parenting · travel

Shanghai Surprise (How being away from home brought me home)



It’s been a week since we’ve arrived in Shanghai and we have another week to go! We have been busy busy busy from the time we landed. I haven’t missed FB and Gmail, although I’m a little annoyed that I haven’t got access to my google search, translate, and maps. But I’m learning to work with Baidu and the 大众点评 app has been so awesome in figuring out where to go and what to do.

I’ve loved having so much flexible time to explore the city. Each day I see how the weather conditions are before deciding where to go – rainy, hazy (one day the PMI 2.5 was up to 185!), or cranky. The cranky referring to the kids’ own temperament of course. And wherever we would be, 大众点评 would help me locate the more highly rated eateries and even what to order when there. What a life saver when you are already have your hands full minding the kids and don’t want to be walking around aimlessly just looking to fill those little tummies.

I think everyone has settled in here quickly, and we’ve been visiting sights and doing lots of new things. But it hadn’t been all rosy – sometimes kids like what is familiar to them, and although it’s been very comfortable here, it isn’t the same as being at home.

After the hubby left for home (someone has to work to pay for the holiday right??), the following days were trying and frustrating juggling three kids, a MIL, and a foreign land. I’m not the most patient mother, and unfortunately with more kids does not come more patience. Left with just their mother, the kids seemed to concentrate all their energy on making my life as difficult as possible. Ok, I’m sure they those were not their intentions, but at times it was hard to convince myself otherwise. As individuals they weren’t more difficult than ordinary kids, but put together and outnumbered 3 to 1 – let’s just say the circumstances didn’t illicit my finest moments.


So I’m sure I speak for everyone here when I say we were all surprised, as well as extremely relieved that the hubby made an unexpected return for another few short days. He didn’t breathe a word to us and was even in cahoots with our driver who told us he needed to run an errand in the afternoon when actually he made a trip to the airport, just so he could show up at the apartment!

We are also very thankful as his presence means a break for everyone from the evil and extremely cranky mummy who has been feeling overwhelmed and burdened with children. I actually felt sorry for the kids for having a mother like me!

This show of moral support struck me as a reminder of how lucky I am to have a partner who complements me, yet is completely different from me such that the kids get the best of both worlds. It’s easy to forget this with the busyness of every day life, the never-ending list of activities and things that need to be done to tend to the children’s needs.

When you have a whole Chinese acrobatic troupe to run (yes it gets that crazy in these parts!), it sure helps to not have to go at it alone!


2 thoughts on “Shanghai Surprise (How being away from home brought me home)

  1. I can imagine the wildness there. But! it will gets better, maybe lower your expectation, slower the pace helps? Being able to see another side of the world, and still able to be the mother to the kids is really unbeatable deal. *Im envy… ;p

    I know it is easy say than done, But! I kind of think Mummy Ed can do it, slowly but surely;).

    Happy Shanghai-ing~.


  2. It’s really not easy even with help! I can identify that even at home, esp without the hubby aka their daddy, somehow they’ll be more demanding? What more managing them in a foreign land! Jiayous! Great your hubby came to your aid. : ) Is this a holiday trip? Nice!


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