Mummy, can you please don't go?

Posted by ~Summer~ on September 06, 2018
in , ,

So you probably know by now that I went for a getaway to Phuket with my friends and for the first time ever, I wasn't travelling with the kids. Well, not all the kids anyway, because I did have one of them with me - the toddler. Some of you were asking me how did it happen and how did I manage to do it, since I've never been separated from the girls before to go on a vacation and splitting the family up, even for a short stint, is something I've never done or like to do.

I thought perhaps I'll share my story here so that you will understand that it took a lot, really a lot, for me and my girls to make this all happen. Yup, unlike most of my friends who go on couple dates or couple getaways pretty often such that their kids are very accustomed to it and don't even bat an eyelid, it was the first time in my case and definitely caused a hoo-ha at home.

My first overseas getaway with only one kid! It's quite impossible to leave this toddler behind and ain't very fair for the hubby to look after all three just so I can play, right?

It all happened when I was telling the hubby that I was feeling a little 'friend-less' because on some days, I felt kind of lonely with no one to confide in. Being a SAHM might make you somewhat distant from your working friends because you just have less topics to talk about, you are always tied up at home and can't go for small drinks, and you find it so hard to leave your kids behind just so you can go out and enjoy yourself. It's made worse in my case because we don't have help, we don't get others to babysit our kids and since my hubby is rarely around on weekdays, weekends are usually meant for family time because that is just too precious. In other words, it also means me-time is pretty rare for me, as is one-on-one time with the kids.

At the start of the year, I decided to make one-on-one time happen slowly but surely because I feel that each of the kids deserves to have all of Mama to herself or himself every once in a while. It so happened that a good friend happened to tell me that she was planning a short trip with some of our best pals from secondary school and I don't think she thought that there was high hopes of me joining in since she's used to the fact that I seldom get away from the kids. However, when I knew that one of them was bringing a baby along, I thought that perhaps, just perhaps, I could get the hubby to take a day of leave and look after the girls so I could bring the toddler with me. Yup, it was just a 3D2N trip over the weekend so he only needed to survive the weekend, take Monday off, bring the girls to school, fetch them home and then come to the airport to pick me.

It all sounded quite easy peasy and when the hubby confirmed his leave, he told me to go ahead to book my air tickets. Perhaps it was a hunch or perhaps a mum's foresight, I jolly well knew that I had to first discuss the matter with my girls because if I don't, it just didn't seem responsible of me to make a hasty decision without their permission. Yup, I always teach them to be honest and open with the family so I wanted to get their green light first before I proceeded.

Alas, it went down badly once I broke the news to them. 

Guess who was the one who didn't want to let me go? She was insistent that a family shouldn't have to split up, that I was being selfish, that I didn't have to go overseas in order to enjoy some time off, that one weekend of not seeing Mama was going to be too much to bear. She got angry, then dismayed, then disappointed, and broke down a few times within a day. To sum it up, her reply was a a strict "No, you are not allowed to leave" and even said she would find a way to stop my from leaving, for instance locking the door, taking away my luggage and so on. Yup, my little drama queen.

I tried my best to be patient, explain my rationale, plead for my case and be gentle yet firm. When all failed, I got upset too and tears started to well up in my eyes. I raised my voice, I didn't take "No" for an answer, we got into a heated argument which saw both of us losing our cool and letting wrath get the better of us. I even said something along the lines of "Fine, Mummy will never get any time off and I will just stay home all day long, happy?" Yup, it was something I truly regretted and I knew I was probably feeling over stressed recently and in turn said things that would make me feel guilty for a long time.

It took us a whole day to calm down and I knew we would work things out somehow. We just needed time. This girl of mine, she's a highly sensitive and very emotional child, and I gotta understand that somehow and find a way to connect to her and let her know that I know how she feels deep down. Because I'm wired like that too, I think a lot and in many cases, I tend to overthink things a little. You know how your kids are a reflection of yourself and it can be terrifying at times to realise that? Yup, this one surprises me now and then by how she reminds me of myself, flaws and all.

Anyway, what happened next brought tears to my eyes once more.

While she was unable to speak directly to me and let me know her verdict after a day's consideration, she did what she does best - write. Yup, she penned this letter, which is the longest she has ever written to me, and secretly left it on my computer table, asking me to go read it when I had a chance to.

I tried not to make a fuss out of it and pretended to be cool, but when I had the chance, I sneaked into my room to look at it and what she said, every word of it, just melted my heart and made me relieved, sad, emotional, tearful, happy, guilty all at once.

