12 April 2018


When I started a relationship with my ex-boyfriend 8 years ago I never thought about building a family, I just wanted a great relationship that could keep me going through my ups and downs. Well, it seems my wish came true, but the journey wasn't always bright, we did take a break after 3 years in a relationship as we both were starting to look beyond our comfort zone. It took 6 months after our breakup that we finally realised that we both needed each other and somehow got back together for another 3 years then finally tied the knot. Now Mr Ex-Boyfriend is now my husband which is also the father of the child I carried. Time seems to be moving very fast as what seemed to be a fling back then, turned into a thing and now we're a something. Today we're parents of a 4-month-old boy and from being responsible for our own selves, we both now have responsibilities for the little one which also includes additional financing. This, of course, adds another thing to worry about but does this affects our relationship? Well, read on to know our relationship score.

As most of you know already, I recently left my job to be a full-time mother and one of the reasons why I came to the decision was also because of financial planning. After recalculating on how much we're spending and how much we're earning, it was just merely enough and causing us a lot of stress especially to me. I was tired and unhappy as my family was separated most of the time. My son was taken care by my mother while my husband and I were in the city working. My husband and I sat down and had a serious talk as we couldn't go on like this anymore, our relationship was also turning sour as we were tired and our financial state wasn't helping as well. There was a lot of cost going on for transportation, food and also the little things since we both didn't have the leisure of time, hence expenses got costly. The best way to cut cost was for me to take care of our little family myself which meant preparing home meals, reduce eating outside, staying at home most of the time, a reduction in transportation costs, no need for daycare or babysitters and so on. 

Now with my husband only focusing on work, it seems that our life is a bit more systematic even though we're both still adjusting. Finally, I am able to finally focus on my son because since I gave birth to him, I depend too much on my mother for help and every new change that happens I start to freak out. My son seems to be closer to my parents compared to me and my husband as he sees them every day because both of us were busy working. Now it has been a month since I became a full-time mother and without realising, I'm beginning to have a stronger bond with my son and he seems to be less fussy and more cheerful than he was when I was working. I finally have the time for the extra bonding session like playing with him, reading storybooks out loud, singing nursery rhymes and playing along with his tantrums. Besides that, I'm also able to know his cues on feeding time, nap time, play time and sleep. It actually feels good to see him grow and experience the little moments that I might have missed if I was still working.

But no matter how busy you are, relationships are the basic necessities for human beings, either as a partner, parent, or child. Prudential carried an inaugural 2016 Prudential Relationship Index (PRI) for a greater understanding of personal relationships. The findings revealed behaviours that influenced relationships and key drivers to make them better. Hence they launched the second edition of the Prudential Relationship Index (PRI), and continued to explore the state of relationships across Asia, in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Over 4600 people shared insights of their relationships with partners, parents, children, friends and relatives. The index aims to show details on how well current relationships in Malaysia measure against needs and expectations, and what can be done to improve them. The 2017 Prudential Relationship Index for Malaysia results at 68/100. Which means that Malaysians primary relationships fulfil 68% of their desired needs while the balance of 32% is the “relationship gap” in Malaysia. However, the score for 2017 is, three points lower than the PRI score for 2016 (71/100). Malaysia is now the 6th country with the highest PRI score out of the nine countries surveyed.

Our first family photo! 👪 Finally after 4 months as parents, we randomly took a 📸 photo of the 3 of us together. We actually wanted to find time to spend and take nice pictures all dressed up, just us 3, but it seems our daily lives have been super hectic, especially for my husband. So until now we still haven't had the chance to go out leisurely but only managed to spend those little moments together at home. 🏠 Eventhough we still haven't had the time for fun outside, 🎡 quality time at home is still a must with our little one. ❤ A good thing I'm not working anymore is that at least my son finally gets the attention he needs. 👶 This move also changed our lifestyle and financial planning but does it also affect our relationship between husband and wife, parents and child? 🤔 The answer coming up on my blog. Stay tuned for my next blogpost at www.miracikcit.blogspot.my P/s: Husband said, 'semua buat muka garang' Haha... itulah hasilnya. 😂 #PrudentialMY #PrudentialRelationshipIndex2017
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My husband and I also took part in this survey by taking part of Prudential's Relationship Quiz to find out #WhatAreWe? On average, relationship score Malaysians have for their partners in 2017 is 64/100, which indicates that partners fulfil 64% of all that they say is important in their relationships. This is a 3 point drop compared with the scores in 2016. Wow... This made me even more curious to take out the quiz and found out what is mine and turns out:

LOL... Destined soulmates! I knew we were destined until my husband took the quiz. 

