2017 started very rough.
I thought oh no, its like 2016 again. Horrible, just horrible. Am I going to write another shitty year in review?
We somehow one way or another got through it all. Got through house-moving and renovation, four kids in tow and all. We found a good school for Livia as late as April because she insisted on schooling so suddenly. And my husband started work at a new place which required extensive overseas travel and the fact that he couldn’t take leave or MCs the first six months so no matter how sick I got, I had to take care of four kids all by lonesome self. I also dropped out of the PhD program – a very difficult and emotional decision I finally had the courage to make.
You could tell from my recent photographs on Instagram that they were mostly representations of my contentment. I am finding joy everyday in very simple things and that was a very hard thing to do for the last couple years. I was previously a very frustrated and angry person. This year was transformative and I think it was because the kids were no longer heavily dependent on me and wearing me down emotionally like they used to. We also started living leaner financially, socially and physically. I realized that although our home was so very small, just only 68 sqm in total, and our social circle started rapidly narrowing, our mental health and emotional lives somehow started flourishing. I found it incredibly hard to learn acceptance of circumstances I did not ask for and then, still making something wonderful out of it. I think we have made something wonderful out of home and our lives the past year.
I am also so very proud of the girls and how much they have grown. Especially Livia for having the strong independence and initiative to tell me she wanted to go to school and insisting really hard upon it no matter how much I dissuaded her. I felt the scheduled life could wait a little more but she persuaded me that she was willing and ready and in the end, we saw how good school was for her to grow into her own person. She decided on her own to also start gymnastics and even though she cried at her first lesson (because the lessons were so difficult for her), she told me she wanted to keep going and she is slowly started to get really good at it. All four girls also started swimming classes – although it was really Liora who solely wanted classes. Most of all, I am just proud that they are blooming into caring and warm individuals who love each other fiercely. That’s all I could ask for in my daughters, really. That they grow into strong women and that they develop into the kind of people that are going to be strong for others.
Every year I am rethinking the social media life. I have really enjoyed everyone who was kind and generous to leave me – somebody they did not know – encouraging comments. And for those who I have come to know a little better, bothered to go out of their way to give me helpful suggestions and advice. Its crazy that I have never met most of you in real life but its like as if I did! There were also not very nice comments and incidences, but they are all just water under the bridge now.
As much as I have thrived on the identity of being a mother of triplets plus one and I know 99 percent of people were most curious about the triplets’ part of that identity, I did often feel that at some point I need to move away from it. Its something I have thought about for a while now. For 2018 you are going to see less photographs of the triplets, and probably more photographs of bokeh food and watercolor illustrations. Maybe even not much photographs at all. I want to gradually withdraw our personal lives from social media and to start respecting the girls’ right to privacy and not make my social media imprints solely based around their lives. Like its cool sometimes to share something about your kid because it might serve as a lesson for someone else, or make someone laugh, or whatever it is….but the healthier approach is to admit to yourself, that its really a very selfish thing to do because they never gave you the permission to share their lives to the world, and they can’t because they don’t understand social media as yet. I might lose followers and likes but who cares, really. I started blogging and Instagramming in the hopes of connecting with people who understood and could affirm that I was a good parent. You see like everyone else who was a first time mother (and also first time mother of multiples), I was very insecure. I wanted validation from others that I was doing things the right way, or the best way, or the most creative way. But now that I have found understanding from all the kind souls here, there and everywhere, and grown out from my mummy-related insecurities, I really don’t need to keep publishing to get validation anymore.
So I think 2018 will be awesome. I think. I feel so afraid of jinxing myself. Well if it isn’t awesome, at least I know we all have the fortitude and resilience to get through whatever obstacles may come our way. I hope you do too for whatever difficulties you have or may face in the coming year.