Saturday, October 4, 2008

Another Bird Flies Off

I don't know if anyone noticed, except for V from Melbourne, that about 3 weeks ago my posts were not as regular. Actually if not for scheduled posts, I probably wouldn't have any for nearly 2 weeks right after I came back from Hong Kong. Something happened and I snapped. I had to seek refuge in my mom's house as I felt so misunderstood and undermined. For the 4 days that I was there,I was strangely able to sleep really well (okay, some tears in the beginning) but when at last I was ready to go home again, I realised that in those 4 days, I was totally free for the first time since I married. I wasn't anybody's mom (so okay, I still did the school run for Wey--we were very nice to each other, he was more compliant, I was more patient) or anybody's wife. It reminded me of Professor Ackerman, a dear man who was very good to me, who told me not to go home to Malaysia and just be "Somebody's daughter, somebody's wife, somebody's mother. You have to be yourself." Of course I was myself for a number of years. And then I was and am everything he told me not to be.

Just in case you think, oh-oh, family crisis, I'm glad to report that it was just one of those days. Of course this time I did the drama queen thing and ran off. But you know, I really now think that if we need to, we have to go away for a while when it's too hard.

How many of you feel that you are the bad guy in the family? My kids seem to love their father more. He doesn't see their coming home late, or their leaving empty plates in the fridge or their poor conduct or tests results or their lies. He only sees their telephone bills. Most of all, I see their misbehavior and he sees "They are just boys." That's when it gets really hard for me.

Yet in the last few days, I sort of wished I parented like my husband. You see, Ming's going off to Melbourne next Friday to start college. And you guessed it--I'm filled with regret over our fights and misunderstandings and all those angry times. The Chinese say if you don't get along with someone, you have negative energy with each other and that's called "Chung". But only someone who has been through what I have will know that inside, I love the fella to death, and that I want more than anything for him to grow up okay and happy and that's why I take the hard road. It would've been easier to look the other way sometimes, but I am always fearful of the bible verse "Spare the rod and spoil the child." But of course in my case I think I got into a habit and was overboard many times. I guess I just don't understand boys.

And as this tear now rolls down my cheek, I repent for all those times I hurt Ming. I wish I could turn back time.

And thanks, Yi & YO, for being there for me. I'm not sure about publishing this post. It's really from my heart. But if any of you have similar situations, I hope you somehow work it out before it's too late. Love never fails 1 Cor 13:8 .(1 Cor 13:3 : Right now three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.)


Shan said...

Thank you for sharing Terri. A problem shared is a problem halved sometimes.

triShie said...

hi terri.

i don't really know what to say, but i just wanted you to know that as a daughter of a single parent, i've had my shares of fights with mom and i know, many a times i have made her feel similar to what you're going through now. and i do cry at night thinking of how i've treated mom through our fights.

but i just wanted you to know that as children, we may not always tell you everything. and we may always do things that upset our parents, but at the end of the day, when no one is around, we always, always think of mom and dad. seriously.

no matter where i am, no matter what i did, i know mom has my back. and every child has been micro-chipped with that truth. some just have to find out in different ways.

God holds ur heart. and He certainly holds ur sons heart in His hands as he embarks on a new journey.

mk said...

funny you posted about this...bc my mom did the exact same thing couple days ago--took the keys and drove off. i think she's done it before when i was little ( i was too young to know what was going on). but doing this now, while declaring she wants a divorce (and telling me go tell my dad she wants a divorce), just kills me. i think it broke the image i have of her...everything calmed down the day after, but i could never forget what she's said and done.

just one question for you though. u mentioned how your proffesor said to not do those things and u did just that--did you ever regretting marrying? having kids? throwing away your youth and sacrificing for others? do you look back on your life now and wished you could have lived for yourself, unmarried, childless, free as a bird? if you could choose again, would you listen to your prof?

Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

you arh ...
you start missing ming ming la.. it's ok.. 'another bird' at the same time is flying home soon okay.

Johnathan said...

Wow, that is truly something from the heart. Very personal too. You are indeed a very straight forward and honest blogger and not forgetting a loving mum.

Well, whatever transpired between the two of you, Love never fails. Besides, one cant cut meat without the skin i.e. cantonese "Chit yoke Paat ley pei".

He'll be ok. You'll be ok too. If not, come to singapore and l'll treat you to some chocolates and desserts to cheer up ur day. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri,

I read your entries frequently, and this is the first time I posted a comment. Hope you don't mind.

I'm a college student studying abroad. Before I left the country, I had terrible fights with my mom every single day (trivial stuff). We were very emotional, because we knew that we were going to be parted from each other. But deep down, we still love each other.

