I want to share with you something from the bottom of my heart. Whether you are someone who knows me personally or you are just one of my fans, it does not matter. Because this post is for anyone who truly follows me; to KNOW ME.
I take very seriously the way I parent my children. The things to which I give them, the things I reject them. I give much thoughts to their needs, the areas in their life which needs help and how I can help nurture them.
I put in 1000% of efforts in almost every step of me parenting them. I have in the last 3 years, used and tried and still am thinking of many creative strategies to help my children grow collectively and individually as a person.
And my deliberate parenting efforts are entirely inspired by the fact that I am an outcast in my own family. Of cuz, I must include the irony that; I actually had good memories in the first 16 years of my life. And then things became extreme and different for me since I was about 23 years old.
Many times, I feel that one of the best ways to parent your child is really not to just try so hard to follow the advices and opinions of those famous mommy blogs or beautiful instagrams which other mommies have created, or trying to follow a single rule on a perfect quote.
But true parenting and real parenting comes majorly from how we ourselves were being parented growing up.
You either love your parents and you want to parent them the way your parents' parent you. Or you hate your upbringing and you try so hard to give them the exact opposite of what you were given growing up. Or sadly, many of us turns out to still be that parent we hate or maybe just dislike.
Because the truth is; we do see our parents' shadows or genes whatever you wanna call it;- (whether they were great or shit) in ourselves through the journey of parenting our own children.
The good news is; whether or not; esp when our children are young; we as parents always desires the best outcome for them. (Leave the psychos out of the topics)
For the most things which I do not remember in my life; like who was my classmates or etc... I actually have a pretty good memory of different snippets of my upbringing when I was young and then what happened to be post 16 years old.
To me; my rule of thumb is as much as I can; to preach what I truly practice.
For instance; many posed the question to me if I would allow my children to have tattoos because I have quite a couple of tattoos.
My answer will always be consistent. I cannot advise against. Because I have tattoos.
But I will advice them based on my personal experience. And based on my minimum benchmark; which means no tattooing on their faces (for obvious common sense) and try to think through the body part, because your line of work might not allow the appetite of a slapped on images on your body.
I am imperfect in many ways; hence, I give so much thoughts in even in every singular situation I am in. Generally to have perspectives. These days, I found myself asking myself" "how would I have taught my children if they be caught up in the same situation as me.
Given the same answer which I would choose to teach them; which will always be about the right thing to do, - that will be the solution I will choose for myself even if it means being uncomfortable. Because, I do want to live up to my "practice what I preach" mantra.
And this post today; is a chance for myself to stand up for myself. Because I have been bullied. No. Not in schools. Not in my workplace of cuz. But in my own maternal family.
If you read my post on "What really happened to me when I was 23", you will know why I am mostly estranged with my family. And I did not published the post which I wrote about how I actually managed to return back to stay with my family under a tenancy agreement which I actually still possessed.
Perhaps using the word estranged is too strong and inappropriate. Because here and there, we did have some decent relationship. I still could have general conversations with my mom and my sister generally post my dad's death. But I have to constantly be careful; walking on eggshells. Because the slightest things can trigger my sister to send me nasty messages or my mom will be sent to convey the messages to me.
Sadly, even after keeping arms' length from my elder sister, unhappiness still could fester.
Just recently, I brought my boys up to visit my mom on a regular weekend. My 1 year old, took the home remote control and played with it. We put the remote back and at that point in the time, the TV Starhub screen still looked intact.
Couple of days later, my mom rang me to tell me that she could not watch her show anymore and I realized that the Starhub Account has been signed out.
My mom being terrified of my sister; because she is actually using my sister's account told my sister that my son was the one who fiddled with the remote and hence the logout and everything.... blah blah...
Next thing I knew, my sister sent me another of her kind of nasty message and the keywords of the message goes "Please do not go to my house and touch my things!"
These are my thoughts:
One to begin with; I cannot verify if my boy actually accidentally in such coincidence signed out the starhub cable account. Or sometimes its a re-login.
Two, I felt that he is just too young and it was not an intentional action to be malicious. Hence there was no need to be harsh.
Third, in fear of my sister, my own mother pushed the responsibility to my youngest 1 year old, her grandchild.
Fourth, my sister often uses words like get our of her house or do not touch her things.. like it can be anything. So she is just harsh and unwelcoming because the house my mom is staying is officially her home under legal home ownership.
