Finding the woman in me – Part One

“…Sometimes, we are so busy being mothers, we forget we were an individual/woman/girl/child once.” (my comments in Mama22beas blog)



(photo taken at Perhentian in January 2005)

First, let me introduce the great bunch of mothers (and fathers) from MyMomsBest. We had been together as an online group for three years. We had been through each other’s happy moments and at times, bleakest times. For me, being the ‘leader’ of the gang, I had the opportunity to observe several women from the moment they were pregnant, to childbirth, throughout breastfeeding and toddlerhood. Therefore, I can see the transformation taking place. They give their all to their babies and husbands.

Once in a while, I step in with my much matured motherhood experiences. I gently nudge them that it is not healthy to put ourself last, after children, husband, career/homemaking and whatever else they emphasise on.

No matter how busy motherhood is, I like to place my own happiness first. Like finishing some expensive chocolates without leaving them for my kids or refusing to get out of bed and told the older kids to find some bread to fill their stomachs until I get my 8-hour sleep or pester their papa instead. These small things gave me a wicked feeling of remaining as the special person at home.

Maybe many people will see this as a very selfish act but through trials and bumps, I know that when I am running on empty, pleasing everyone else ahead of me, I am bound to feel cheated and denied off my own real personality. The problem is, I may not immediately recognise why I feel unhappy.

Tempers will flare. The kids will get scolded unnecessary and even the hubby will be ‘injured’ in the crossfire. When a woman puts her all into others, no matter how much they love the person and is sincere about the act, they will one day feel ‘used’.

I remember when I was young, my mother would make remarks like ‘I wish I did not give birth to you.’ To which, I would gladly reply, ‘You should have strangled me to death when I was a baby then, save you the rice to feed me.’ Of course, these were not uttered in anger but out of frustration by my mom, in a joking tone. (gee, I really can’t remember what I did to earn that wrath, LOL)

However, many of us may not recognise our unhappiness. We probably live with some discontentment and wondering what cause us to be not 100% satisfied and happy with life. We may not dare to allow ourselves to think selfish thoughts. Or did not vocalise things like what my mother did.

So, we will go on living until some damages were done such as:
1) getting loggerheads with our older children because we felt they had let us down
2) lost our own exuberant personality and lost touch with the man we fell in love with and married
3) even worst, lost the man to another woman because he no longer finds you to be the person he married
4) or not so bad (LOL), find that another man find us attractive instead
5) place our expectations too high because we felt we had sacrificed much and ended up with a big let-down with life in general

How do we find ourselves then? Why do you think so many children and their parents cannot get along? I will ponder this and probably babble more later.

12 thoughts on “Finding the woman in me – Part One

  1. Wow!! lilian..!! once in a while.. your blog just “SHOUTS” out to me..!! like you were talking about my deepest feeling..!!
    Yes.. we all tend to fall prey.. to taking care of all else first.. and us later.. and thanks for reminding me.. why i sometimes seems so frustrated for nothing.. no cause .. but for the fact that i put chloe, my spouse and the business first before myself.
    Things will be changing soon.. 😉 thank you .. !

  2. I oso must have my sleep, especially my morning sleep and I curi curi makan when my kids not looking so I won’t be disturbed. Thanks for the reminder. Think I will watch my favourite VCD tomorrow instead of hubby’s. Hehe.

  3. wow! this struck a chord so loud i’m up from my afternoon slumber…LOL! sound advice that came not a second too late…was about to fall prey to exactly THAT. poor poor DH 🙁 will compensate him soon ;P mucho gracias!

  4. kehkehkeh, old ginger mah, sure clever to brainwash you all. Hahaha, don’t forget to check out all the ‘feel good’ readings . Jari tunjuk itu iklan semua. Satu kali picit, gua dapat luit, tau? *winks* Lu olang tarak rugi mya. Picit, picit, klik, klik. Cepat-cepat, tiap tiap kali.

  5. Have applied for a leave on thursday to catch Star Wars, the kids will be at the babysitter’s but must bring hubby to carry my stuffs from shopping that will follow..hehe.
    Thx Lil for the sound advice!

  6. Sure its not pms hehe, Well you’ve stirred a few thoughts in my mind but if i comment ,wow it would be like a post hehe.Well so far i get along with my children well,but other then me n their friends im really the main adult in their lives.
    Cheers gal

  7. a very good entry lilian. i’ve tried to give the same message to my married friends many times.

  8. There is No merit in self-sacrifice. For one thing it is impossible. The self grow and develops and cannot be annihilated. You must not expect to be “perfect” – a state of fulfillment beyond which there is no further growth, and no such state exists.

    Self-sacrifice usually means throwing the “burden” of yourself upon someone else and making it their responsibility.

    A mother telling her child, “I gave up my life for you” is speaking nonsense. In basic terms such a mother believes, no matter what she says, that she did not have much to give up and the “giving up” gave her a life that she wanted.

    A child who says, “I gave up my life for my parents and devoted my life to their care” means “I was afraid to live my own life, and afraid to let them live theirs. And is so ‘giving up’ my life I gain the life I wanted.”

    Love does not demand sacrifice. You do not help your children by keeping them chain to you, but you do not help your parents either by encouraging their sense of helplessness.

    The natural force of love is everywhere within you, and the normal methods of communication are always meant to bring you in contact with fellow creatures.

    You must love yourself (your 8 hours rest!) before you love another. When you love others, you grant them the innate freedom and do not cravenly insist they attend you. There is no basic difference between the love of a child for a parent or vice versa, a wife for a husband, a brother for a sister. There are only various expressions and characteristics of love, and all love affirms. There are many errors frequently committed in the name of love.

  9. multidimid: what a great comment! if only my mother-inlaw would read this (she’s the one that says ‘i gave up my life for you’ and expects to be ‘paid back’ with money, and quality time with her son EVEN AFTER MARRIAGE!), then my husband wount feel obligated to her anymore… he is strong enough to defend himself but still, the perception of ‘guilt’ & ‘debt’ will always be there until she lets him go.

  10. hi lilian, i stumble upon your site thru a google search for “kuih bangkit” recipe if i’m not mistaken as it has been abt 2 mths since i followed your online group conversation….

    i found your thots/conversation points very appealing as i myself has often gone thru stages of similar thots…

    i did something crazy earlier this year… after 20 yrs of my career with an international company, i resigned from a senior manager position in Feb/2005…

    i was mad enough probably a mid-life crisis but maybe not as i’m not at all confuse nor depress… perhaps i was just bored….it was just a thot that came to my mind that i’ve been so busy the last 20 yrs being a good worker, a good wife, a good mom, a good daugther/daugther in-law…. that i have forgotten the individual in me….

    you talked about the thinking of “feeling used” & i had that frustration for a while…. probably a little diferent from those of my mom as she felt like a “cheated maid” at home with no salary from my dad for a long long time….

    as for me, it was the multi-tasks & the juggling both work & home i found meaningless…. i just got better & better in the juggling act that i had no time for myself…. so i decided to do something to change it…. i gave up my highly paid job (gee, i used to complain to my Boss that i was underpaid.. hah!)… & start over with my life again….

    i suppose i was strong enough to walk the journey the last many years….& the journey next shall make me even a better/stronger person..

    as for you, thanks for coming up with such a great online forum for sharing of thots & learning from others’ experiences & allowing me to gradually get in touch with myself again.

    btw, i did post a request earlier under your April archive for the recipe of “pak thong kou” if you have the time…appreciate much

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