the day i left them with a stranger

December 21, 2017

People always assume that Fadza and I travel with our helpers and we have an army of help with us. Truth is, no glamour squad here. When we travel for shoots, it’s always just the two of us. And especially for our trips with the kids, it’s just the four of us. A lot of my friends bring their helpers and I totally support that – every mom should do you, girl, no one should judge! For me, maybe because I work so much, it sure is nice to be the proper full time clean-poop wash-vomit-all-day kind of parent sometimes, is it weird that I actually crave that nowadays? Haha. Work sure has been crazy so we definitely needed a family holiday. 

And man, every minute has been wonderful. The headache, the shouting, the cuddles, the fighting over colour pencils, the bubble baths, there really is no other happiness that can match this. At least that I’ve ever experienced. 

But the only thing about not bringing help is that you can’t get alone time with your husband – something I advocate very strongly for every couple to have, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. Because the kids sleep early, romantic dinners at hip restaurants are not possible when you’re traveling, which is obviously a bummer since you only have that one shot to dine at a famous restaurant that you’ve only heard so much about. 

We’re in Dubai now and on our last night, we wanted to go to this one restaurant really badly. It’s right downstairs at the hotel lobby. So what about the kids? They’re fast asleep now. Do we go? 

We’ve heard so much about this babysitting service thing in hotels. My friends use it, some of our family members use it, it’s apparently really normal and safe. The kids are bigger now so they no longer really wake up in the middle of the night. Plus, the restaurant is just downstairs! I had no trust issues tbh because this was a luxury hotel and I know they have a good reputation with things like this. It was the kids I was more worried about. What if they wake up? 

“Don’t worry, ma’am, I will call you immediately if they wake up and you can just take the lift upstairs back to the room,” the kind hotel lady gave me a reassuring smile. “You deserve time alone with your husband.” 

Kak Siti never talks like this! 

I like this woman already. 

Before I said “Move to Kuala Lumpur with us” I had already gotten ready and put my heels on. 

I mean, it’s not like I’m leaving them in a cheap motel with some dodgy man. This is a good hotel with five-star children facilities! The kids are going to be fine. Plus, we’ll just order asap, eat fast and run back up. 

I gotta admit though, I left the room with a heavy heart and gulped a little. I felt a huge Mom lump in my throat. 

We went downstairs and we had to queue for a table despite having reservations (don’t you hate it when that happens?!) so I knew this was going to be longer than expected. Oh, the waiter walked past us carrying juicy delicious-looking steak from kitchen to table… multiple times. Drool. That’s going to be in my tummy soon. Yummmm. Oh wait my kids. Gulp. Mom lump coming again. 

Oh stop it, Vivy. They’re just upstairs and they’re asleep! 

A vision came to my mind and I wish it didn’t. A vision that Daniel and/or Mariam waking up and seeing a total stranger in the room. Even though she was a nice lady, any human being’s initial reaction when you wake up and see a stranger in the room is to SCREAM BLOODY MURDER. I can imagine them feeling so scared, not sure what to do or say, so they will just cry. And cry some more, calling out for Daddy and Mommy. And looking so confused. Ok Mom lump getting bigger. 

Oh but that steak though, look at how that man looks so happy eating it. That’s going to be you in a few minutes, Vivy. 

But my kids. It’s different if I told them there was going to be a babysitter beforehand. At least they’ll anticipate and won’t get shocked. But I didn’t do that because we decided to go AFTER they’ve slept. Oh the tears in Mariam’s eyes as she clutches her selimut feeling so betrayed that her parents just left the room, and the fear in Daniel’s voice as he shouts for Mommy. That’s me, Mommy is me. 

Ok I can’t do this. Screw the steak. 

Ran upstairs and back to the room. 

“Ma’am, only 5 minutes dinner?” The lady looked confused. 

I thanked her over and over again and when she left, I just jumped on Daniel and Mariam and hugged them so tight. They were snoring, oblivious to what just happened. I could’ve eaten the steak and finished every bit and they still would be asleep, but I know with every bite, my mind wouldn’t be at peace. 

This is where I want to be right now: cuddling my babies and kissing them nonstop. 

But dayummm, I should’ve at least tapau-ed some steak. Who says you can’t have both, be a good mom AND experience new things?! 

Sometimes that Mom lump really takes over our lives and we forget that we moms are allowed to be selfish and do things for us too. We just have to find creative ways to have both! Hehe. We should never judge other mom’s for their decisions. Tonight I realised that hiring a hotel babysitter isn’t something that I’m comfortable with, but I’d never judge another mom that would do it. At the end of the day, you do you! Do what’s right for you as a mom, and whatever it is you do, don’t forget that you’re also not just a mom – you’re an individual who’s allowed to experience life, you’re a wife who’s allowed to have romantic time, you’re a friend who’s allowed to have girly time. So try and always find time for those too. I always make sure I have a balanced life like that! Keeps you sane! 

But for me, tonight in Dubai, I chose to just be a mom and nothing else. I work so much that my kids deserve at least that during this trip. They’re asleep and have no idea what just happened, but that doesn’t matter – because just in case they wake up, Mommy’s right here with them. 

Can’t believe this is my first post as a fullfledged 30-year old! I want to blog about my 30th birthday but am still waiting for Toots and Mimak to send me the video they made me #thismighttakeayear #rolleyes But quite honestly, I think this as my first post is perfect. 🙂