A Mum in Need

That motherly bond we have, the strong protective urge, the love, the momma bear; these affect how we react to situations. Situations that were previously OK for us, are no longer OK when you add your baby into the mix. Although most of us experience these things when it comes to trying to go outside after baby has come, or even to a restaurant, some of us experience these from the get go, at home.

Relationships are hard, and never more so than when your first tot arrives. Tempers fire easily and the foundation is completely shook. What’s more is you don’t necessarily see where things are falling apart, don’t realise what situation you’re in, until that little person is added in and you see everything for what it is: Dangerous.

This is where I found a woman last week. Her partner had always been a fly off the handle type and, although there had been no punches pulled, there was some shoving and flying objects in the heat of the moment. She really loved him and felt the good times outweighed the outbursts, so she stayed. Unexpectedly, they got pregnant. Every precaution was taken and she STILL got pregnant. He stood by her and helped prepare for the baby. She went back to her home country to give birth and stayed there until she was two months old. He came for a visit just after she was born.

Motherhood is scary and doing it in a foreign land is even more so, so she asked that her husband consider moving to her country in a few years. She’d come back to his country for now, and then in a few years they’d move back to her country to give her some contact with friends and family, of which she had none in his country. He agreed. She came back. And if went downhill from there.

He had lied. He had no intention of going there. He insisted that he must be able to have a job as well paid and life as luxurious as he had made it in his country, and he wanted it like that from the start. Any reasonable person knows that’s not possible. She protested, at which point he suggested she could return to her home country… Without her baby girl.

She was horrified, terrified, at a loss. He had her passport and she had no income or anywhere to go. He followed that bombshell with a refusal to renew her soon to expire spousal visa. She started to panic. It’s at this point her Mama senses kicked in and she reached out. I was among those who stepped in to support her.

We started by trying to secure her the option of renewing her visa, and then I let her talk out her options. You can’t tell someone in this situation what to do. They must decide. I could never hope to understand the full relationship they had in the short time I knew her. She told me her fears and I told her her options. It was clear from the beginning that she was preparing to run.

There is a law that prevents parents from running overseas with children when the other parent hasn’t consented. She was VERY lucky to have a loophole. Her child had not yet lived in the country a week. She did not have a passport for that country. She could argue easily that her child was yet to count as resident because she hadn’t lived there longer than her mother’s home country. This fact played a MASSIVE role in her escape.

Through clever lies she had gained her daughter’s passport, but learnt that her husband wanted to cancel the tourist visa the following day. Time up. There was no way to be sure if that would hinder an exit after that date. Forced into a corner she told him that she was going to a friend’s to stay the night and think things through, while actually going to a woman’s shelter. That the previous day’s conversion, in which he repeatedly suggested she return home alone, had made her question things.

From here on it became a rollercoaster. Because she had turned off the location on her phone, which he usually tracked her with, he flew into a rage and said he was going to the police to report them as missing persons. We had discussed how she should report the domestic violence to secure her legal position, and so she hightailed it to the nearest police station and told them everything.

To my complete surprise, the police escorted her to the airport and arranged airport security to watch over her until she was safely on the flight. In this Mums hour of need she was given every bit of support from the people in power. It meant she was able to safely return to her home country.

It has been an unbelievable ordeal and the shock of it all has really taken its toll. But here’s what changed: Quite apart from the violence which was triggered by anything, she realised she wanted to set an example for her daughter. If she had stayed, it would be demonstrating to her daughter that it is normal to be treated like that, and it would effect her future relationships. She didn’t want that. For herself, she could put up with the occasional outburst for his love, but it took her daughter to realise just how unaceptable the situation was.

I’m so glad I got to help this mother in need, even just a little, but more than that, I’m proud to have met such a remarkably strong women who gave up all her possessions, her love and her home, for the sake of her daughter. I hope that she can grow stronger and heal now she’s with her relatives in her home town.

Beware of working alongside your offspring!

