Monday, 10 August 2009

400th Post

This will be my 400th Post - so what is that? Paper? Tin? Aluminium? Bamboo perhaps?

After my big walk with Ryu this morning I got some long awaited errands finished - went to the post office, where I seem to be spending a lot of my time lately. Posted box of plastic fruit finally and some Japanese obon sweets to Granny A (my mum) - you know those colorful ones that look too good to eat and are extremely sweet. Not the traditional flurescent obon ones but more the ones you would expect to see at a tea ceremony. Mum goes to a Japanese class once a week and quite often they get sidetracked with tales of Japan and things. I thought the sweets could provide another distraction from studying.

We have nearly finished all the 'thank you' gifts for the prezzies we got for Ryu. The ones I sent out today where to the big spenders who gave us hard cash. They get a catalog gift book in return - where they can choose one item. Is fab idea and I love getting them cause you can choose what you want and don't need to spend three months trying to finish off cans of vegetable juice or cherry flavored jelly. I just need to finish off the thankyou postcards - that are getting to sent to all the foreigners - those nice people who give you a gift for the sake of giving a gift.

Hub had to attend a funeral today so took the arvo off work. He got home just before two and after we went out and delivered a few of the gifts he came back and promptly went to sleep while I looked after Ryu and made dinner. It wasn't a biggie because I was watching Re-Genesis as I was doing it but do men even ever think that maybe their wives would like some time out?

Hub does do it when I ask him - he is quite happy to take Ryu while I do something else but he has never offered off the bat.

"Hey there lovely sexy wife, would you like to pop out for some you time while I look after Ryu?"

Doesn't he realise that if he said this I would probably be inclined to answer with

"Hey there sexy hunk of man, what a generous offer, one which I do believe I will take you up on. Why don't you and Ryu take I nap so that when I get back and am feeling all refreshed we can get down to some serious loving. Grrrrrrr, nash, nash"

Shou and Marina came home from Kindy - Shou packed a sad because the big beetle had been released back to the wild. Thank god it still had enough big ass beetle genki left to run far enough away. In retaliation Shou then went and caught a frog which he didn't really play with but left in the insect box until just before he went to bed when he let it go - telling it to go home to mummy and see you again sometime.

I am in a semi huff with hub mainly because of dinner - I had made pasta. A creamy alfredo I do believe. So I had some help from Di Roma Classico but I still had to put the extras (chicken, ham and a few secret ingredients) in, cook the pasta, put the rice on (because what is dinner without at least the choice of being able to have white rice. arrrggh), and salad.

Shou ate most of his but Marina was in a foul mood and didn't eat much of anything. She was nutting out and hub was trying to stop her crying by giving her everything in her sight. She didn't want any of it but he still gave her the pile of thrity unused inkjet postcards I had sitting on the bench. She ignored them and he threw them back on the bench, very very nearly missing the sink. I picked them up and slammed (and I don't use that word lightly. I slammed the shit out of those postcards) them on the table.

I started washing the dishes - very energetically, knowing that I didn't trust myself to talk. Hub put Marina's plate on the bench for me - fine. She isn't even two yet. If she isn't going to eat a plate of creamy pasta then I'm not going to make her go hungry or sit there until she does. But hub...

He put his plate on the bench too - about a third eaten. Now this pisses me off. The rubbish bin just about ended up in ICU with the way I threw his plate of pasta out. I would have so much rather flung the whole plate, pasta included out the kitchen door but I restrained myself. I haven't spoken to him since - and he hasn't said anything to me, which generally means he knows why I am angry. If it's me being a naggy bitch about something he will usually just come right out and ask what my problem is. When he has been a twat he gets all silent on me. The next step is him starting to be nice - which might happen before bed tonight or tomorrow morning.

There are some underlying things in my mood tonight though. All very petty and childish. The short version is...

My sister and her two children are back visiting Granny A and Granddad for a week or two. Getting out of the rat race in Auckland and generally just trying to get their groove back I think. Her girls are the same age that Shou and Marina were when I went back at Christmas.

