Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rethinking Work

I've been thinking lately if I should take on fewer assignments to focus more energy on Kenan - and I think I've gotten the answer today.

This afternoon, hubby brought Kenan out with his colleagues for what was supposed to have been a drive-around-the-island makan trip. I went along, because I really worry that the daddy can't take good care of our little boy. The session coincided with Kenan's normal nap time but he ended up not sleeping and instead, was busy 'socialising' - getting to know daddy's colleagues, as well as taking in the sights, sounds and smells around him.

The makan places

The first stop on this makan trip was to the hawker centre at Alexandra Village. Unfortunately, it turned out the place was under renovation. So we headed to Tiong Bahru food centre instead. The two main items we had were chwee kuey and lor mee with shark's meat (178 Lor Mee, Tiong Bahru Food Centre, #02-58), which we proudly recommended to the foreigners in the group. The latter came highly recommended by one of the colleagues. Though hubby and I  used to come to this food centre quite often, we've never eaten the lor mee before, mainly because hubby and I are not fans of this dish. But I would say this lor mee is good! What makes it so is its shark's meat - which is coated with flour and then deep fried till it's crispy. Surprisingly, it was still rather crispy even till the last strand of noodle. No wonder the stall had such a long queue!

We next adjorned to Maxwell Market. This is definitely a food haunt for hubby and I, even till now. We readily recommended some of our favourites - no, not the Tian Tian chicken rice or Zhen Zhen porridge. We were proud to introduce the teochew handmade sotong and pork balls soup and fried sweet potato balls. I also recommended the Xing Xing ondeh ondeh and tapioca cake, but too bad it was closed by the time we got there (opens for business from 8am to 2pm).

Meanwhile, Kenan finally fell asleep by the time we got to Maxwell Market. He only woke up when we were at our last stop - Ji De Chi, a dessert place that sells traditional fare like peanut or sesame  paste, and the newer shaved ice desserts.

Though Kenan looked more energised after his sleep, he wasn't his usual cheerful self throughout the outing. I know it's not because he was suddenly shy or afraid of strangers. I think part of the reason was we brought him out while he should have been napping at home. I felt really bad that we disrupted his usual routine. Thankfully, he was able to squeeze in about an hour's nap. But what was truly bothering him, we were about to find out soon.

Feelings of Guilt

When we got home, Kenan became cranky. We quickly bathed him and then gave him his dinner - which was oat cereal. Shortly after his food, he started crying. I realised he had pooed and wanted to change his diapers. But to our horror, we saw that there was a bit of blood in his poo. And while cleaning him half way, he started crying loudly and began to poo again. This time, there was even more blood and we could tell that Kenan was in a lot of pain because he was crying really pitifully. It broke our hearts to see him crying so badly and yet we couldn't do anything to help!

I felt like I've been a really bad mom. I believe part of  the cause of Kenan's constipation was because I've been so busy with work that I've neglected his dietary needs and didn't prepare as much fruit purees as before.

I guess this is a wake up call for me. After today's episode, I've decided that once I'm through with this  proofreading/editing project (which is taking me much more time than expected - I might have as well be the one doing the translation with the amount of changes I'm making), I will take up less jobs and spend more time with my son.

Honestly, the thought of working less has never crossed my mind until today. Though it has been a really trying time for me, because I would work late into the night and sleep anywhere between three to five hours a day, I've never entertained the thought of working less.

But I realised if I'm to continue with what I'm doing now, it will defeat the very purpose of my being a WAHM, which is to take better care of my son and be able to spend more time with him during these crucial first years. It won't be easy for me to let go of my work but it's a sacrifice I need to make. As much as I love my work, I guess the time has come for me to re-examine and re-prioritise my life.

Indeed, life with a baby will never be the same again - it's just that I have not fully let that sink in yet. Not until this moment.

Thanks to Alvin, my hubby's colleague, for the photos!


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