Ok. It’s not going great at work, I’m not gonna lie. I love it, but … Yeah. Due to a lovely sickness that has spread around the daycare, we are now short staffed. Short staffed enough that the office staff occasionally need to help. Because of this, all of the staff available were helping with nap time. In just under an hour we had all but two asleep; and yes… One of them was my son.

With no other alternative, the area manager (also helping out) gives us the staff meeting in the middle of the children’s nap area. Within a few minutes the other child nods off, realising the ensuing conversation is going to be excessively dull. My son, 8 months old, remains the last and most chipper of all of us, sat in his cot playing.

As the meeting starts, he gets enamoured with a big multicoloured ball. I’m talking screeching, clapping, banging, giggling, kinda crazy enamoured. So between all the screeching and banging, and now shushing from me, we are hanging onto the manager’s every word. This is important. One staff member is sick, another has vanished and seems to have quit. Another is taking a well earned day off. We’re down to the last few and how we go forward under such pressure is important.

But then he does it. He makes a noise. Not the obvious fart, poo grunting or squealing; a new noise. One we’ve never heard him do before. Curiosity gets the better of us and myself and one other glance over.

During this deeply serious meeting, under trying circumstances, my son has managed to wrap his WHOLE mouth around the cot barrier and blow on it to create an odd and flat note, simalar to a deflating balloon though somewhat more melancholy, and although the sound was amusing, it was NOTHING compared to his face. Stretched round the bar so much that he looked like he’d had a face lift. Even his eyebrows looked surprised to be where they were! I kick myself I didn’t take a picture, but… Serious meeting and all.

So that’s two of us. We’ve looked. We’ve seen. We can’t take it. We’re stifling giggles and feigning serious scowls. Nodding in agreement to hide the giggles that simply CANNOT be contained. This of course prompts the other two to look. Same result. More strained serious faces, facing an increasingly impatient boss – who didn’t look.

We held it in. The noise continued and we knew what we’d see if we looked and knew we couldn’t survive a second glance, tempting though it was, and we persevered until the area manager finished and returned to the office. The second that he got round the corner, even before he closed the door, we lost it. We looked, laughed and pointed.

I just got word that the area manager won’t be in as our regular boss is feeling much better. I can’t tell you how relieved I am because I’m pretty sure he’s irritated, thinking we didn’t listen or take him seriously.

Children provide daily amusement and trouble without them coming to work with you. With them at work you leave yourself open to a wondering mind and, like in this case, a complete loss of professionalism in the face of crisis. Despite the peace of mind it brings, I can’t help but wonder when he’ll do something like that again. Cos let’s face it. He will.


So, it’s been at least 3 weeks since my last post and holy hell what a horror. So what happened?

Well, you know I’m at a new job (which is wonderful btw), but it’s currently a very long way from my house. An hour and a half by bike, 2 trains AND a 15 minute walk with a baby in a baby carrier AND a backpack, is brutal. I have barely any time to rest each day. It’s a good thing this job is awesome!

But we’ve decided this can’t go on. It has done wonders for losing baby weight (fyi for those looking for ideas). But in this heat it’s getting more and more exhausting. So we’re moving house on Sunday!

The new house is really close to work and exactly what we need in every respect. I know this sounds good but… What about the move? My baby is 8 months old. Crawling and exploring, putting anything and everything he can find in his mouth. Dangerous or benign, packing with a danger magnet is beyond exhausting. (Props to mums with more than one tiny person, and to single mums. Can’t imagine doing it with more than one kid or without help). Now, all this means that one of us babysits and one of us packs. This obviously slows things down considerably and thankfully we enlisted two friends to babysit while we packed half the house. But tomorrow is the final day… And we’re not finished packing.

So what are we gonna do?

I have no idea.

There’s no friends available this weekend and still a considerable amount to pack. With a baby around this will get very difficult. Seasoned migrator I may be, but this is a whole new level of hell.

I’m a beginner at this, but I know that as a mum, no matter what the problem, you find a way. Why? Because you have to! This isn’t a hobby you can give up when the going gets tough; this is 24/7. I have no idea how I’m gonna get through the next few days, but I have to… So I will.

