Life as an immigrant in Canada, with a husband and three young children is not at all what I expected. My entire support group is in Manila or elsewhere in the world and I only have my good husband's family here.
I used to cry buckets in the beginning. The spoiled princess that I was kicked and punched and squealed like a pig being led to the roast.
I did not come all the way from Manila to suffer like this! I yelled with indignation. I did not leave my comfortable life with assistants and helpers and all the trappings that come with being a celebrity to labor around the house cleaning unmentionable dirt and picking up clutter from sun-up to sun-down. I screamed at the injustice. And I did not come all the way here to suffer cabin fever all week long from lack of fresh air from being stuck in the house all day, I cried "Victim! Victim!" all the way.
Toronto, if you didn't know, is hell in the winter which did nothing to help my already hapless situation.
Fast forward to two and a half years later.
There I was, putting my seven thousandth load of dishes in the washer one night, humming one of my favorite inspirational songs when it dawned on me ever so slowly...is that me humming? Whoa! I'm humming and singing again, which means I must be in a good mood, which means I must not dread doing the dishes anymore, which means I'm out of the woods! I couldn't help it. I started tearing up with joy and gave thanks to God and Goddess and all the saints combined. This is a far cry, literally as well as figuratively, from how I used to be in the past. Back in the day, I would have cried for a completely different reason. Regret. Frustration. Resentment. Anger and Hurt. Anything less than perfect, you name it and you bet I was crying about it.
I drove my poor husband nuts. How could I not when I myself was going nuts!
I was pining for a lifestyle that was no longer available. I was longing for a way of living outdated and totally inappropriate for this stage in my existence. What was needed of me was responsibility, self-sacrifice, flexibility (ooh, this was a big one for me) and most of all, the kind of love that was purely unconditional. Unconditional love or nothing at all - for it was to be the basis of my family's sanity. But I could not give it just yet. Not in the beginning. The process was going to take much longer than I thought.
I call the whole process: The Domestication of a Diva.
It is true. Mothers are the anchors of the home. When Mom is happy, everyone is happy. Oh, but when Mom's having a crappy day, everyone take cover because the shit will hit the fan. Or the walls! Depending on which child is having the tantrum.
It's been almost three years, that and three million realizations.
Here are some of my favorites:
~ Dishes, pots and pans do not get clean by themselves, not even if you leave them on the kitchen sink for three days. Same applies for laundry, floors and kids.
~ When I mix colored clothes and white clothes in the wash, I get clothes with the most unappealing colors you could think of.
~ It is possible to miss one's helpers more than one's family.
~ It is possible to live on "left-over" food. In fact, it is the only way to exist! Batch cook, batch cook, batch cook. And better make it BIG-batch cook - or you might as well live in your kitchen.
~ A good cook is made, not born.
~ Doing household chores is painful, however, bearing the pain of not being able to breathe because of shit lying around- and I'm not only speaking metaphorically here, is so not worth it. Better to go through the housework pain than see, trip on, or breathe shit all day long.
~ Domestication is a painful process (one of the most painful experiences especially for an ex-diva-spoiled-bratty biatch that was me) and the best way to ease the pain is to drive to the nearest Mc Donald's or Burger King for a big dose of tummy lovin'. Emotional-eating Syndrome my ass...I say, Whatever-Works Syndrome for the moment. There's always kick-boxing when I do get out of my depression. And you know what, you do get off the pissy pot sooner or later.
~ Just when you think that it can't get any worse, it does. But then just when you think you can't take it anymore, you do. And you are stronger and a better, more beautiful, well-rounded human being for it.
~ My kids are still not the perfect little creatures I envisioned them to be nor will they ever be but as I learn to accept my own imperfections a bit more everyday, I become a better mother to my perfectly imperfect angels. And I love them anyway. Unconditionally.
~ My husband can be the strongest ally I can have one day and be my worst enemy the next. I may be head-over-heels totally in love with this perfect man I married one minute and pulling-my-hair-out and screaming like a banshee at the insensitive bastard the next. At the end of the day, I love him just the same. Unconditionally.
~ Yes. Divas can become domesticated.
I could go on and on and on but , see, my perfectly imperfect two month old baby is crying for mommy's booby again.
End of mommy-musing.
Domesticated Diva out.
The Domesticated Diva with her Magical Mmmunchsters=mom's munching monsters=always munch, munch, munching!