My sister needs a break. I totally agree and in a way it is just petty jealousy that Granny A has been going on about how much she will look after the girls so that mummy can have a break rah rah. I flew thousands of miles to go home and I got NO time alone to get my groove back - and I was three months pregnant to boot. Actually I take that back - I went out for dinner one night with a friend without the kids. Granny A would take one of them for a walk occasionally or come walking with me and the kids but never was there the offer of...

"hey Kate, you must be shattered, christ and I almost forgot your pregnant with that third baby I didn't think you should have, would you like me to look after Shou my first grandson who I have only met twice before, and Marina who I haven't spent any time with up until now? Why don't you go out for a coffee on your own"

And seeing as I am on a roll...

I sometimes get a bit overwhelmed with things - the having small children, the sleepless nights, the twat husband. And when I get like this thinking that I have no immediate support network that I can run to is really scary and very depressing. Yes it was my choice to live here but that doesn't stop the fact that motherhood in a different country with a different language and culture isn't something you sign up for knowing what it will be like.

It's a learning process - every damn step of the way and sometimes I feel like I am taking one step forwards only to be thrown ten steps back.

I hope my sister gets her groove back. And well us... we just have to put up with living far too far away to be a part of the picture some times.

Christ, what a shite 400th post. I hate being depressing Gaijinwife almost as much as I hate being mean mummy. I do have vodka in the house but the only thing I could mix it with is super high vitamin C kiddy orange juice. At least it would be healthy. Hell, might be so healthy it deserves a couple of gaijin wife points.



colorbynumbers said...

oh hey, I just read your post, you don`t know me from a bar of soap, but, BIG BIG HUGS to voiced exactly the doubts that I also have regarding having kids without the support network of your own family, living in Japan, less than affectionate relatives and need I go on..
But we all go on, we cope, and I guess we just have to take it a day at a time even though at times it seems so overwhelming.
Hope things get a little better and you get the time out that you need.-Luisa

Chrysanthemum Mum said...

So much of this post rings true. I found myself saying "I know exactly what you mean and know how you feel." It is unbelievably hard living here and raising kids (somewhat single handedly) in a foreign language/culture and having no real support network. I think because we are seen to be coping with our lifestyle in a foreign country, friends and family think we don't need the support. They don't see the reality or how stressed out we really can be sometimes.
Hang in there, and I hope things improve. Big hugs xx

Violet said...

Hey GW, don't feel bad about the somewhat less than cherry tone of your 400th post (amber: as in beverage of that colour). Here's an idea: why don't you ask hub to do the solo thing one Sunday so that you can take the time to go for a drive/coffee/whatever alone. Personally, I find time alone very therapeutic, not that I get much of it these days....

Rachel said...

Grrr. I hate it when they won't eat my food. Grrr! Hub has learned to pretend!

Lulu said...

Happy 400th post! Sorry it was not more cheery but hey, its your blog, who cares!

I am always dissapointed when Shun doesn`t like the food I cook- most of the time it is the Japanese food I cooked too which he knows is much harder for me to make since I suck at it. I seem to have perfected a couple of Japanese dishes now so I just tend to swap them around and mix a lot of western style stuff on the other nights.

If it was me, I would of eaten all the pasta!

Midori said...

Hey you know what, I live IN my home country and have oodles of "support" but I STILL feel just like that sometimes. Sometimes it would be lovely to escape from it all and sit somewhere and drink copious amounts of vodka.. or is that just me?!! ;-)
Seriously though, I am truly amazed by how much you pull off with style and a sense of humour. I don't think I could manage what you do without killing a few people along the way! (Which is why it is probably best that I don't live in Japan anymore!) Motherhood is HARD no matter what the circumstances and no-one fully understands that apart from other mothers.

Your pasta sounds lovely. I used to get really annoyed when D would bitch about what I cooked or when I cooked the same thing "too often" or some such bollocks. I used to want to shove the food he was whining about where the sun doesn't shine and tell him that if he was that bothered by my lack of skills in the kitchen he could damn well cook for himself but I never did and to this day I wish I had done! LOL!

Congrats on your 400th post by the way! :-)

Lily said...

