Chinese New Year Resolutions I think I can keep.

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and haven’t been to harsh on yourselves for breaking your new year resolutions (sorry, a bit cynical, I know).

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t make any resolutions on December 31, 2013. No lists of things to do or who/what to become. I’m taking the pressure right off to be perfect. You know, the perfect size/weight (although I would like to get back to my pre-holiday season shape, but not a size 0), the perfect mother (shoulda seen my yesterday with M), the perfect wife (I think I lost that resolution almost five years ago, and what does the perfect wife even mean? Sex on tap and acquiescence till death?), the perfect daughter (I think stopped being one when I was no longer virginal, but probably it was when I didn’t make it into James Ruse High) or perfect sister (Amazingsister, I’m so sorry for the times I made you cry).

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A bit more of this and some long soaks in the bath, please! via deliciousmother

Let’s face it, all those efforts didn’t see me being anywhere near ‘perfect’, and only ended up with severe angst, tears and lovely ol’ anxiety about it. And let’s not forget the shame fuelled sugar binges.

Oh no. I’ve come to realise finally that, trying my best is enough. I am enough. I am bloody, frickin’ enough. It’s all well and easy to write and say that, but sometimes it’s really hard to believe that when challenged with a toddler who refuses to nap, and pees/poos where it’s not appropriate. On a day like yesterday a hundred “I love myself” and “It will pass” mantras would not do the trick!

So now that I’ve had a bit of time in January to think and observe myself (in thought and in action), I’m going to make a few Chinese New Year Resolutions that aim not for perfection, but for more joy.

1. Make a daily mantra: I am enough!

2. Be more mindful of waste: take carrier bags when shopping, buy bulk, use up my cosmetics/make up before adding to the mini apothecary I already have. etc.

3. Take care of me first. Do things that relax me, bring me joy, slow me down and make me feel better. Whether it’s yoga, a run, journalling, writing my novella, saying no (a challenge for a people pleaser like me), letting Amazing M watch a bit of telly while I take a half hour nap, or going out with my gorgeous girl friends (without child).

See, not a perfecting resolution in sight!

Also a loving shout out to Miss AJK. Miss you loads and your text came at a very handy time. Love you long time!

Potty training and sleep regression.

The two go hand in hand, surely? Amazing M has been doing so well with weeing in the potty for the past week, but sleeping and pooing are being affected in ways I wasn’t prepared for. Whoever said parenthood never gets easier was right. Once you nail breastfeeding, weaning comes along. When you manage to get a good night’s sleep, they get ill. When they become as mobile as you wished for in the brain numbingly boring stage of the early months*, you realise that you need to be constantly vigilant. And when they start to finally talk, you better keep your temper and cussing in check because they become a little parrot.

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The Pourty is the best potty invention as it is carefully designed to minimise or eliminate spillage when emptying out! via deliciousmother.

And now, we are at the stage of poo refusal for reasons I can’t quite comprehend, coupled with constant calling out during the night for milk or water or mama. Huh. M’s gas is passing me out. Please, for the love of God and my sanity, poo and sleep!

Take a deep breath. It’s only sleep… And it will pass. It will pass. It has to pass.

*I am one of those mums who didn’t particularly like the new born and early stages. 

 

 

All I want for Christmas.

If you took a brief look at the facts of my life, there is nothing I need more of, physically speaking. I have a gorgeous and very forgiving husband, an equally wonderful daughter who never gets sick of calling my name or favouring me to anyone else in the world (I did well with that kid, I must say), a beautiful flat that has spectacular views of the Thames, the ability to purchase most things* I want without a thought as well as loving family and friends to boot. Some could say I have it all, minus the career (I’m busy hiding behind the role of motherhood for now, but this job require a lot of energy). So why the recent discontent, deliciousmother?

cake

via indulgy.com
This would be a fine gift!

Perhaps discontent is too strong a word. It’s hard to articulate how I am feeling, but it’s as if I’m on the brink of real contentment but somehow my mind or thoughts are pulling me back. I’m wrestling with the habit of worring about the future, or drowning in regrets and memories that bring back feelings of shame. It’s as if I’m a thinking-too-much-really-useless-shit junkie.

The recent anxiety and panic attacks have motivated me to get to the root cause, hence the therapy and sharing my experiences and thought processes with my fellow deliciousmothers in London and well, I guess now on the world wide web. Part of my therapy is to practice more self compassion, as I am my worst critic- spawning from the trait of perfectionism. And so far so ok. The self compassion muscle has atrophied and I’m rehabilitating it. But it’s not so easy at times. And the old me would have thought I am not doing enough, but the ‘new’ me is relaxed about it. I am not even chastising the voice that says, ‘Get over the past, already!’ or ‘Why are you worrying about that now?’. I mean, they are good CBT exercises, but the last thing I need right now is a critique of my critique. Instead I just sing out aloud or in my head the line from Funky Town,’Gotta move on!’ When I do sing out aloud, Amazing M looks at me disapprovingly and says, ‘No, mama. Jimoree!’ Which means: ‘No, mama. You only sing this at Gymboree!’.

So, back to the title of this post. What this deliciousmother would really love this Christmas is not more presents, but more presence. To be free from unnessary thoughts and worries, or at the very least, a better ability to move myself back to the present without losing myself in the painful stories I needlessly create. And this is something no one can buy, and only I can acquire myself.

* not everything but you get my drift

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas. May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.

