It hasn’t been the most pleasant period of time at home.

With a teething six-month-old baby who wakes up in the middle of the night looking for comfort, and a four-year-old who has recently “decided” to test every ounce of patience I have in me, I feel tired. Yet, there is no where to run. I’m a stay-at-home-mum. I’m trapped.

It’s times like this that I feel like I’m trapped in a self-built prison. I could have rejoined the work force, but I chose to become a stay-at-home-mum. It was my choice, but why do I feel so trapped today?

I didn’t have a very pleasant morning with Phoebie and the husband ended up getting her ready for school. He brought her downstairs to take the school bus and when he came back up, he asked if I wanted to go out for breakfast. I told him that I was going to do that alone and left the house, carrying Breyen in the baby carrier.

The moment I left the house, I realized that I didn’t even know where I wanted to go.

I thought of walking 3km down the road to McDonald’s for some breakfast and some alone time. I thought of taking the train down to the mall. As I walked, I still didn’t know where to go. I ended up buying food from the coffee shop nearby and found my legs bringing me home again.

As I walked, I felt like crying. I felt so pathetic. I had time away from Phoebie and time to cool down, yet I didn’t know where to go or what to do.

Before she left for school, I told her that perhaps it was time for me to leave her with someone while I went back to working full time, or perhaps I should leave her in someone else’s care and I took care of only Breyen. “That’s not nice,” was her response.

“Well, you haven’t been nice to me,” I said and walked away.

It’s just one of those days that I wonder why I chose to be a stay-at-home-mum. My sanity is hanging on a thin thread that is threatening to snap.

I think of what people say to me, and I want to laugh.

“How do you do it? How do you take care of two young children with no help? Wow…”

Wow… It’s funny because wow, you have no idea how I feel like crap.

On the one hand, I want to discipline my children, but on the other hand, I question whether I have become too harsh because I don’t seem to have a good grip of my emotions.

On the one hand, I have to bear the comments of family members that Phoebie is so petite and she is one of the smallest sized in her class, but on the other hand, I am at my wits’ end trying to get her to eat more.

On the one hand, I am trying to sleep train the baby so that he sleeps through the night, but on the other hand, I worry that his late night cries wake the whole house up, so I end up carrying him till he sleeps.

On the one hand, I want to enjoy my children, but on the other hand, I sometimes feel like a ticking time bomb when they misbehave.

On the one hand, I want to take a breather every now and then just so that I can find my sanity as a mum, but on the other hand, it’s hard to walk away from the kids guilt-free because firstly, Breyen still needs me for milk and secondly, I know I am not the only tired one around the house.

On the one hand, I want to do things for my kids out of love, but on the other hand, there are days when I do things not because I want to, but because I have to. Who’s going to cook dinner, even though Phoebie likes to kick a fuss at mealtime? Who’s going to clean up after the kids make a mess, so that ants and cockroaches don’t come?

I don’t always enjoy the chores but hey, I guess I have to do it because it’s my job as a stay-at-home-mum.

Even as I write this, I have a baby sleeping on my left arm and the breakfast I bought while walking aimlessly earlier is still sitting on the dining table.

In a couple of hours, Phoebie will be back.

I’m not too sure if I look forward to that.

I can remind myself time and time again why I chose the path of staying at home with the kids. But days like this, I wish I could run away.

Where is my escape?

I’m trapped. In my self-built prison.


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