It’s Never Easy

Marrying a single mother means marrying her children too. That was what I did when I married my wife. On top of that, there is that silent rule stating that I will have to assume the father figure, playing that role; what more that my wife’s ex is such a bastard who doesn’t lift a single finger to help out, let alone pay a single cent in alimony. That means, there are certain rules that I have to set for the kids, although the rules aren’t as tight and hard as I used to impose upon my children when they lived with me.

Two years ago, I was still living with my kids. And because my ex was hardly at home prior to the divorce, I was the one who tucked in my two younger ones, Farhan and Nisaa, and slept with them. I ate with them, entertained them as much as I could, watched Farhan do his homework or employ the elder sisters to help monitor him – I was always there for them.

But not anymore.

Both Farhan and Nisaa now live with my ex, Fazira with my other ex, while Hana goes to a university. Not only don’t we live beneath the same roof as we did up ’til two years ago, all of us hardly see each other. And when we do, it is always for not more than 4 hours – 3 being the maximum average.

During dinner tonight, I scolded my stepson Yunus. The blame isn’t entirely his – his food had arrived almost an hour late, and he fell asleep at the dinner table. When various attempts by my wife and her cousin to wake him up failed, I sounded the aggressive voice – that woke him up, and got him to eat some. The wife tucked him in after that.

The wife was silent when she got back to our room. After asking several times, she related what was asked by Yunus to her:

“Why doesn’t Daddy like me? Why did he scold me?”

And all I could muster was that I apply the same rules to my kids.

I had nothing more to say.

Both my younger children asked me this question when we no longer live beneath the same roof:

“Don’t you love me anymore? Is that why you don’t live with us anymore?”

I can only hope that my elder daughters can understand why these things happen. They know what I went through – and I hope they can help me explain to their younger siblings.

I miss my kids. I miss waking up with them. I miss going to bed with them. I miss kissing them and hugging them at night before they go to sleep. I miss eating with them. I miss the sound of their voice and laughter. I miss holding them tight assuring them that they’re always safe with me.

Do they feel safe now that I am no longer around?

Every time I eat something nice at home, I wonder what were they eating. Who’s feeding them? Am I eating something better than they?

I always miss seeing them when I come home; and I often wonder if they still miss and think of me?

And there I was, lying next to my wife, looking at her crying, thinking of what Yunus had asked her, while I shed a drop of tear from the eye that was covered by the pillowcase.

And it’s never easy.

My babies

12 Replies to “It’s Never Easy”

  1. Awww… This is so touching.. I don’t have my own child yet, so I really don’t know how to relate to your story.. But I am sure they’ll understand your situation one day when they’re all grown up.

    You have beautiful children!

  2. Yeah the kids will remember you as being both a strict and fun dad. They might not get it now, but when they grow older, they would be thankful to have such loving parents.

    1. I love them all, Za. Each time I look at them, whether when they eat, laugh or get scolding, they always remind me of my own kids. And I always miss them when I look at Ali, Medina and Yunus. There are times, numerous times, that I had to look the other way because they often make me wonder how are my kids doing. I hope to God that one day I will get my kids to live beneath the same roof with me, Mimin and the kids.

      Come last quarter of this year, I plan to trade my car for a 11-seater people mover so that we can all travel together as a family.

  3. kalau this was an entry by one of my girlfriends, i’d give them a big hug.
    anyhow, after reading this, i realized i sent my kids to bed in anger (kids being kids punya stuffs that make parents go crazy). and i immediately gave them all a hug. and received several back in return. with additional kisses as well. all is forgiven.

    thanks for the entry 😛

    1. I believe there are times that we can be friends, and there are times that they must respect the parents. And yes, every scolding should come with reasoning – but much later. If we are seen to mellow and give in after a short while, they might take it as a weakness and exploit. Kids will always look for a loophole somewhere as they grow and learn to become smarter. So, the reason should come later after the effect of being scolded has sunk in. That is what I believe anyway.

  4. Ohh..
    You (& wife) did your best with the best of intention, insyaAllah the kids will be allright. I like to watch Nanny 911 (or something) – they preach to always talk, as in 2-way communication to kids; ask their feelings & listen & then only respond. MasyaAllah, coming from me who has no kid yet hahahaha

    1. Yes, a 2-way communication is always good, especially when they are much older. When my two elder kids were little, that was when I believed they should fit into the correct mold. Reasoning comes in easy-to-understand language. When they are much older, the scoldings come in the form of verbal lessons and reasoning. While it is a good thing to have 2-way communications, I believe that we should not let them forget who’s in-charge in the house, so that when they grow older the respect stays, unlike in western homes where kids call parents by name, or can shout back.

  5. buddy – thanks for sharing…. I am certain many will be able to relate to your experience. I can also understand Jazz’s emotional hurts but I am sure John, it is not because of your words or actions. It is probably on why her children has to suffer because of our adult failures

    John, you are a good man, so chin up and always remember – it’s equally hard being a father to your own children too. 🙂

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