See you on the other side!

Can I really do it?

There are good days and bad days as a parent; but mums take a lot to heart. Especially in our reactions. This makes us question whether or not we’re good mothers.

We all get irate every now and again when our tiny tots are unreasonable. Lately my boy has been acting out more outside of the house. It makes day trips much more tiresome. Usually it’s not enough to get me down, but if you combine it with other irritating things, you can quickly lose your cool. (See ‘aaaaargh! Another day Mumming’ for a good example).

The other day though, it was a surprise in house stressor that got me. Despite sleeping well usually, this one night he woke up every ten minutes for FIVE HOURS. Not hungry. Not wet. No fever. Nothing. And after a week of irritating day habits and little sleep, I was angry. I was grumbling about how he must hate me since he won’t let me sleep, like it was actually intentional. And once I’d gotten a full half hour and woken up… I really felt bad. I want more kids. But if I can’t keep my cool in such a simple situation, I can’t manage more. And I’m certainly a bad mummy already.

I bullied and beat myself up over this for days and convinced myself that I shouldn’t try to have more children because I was immature. But I’m wrong. Mums we may be, but we’re still human. It’s completely ok to get frustrated and angry when your continuous unwavering efforts are met with stubborn resistance. We can put up with a lot but there are times we need a break, either to sleep or do something we like. Time for that glass of wine or beer. Time to scream into a pillow too! We deserve to be able to do that too.

No-one is perfect at this.

Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhh! Another day Mumming.

(DH = Dearest husband, DS = Dearest Son)

Today DH and I decided we wanted to move house. DS decided today was the day to practice being an asshat. This made the whole process SO much more delightful.

Let’s start with asshat, excuse me, DS. Adorable though he is HE, like all babies, can be very demanding at certain times. DS LOVES trains so you can keep him occupied watching the scenery… But if you stop at a station it becomes trouble. He stops watching and now you’re the focus and he remembers he’s in the baby car and not being carried by Mummy! It is usually possible to distract him back to looking outside, but that wasn’t possible today… I’ll explain more later. Then when we finally get to the housing agency, he becomes the fussiest baby he’s EVER been. More than newborn cos he moves more. He punched me in the face, and made my lip bleed; he also kicked me everywhere and grasped hands full of muscle and skin wherever he could find it and dug his freshly cut nails in. I have so many bruises just from this morning, it looks like my husband is violent. Thankfully he starts fussing for something I can identify and I change his nappy – (but not before losing my cool and punching a big pole because the station toilets were unbelievably inaccessible, and after an exhausting battle to get there, I had to give up when faced with YET MORE stairs. And then I burst into tears when DH suggested we walk further than necessary to find a baby change room, because I was so frustrated)…. Breathes a calming breath
When I finally got him into a baby change room, it was a poo. Not bad, but it became a nightmare. I had prepared as usual, but after cleaning him half up, he kicked the dirty nappy onto the floor. ‘butter side down’. I started to clean this up and was just about to put the new nappy on him when he peed. Twice. Everywhere. He got all his clothes, the door, the floor, the changing table, all of his body AND me. I called for DH at this point. We cleaned up and washed him best we could before redressing him. It was thankfully the worst of him for the day, but you see why I punched the pole.

Ok, so DS was a douche, but he wasn’t the main reason I was getting so irritated, though he didn’t help matters.

He’s cute… Really cute. Not just ‘I’m his mum’ cute, like 15 grown women screaming “kyaaaaaaaa” like they’ve just seen their favourite boy band topless, in person. That wasn’t today, that was outside his daycare and rather funny, today it was old ladies. Now they’re not entirely at fault. DS is a flirt. But when the HELL did I say you can come up and squeeze his legs, arms and cheeks?!?! I mean I kept having to go outside and walk him because he wouldn’t settle in the housing agency, and on EVERY walk a new batch of old ladies would swarm me and DS to coo, ask the same old questions about his age and crap and then feel him up!!! I mean seriously?! I know it’s not flu season but have some boundaries! One lady even interrupted our dinner and serious discussion to play with him! THAT’S why I punched the pole… Cos it was gonna be an old biddies face at the rate they were coming. How they had the courage to approach me I’ll never know. I was wearing ‘resting bitch face’ with a side of ‘your relatives will never find you’!

