I thought I would write about one of the most common questions we got during raya this year. I moved out of my in-laws’ in May, specifically over the labour day long weekend, after 3 months of marriage. We got a rental flat under HDB’s PPHS scheme. Apparently, this move was quite shocking to most of our closed ones.
Well, I can imagine the kind of things they were thinking. What’s with the sudden decision? Why? Where? Did something happen? It’s so sudden, so something must have happened? For how long? Were they chased out? Are they running as far away from their family as possible?
The truth is, H and I have always wanted to live on our own. We don’t want to trouble our families, and we’re the kind of people who value privacy a lot. But before finding out about the PPHS scheme, we agreed to live with H’s family in Tampines because my parent’s place is cute in space.
We discovered about PPHS through my friend who managed to successfully get her own PPHS flat recently. So we researched on it and applied straightaway. Surprisingly, we got quite a good ballot number just 3 weeks later but not good enough to secure us a place in the east. We were left with Boon Lay. So Boon Lay it is. We got the keys on the same day we selected the flat. We also activated the water/electricity and were as good as ready to move in on the same day! Except that we still have a lot of packing to do and only moved in that weekend. InsyaAllah this will be our home until our BTO is ready.
On the day we collected the keys, we broke the news to both our parents. Yup, we didn’t tell them beforehand when we submitted the application because we thought belum confirm dapat anyway.. I think my mum was the most shocked. She asked a lot of questions and I could sense she was a little sad because it is so far away. And she kept asking, “Kan dah agree nak tinggal Tampines, kenapa nak pindah?”. I guess I could understand her worry. She must be wondering did her daughter do something wrong at her in-laws’ or did they kick her out? I had to reassure her that this was our decision. Furthermore, my FIL also suggested this idea before. So no, we are definitely not trying to run away from home or anything. Just because not many couples choose this path, it doesn’t mean that we are having any problems nor is it a desperate move. I also reminded mum that providing shelter is part of the husband’s nafkah for the wife. Our parents’ house is theirs, not the husband’s house. We are just occupants who tompang for awhile. The husband is the one who is obliged to provide a home for the wife/family, not the parents. So in a way, it is a duty.
Having a clear intention is really important for us for every decision we make in marriage. So this decision to move out has really been given much thought and discussion between me and H. It is not something we take very lightly just to suka-suka find our own space/privacy and move from Tampines to Boon Lay. We also find that it is our responsibility to take accountability of our marriage life to find our own place to stay rather than rely on our parents and forcing our younger siblings to tahan the additional space taken up by me. It is one of those sacrifices that the first child has to make, which we don’t mind.
As much as we moved out to live independently, our parents still contributed so much to help us build our new home. They bought for us new appliances like oven, kettle, cutleries, utencils and other house needs. Will forever be thankful for them. After almost 3 months living on our own, it really feels like our adulting level surged sky high from level zero to level 100. Relationships are also getting better.
The learning curve has been really steep. So many new things we learnt and experience about each other. If you think that living with your spouse will allow you to learn more new things about each other, living together with your spouse IN YOUR OWN HOUSE will allow you to learn even MORE new things about each other. This one haven’t even include dealing with house reno and coming up with house designs for our BTO. That one lagi will be another test to the marriage.
So yup, our new place is definitely one of the main conversation topic this raya. And then of course there are those “dah sangkut ke belum” questions. Hai makcik, kalau nak tanye tu, tanye pakai mulut je eh, tak payah tanye pakai tangan dekat perut orang. Keep your hands to yourself gurl.
Ramadhan and Syawal is extra special and memorable for us this year not just because it is our first as husband and wife. It means a lot to me that we have our own place to spend ramadhan and raya together despite the kecohness of rushing through shopping to get the house raya-ready, the routine cooking/preparing sahur and buka together, and the anxiety of hosting guests for the first time on our own. Throughout these almost 6 months of marriage, we have learnt so much together and I am so so proud of us. Will remember and cherish these moments for life.