forgot that he's only 1 year old. Because my expectations weren't met, I started to become hard on him.

I was never excited over the little things he does. I never gave him credit for his little accomplishments because I believed that he could do better; He can behave better, he can reason better and he can do much better! If he took his first steps, I believed that he should have been able to walk earlier or be able to run.

I introduced the cane to him at 1 year old. I literally followed Pavlov's style of learning by associating pain as a corrective method. 

It broke my heart that my 1 year old son "beat" himself on the thigh whenever he did something wrong and I said "Beat, Beat". It broke my heart that he cried silently as I " beat" him lightly. At that time, I just thought that his playfulness is a form of misbehaviour.

I became so stern with disciplining him, and I keep forgetting that he's only 1. As the days go by, I started to be hard on my husband too. Everything he did was never good enough. I kept thinking that he could have done more, he could help out more, he could do things without having me to ask him to.

And when he didn't live up to my expectations, again, I became angrier. Everyday, I'm like a pressure cooker under both of their "incompetencies", just awaiting a time when a single " Are you OK?" From my husband would set of the pressure. I hated this life. I believed that both of them were the cause of my sorrows. The only reason I'm hanging on is because I believe that a dark tunnel can't go on forever.

So, everyday, little by little, I manifested into a Tiger mom. Trying to push everyone to do their best because I'm an over achiever; I can seemingly balance 2 jobs, writing a research paper, writing a proposal for my PhD, and juggling life, all at the same time, oh, and with as little as 3 hours sleep a night, if I'm lucky!

I realised that I became a Tiger mom because I don't vent my anger or frustrations. There's no outlet to let off steam and I became a pusher as a self defence mechanism. I wrote this piece to remind myself to appreciate every little things that my son and my husband does for me. So, here's a list of things I want to remember and things I took for granted.

1) Hubby cook for me ALL THE TIME, ANYTIME. My fav dish is Midnight Chicken.
2) My son wakes me up with kisses and some days, its nice hanging out with him. Some days, its just us doing grocery shopping and having lunch. I liked spending time with him.
3) My hubby buys me anything I want if he can afford it. He has never said "NO" to things that I want.
4) My hubby cleans the house so we can live comfortably.
5) He calls to ask me if I want anything if he's on the way home.
6) He has never complained about getting my used stuff. He buys me a new phone and he will use my old phone.
7) He carries everything.
8) If he has RM10 in his wallet, he will give it to me.
9) He's faithful and someone I can trust.
10) He's holy and God fearing.
11) He's a great dad to our son.
12) He's always there for his son. Every hospital appointment, every thing.
13) My son is a happy child, he rarely cries unless he wants milk.
14) My son is a loving child, he gives the best hugs and kisses.
15) My son is a smart boy, I rarely have to use the cane now.
16) My son is independent, he can play on his own.
17) My son is a lovely boy, he's the cutest and he loves animals.
18) He always apologizes first.
19) Hubby gives me a massage every night.
20) My son's laughter can always make me laugh.

This is for all the things they do that wasn't enough for me. This is for all the love they've given to me that I did not reciprocate. This is all the joy that they've brought me that I didn't appreciate. This is for the family I have that I didn't embrace.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Storing EBM

I pump a lot and I'm blessed enough to be able to feed 4 other babies every month. The Hubby got me a deep chest freezer 100l and I've read about other mommies asking how to store and manage EBM. 

My baby has enough fresh breast milk to last him a whole day so, I pump to relieve engorgement and for other babies. I'm able to store 1 pack of 200ml everyday. Sometimes, even more. Everyday, once frozen, I store them in these Daiso boxes. 

Once they're full for 1 month, I will pack them into the biggest POSLAJU plastic envelope. So, 1 envelope is milk from the whole month. So, every month, I will donate out the previous month ones. Simple. This method is the easiest if you're packing milk to donate. If you're going to feed your little one, you need to practise the first in, first out method. 

Diaper Bag

What's in your diaper bag? 

During the weekends, I don't use my GaBag because I don't have to pump and chill my breastmilk. Unfortunately, I'm hating my GaBag now (Will update my post soon and why you shouldn't buy a GaBag) 

During the weekends, I use this Eco-Leather Pasito a Pasito Diaper Bag. For the full list of Pasito a Pasito Diaper Bags in Malaysia, you can click HERE. I love my Diaper Bag because it's roomy enough, easy to clean (With a damp cloth), stylish and oh-so-versatile. 

I make it a point to attach all my bags with Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizers. The Diaper Bag comes together with a small changing mat. In my bag, there's a travel pouch, my trusty Boba Air, my doggy nursing cover and my trusty Applecrumby Wipes. Oh, and also a few toys and packs of tissues. 

I have to do a review of my Boba Air which I got from Fabulous Mom TTDI for RM205. It's super light weight, folds itself into a small pouch, fits into my handbag/ diaper bag/ almost anywhere. It's so easy to take it with me everywhere I go! The best part? #johnellejr LOVES being carried in it! I can shop in peace and he will always fall asleep in it. It's very comfortable on me and I've worn it for the longest is 4 hours now.

I got this travelling pouch froma seller on Carousell and It's the best RM25 I've spent. It's big enough to store 1 onesie, 1 Tee shirt, 3 Drypers Touch, Putto wipes, Mini Sudocream, Mini powder, bib, hanky, hand sanitizer, a few breast pads and a reusable bag. Big right???