Things that give me joy.

The thought of travelling somewhere warm…

Creating something, preferably something sweet.

Getting lost in another world via a really good book.

Sharing a good moan and a laugh with a close friend.

friends

via
Pouffy dresses optional.

Cuddling up to Mr B and Amazing M in the morning.

Fantasising about the perfect living space.

Looking at beautiful art work.

The beauty of the above things is that it doesn’t cost much at all. Some things don’t cost anything. Hope you all get to do more of the things that bring a smile on your face this holiday season!

Shift happens.

Well, I’ve been comfortably and not so comfortably sitting with my feelings of blah these past few days. I think when you’re feeling like this, it’s not just the negative state that causes you pain. It’s the obvious absence of joy that also gives you more to feel shit about.

But this time around, I just sat with it. I didn’t try to run away from it or try to put on a happy face or EFT away myself into happiness. This weekend was family time and being kind to me time. I spent time playing with M with a concerted effort to be present in every moment of being bossed around by her and actually shared a few laughs; drank some coffee (decaffeinated, of course); read some self-help books which were a bit grating at times; chatted about nothing profound with Mr B; listened to some hypnotherapy podcasts; did a bit of Qi Gong which was supposed to relax me but did the complete opposite- but I still sat with the discomfort and completed the exercises; went to the gym; ate some delicious home cooked lasagne  al-a-Mr B (which was ridiculously good); and did some more moping about, noticing my thoughts and worries without as much condemnation as would normally be the case.

And slowly but surely, I am feeling a little shift out of blahness.

 

 

I’m wallowing now. Don’t try and stop me.

I’ve been um-ing and ah-ing about what to blog next, as I’ve not been myself for the past few weeks.

A lot has happened, including…

Add to that, a decision to start a new life in a new country, has left me feeling all a little bit flat. A bit depressed if I’m being completely honest.

So my plan is to wallow in my sadness for a little while. Really wallow and allow myself to feel not upbeat and not happy and not anything else people think I am when they think of me.

And then hopefully in a little bit, I can see that what I’ve been presented with is an amazing opportunity to find my bliss.

 

 

Back to work!

So… I haven’t been flexing my writing muscles lately due to the simple fact of getting an unexpected interview and an offer to go back to work! (That’s a good excuse reason, no?)

After experiencing a brief* moment of The Imposter Syndrome, I am looking forward to using my brain for a whole day (gulp)!

* more like the WHOLE WEEKEND up to the point of writing this blog post. Thank you, MsH for the chat earlier!!

Date Night.

Date Night
Date night outfit.

The benefits of having my mother in law staying in town for a week is the ability for Mr B and I to go out at night. I can’t remember the last time we enjoyed a nice dinner together sans kid. Probably around this time last year :(.

It was nice to walk hand in hand to our favourite Japanese haunt up the (long) road. It felt good not to speak in my baby voice (I am aware I have a slightly condescending and squeaky tone when I speak to M. Must stop that bad habit). It felt great to be able to just savour the flavours of the dishes in silence.

No “Stop”s, “No!”s, or “Eat your food”. And let’s not forget my favourite: “Use your spoon!”. What bliss!

Date Night

Date Night

Zara jacket
zara.com

Uniqlo
uniqlo.com

Nars cosmetic
amazon.com

Estée Lauder lipstick
$34 - johnlewis.com

Jo Malone fragrance
$62 - johnlewis.com

Tiger mothering is not for me.

I am one of two daughters and was parented pretty strictly by my parents who seemed to be culturally stuck in Korea the year they left, even though we lived in sunny Oz throughout the 80s, 90s and noughties.

I was sorta stuck in the cultural limbo many kids of first generation immigrants find themselves in. Back then I just couldn’t cherry pick the best of what each culture had to offer. So much tradition, familial obligation and getting  straight As just didn’t mix well sleep overs, dating and passing exams “as long as you did your best”. I can now. I’m married, have a child and no longer live under the jurisdiction of mother and father. I’m being a bit facetious, now. It just seems to me that sometimes all that the parents want is to marry you off to a “good” Korean man with a “good” job. But first you must be a doctor/lawyer/whatever mum wants you to be, and then you can marry and then start making Korean babies…

i-not-come-to-this-country

via joeydevilla.com

Unfortunately for my parents, their first daughter had premarital sex (God forbid!), married a German and ran away to the other side of the world. And ended up bringing a mixed child into this world. Ah, the irony!

The deliciousgrandparents are two of the most incredibly strong, loving and amazing people I know. They have lived through so much and as cliched as it may sound, I really wouldn’t be the person I am without them. I get it that it was just my destiny to be parented the way I was. They did the best they knew how to at the time. I hold no resentment.  However, I would be lying if said that I didn’t sometimes wish to be a part of a normal white Aussie family. Woulda saved a lot of tears, arguments, stress, guilt, emotional eating and more tears.

So, Amazing M! When you read this (if the blog still exists) I want you to ask me if I am letting you live your life the way you want. I want you to ask me if I am encouraging you to follow your bliss. And I want you to tell me to stop if I start to pressurise you Tiger Mother Style.

P.S. this is my 100th blog post!! I am so chuffed to have reached this milestone.

P.P.S delicioussister, you are an amazing, super, fabulous, beautiful person. I hold M hostage until you do what you need to do! I love you to the moon and back. Apologies for being a Tiger Sister.