Sunday, January 23, 2011

A not-so-gentle reminder that I'm NOT Supermum

This week, it has been my turn to be the person most in need of medical attention! For weeks now, since Maddy has been at home, I've been trying to do all the childcare of both girls all the time. I have a helper (something that is very common in this culture) but I've always asked her JUST to do the housework and I'll look after the kids myself. When Maddy was in hospital, I had no choice but to have her look after Lana every afternoon while I went to the hospital, but when Maddy came home, I resolved to try do it all.

I've been trying to drop Lana off at school, pick her up from school and take Maddy to all of her appointments myself. Mothers everywhere else do that right? But then again, come to think about it, mothers in most other places would probably do that with a car and a double stroller rather than catching a tram or bus, walking to the bus stop, up and down stairs, across busy roads with the baby in a carrier and expecting a two year old to walk somewhat responsibly (she inevitably DOESN'T walk responsibly and usually needs to also be carried, or at the very least, dragged as well ;) ). 

So on Monday, I was leaving the doctors with Maddy and on my way to pick Lana up from school when it finally happened - I slipped a disc in my back! The pain was excrutiating, I could barely stand, let alone walk (with Maddy still in the carrier), but I managed to get to the school and drag Lana into a taxi before calling our helper and getting her to meet us downstairs. For the next couple of days, I couldn't even hold Maddy, so I HAD to ask others for help. I managed to get in some physio and thankfully, though I'm not quite 100% yet, I'm having a pretty fast recovery.

I'm taking this as a reminder that I MUST look after myself. A couple of weeks ago, I was telling Bernard that I should go back to physio because I could feel my back getting worse - but of course I never got around to booking that appointment until I hurt myself.

When I went to counselling a couple of months ago, one thing that I really got out of it was a reminder that I need to take time out of my busy life to look after myself so that I have the energy and strength to be the best mother I can be for my girls - and so now I'm going to make a point of doing that, particularly when it comes to my back!

So this week, I've been taking it easy. When I take Lana to school, I've been leaving Maddy at home with our helper - and I think it's actually better for Maddy as well, she's napping better during the day and also getting to sleep easier at night. So if there's anything for me to learn from this week is sometimes, in the words of the Fancl ads (I think it's a Hong Kong thing), "Less is More" ;)

In Maddy-news, we've had a quiet week - and next week is also quiet too with just physio and no other appointments until after Chinese New Year. She has a few new cool skills but I'm trying to get some photos so I can post them for you all in the next week or so ;) 

In regular family news, over the next few weeks, Bernard's taking a bit of time off and so we're going to do a few more "staycation" things to try and relax a little. I'm looking forward to it all, and hope to be updating about our adventures soon :)


  1. Poor you. When I got here first I also had the "I have to do it all" mentality and felt guilty the minute I asked to do my helper to do a single thing that was child care related and not cleaning. I also spoke to a councellor who gave the same message of looking after one's self first. The first thing I'd seriously recommend to you would be to let your older girl take the school bus. it would probably save you an hour a day, plus it wouldn't be bad for her independence and sociability.

    Good luck.

  2. I would love for her to take the bus, but unfortunately her school doesn't have a bus! It's just a small school (only 12 in her class). So one of us needs to go pick her up or drop her off. It would be really helpful to have one though - although I don't think she needs much help with her independence and sociability ;)

  3. Definitely make time to take care of you, mama! :) I know that's probably easier said than done, but it will be worth it when you're recharged and rejuiced and ready to enjoy your precious little princesses!

  4. Hey Nicole,
    I have finally connected to your blog and am following your journey as you go... just want to say i will be praying for you today... and hope your back is recovering.. :)
    So happy for you and Bernard to be enjoying Maddy at home... thank you for a wonderful time together with you and your beautiful family when we recently visited you in HK...
    Much love and prayers, Christine xx