Am I the only one who doesn’t like people poking, squeezing and prodding their kids? I mean, at least ASK!

DH counted 15 that approached while we were together (not counting distant cooers, like on the train who distracted him from looking outside), and I counted 22, from when I started counting. This can’t be a normal level of fussing. Do I need to up my game and get a tear drop tattoo?!

Finally we get to looking at apartments. They’re good, DS falls asleep. They kept telling us that places were no longer available though, so we thought they might be lying, because they were all still online. We went through a different agency, ours heard and contacted us. They’d caved. They showed us it. Apparently another couple said they wanted it but hadn’t put up any money yet. We could steal by giving money first. We looked at the place and loved it. We’ve put the down payment on it too. It’s really close to both our work places, very close to the centre of Osaka and extremely reasonably priced. It’s gonna be a bit of a rush organising everything and we still have the tiny problem of getting confirmation that we can give one month’s notice at this place without problems. But as long as that works out it should be ok.

If you’ve read this far, thank you and I hope you got a laugh or two. Reading back it sounds almost like a slapstick comedy XD I feel much better…

You know you’re a mum when (2)…

I started out trying to write all the things that came to me recently for this and eventually the most relevant was:

  • You know you’re a mum when you’re too exhausted to remember what you were doing five minutes ago, and can only think about what you have to do next.

These last two weeks have been quite trying on me. I managed one fantastic day of housework and cooking, but since then it has been going downhill. Things are great, but there’s so much to do I can hardly remember what I should be doing.

I have two job interviews this week, the first of which was today and I hope went well, but I have another one on Thursday for a different job, and doctors appointments, cleaning, packing for our holiday, shopping for food, folding and putting away the mountain of clothes and so much more I can’t remember right now.

I’ve multitasked before but never like this. Now that I’m Mumming It, I’m drawing out strength I never knew I had. It may be tough, but I can manage it. I’m exhausted from my boy changing his sleep routine again, and baby proofing now he’s about to crawl; but I somehow still have energy and patience.

There are days when I feel it’s too much, but I still pull through. I’ve only got one tiny person and it’s a challenge. I salute all women with more, and hope that I’ll find new strength when I have my next one.

Babysitter down

It has been a turbulent week this week resulting in a complete inability to post. There were good things and bad things so let’s look at them.

I worked a lot, but sadly Kyouya hasn’t been sleeping so I’m simply up several times throughout the night. It’s not nice going to work after 4 hours of regularly disturbed sleep, but there’s not much you can do about it.

We also had baby daddy’s birthday this week, and that was nice. We had to celebrate over several days considering everything, but the highlight was probably the Karaoke. I hate singing in front of anyone, but hubby managed to persuade me while he stood holding our tiny person. As I sang Adele’s “hello” he fell asleep! The tiny ball of energy fell asleep in a karaoke room while I murdered a beautiful song! Children are weird but this was oddly flattering.

The biggest issue this week was probably my babysitter. She has been a rock, bless her, but my tiny fat boy has gotten the better of her a few times this week. Wanting mummy, he gets clingy to her in my absence and often screams blue murder if you put him down. Since neither of us are fans of the “cry it out” method, it has meant a few long hours trying to calm him down in the baby carrier. Now if that wasn’t enough, she suffered two injuries this week saving my son from injury. One fall injuring her back and knee, another, only on Sunday, a day and a bit later, falling down and somehow almost decapitating her toes! Yeah, you read that right… without ANY sharp objects she somehow bent her toes completely back on her foot, and split open the back of her toes… I considered uploading a picture, but since I nearly vomited, the faint of heart may easily… Well … Faint.

