Husband’s take on ‘I don’t know how she does it’

My husband was looking for something to watch, I recommended him to watch ‘I don’t know how she does it’ without really telling him what it is about.

So he did and he sat through it and at the end of it he told me ‘that was a good movie’.

I think he relates to SJP’s character so much more than me since he’s the workaholic of the family. He doesn’t go on holiday. We’ve never had a real family holiday. I usually just take off on my own since it’s impossible to plan with him. He works at work and at home and on weekends, I always go places on my own. Although to be fair, he does his housework and tries to be available to babysit whenever I need him to and is there for emergencies (just like SJP in the movie). So he does his duty well as a husband but he never makes that extra effort to reserve some times ahead for family outings unless I push him so hard which usually start with arguments first. So it’s usually just me and bub or him and bub. You rarely see three of us together. It’s only one or the other. When I’m available to be with bub, he would just go work, even on weekends.

An example was this easter break. Out of all four days weekend, the time he came with us was 1. when we were invited for a bbq by a group of people. Even then, he was playing with his friends leaving me playing with bub on my own. 2. when we were supposed to attend bub’s child care bbq but I got the date wrong so at the end we ended up spending an hour together doing Easter egg hunt. So our time together usually accidental or as a result of something planned by outsiders.

I value family time, which means being together. But he doesn’t. For as long as everyone’s fed, nobody’s sick, money in the bank, the house is clean, that’s his definition of happy family.

Throughout the movie he kept trying to justify himself by saying things like ‘it’s lucky that I work for academic work so I have flexible schedule’ or ‘money really isn’t measure of happiness’ or ‘I spent a lot of time with our son, don’t I?’

I just nod and smile. Looks like the movie has hit home hard.

Good.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for him as he’s a responsible husband and father but I just wish he makes that extra effort to be together without an the outside factor and stop being so obsessed with his work.

And sometimes I just feel like being a drama queen and whinge about him. And today is one of those days.

Play ideas for two year old toddler #2

Today is Good Friday. We had a busy morning, I’m pretty beat now but I need to write this down before I forget. We had some good play today.

1. Beach play.
My son’s been to the beach many times but I feel that he didn’t have maximum play. When it’s an open ocean, he’s usually too scared to get to the water. He prefers rock pool and the lagoon. We were at the lagoon today. It’s a great location as it’s a shallow water. I don’t like it as the water was rather polluted but I saw many kids there so obviously it didn’t bother other people. My son had a blast. I was surprise that he went to water at his own will. Combination of sand and water along with the right toys provided him with endless entertainment. Today we had: a plastic digger/dumper, a wheel barrow, spades and forks, a bucket, and a small watering can.
We first had a play at the grass area. He was picking leaves for his digger/dumper. I let him fill the watering can with the tap water and he had fun watering the grass and filling the dumper with water. Then we moved to the water. Again the digger/dumper had a lot of exercise. He run it in the shallow water. He dug sand using spade and splashed it in the water. I don’t know what else he played, he was just so busy talking and playing by himself. I ended up entertaining an older kid more so than my son as he was content doing things on his own. I think the must have item for the beach is the digger/dumper (it’s a digger and a dumper in one, I think it was a cheap plastic one from Big W) and a spade. The bucket didn’t get much use. Oh he also pushed the wheel barrow in the water and filled it with sand and water. I think as long as he has something with wheels, his imagination does the rest.

2. Baking.
I let him pour the ingredients in a bowl and he mixed it up for a bit. I then put the bowl on the floor and use the electric mixer to mix it and he thought it was the funniest thing. Then he put more ingredients in. I think he enjoys that most and the mixing with spatula. After that gets bored and wanted to wash his hands and left me do the rest.

3. Beep beep.
My husband and I were sitting on the couch with our legs up. My son walked around the couch and he went ‘beep beep!’ for us to put our legs down so he can pass through. My husband taught him to press an imaginary button along with saying beep beep. He went around and around and beeping and pressing imaginary buttons. It was fun and easy play. All we had to do was sit and put our legs down when he passes by.

