Things My Three Year Old Is Teaching Me

Zara officially turns three today.

Flashback to the day she was planned to come into this world (few weeks before she was due because of placenta previa) – the c-section procedure where you can hear and feel everything happening in the bright and cold operation room, that first cry of joy, the first touch with her in my arms and my first kiss on her tiny forehead. That day was magical and an emotional one for my husband and I.

Now a three-year-old, my little adult, who so often emits that strong mature aura that frightens me. Over these years I have learned and is learning so much from her. My pride and joy, my dearest baby girl Zara, thanks to you I’ve got a teacher that shows me what is it to live life with less stress and agony.

It’s ok to cry.

She is the drama queen in the house and in class. Every little thing that frustrates or irritates her will make her cry, and sometimes drive her crazy. She will cry, even if it’s just a short while, and there after she’ll be fine like nothing has happened. Learning from her anytime anywhere also can cry character, I have learned to sob and melt down when I have to. Whenever I have too much bottled inside me and didn’t know how to react I will just let myself go. After releasing those bottled up emotion and thoughts I get my focus back and am able to move forward. So cry when you want to, it helps one forget and move on.

Kickback, slither and lepak!

Zara sure lives up to her Chinese zodiac sign! A slimy slithering snake who is always ready to curl right into her act whenever wherever. The Mummy and Grandma are her favorite targets – slithering and twirling herself all around our body like a snake with its prey. She would throw herself in the most relaxed and bo-chup manner just to get that stretch or comfy rest on her back. Thereafter she’ll give a very satisfied smile to show how much she’s enjoying the moment in the comfort of our embrace. I do that whenever I can too, and it sure feels damn shiok.

Demand And You Shall Get It (Most of the time)

Being the youngest in the house usually means she get whatever she wants and is able to do whatever she want to do. Most of the time the girls will be keeping themselves occupied with toys, books or the iPads. Once a while, the girls will fight and cause havoc just because Zara wants whatever the sister is playing or using. Or the other way around. Usually when that happens, the one who cry the loudest or demands first win.

As we grow older, we somehow forget how to ask or demand for things. We have learned to take on responsibility on our own and avoid troubling others with our demand. But sometimes we really neeeded that extra help to make things work or a demand from family or friends to make oneself happier. I’ve learned to never be shy or afraid to ask for something, as long as it is legit and no harm caused, just ask and usually you’ll be surprised how much support and help you will get in return.

A big hug a day keeps bad thoughts away.

Every day we hug, a great big teddy bear kinda hug, for comfort. That few seconds of touch makes all bad happenings, thoughts and emotions go away. It is that magical. When Zara is feeling down, I’ll give her a hug and she would throw herself into my lap and surround herself with Mummy’s love. These contacts not only help calm her but also makes me forget my bad day and how tired I may be after a long day out for work.

Thank you Zara for teaching Mummy these little things and more in life, thank you for your love and hugs. Happy Birthday my feisty princess. Let’s grow old together. To an awesome year ahead!

Love Mummy.

5 Things I Want To Accomplish Before I Hit 40

The Mummy day dreams a lot. Really a lot! So much so some nights she will wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare of the things she need to do in order to reach her dreams. And after the awakening moments it usually means she won’t be able to fall back asleep. What does she do next?

Gets out of bed, open her Macbook and work on achieving her dreams.

Well that’s me, that mummy with lots of dreams.

When I was little, I dreamed to become a teacher, because of this woman. I spent too much time watching her on TV. Those in my era will know this show!

Source: Toggle.sg
Source: Toggle.sg

After my Diploma at Nanyang Polytechnic, I continued the learning journey at NIE and became a trained MOE teacher for 3 years. It was nothing like what I remembered from the show! Though it was a fun experience and I’m fortunate to have met some cool kids who I’m still in touch with till today. But alas, I craved for new adventures and so I left the service after 3 years.

Thereafter, I ventured into various roles in different companies and eventually got tired of working for someone else and decided to pursue my other dream. Become my own boss. I gained a lot of precious experiences and learned a hell lot of lessons from the four years, if I had continued working for others, I wouldn’t have grown to become who I am today. The four years of being boss to myself and a team of awesome people were the best years I had in my career.

I never once stopped dreaming of doing bigger things. And after all these years, my dreams just get even bigger and some I feel are quite impossible to fulfil. Here’s sharing the 5 biggest dreams I have which I really hope to complete (some if not all) before I hit the big 40. (Not a lot of time left leh!)

Dream No. 1 – I want to go back to school

One of my biggest regret in life is not pushing myself to get a paper qualification for subjects that I’m interested in. With my many years of experience in digital and social media, it is time to get these endorsed with some proper certifications. Sad but true, that’s the reality in our society, no paper qualification, big companies do not even want to give you a chance for an interview. And these qualifications will also matter for my next dream.

