a mom’s survival guide

September 20, 2015

We usually don’t take both Daniel and Mariam out if it’s just the two of us handling them. It’s always either one (usually Daniel since Mariam is still small), and both if we’re out with our families so there’s a lot of uncles and aunties who can help. But today, Dean and I felt adventurous so we brought both kids out for breakfast.

Start: “Oooohhh we’re going to have so much fun!!” “Yeah, Mommy! I like this, Mommy!” “Brffpttttttt!” “Weeeeeeee the whole family is out together!”

Finish: I was feeling so annoyed at the hot sun, we had to go to the car to put a diaper on the potty-trained Daniel, Mariam was restless and has cried her tears all over my dUCk scarf, Dean and I had to pack our food because we could not even finish it.

I love my children so so much but these are the downsides of bringing them out. I’m just being realistic here, as usual I like to tell it like it is:

Daniel: he is extremely clingy so he refuses to walk and always wants to be carried. So with my handbag, my paperbags of whatever I bought and a 2 year old child, I wonder why I don’t have three hands. He’s also potty trained now so he’ll say “Mommy, Daniel want toilet” and we’ll have to zoom to the nearest toilet. Sometimes he says it a little too frequently just to joke with us because zooming to the toilet and chanting “Dontpeeyetdontpeeyetdontpeeyet” together is just so amusing to him. Once, we ignored his request because we were so sure he was just joking and we ended up wiping the floor of one of the most expensive fine dining restaurants in KL. Only going back there after plastic surgery. So, yes, never take your children’s toilet requests lightly; a lesson for Dean and I.

Mariam: at 6 months, she’s at that very curious stage. Wants to touch everything and puts everything in her mouth. And when you don’t allow it, she’ll cry. LOUD. This was one of my frustrating periods with Daniel too, so I’m back here again with Mariam. They are no longer newborns who lie still angelically, nor are they toddlers who are independent enough to walk. They need to be carried at all times, and sometimes you will question if it’s ok to let your child crawl on the floor (I mean, they vacuum the mall everyday right? I’M KIDDIN!)

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For me also, I feel pressured because I get recognised here and there. And just yesterday, I heard a group of girls whispering “That’s Vivy,” and I had stains all over my scarf from Mariam’s tears and Daniel’s snot. And a lady came up to me showing me my Instagram page and asked “Is this you?” before taking a picture with me, while I was holding a crying Mariam. I feel like I need to look my best all the time when I go out, and it’s doubly hard with two kids around AND the hot weather that leaves me sweating buckets. It’s too easy for moms to just say Screw this, I’m going to wear palazzos and a big shirt and a “tudung bibik”, with no make up on. I don’t blame them and I understand why they’d want to, but PLEASE DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN.

Just because you’re a mom, it doesn’t mean you should lose yourself and your appearance. Yes, it’s hard with the kids pulling your scarf in all directions, and your beautiful clothes get stained. But you have a duty to your husband to look good for him, and more importantly, you have a duty to yourself to look the best you can be with whatever God has given you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a public figure or not, but as women, we should always encourage each other to take care of ourselves and our appearances.

I’m struggling but I find these helpful:

Carseats – plonk the kids there and let them cry if they want to. It’s for their own safety and it leaves your clothes crease-free.

Re-iron and re-apply – when I drop my kids off, I take off my clothes and re-iron them since they would most probably be creased on the way. Have a mini steamer in the office. And go to the toilet to re-apply your most probably melted makeup.

Wake up early – well, earlier than the rest basically. This allows you time to shower and wear your make-up. When the kids are up, settle them first, and then only you wear your clothes right before you all leave the house.

Pick out your clothes the night before – once the chaos in the morning starts, you can’t even think clearly on what to wear for yourself. Hence the ugly shirts and big pants. So pick out your clothes the night before after the kids are asleep, in peace.

 Bra straps – that’s where you should be pinning your scarf. I’ve been asked so many times to do a scarf tutorial but I can’t because it’ll be me in a bra in front of the camera haha. But yes, basically I pin both ends of my dUCk onto my bra strap so you can pull and yank as hard as you want, but it will never come off. Try it!

Instant hijabs – I’m not a fan personally because I like the freedom to style and wrap my dUCks, but I can’t deny the convenience and time saved. So if this is your style, go for it!

Personal grooming – is a must. Shave/wax whatever needs to be off, and nails must be short or manicured at all times. No black stuff at the corners of your nails please, gross.

Sling bags – or basically bags with long straps. Yes, totes and those cute structured bags are nice, but keep them for date nights. When with kids, you’ll want as many arms free as possible.

Dry food only – nothing soupy please. Even if you crave it, imagine yourself covered in spilled soup that you have to wipe. Order dry dishes for yourself; fried rice, chicken chop, sandwiches.

Snacks – bring biscuits and snacks for your kids to chomp on. One biscuit can probably keep them busy for a few minutes. And whatever ok, every minute you can distract them counts.

Sunglasses – the best way to fake fabulosity. Buy five of them!

Hope this will help! If all else fails, JUST STAY HOME. Your kids can watch the outside world from YouTube. Haha.

And for the record, to whoever has three of more kids and still remain fabulous, I SALUTE YOU, YOU ALIEN YOU.