Embracing Motherhood

I’ll be celebrating seven years of motherhood this July. Seven years of being a stay-home mom. And probably seven years of breastfeeding, if my 3-year-old is not weaned by then (click to read more about my extended breastfeeding journey).

In these seven years, I’ve gone through many ups and downs, learnt about what it means to be a mother at the A&E department, took a major lesson in faith, learnt to look beyond the present, taken countless mommy guilt trips in my mind, re-discovered the world through their little eyes, screamed my lungs out like a mad woman, and loved with an intensity never known to me, before I became a mom.

Recently, the topic about stay-home moms came up again in the media and there was even discussion about our net worth. I’ve written about the dollars and sense of being a stay-home mom some time back and the ‘old’ me would probably jump at the topic again and try to reiterate that whatever it is that I’m doing as a stay-home mom should be recognised.

The ‘new’ me says, I’m not gonna get my panties in a bunch because of what people say.

My net worth is not for someone who isn’t anybody to me to validate or assess or even to discuss. I know what I’m worth. My family knows what I’m worth, to them. Who cares what others think of my worth?

So that’s me and how motherhood has transformed me in these seven years.

I used to be very bothered by what people said about this and that, about why I shouldn’t stop work, about whether I should breastfeed, about how long I should breastfeed, about how I’m breastfeeding too long, about how worthless my milk is after the first year of their lives, about whether I should feed food with more taste to my babies, about whether I actually feed my kids since they are so skinny, about why my kids should be sent to this school or that, or why they didn’t attend school, and the list could go on forever.

At some point of all these, I just learnt that people will judge (and I’ve done my fair share, for which I’m sorry for) – no matter what you say or do, there’ll always be somebody that will have something negative to say. (I’ve learnt many lessons since I’ve become a mom and I’ve shared my top five lessons previously on the blog).

I’ve come to realise that you know, motherhood is a whole package deal – the sleepless nights in the early days that come with that toothless grin, the tantrums of the Terrible Twos and the Terrifying Threes that accompany the hugs and kisses, the headaches that come with school-going children also come together with immense pride at how much the children have grown and matured (check out my ongoing series chronicling our Journey through Primary 1).

As moms, we have got much on our own plates. With different family dynamics and diverse situations, the one thing that we do in common – we do what’s best for our children and family.

And that’s the essence of motherhood.


Other related posts that may interest you:

This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by Dominique at Dominique’s Desk. Hop on the train to hear other moms share about embracing motherhood.

Next up on the blog train is Adora from Gingerbreadmum. Adora is mum to two very energetic and very loud kids and when not nursing her eardrums, can be found hiding with a bar of chocolate at the laundry area. In her post, she will share her humorous yet accurate take on motherhood. From shushing kids on the bus to losing touch with friends, from taking too many photos to private toilet time, you can read it all here.

Posted in Blog Trains, Musings, Parenting | 2 Comments

The bumpy journey to find a routine that works for my p1 girl

Now that it’s March and almost the end of the first term, we’ve sort of got a routine in place.

It wasn’t so easy transitioning to this new life where suddenly many more hours were demanded of her to be in school. In her words to her same-age, still-homeschooled friend, “my school hours are very long, you know?”. Just so you don’t jump to quick conclusions about the monstrosity of schools, my girl didn’t mean to put it across as a bad thing because I know for now she does enjoy the time spent in school. It was more of a matter of fact rather than a judgmental statement. School hours are now much longer compared to the 3-hour kindy she was used to.

For someone who’s hardly a morning person, she’s had to cope with getting up at 6.10am, when the skies are dark, and leaving the house before the sun peeks out. Certainly not easy.

But she’s made commendable effort to really quieten herself down and wind down quickly to sleep at night and also for her naps. In fact, I know she’s so exhausted because she falls asleep instantaneously for her naps. The only day I deprive her of one is the day that she has her Chinese enrichment class in the afternoon.

I had grand plans for her. I bought those Daily Dose of whatever-subject assessment books thinking she’d do one page each week day – sounds reasonable right? I bought also those topical ones so I could revise with her. Turns out that time was really tight for us and not as much was done.

Where did all the time go? I’m not sure. In between finishing the homework, piano practice, reading and just getting enough rest and time to play and do whatever she wants, I find ourselves at the end of the day each day, sometimes hardly having accomplished anything I wanted with her. Her needs had to come first, so I stick firmly to that principle.

The initial weeks we struggled.

We struggled with getting everything running smoothly, the class bully, trying out whether doing homework after lunch or dinner was a better thing, getting her to take greater responsibility for her own stuff (she left her belongings in school every now and then), teaching her that it was her onus to complete her homework, and when things finally got better, even to clean her shoes at the end of the week or fortnightly.

After like three weeks of school, I felt totally like a failure. Every time I managed to slot something in (e.g. piano practice), something had to be sacrificed (e.g. reading). I tried sending her to nap half an hour earlier so she could read first then nap; I even tried doing read-alouds during meal time so I could squeeze in reading.

Even when I got most of what I wanted in our day, I felt a vague sense of emptiness. Eventually I realised that the gap I felt so evidently in my life then was due to the fact that I had neglected her need to go out and play. Sure we fit that in on weekends, but every time I brought my boy to the park for co-ops, I felt keenly a dull ache in my heart, knowing that I really needed to bring her out to play.

I don’t fancy bringing them down in the evening to play because we’d all be nice and clean by then, and I needed to prep dinner and cook.

Eventually I solved my dilemma when I realised that I could slot outdoor play in on days I couldn’t cook lunch due to co-ops in the morning. I would tabao (takeaway) food and she would eat outdoors, play to her heart’s content and I once again heard the beautiful sounds of laughter, of little and not-so-little feet pitter-pattering around the playground.

So what kind of routine are we settled into?

One that isn’t perfect, by any standards. One that works currently for our sanity. And my heart. One that beats strongly of a mother’s love. One that strives to remember that school should not rob us of time we treasure together, of time we need to spend outdoors, of greater things in life.

This post is part of our ongoing series:

Other posts in this series:

Posted in Parenting, Primary One, Primary School | 2 Comments