She had four stitches in one toe and three in the other with extremely likely nerve damage. Despite many bets waged, she didn’t break ANY bones. Those betting blame her hypermobility and say they were cheated. Being among them, I naturally agree lol. But were it not for her sacrificing her foot as her knee gave out, my son could have suffered terrible injuries in such a small space. So this may mean I cannot work anymore until we get him into daycare, but on my part I’m just glad she’s not any worse and I’m eternally grateful that he’s ok.

I’ve struggled privately with lack of breast milk due to my working, and his new found fondness for food. But when I come home he always rummages for boob, so they’re still best quality it seems.

I’ve also been struggling on the job front. If I find a job I like I invariably don’t get a response, and jobs I don’t like come in spades. It’s a nightmare. As I’ve said previously, I have to love a job if I’m going to leave little man to do it. Just gonna have to keep looking.

Milestones were a-plenty this week. He managed to get his bum off the floor in crawling, only 3 seconds but now all we need is to move forward! I have high hopes he’ll be steady all four wobbling in two weeks.

More than anything I hope things start getting easier soon. I hope you all are well too.

Determination on the home front

While mums are amazing in their own right, juggling housework, spouses and children, working mum’s deserve a little extra kudos. Juggling the above AND a job is extremely difficult. Generally speaking you must sacrifice any time you’d usually rest for the sake of the family.

Naturally a mother’s grasp on the housework, and indeed work, rest on the welfare of the family and her own body. If she or another family member are unwell, it will be impossible to keep the house exactly at her preferred standard without an even higher than normal output.

Recently, I’ve been swamped with work. I’ve also had a persistent cold. And then there’s the baby going through a growth spurt who wants 100% attention. The house looks awful, I won’t lie. But it’s ok. I know I’m doing my best. What’s more is I don’t even have it that hard. With only one tiny person to look after, I’m much less pressed than other mothers, working or not. Once I have 4 and a job, I’m sure I’ll fully understand exactly how difficult is and how hard mothers work.

Until then, I want to say “well done” to all you full time mum’s and working mum’s. You’re doing an excellent job and I live in awe of you every day.

Please make some time for you today, you deserve it.

You’re not fooling anyone!

Remember when you were a kid, when you didn’t want to go to bed? How you’d be active and try to convince your parents you weren’t tired, even when you were… And you wondered how they were never fooled? I get it now. It’s so obvious we may as well have attached flashing neon signs to ourselves saying “I’m sleepy!”

Kyouya will babble and get hyperactive whenever he’s tired. He’ll get really chatty in a desperate attempt to convince you, he’s not tired. More than that too, he’ll cry if you put him in the baby carrier. The baby carrier will win out over sleepy baby EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It may be a few minutes, it may be 30 if he’s determined, but he WILL sleep. If I put him in it he knows I’ve caught onto him, and will cry as I put him in, but will immediately quieten down once strapped to me. It’s comfy after all!

It may be nothing much, but it makes me smile that I’ve solved this little childhood mystery. There will be more 🙂

Fever pitch

Net silence from me for the last few days following a fever that wouldn’t quit. Once you become a mum, usual resting rules don’t apply. You are needed by the tiny person who can blow raspberries with his mouth, and thoroughly enjoys it. So what would usually be a 1 day cold, spread over FOUR days, from initial scratchy throat to final phlegm farewell.

Throughout any sickness, your number one fear is always “will the tiny person get it?” Not only because you’re worried for them, but because a sick child is about as much fun as a guy with “manflu”. The key distinction between the two is that those with manflu go out of their way to tell you how awful they are feeling, children may cry but they hardly explain what’s wrong, and thus second guessing will drive an already sick mummy mad.

I got lucky. For although I was sick, little Kyouya stayed healthy. No sign of a fever, no nothing! And today my fever FINALLY broke.

Although I can’t be sure, I’m certain my worrying about little man’s health kept my fever stronger for longer. Hard though it is, I’ll have to remember to not let my mind get carried away, and deal with sick mummy pronto. You’re no use to the tiny person if you’re out of action long term.

Take care of yourselves! Xxx