I'm sure that Ming understands what you're going through right now, and aware that your love for him would never fail :)

God bless!

lily said...

Hi Terri,

since I discovered your lion cake, I read your blog every week, because you're so inspiring.
Let me just give you a big hug!
My mum is nearly in the same situation. She and my brother nearly fight every day. He doesn't take his studies seriously, never helps with chores, hardly sleeps at home for the last 2 months (semester break). My mother complaints that he thinks home is a hotel. He's just there to sleep or to eat. Of course he is an extremely spoiled child (or a 23-year-old man), but I think he has his own problems, too. And I also think that he should fall flat on his face to know that life is not as easy as he thinks. Every single problem my mum has solved for him until now.
Terri, I feel so sorry for you. Let Ming go and I ensure you that you and Ming will be best friends whenever he comes home.

Jeri said...

Speaking as a 30 year old only child (recently married), I have been upset with my mummy many a times because she told me off. But as I get older, I realise she does what she does because she cares. And yes I used to think daddy was good cop but nowadays I understand it was because daddy was soft on me, mummy had to be more strict.

Being away from home made me appreciate mummy more. I cry bucket loads when I see emotional mother-daughter movies ! I guess to a certain amount of guilt for upsetting mummy when I was younger...

I'm pretty certain your son will eventually understand, having read your blogs, I think you handle parenthood incredibly well. I think because of your great parenting your son will come to his senses sooner than you realise. I hope I'll be half as good as you when my time comes :)

Hang in there :)

Precious Pea said...

Terri, I am sure Ming love you to death also but sometimes children are not expressive, especially boys. I grew up closer to me dad cos he is just like your hubby. But deep down...i love my mum as much despite all the fights and arguments. Thinking back, all also becos she loved me.

irene-serenity said...

i always drool when reding your blog, this time my heart went out for you and all the mothers out there... this is juz a trial and will phase out soon... in fact most fathers make the rules but mothers enforce them that's why most children think papa's the good cop, mama's the bad prison-warden, i guess most of us felt that way when we were kids.
mothers always want the best for their children and normally can't keep our cool like fathers do... that's why we nag (our MILs nag, too ... for the same reason) and unlike the cool dude fathers, we let our hearts rule our heads and always end up hurting the people we love most...
but no regrets, i love being a daughter, a wife & a mother... i've been the bird who flew away and returned to build a nest of my own... that's life
tho' i've never met you but i'm sure u r a wonderful person & one of the greatest mom in the world...
and certainly one of the best cooks, your family is so lucky to have you....

NEE said...

i can tell you straight away that i can talk to my father more. We understood one another, he gives me my space and most of all he spoilt me to bits. there are many times i had to call dad and cry over the phone because mum says something that hurts.

but regardless of all that, mum is still mum. whatever she says or do, i know she loves me. and the hurt will never stay. that is how funny and miraculous mother and child relationship are. to be fair there are many time i will say something that causes her to drive off just like you. and i can guarantee she dont remember it now.

Bottom line is we hurt each other because we KNOW we love each other and we can scream and shout without the other one hating you forever.underlining the hurtful words is ultimate trust. you would not see me screaming at a friend. so don worry or feel bad. one week down the line your son prob don even remember what was the fuss about.

Lily Anette said...

Another simple saying of the Chinese: "Between Parents and kids, where got Overnight Grudge One?" Look to a brighter day and it will all be good!

Anonymous said...

Hi Terry. To live is to love, and that's the only reason to live.

May God's guidance & wisdom always be with you.

Annette from Singapore.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

shan: i was bothered n uneasy even now about this post. am so tempted to delete it after someone advised me tt since i get about 600 visits a weekday, this is no longer a very private blog...

trish: u made me tear. thank u for comforting me.

mk: pls try n understand ur mom...parenthood is truly the toughest job. do i, would i choose to live my life differently? i thought seriously about tt n the answer is 'no'. God has blessed me with so much, n maybe bc of tt i have been too sheltered n when the downs come i find it hard to stand straight. i choose to consider it an honor tt God has set my path this way, n i am to fulfill his purpose which is to carry out my roles as a wife, mother, child n a christian.

denise: yes, cannot live with or without each other kind of situation smtimes. yes, the other bird will fly back but the nest will not be full.

johnathan: haha. thanx!!raincheck.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

anon: yes, ppl tell me tt, tt he'll miss home n we'll be fine. i just have to learn to be more of a friend now. it's just tt i feel tt i've lost so much time getting upset over small things.thanks for sharing.

lily: thanks. when u told me tt german saying in ur email, u didn't know what i was going thru, but it really spoke to my heart.

jeri: thanx. did u watch mama mia? i was crying when meryl streep sang while helping her daughter to dress on her wedding day. wait a min, this is about my son. yes, it's been quite good the last 2 weeks so i think we'll be best friends very soon.n u will be an even better mom!

pp: thanx dear :)))thank God for parents.

irene: thanx for such wise words...

nee: so so true. we hurt those we love the most. so stupid isn't it.

lily: thanx, u r right;))

annette: wow. u sound like my MIL. thanx :))

TeaLady said...