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Peek-a-boo Saloon, The Curve

For months we were looking for a place to cut Johnelle's hair. So, when he turned 6 months old, his Aunty Shini recommended Peek-a-boo and Batu Caves Indian barbers. Since we both have no idea how to get to Batu caves, we decided to go to Peek-a-boo at The Curve. 

Here, we met Reese who did Johnelle's hair. Well, it was just to bald it. We got our own room, she bald him and cut my hair and gave us both hairwashes. Mine only costs about RM80 and for the little one, it's RM30. 

He didn't cry, in fact, he was more interested in the shaver. Unlike some places where parents complained that the shaver caused their baby's head to have red dots, here. she was very clean, the cut was perfect and even the hubby that is so particular found nothing to complain about. 

It was a great experience for us and we highly recommend this place. Since I was in the room with the little one while she was cutting my hair, I got to breastfeed him while having a haircut! That's a first! But, it makes it less stressful and now, it's my go-to saloon. 

Please do not hesitate to check them out HERE

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Beaba SOLO

From my last post, I was super excited to get my Beaba at a steal! In fact, I got more Beaba stuff from Applecrumby (BEABA) I highly recommend that you get all your Beaba stuff from Applecrumby because it's 20% off! You really cannot get Beaba any cheaper.

I got 2 different types of spoons, all sort of Beaba containers/portions. I'm OCD, EVERYTHING has to be from Beaba!

 I really wanted to feed my baby natural and pure food. What better way than to prepare my own food using the Beaba Solo? It's a 4-in-1 appliance where it can steam, defrost, puree and when you put the frozen puree into the Beaba portions container, you can just drop it into the Solo to defrost!

For #johnellejr's first food, I made pureed Avocado with Breastmilk and he seems to LOVE it!! 

I also LOVE the silicone multiportion. Unlike those cheaper recommendations by other moms, I hated using icecube trays. It's so difficult to remove. Some moms suggested running water by the side of the tray to make it easier to remove but... ANYWAYS, I got this for RM90 and I love it!

My Beaba is seriously my best friend, I'm going to steam and puree some organic pumpkin tomorrow and I'm on the lookout for squash. Can't seem to find any. 

Working and preparing my baby's stuff has never been easier. My Beaba does everything for me, steam, defrost, puree and even cook porridge/pasta for me. 

This post will be edited constantly

Avocado Puree

1 Avocado
40ml Fresh Breastmilk

Puree until very smooth consistency suitable for a 6 month old first eater.

Pumpkin Puree

1 Organic Pumpkin Wedge
80ml Fresh Breastmilk

Cut the pumpkin into 1cm cubes

Steam the pumpkin using water at Level 3

Put the steamed pumpkin and fresh breastmilk into the blender.

Blend and freeze!

Friday, March 25, 2016

My Cutie Patootie/ Beaba / #ApplecrumbySPRING

Here are some happy pictures of my cutie pie. He really is the cutest, most smilest little baby boo EVER. (I know its a hyperbole fallacy!) 

Except in the last picture, he wasn't too happy that I had to work on a Saturday! hahah

I have been stalking baby shops to find the best price for the Beaba Babycook Solo. Every single shop seems to be charging RM1k+. Then my fav shop Applecrumby & Fish was having a Spring Sale and I got everything in this picture for RM880! The Beaba Solo RED was supposed to be RM1058 and the Clevamama pillow was RM90 and the little Beaba portions container and spoon was about RM60 for both. 

The rest of the items are FREE GIFTS! I got 20% and on top of that 20%, I got RM120 cash discount!!! Without the pillow and etc, the Beaba Solo was only RM880!!! 

Applecrumby sale is really worth going to. I've been to 2 of their sales and I'm looking forward to more sales in the future!

I decided to get the because I really wanted to feed my baby natural and pure food. What better way than to prepare my own food using the Beaba Solo? It's a 4-in-1 appliance where it can steam, defrost, puree and when you put the frozen puree into the Beaba portions container, you can just drop it into the Solo to defrost!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Breast Milk Soap

I won't say that I am an oversupply mom, but, I'm blessed with enough milk to ensure Johnellejr have all the milk he needs, and able to feed 2 other little baby boys and still have enough to spare to make into soaps to be given away to babies with skin problems. 

Since I got pregnant, and I'm unable to donate blood, And now, I can donate milk, so, it's a no brainer. The more you give in life, the more you'll receive. 

I got these beautiful soaps hand made by Samantha from Earth Care. Her location is convenient for me and the price is pretty reasonable.  I gave her a pack of my breast milk (about 10oz) for 1kg of soaps! I paid about RM120 for about 10 bars of soaps and 6 small bars.

I don't like funny looking shapes and designs and I prefer my soaps to be unscented and bar shaped.  I just received them, so, here it is!

Samantha packs them up in a beautiful box!

 All the soaps are individually packed and labelled.

 She even threw in a free cream for me!

 I received 2 sizes, a huge bar and a smaller bar.

 This is the bigger bar. I got 10 pieces of these. 

 And these are the smaller bars, I got about 8 pieces of these. 

Overall, I'm very satisfied with my soaps and I gave a few bars to my colleague cause her daughter has eczema on her legs and she said that the eczema has cured!!! I also gave her a few packs so she can soak her daughter's legs. 

Samantha is super friendly and easy to deal with and I will definitely order more from her. Do check her out, I highly recommend her services.