Running on Empty – Part II

As promised, this is the second part of the post, which was the start of my thoughts actually.  I was wondering why I felt so dry, so fatigued, so weary when I seemed to have quite the life I’m enjoying.  I’m quite purposeful (see Part I here) and I really don’t have a right to complain about how hectic this whole SAHM-ing thing this because… here is my confession:  I’m not ACTUALLY a true blue Stay-At-Home Mum.  Lol… *a clap of thunder* It’s true I’m not working to take care of my kids but I’m truly truly blessed that I’ve got an army of willing and available help.  Once a week, my mum takes the kids.  While I usually tag along to her house, I get the odd hour or two when the kids are napping to go for a haircut, do my nails (not all the time la… only when I have an event coming up and I have some appearances to keep up so I don’t look so… chui (haggard)…) or just sneak out for a much-needed bubble tea.  Then another day a week, my very capable in-laws gladly take both kids for a full day (my Mil has been a SAHM all her life and my Fil is recently retired) so between the 2 of them, my kids are well-entertained and indulged.  My Mil says, “It’s okay.  This is your off-day.”  WOW!!  Thanks!!  So I get to go out, traipse to my new favourite hangout – Chinatown (the most hips and haps place for… aunties?? Arrghh… I’ve joined their ranks!  I get supplies there for my new hobby), meet LIMPEHZ for lunch,

Lunch with the Hubs!  Free food for the win!

Lunch with the Hubs! Free food for the win!

or catch up with friends, even watch a movie (KENSHIN!)

ruruoni kenshin movie

Why so cool???

Unlike a good friend who has to tank 2 kids 24/7 (hats off to her!), I have it relatively easy. Because of all the help, in the last 2 years, I had the chance to do many things – I finished a 22 month Diploma in Montessori, which thank God I did well (or I will cry cuz it’s a lot of money…), dabbled in tuition for a while, helped my mum start her business (, and am still dreaming up of some get-rich-quick, or rather, get-more-income-hopefully-in-the-near-future-while-I’m-still-alive-to-enjoy schemes, which LimpehZ will incessantly poke and prod at my schemes business ideas.

LimpehZ.  The Hubs.  The One whom I don’t rave about enough because I shy.  Lol… But really, he is The One who holds everything together – i.e. gives me money to spend. HAHAH… But seriously, more than just providing for the family financially, he pulls his weight at home.  With 2 kids now, it’s really man-on-man attack and defence.  His is usually the more challenging one – Miss K.  The way he is soooo patient with her crazy cranky tantrums, I’ve learnt a thing or two about handling her at her worst when she’s hysterical beyond reason.  The key is just crazy, over-the-top love, not reason.  To just patiently, calmly assure her of our love despite her bad behaviour is the only way to calm her down most quickly.  Did I just mentioned about him shooting down my business ideas?  I’m actually grateful for that because he isn’t just blindly encouraging in a disengaged fashion.  He really puts in effort and thought into what I’ve said, then gives an objective opinion about it.  He even goes steps further into giving constructive ideas and suggestions and often, it’s an angle that I wasn’t able to see myself.

While another friend commented that she feels she isn’t able to commit her whole life to just staying at home, I will be honest to say it doesn’t have to be ALL your life, ALL the time.  This is how I cope with the repetitive, lonely, sometimes mind-numbing aspects of staying home.  I’ve tried to do other things which serve to break up the monotonous routine.  I guess that’s how it kinda works out for me.  This isn’t about arguing if SAHMing is better, or FTWMing (full-time working mum) is superior but I guess it’s about finding balance and fulfilment in working (paid or volunteer) which keeps us engaged, relevant and informed.  After all, this is just a short season.  Who’s to say this is forever?  When the kids go off to school, there will always be opportunities to work again.

But even so, I was doing all these things, still try to have time for hobbies and dramas etc, but I was really weary and tired.  I didn’t feel refreshed by the dramas but got more worn out from them.  The more tired I got, the more my fuse with the kids become shorter. That’s when I knew I wasn’t being recharged.  All these activities, at best were mere fillers, at their worst, they were distractions from true rest.  So what was it that gave true rest?  For me, I knew what it was but have not been diligent in pursuing it daily.  It was prayer and bible-reading.  I saw a pattern: when I was consistent in connecting with God, I could handle most of what came my way.  Even if I couldn’t, I was able to respond in a chill manner.  But when I missed this time of recharging, every little thing that previously didn’t irk me started getting on my nerves.  K can do the same thing in the morning and I would be okay but when she does the same thing in the evening (the witching hour when the sun is setting; I don’t know… something about the sun and evening tantrums), I would blow up.  Ah… that’s when I realized, it’s not her, it’s me.

Then recently, LimpehZ and I started doing a short bible reading once a week.  I wanted like in depth bible study with a whole curriculum and worksheets and space to write my answers, but he was like, no need!  Let’s just go to the source and we’ll just discuss the passage.  So it’s been happening for a couple of weeks already and I must say, it is really good!  It was nothing fancy or complicated.  We’d just read a passage, discuss what struck a chord, shared what we felt God was saying in our situations and we prayed together.  That’s it.  I am beginning to understand the verse,

John 4:13-14

I know what recharges me, and ironically, what recharges me isn’t the easiest (or most fun) thing to do.  Sleep will refresh your body but do you know what recharges your soul and spirit?  What you have to do to regain that clarity of mind and vision?  Let’s do it so we can face the challenges of the day.  Everyday should be challenging, isn’t it?  So that we grow, we are stretched, our tents are extended, our spheres of influence enlarged. My favourite phrase is 休息是为了走更长远的路 (we have to rest in order to continue on this long journey).  This is my favourite phrase to justify why I sleep so much.  Heh… but really, rest and be refreshed so we are not running on an empty tank, only to be stranded within sight of our final goal; or worse, so tired that we can’t even recognise where we wanted to head to in the first place.

‘Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.’

sleeping soundly like a baby

I wanna sleep!! (not like a baby; they wake every 40 minutes!!!)


5 thoughts on “Running on Empty – Part II

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