Parenting and 'wifing' are two of the hardest things ever. Two steps forward one step back in parenting. It is a miracle any of us make it thru. But in the long run we do the right thing by our children and it comes home to us. Your Ming will eventually see the 'good' of all the arguments, etc. As for 'wifing' well, learning to be aware of each others needs is an ongoing process. After 35 years of marriage we are still learning. It is okay to run away, just as long as you come back for the right reasons.

Stay true to yourself and everything works out in the end.

Hang in, Terri

jackie said...

Hi Terri,

First of all.... my heart goes out to you. What you're going through must be very tough and will hurt the best of us.

I'm one of your 'silent' fans although I visit your blog almost daily and have only posted a comment once. Reason why I'm so addicted to your blog is not only coz of the lovely recipes you so generously share but also coz of the wonderful stories about your family (ie. relationship with hubby, MIL and your kids). I truly think you're a wonderful soul and a fantastic mother.

Being a new mother myself (to a little boy) I too sometimes wonder how I'll handle the growing up years and strangely I actually thought of emailing you and asking for advice as you seem to be doing such a great job! So please take heart that you are loved not only by your kids and family but also by all the "strangers" out there who read your blog :-)

Take care and always try to get some "me" time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri,

I have been married 16 years and there have been many times when I wanted to run off too. Its not that I don't love my husband and kids. Sometimes it can hurt so bad.

I thank you for having the guts to share this. Good to know I am not alone. I wish Ming the best and I know you with your wisdom (I love your parenting posts) will survive this.


Anonymous said...


Funny that I thought about you and Ming last night re your visit, and reading your blog today. Just focus on the positive, you have nothing to worry about. Congratulations to Ming - I know he will make it in whatever he chooses to do!


Jeri said...

YES- Mamma Mia was the most recent crying fit I had at the cinema, you read my mind !!!

mike c said...

I’m usually the bad cop, so can sympathize a little with your situation. I get cautioned not to be too critical too often, but it’s hard not to put your foot down when behaviours go out of hand time & time again, worse yet if they lie and think nothing of it. I hope being apart from each other overtime; a new relationship could be built between the 2 of you. In the mean time, try to let go a bit. You have done well to be a great mom to all your kids; it may take Ming a little longer to realize & appreciate what you have done for him. I’m certain the first time he fell under the weather & alone, tt’s when it will all hit home to him. Now give each other a big hug before the bird takes flight.

Rei said...

Terri, didn't read this till now. Speaking from a 'rebellious' daughter point of view, I learnt to appreciate my mom better when I was away from home. Things she did for me which I viewed as domineering, authoranian came clear to me that she did it because she loves me and cared enough to do what she did for me. I understand her much better when I became a parent myself.

Giving each other some space would be good coz you won't be able to read if you hold a book too near your face (... what am I saying?? argh~) I hope I'm not speaking Martian. Take care and believe this; children do love their parents. In their subconscious mind, etched the warmth and love they felt when you held them in your arms for the very first time.

zurin said...

Hi Teri;
U r brave to share ur story with everyone. I understand exactly how u feel. The guilt, the feeling of incompetence, the frustration, the helplessness, the pain...but u know, at the end of hte day we all know that we r nt perfect and can never be..and neither can we turn around and walk back to change the as painful asit is bcos of what 'wrong ' we think we have done I ask myself 'have I been a sincere in wanting only for my childrens happiness and nothing more?'..if I can answer yes to tt....some of hte pain goes away and I live another learn to be a better parent..and to love my children in a way that I wished I had...Children are very 4giving if they know tt their parents loved them sincerely but nt if they think tt they were loved selfishly(wh is nt love). To have regrets for what we have done and to express it is sincerity full blown, and ur Ming wl love u 4 that..

Anonymous said...

My husband loves your blog for the food. He shared the Tuaran Mee post with me today, but I went straight to your Parenting posts. You are so generous to share all this. Thank you.

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