What Does Your Husband Do?: The Secret Identity of the Expat Wife

Of all the questions a modern woman expects to be asked when meeting someone for the first time, “So, what does your husband do?” is not one that would’ve been on my radar. In fact, it would have grievously offended my pre-expat-wife self.

What do you mean, what does my husband do? How is that relevant to who I am as an individual? How does his career, his role, his position – define me? 

And yet, after expat-wifing for 5 years now, it’s a question that no longer causes me to bat an eyelid. In fact, after being asked my name, my kids’ ages, where we live, my often-spoken, almost pre-rehearsed line about his position at X company dances at the tip of my tongue, waiting for its inevitable release.

I am a dependant. I am someone else’s Plus One. I am so-and-so’s wife or so-and-so’s mother. The homemaker, the baby-caretaker, the healthy-toddler-muffin-baker.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Don’t Let Me Forget Their Littleness

Here I sit, between them on my bed, the toddler on my left and the baby on my right. They’re fast asleep, peacefully dreaming of the things little ones dream about. If I listen closely, I can hear their steady, soft breaths, and see their little chests rising and falling almost in unison. In this still, quiet moment, I beg the universe:

Don’t let me forget.


Don’t let me forget the way her fine, silky baby hairs tickle the tip of my nose as I breathe in her perfection, or the way she giggles as I bury my head into the cushiony folds of her chubby neck. She smells like milk, soap, and baby powder, even though I didn’t put any baby powder on her. She smells like love and hope and some magical, mysterious ingredient that only babies possess. Continue reading

Today, You are 2

Tuna,

Today, you turn two years old.

25638435 Birthday candles burning on a seashore

It’s been exactly two years since that day we met in that freezing operating theatre. I lay there, with your Papa standing in his chalk blue scrubs by my side, when, although numb from the waist down, I felt the exact moment they took you out and you took your first breath. Your first cry was moments later. And although it felt like an eternity at the time, in a couple of minutes they had wrapped you up in blankets and placed you in my arms.

In those early moments with you, one of the thoughts that kept crossing my mind was that at one point, I thought I’d never get to meet you. Continue reading

Social Graces for Babies, Toddlers and Parents: The Dos and Don’ts of Play Dates in Singapore

Hi readers! I wrote this article for the lovely team at Sassy Mama Singapore on play date “etiquette”. Thanks for sharing the love, you sassy ladies!

When that precious little bundle of joy arrives into your life, the social building block known as “The Play Date” will become a regular feature on your agenda, mama. These little meet-and-greets of tiny humans and their respective caregivers tend to start happening once the shell-shock of your tiny human’s birth has worn off, and the first few weeks of what I like to call The Newborn Blur have…well…not passed, but have become an acceptable part of your outlook on the world.

mom plays with baby

Your first play date will be many things: a little weird, a little new, a little “What exactly are we going to do?”, and more often than not, a little bit thrilling as you realise that this is one of the key ways you are going to survive this thing called parenthood.

In order to adequately equip you for your very first play date, or if, perhaps, you’re like me and are a play date veteran but need the occasional refresher as to what is and is not okay, I’ve put together a handy little guide of dos and don’ts to keep you and your kid from being the ones that don’t get invited the second time around (just kidding, people are usually quite forgiving; but really though, read carefully). Continue reading

Is being a stay-at-home-mom enough?

I’ve traded in my black business suits for shorts and maxi dresses.

My shiny patent high heels for flip flops and mama Crocs.

My chic over-the-shoulder handbag for a very practical, industrially-designed khaki backpack.

My sleek updo for whatever hair arrangement is quickest to achieve, all the while accompanied by a halo of frizz framing my usually flustered face.

I’ve traded in 10.30am cappuccino breaks with intellectual colleagues for a cracker and watermelon food fight with an energetic and gleefully squealing toddler.

My 20-minute, quick-fix, power lunches for lengthy negotiations with a curly-haired little girl as to which non-carbohydrate items on her plate she will begrudgingly consume.

My after-work conversations with my husband about current events and challenges I’m facing in the office for a rambling update as to how long the baby napped that day, the contents of her diapers, how tired I am, how sore my back is and seeking his take on whether oven pizzas would be okay for dinner.

My billable-hour targets for hopes as to how many hours straight my child will sleep through the night.

My evolution into a stay-at-home-mom was not an evolution at all. It was an abrupt shift from one life to another. There was no lead-in, no transition; it was like suddenly a part of me that I had known so well, for so long, had disappeared. Instead, here I was, cradling a newborn in my arms on a Tuesday morning, wondering where on earth I was supposed to start. Continue reading

Get thee to a kitchen, stat.

It’s cookie o’clock, folks.

I know, I know, two blog posts in the space of less than two days: it’s a little ambitious for me, but hey. We’re stuck indoors again thanks to It Which Shall Not Be Named and Mama’s feeling like doing some [more] baking.

Today we’re baking one of my absolute favourites: white chocolate and cranberry cookies. Yum. 

Let me just put this out there right now: these are not sugar free; in fact, they contain two different kinds of sugar. These are not fat free. These are not low-carb, nor are they packed with any trendy ingredients like chia seeds or kale. I mean, they’ve got dried cranberries in them, so if you want to feel virtuous and buy the “Reduced Sugar” Craisins then you go right on ahead and do that.

But gosh, just look at them. Aren’t they pretty? These turned out so yummy that I’m baking a second batch this afternoon once Her Highness awakens from her middle-of-the-day slumber.


Continue reading

My two-month-old baby

No, I haven’t gone into [very] premature labour and then accelerated time. However, today is my other baby’s (not Tuna, just her Chronicles) two-month blogoversary! Hurray!

I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by, how much I’ve already learned, how many fabulous people I’ve met through blogging and how exciting the world of opportunities that has opened up to me is turning out to be!

And today, dear reader, I’d like to thank you. Thank you for reading my posts, whether you’re just lurking in the distance anonymously or actively engaging and adding onto my rants with your comments: sometimes I get a little sarcastic, sometimes I get a little complain-y, sometimes I get a little too unfiltered, but your support is part of what keeps me writing. Continue reading