Damn you wrote about my life- the non eating children, the dumping tons of money, time and physical energy to fly across the world to be with family and get NO help. But your oldest is 3- give it a couple of years and you will be amazed what shit you can handle. I was going through my old blog posts and I re-read a comment that another no-support foreign mommy in Japan wrote to me. She said that after 5 years it was great finally. I look at my life and agree- 5 could be the magic #. I still get support-envy but much less so (maybe b/c now once a month I have the kids taken away for 4 hours- how pathetic eh!- by western standard only 4hours a month being able to have "me" time is mama-abuse). Anyhow, I hear you and feel your pain. The food thing is the other bitch. You hit the nerve on the two biggies in my life- support and eating. Hope my shared misery in the past regarding this brings comfort. The situation doesn't neccesarily get better but at least at one point you will likely crack enough to not care about it anymore. That was all that I could do to handle it. But I hope it does get better.

Sarah said...

All I can say is he's lucky all you did was throw out his pasta! In my family it would be served again at the next meal - cold.

I rememeber once even been made to take my unfinished breakfast granola (mixed with milk of course) to lunch for school because I hadn't finished it. By the time lunch rolled around it was about the consitency of glue... But it cured me of taking too much granola in the mornings! ;)

I would agree with Chrysanthemum Mum - while not a parent, I find my Japanese friends here assume that since I cope I do so without problem, and they are often shocked when they realize how stressed out I really am.

And like Colorbynumbers, you don't know me, but still big hugs.

illahee said...

*big hugs*

already my week is full of plans (stupid obon) because otherwise i'd be packing up the kids right now and dropping in on you guys! with lots of wine, more vodka, cranberry and orange get the picture! i wish we lived closer!

my mother is great about the support thing, too bad i never get to see her! i get very jealous myself. i know that you care about your sister but i think you're right, it's not fair!! and sometimes, people only see what they want to see. *sigh*

maybe the kids and i can come and see you guys next week? even have a sleep-over. i'll bring mac & cheese, and lots of alcohol....

Orchid64 said...

Living in Japan without a support network over the long haul is difficult whether you have children or not. I've seen it defeat more than one person (usually women). It drove me to clinical depression as it did the wife of one of my husband's coworkers (she left and got better, I stayed and got better). So, you're probably doing better than some (possibly most) under greatly more trying circumstances.

I think family back home become disconnected from the reality of your life when you live so far away and they don't see you the same when you come home. Through time, you start to seem more like a stranger, as are your kids. I'm guessing your mother didn't offer to look after your kids because she hadn't had much contact with them and expected not to have much contact for the rest of their lives. In essence, they are grandchildren in name only and likely to remain that way. Knowing that doesn't help when you need support, but it may help you taper your expectations.

Brit in Hokkaido said...

Like so many of these commenters I can understand the no-support angle in Japan, and I don't even have kids, or have Japanese in-law family to deal with. It must be so much harder then...
I remember when I got hit by the car, and all my Japanese friends assumed I was OK and when they discovered how stressed out I really was and had no one to really fight for me -with the insurance fiasco, the police screaming at me after literally suffering head trauma -it was too late.
Funnily enough my Mum has been here for the past three weeks and only says now that she has some understanding of how tough life my life can be in Japan. And this comes from a woman who was an expat, talking about her daughter who has lived and studied in Germany- and she never worried then about me.
I don't know what it is about Japan, but it can be the most loneliest place as an expat but also the best place to live as an expat. It's probably that mix that makes it feel so special.

gaijin wife said...

Brit in Hokkaido - can you secret squirel me your new blog address?

Brit in Hokkaido said...

Sure :)

Sara said...

Happy 400 posts!!! Wow that amazing...

So sorry to hear about your hubs wasting food... Ryohei doesnt like some stuff I cook as well and usually it annoys me since I eat all sorts of scary and unappeatizing Japanese crap to appease his family... blech

I still have my mom here helping... which has been nice except that its almost too much at times. The constant baby talk (I don't like baby talk - even tho I have a baby) the constant slipping up and her calling herself the "mommy" as in "come to mommy" when she picks her up... umm... yah..

I only have one friend here (Lily in the next city over) so I feel a bit scared of lack of support as well esp. with hubs working so much. Not sure how to go about meeting people and making new friends... so I guess not really a helpful comment but thinking of you.

Your friend the now non-ninpu in niigata :P