On transitioning through the various stages of one’s own life, translated…
Although, I’m completely, tired out, by two little monsters every single day, and yet, holding these two bright smiled little girls, it’s like, I’m surrounded by two suns, that’s made me forget about the years that’s come to pass by, how I’m, slowly, aging. After they’d learned to speak, and interact, they’re even, cuter, like those shiny, bright diamonds, that are, a part of every ordinary day.
Although I’d still, struggled between motherhood and self-fulfillment, and envied how my peers without children can get to live their lives in youth, to fall in love, to travel, to go to beauty treatments, to attend the arts lectures…………and yet, children have a way, of making a ton of fun things happen, making the parents laugh, to bring out the love in us.
like gardening…not my pictures…
The young looks of infants are often, shiny and eye catching, there’s that light that shone through their pale skins, it’d dazzled us, making us want to take a bite out of them, like those shelled broiled eggs. The older sister’s eyes were rounder and bigger, she’s bigger in size too, when she smiled, it was very naïve and beautiful, she’d made me think of the beautiful fox “Ying-Ning” in “The Tales from the Crypt”, the writer, Pu surely named her right, the most beautiful people, can’t beat the babies, so innocent, so quiet, and comfortable. My younger daughter’s eyes were slenderer, her eyebrows raised, giving her that look of conjuring up something, she’s equally, mesmerizing.
The seasons came and went, the fruits ripened and fell, I’m more than blessed, to have the chance, to have these two bright and shiny lives, and witnessed the blooms of beauties in life.
Of course, reason for being able to enjoy the time with my children is because of my maternity leave, and we can still afford the things we’d needed, that we could ask a household helper to come and work for us, and my husband as well as the elders are more than willing to accompany the children, making my work as a first-time mother less trying.
but, I’m not sure, if the mothers who didn’t have everything they’d needed given to them, will feel as happy during their maternity leaves like me or not? There are, various types of “mothers”, and a lot of them had, sacrificed too much, to unimaginable means. But, the mainstream media only focused on the mothers who have it made, who are of the upper end of the socioeconomic status, which painted the mothers as bright, shiny, and beautiful, “wonderful mothers” who’d taken care of their children, and still managed to take care of their work needs, but, the media failed to realize, that their reports may have bullied the mothers who are from the lower end of the socioeconomic statuses, that if they’d made the mothers who’d not lived up to these expectations, feel self-disgust? Plus, the mainstream beliefs of motherhood of breastfeeding, or having the mothers make their babies’ foods, had often, ignored how hard money is to come by, that making ends meet up is difficult enough, and put the values of women breastfeeding, making the meals, on a high pedestal.
Reason why I’m telling about how being a mother feels, I must clearly state, that it’s because I’d had the outside help, that, is how I’d become, so balanced now.
not my photograph…
Two months after my son was born, I’d sent him to infant daycare for seven hours during the day, my household chores, I’d left to the robot sweepers, the robot glass cleaners, the dishwashers, the washer and dryer, and later, I’d hired a cleaning personnel, to come to my house once a week to clean, and for the suppers, I’d only made half (only stir-frying some vegetables, making soups, the rest, I’d bought from the shops), so I can have more times to read, and to write.
But, I’d not felt guilty for not taking care of my children full-time, because I believe, that what children want, are not mothers who frowned, and gave everything to them, someone who’s complaining endlessly, but a happy, a self-fulfilling, a steady mom. With the stabilities of the relationships, the promises will fulfill on their own, it’s WAY more important, than having all the delicate materialisms and great caretaking.
Nothing, is more important than the mothers being happy. With a balanced mother, out comes, balanced children. The traditional divisions of chores is quite unfair, those mothers who are working full-time outside the homes, had to also pull in the full-time workers’ shares at home too, and, in order to handle both work and home completely, we can only, make ourselves, into superwomen. And still, isn’t there any sort of give and take, that can, help us, balance out our work and home duties?
The goals of our education is always that we become outstanding, but, it’d not taught us how to sacrifice our drives toward the “top”, to balance between family, work, ideals, health……a lot of other things. From before, test taking meant, putting everything ELSE in life on hold, just focusing on the exams. And so, a lot of people had, delayed their chances, or cancelled their plans, of motherhood, such a shame! And, this enrichment, soft, beautiful, and tolerating training had, gotten canceled in the society that stressed the importance of climbing the ladders, of hitting that success!
And so, I’d, decided, to become, a “balanced” man, and stopped seeking the very top of work, or family, childrearing, and writing, then, worked hard, to take care of all of these areas of my life. I’d taken my maternity leave, and, separated my days into three segments, as writer, caretaker, and housewife, and, I’d written every day, about raising my daughters, fulfilled my own dreams which I’d carried for a long time, taking care of the household, looked after my two babies, and lived on, quiet and peacefully.
not my photograph…
Although every now and then, I’d wanted to give a little more to one of the areas, especially on the career front, but, thinking about how I’d lose my balance, and fall flat on my face, and so, I’d put my thought off on hold. Before becoming a mother, I’d always pursued excellence, and after I’d become a mother, I’d worked, so very hard, to suppress my need, my drive toward being the BEST, this was the most difficult of all challenges, for someone with my personality characteristics. And yet, because of training myself in doing so, I’d finally, slowed down, and, my field of vision opened up, not only am I only, seeing just myself, but also my children, and my life too, and started savoring the other wonderful tastes that life has to offer.
On a comfortable autumn day, we’d taken our two babies to the Kaohsiung Labor Parks Weekend Flower Mart, this is the very first time my two children came to anything like this, they were, so very, focused on looking at the flowers and the fishes too. Later on, I’d bought a small pot of tomatoes and mint, the owners of the stands took care of eighty-percent of the work, and I’d just needed to, keep watering the plants, and I will have the sweet fruits to savor, we’d loved, working very little, and gaining a lot.
After arriving home, my two kids were so enthusiastic in watering the plant, and we’d needed to, constantly stop them from doing it, to prevent the plants from drowning. A few days later, they’d, lost interests, leaving us, parents, to watch over the plants. After their father and they’d started school, I’d quietly, pulled off the dead leaves, and set up a rack, so the tomato vines can climb it, watching those newly grown, beautiful, green fruits of my labor. As the autumn sun shone down, it’d reminded me of a couple of years ago, when my husband brought back a small potted plant, how fearful I was, of being tied down, by a potted living thing. Back then, I’d felt, that life was, troublesome, that it was, hard enough, keeping myself well, how can I possibly, keep another living thing?
And yet, time changed a lot of things in silence, that’s, left me awing. I’m really glad, that I’d finally, had the mind, to keep up the plants. As summer turned into autumn, my body and my mind, finally, got rid of my jet lag, and became, fused, I’m, no longer, unsettled, or hotheaded now, and can calmly and peacefully, welcome in, the winter. I’m really glad, that as autumn finally came, I’d, become a mother, who’s willing and happy, to wait, for the flowers to bloom on their own time.
it’s still, a juggling act here that women are faced with today, not my photograph…
So, this, is the changes in a woman’s life, from being a full-time worker, to becoming a worker and mom, she’d needed to make a ton of transitions in her life, and now, she’s, more than settled, as a housewife, and she’s fulfilled by what she’s doing right now. The maturing of the psyche is slow and gradual, and you can’t expect this transition, this attitude adjustment to happen overnight!