With this incident, I was greatly grieved and upset because the last thing I want to have happened is to have my children also walk on eggshells and be directly or indirectly blamed purely because some adults or relatives are disapproving towards me.
After this incident, I was due to meet my niece (my eldest sister's daughter) for a catch up post O levels. My elder sister told my niece that she is not allowed to meet me. And got my mom to convey the message that I should not go near to her children.
I would spare you further details. I have in the last many years tolerated in silence, allowing relatives or friends around our family circle to think or have the idea that I am wayward and I am unfilial. In all these, no one seriously sat down to ask me about my side of story. Instead the last 16 years, all the stories about me were spin negatively about me and positively about my sister.
Hence, family friends or relative regarded my sister and always looked upon me like a fly. The gossips that goes around my name is endless and I know them all for a fact.
But as I mentioned, all these did not matter until I realized that I am no longer 'alone'. I realized that I have a husband I am accountable to. And I only thank God for a peaceable and meek man. And that is just two of the many things about why my hubby is awesome.
Most importantly, when I, in this Chinese New Year season got bullied again by my mom and my elder sister because they could not care less of my priorities and schedule, and changed one of my CNY visitation timings I pre-arranged due to the Covid19 measures without consulting me, pushing the responsibility to the host made me shudder in disappointment and anger.
I could have been open to switch timings with them because they were family but they disrespected me because they disregarded me as a person.
I can honestly tell you I shudder and shiver within me for 15mins because I know deep down that walking away is not the solution for me anymore. Have you ever been bullied and you know you must muster enough courage to stand for yourself? That is me.
But you know the reason why I must stand for myself now? Because I must practice what I preached. Because I cannot teach my children to stand up for themselves; when I cannot stand up for myself. For the least; what is right.
I neither could bring my children visiting people whom actually deep down disrespects their mother, me. And I will not allow my children to suffer the shame and disregard and accusations that I swallowed the last 10over years.
I want my children to know that I did do my best. I was young and wild but I did not deserved to be given a life sentence.
That I was wild but I was not illegal. I was a typical teenager seeking the world outside of home.
I love my family but I am a human who could not see myself standing frequently in the midst of them because I was often uninformed, or being excluded before everyone a family group photo.
And I could not see myself giving more, when I was asked to leave my home involuntarily at the age of 22, with no penny in my pockets nor anything to my name.
I. being overwhelmed with emotional abandonment cannot bring myself to pretend that nothing happened and be visiting them week in and out.
And that even when my father passed, no one gave me a call but merely a text message which could have been missed.
I have in my last few years offered to help my elder sister. But in her own accord, rejected my helps and even in her own words of sarcasm "told me to just live my own life well."
I finally concluded that no matter how far I go in life, or how, there will always be disapproving people. I have learnt that a long time ago.
But I also have learnt that there are some battles we must not fight because they ain't worth it but some battles, you must fight because of other important people in your life.
So with this post, my children will one day read of it and will hear from me; - I will tell them, I have done my best and I can stand. I am imperfect but neither do I deserved to be trampled. And importantly the basic functions and ethnics of the parents, and the roles of the siblings in a family.
I do not need nor am I seeking an outcome of people coming with sympathy or try to solve my family feud. Because I have no feud. Neither am I inferring that the individuals in my maternal family are bad people. I merely find it important to clarify this important reputation of mine. Surely I have done shameful things? But in my journey with my maternal family, I have done my part and best that I think I know how.
I simply want to stop running away or cowering away by keeping quiet. And I find it pointless moving in to the details of the what happened in the last 20 years nonsense. I just want to move on from the guilt of thinking that my children have to suffer being born to a bad mother.
I am clear of one single thing. - That my children should not and never should be innocently fused into other people's negative opinions of whatever gossips or stories which my own maternal family has said of me. Or to allow anyone from our family or extended family to deem themselves better than my children. Because no one is better than another. Most importantly, that anyone should be given the chance to be the best version of themselves and not condemned.
Family struggles are very common. Power struggles can be found in a lot of families too. I believe that being parent is just a role we need to grow into, to learn and grow in our depth too. And there will be a time; sometimes; we need to stand firm on our ground.
To my hubby and my babies, I love yall.. . Live strong, stand for yourself. If you do not stand for what is right and for yourself, no one will.
And with this, I end and I stand.