4. Showering like mommy.
Instead of bathing in his baby bath, I let him shower today. He brought with him two helicopters to shower along and a small plastic bowl. After I finished soaping and scrubbing him, I closed the shower door and he had a blast in there on his own while I cleaned the sink and toilet.
He talked to the helicopters, bathed them, flied them, and stood under the shower and told me he’s showering like mommy and daddy. I let him stayed in there for as long as he liked. When he finally decided to come out, he made me towel the helicopters first because they’re wet. When I tried to dry him first he wasn’t happy. The helicopters are more important! He was very happy with his clean helicopters.

5. Acting out stories from book/tv.
He was watching thomas and in one episode one of the engine got stuck under rocks that rumbled down from the mountain. We have a story book with similar rumbling rocks and a digger came to the rescue. So I started acting out the story using imaginary rocks but he had a better idea. He poured out the wooden train tracks on an train engine pretending they were rocks, and used his digger to help pushed the “rocks” to rescue the engine. He then put the tracks back in the box and poured them out again. He did it so many times. I think acting out story is a great idea. He used to love acting out a fire engine rescuing a cat from another book.

Mother-in-law vs daughter-in-law: how to possibly get along.

You’ve probably heard plenty of story about in law from hell. Be it mother in law or daughter in law.

These two hardly get along! Even if they eventually do get along, usually it’s preceded by a rough start.

Well, recently I had the honour to have my in law staying with us for two months….I know Elle will probably roll her eyes and say ‘get over it already!’ as her experience with in law…mine can’t compare.

Anyway, I was pretty nervous at the start but someone (read: L) told me I’ll be fine, so I took her words, you know. I trust her and her judgement. I became confident, after all, I’m one of those kid who you would love to hate. You know the type your mom would want you to be friends with because she’s such “a good influence”. Old people love me! Yes, they do!

Let’s just say, by the end of the visit, I couldn’t stop asking myself this question:  WHAT THE HELL WENT WRONG?

I’m certain that they wished they hadn’t come and they would never come again.

I was determined to be the best daughter-in-law, attend to their every needs, and assure them that their son is in good hands.

Oh boy, was I very optimistic! I’m no difference from all the other daughter-in-laws out there. I’m pretty sure their image of this sweet angelic daughter-in-law has tarnished and now I’m one of those daughter-in-law from hell.

Back to the question, what went wrong? I think I may have the answer after many days of pondering after they left. I think this may be what’s wrong with every pair of mother-daughter in law out there who don’t get along.

Your mother-in-law is NOT your mother.

Your daughter-in-law is NOT your daughter.

So don’t treat them as such.

“I think of you like my own daughter” may sound sweet and affectionate but in reality, I say this is the root of all evil!

In law comes from a different family, with a different set of habits and values. You know those annoying habits of your partner that you don’t like but you put up with it because you love him/her? Most likely the parents will have the same habits. And when you don’t have the sort of love you have for your partner to be able to put up with it, you’ll go crazy if you have to live with it.

So I think the answer to this is to not get too comfortable around your in law. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT treat them like your own mother/daughter. Treat them like a guest.

For mother-in-law:

If you’re in her house, behave like a guest. Don’t just barge in and try to fix everything, go through her stuffs, point out all that looks wrong, and clean all the mess like you would in your daughter’s house. If she’s in your house, treat her like a guest, don’t expect her to know where everything is, to cook her own meals, help you with chores without being told, and to know all the house rules.

For daughter-in-law:

If you’re in her house, behave like a guest. Don’t get too comfortable and laze around expecting to be served. Offer to help, follow their rules. Ask when you don’t know where things are or how things work. If she’s in your house, treat her like a guest. Don’t expect her to pick up after you, to know where everything is, and to put up with your sour face like your mom would.

I think if we follow this simple rules, hopefully peace of the house can be kept.

I hope I will remember this when I have a daughter in law of my own. Please refer me back to this post when that day comes!