The longest letter I've ever received from the firstborn, which amazed me because it showed how mature she is and how much she has grown
I wonder if I could have written this at 8 years old and I'm pretty sure I couldn't. This girl might be a lot of things and she can be crazy, uncontrollable and quite rebellious at times, but she is also the sweetest child who can be thoughtful and way too mature for her age. I guess that all comes with being the eldest, right?

Dear Angel,

I just want you to know that I'm very thankful for what you wrote and I promise to keep this letter forever. There will come a day when you will be asking me for permission to go on trips with your friends and you know what, that will be the day when I will take this letter out to read again and cry my heart out because I will realise just how much you've grown.

Rest assured that family is still the most important thing to me and I love all of you to the moon and back, but sometimes, we all need to reconnect with our friends too because they help to keep us grounded and being with friends is something that can also bring us joy, help us relieve stress and let us create memories for life.

You are such a big girl now and what amazed me was that you got angry with me not because I was bringing didi only and not the two of you, you got upset because I was splitting the family up. Yup, you weren't jealous or envious, you were plain sad that I would suggest to go away because to you, a family always stays together. We will always stay together for as long as can be, till the day you are all grown up and wish to have a family of your own, okay? I promise that. Thank you for giving me 3D2N off to go on a vacation and I know it might be short to me but it seemed like years to you, so thank you for saying "Yes" and for being so sweet to let me go.

You promised not to cry at the airport and insisted on waking up before the sunrise so that you could send us off. You did what you promised and gave me a tight, big hug before I left. For the next couple of days, you worked so hard in creating my welcome gift and I'm not sure how you came up with so many ideas for your sister and Papa to help you execute, but I know you were the mastermind behind it all and your only intention was for me to feel happy when I came home.

I know your first thought about holding up a sign at the airport to welcome me was "That is so embarrassing!" but you did it all the same. See? Yup, that's you, my lovely firstborn who makes me so happy to be home and so thankful that you're mine. I love your sister just as much too, of course, but she was the one who was cool and calm about the idea of me leaving and was happy to hear that I would get a present for her when I came back. You were the one who I was most reluctant to leave because I saw how much it impacted you and I'm still not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

All set to go to the airport, with our handmade welcome home signs filled with heartfelt letters, drawings and lots of love for Mama!
See how you two decorated the whole room to become a mini carnival? It was complete with welcome balloons and posters, a ball game where I had to hit all the Yakult bottles and can choose a stuffed animal as my prize based on the number of points I scored, and a hook-a-fish game where I had to hook packets of stuff from a box. How cute and creative of the two of you! And it seems like I was gone for ages but it was only for two nights! Haha.

The girls' bedroom became a carnival and it was their BIG secret which they tried to keep it from me because they started working on it even before I left. Such effort and creativity from them that honestly amazed me!
Inside the packets contained lovely personalised bracelets you made for me and didi, seashells you all picked, cute figurines and also lots and lots of origami that Papa said he spent hours making because you insisted that you wanted to do yet the instructions were too hard to follow. Haha, thanks for making him put in so much effort too, these are so cute and it's the first time I see an origami panda, elephant, grasshopper, horse, bat, fox, butterfly, penguin and even a cicada! Boy, I got more presents than I did for my birthday and 10th wedding anniversary just because I went away. It's so funny yet sweet and heartwarming at the same time, thanks to all of you, my dears.

Now, I just gotta think of where to store all these because they were gifts from the heart and they mean a lot to me. Reminds me just how loved, how blessed and how lucky I am to be their mum and his wife.
I'm not sure if I will ever do it again in the near future but I can be honest in saying that I do look forward to going on couple trips with Daddy next time. But, that will wait till you three are much older and better able to look after yourselves. I think by that time, you won't miss me so much as to say "No" when we ask for your permission, right? Well, you might surprise me but I'll take it as a sign that our mother-and-daughter bond is strong, unique and irreplaceable. In the meantime, I look forward to spending this September school holidays with you kiddos and like what we always say, a family that plays together stays together. We will always be family and please know that I will never stop loving you with every breath that I take and every beat of my heart.

P.S. Thank you for reminding me that family is everything and I know I need to always count my blessings and learn to cherish all of you more. You are one of my greatest treasures in life and I'm truly, deeply thankful to have you, my darling girl.



  1. Such a heart stirring post, especially the letter. Love the part where they welcome you home with handmade signages, and that home carnival setup is so clever! You have meant the whole world to them :) so much love here!!!

    1. Thanks much, Cindy! Yar lor, they amazed me with all the creativity and the effort put into this. Makes me feel so loved too! But hor, I think the next time I go away, let's say in a few years' time, probably no such warm welcome liao. Lol. That's why must blog to remember the special first time. Haha. Thanks for reading yeah! =)


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