Haha... How come we're still in honeymoon stage? Probably my husbands' love is still strong like the time we were in college. LOL... I'm forever his sweetheart no matter how much I change I think. Hehe... Okay, the quiz was quite fun, and from there we got to know our relationship index is still going strong. This may be the reason why we both could still calm down and discuss solutions even though there are days where we're both stressed about life especially when it comes to financial matters.

On the other hand, relationship scores that Malaysians have with family and friends are all lower in 2017 than in 2016. The largest drop has been on scores that Malaysians have with their children (a five-point drop from 52/100 in 2016 to 47/100 in 2017). That's actually sad to hear so I wanted to see the score with my child as well and here is the result.

Sadly it seems my bond with my son isn't that strong as I thought it was but I'm hoping to change that now. As he's growing up I wish to fulfil all the important attributes in the list below so he'll always look up to me, share anything with me and at the same time treat me with respect as a parent. I'm not sure if I could manage that but I'll love to contribute a part to increase the relationship scores Malaysians have with their children.
According to Prudential, strong relationships are built on pillars of Compatibility, Companionship and Communication, while sustainable relationships are built on Commitment. Malaysians want relationships to be fun. They have a thought that their partners are compatible if they are easy to get along with, easy to talk with, easy to understand and could make them laugh. They also require a balance of independence and support in relationships which their partners could respect their individuality, and also show commitment by expressing concern for them and comforting them when they are sad.

Further reading on, I came to know that In 2017, the relationship scores that parents in Malaysia have with their children is 47/100. This indicates that parents approximately have 47% of their relationship needs met by their children which indicates that parents in Malaysia are less likely to feel their children are meeting their relationship needs. The attributes that parents want from their children are similar in 2016 and 2017. Parents in Malaysia wants to enjoy companionship which includes them to enjoy doing things together and have their children make them laugh or smile. Being an Asian country, of course, would see Malaysians wanting their children to respect their individuality and in all the countries surveyed in 2017, Malaysians show that it is important that their children respect them. 

Despite that, Malaysian parents are less likely to do regular activities with their children. 72% say they play with their children at least once a week. Parents are more likely to converse with their children for one hour or more at least once a week. 69% clean up after their children at least once a week, 35% say they argue with their children at least once a week, 66% think that their children are grateful to them each week. This could mean that parents are too focused on earning a living that most of them can't find time for their children, like I was when I was working. Probably that's why my score with my child was just warmly familiar, I don't spend much time with him. So how do I know so much of these scores? Well, it's an exciting read from Prudential where you can download it here: Prudential Relationship Index

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Now that my main duty is to take care of my family, I plan to take as much time as I could with him but still try to generate some income from home. I still can't depend on my husband fully for my expenses since I do have things I want that are not necessities. Overall we're able to still maintain our lifestyle even with only my husband working but of course by cutting out unnecessary things since I have the time. Transportation cost is reduced as I no longer have to commute to work which also saves my husbands petrol budget. Rather than dining out every meal time, I have to prepare home cooked meals which actually saves a lot. Besides that, we don't have to pay for nursery and I could budget easily how much we need to spend on childcare. Probably that's why we see quite a number of married women resigning after having children as it's also a way to reduce financial cost. Check out the video below as one of the examples.

This was an interesting discovery from Prudential, it made me open my eyes more on how important relationships actually are especially when you have a child. Eventhough I feel I'm the closest to my son right now but the score doesn't really show it that way. Thinking of it again, it's kinda true though, I sometimes blank out on what to do with him after I feed, wash and put him to sleep. Now with more time I have I really hope I change and use the best of it with my child and also earning my own income eventhough I'm a housewife now. I know it's possible as there are many others who managed to do this. Wish me luck and don't miss out to check your relationship score on Prudential's Relationship Index website.

Till then peeps

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