Dream No. 2 – Let my family experience living in other parts of the world and find new opportunities

Somewhere where we can sit on soft grass and chill (not sweat!).

This is a long shot dream to reach by 40, but my hub is quite into this dream and we’ve started researching and looking out for opportunities where we can live somewhere else for couple of years where we can let our kids experience different culture and living. But the old-school Chinese in me feel that this is going to be one of the toughest dream to accomplish. Too many pull factors stopping us from chasing this dream. Come what may, we will just try and take a step at a time. Never knows what may come knocking at our door.

Dream No. 3 – To build an app

I have many ideas and concepts! But I CANNOT code! HTML, CSS such basics I can lah, but coding is another game which I’ve yet got chance to explore. I hope I will have time to pick up coding skills one day and build an app!

Dream No. 4 – Own a cosy (fusion) shop

I grew up in a coffee shop where my parents used to sell different kinds of yummy noodles. And it has always been my dream to own a shop or cafe and now I want to do a fusion where people get to meet, chill, get fed with good food and bring home unique buys.

Dream No. 5 – Make my first million bucks!

Who doesn’t dream to become the next millionaire? I tried becoming one with the Changi lucky draw and occasional Big Sweep draws, but I’m still only a thousandaire. I just got to keep dreaming and one day this may just happen! Ha!

Do you have a dream? If you can get $10,000 to fulfil that one dream, which would it be?

Take the first step and submit your dream now!

[themify_box style=”green shadow” ]GoBear wants to make dreaming easier by giving you $10,000 to fulfil your dreams. All you need to do is to share your dream in a 30-second video and the funds could be yours! More details on https://www.gobear.com.sg/dreams. Click “JOIN CONTEST” to submit. Submission closes 29 July 2016.[/themify_box]

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Here’s one of my submissions for my girls, help Like (Heart it) ok?

GoBeardreams

When On Leave and Away Messages Do Not Apply


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It’s December and Christmas is in a few days time, over the years of working life, this year is the only year where I am still working my ass off till the very end of this holiday season. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining here but more so a reflection on how things have changed and it’s no longer days where I can just call a day off whenever I like.

For those who have been working for yourself, including those who doesn’t own your own company not business but works on a own time own pace kinda arrangement, you will know working more means higher returns and taking a day off means there may be missed opportunities or clients may not get their requests met. To whom may be very upset you didn’t reply their email within the day and start to message you on Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. Oh how I hate technologies on certain days when I truly just wanted a quiet day off.

With the possibility for emails to be linked to mobile phone, being out of office or away no longer have the same effect as in the past. Right? I see many of us replying an email within an hour of receiving their automated away message in the mailbox. But hey! They are still checking and replying to emails. Don’t we ever really go on leave anymore these days?

I’m guilty of doing the exact same things. Because I work for myself and technically I do not have annual leaves nor medical leave to apply for, I am ALWAYS working. Even on weekends! Up till a point when my hubby has to send me a Whatsapp message from the living room to remind me it’s time to spend time with my girls (it was 8pm in the evening). My heart aches. A LOT!

I vowed to myself two weeks ago that I shall tear myself away from work this week and just focus and do things for and with my family. And just enjoy the holiday season like how I had been doing for the past 13 years. And look where I am now! In the train to a whole day of meetings scheduled and typing this post while traveling. I hate myself!

Just two more days I said. And I will SET THE DAMN AWAY MESSAGE and ignore all emails till after Christmas. I don’t care if you need the list of influencers for your pitch, I don’t care if you needed to report for your management and I don’t care you needed that very last minute urgent requests carried out. I don’t care because it’s Christmas! All of you have to take a break too and recharge for an even more productive 2016! So come on let’s turn on that automated away message and BE AWAY 100%! Our mailboxes should take a break too you know. Ha!

Have a Merry Christmas and an Awesome New Year!

Ayra The Funtastic Four

Everyday I look at you, with 100% focus, I see a different you. You have grown so so much and I am asking myself where has my little Ayra gone. Your words, your actions, the way you scream and cry, the way you interact with your toys bringing them to life and how you can transform from a 3+ year old to like a 7 year old instantly; you are always amusing me.

I have been treating you rather unfairly lately, wanting you to behave like a big girl and stop crying and screaming for little things every day, just because you are turning four. How silly of me to do that! You are ONLY four!! And I must admit you have been doing very very well already.

You have learned to give-in to your younger sister at play, you will off the TV, pack your toys and switch off the lights and fan when its time for bed, you let me explain to you why things should be done the right way and the one-thousand-and-one reasons why you need to listen to your parents. You know when to give in and accept that you are wrong.

Ayra, my darling 4 year old, you really have been growing up well and Mummy is very proud of you.

We do of course still have our many days of unnecessary melt-down, screaming and angry moments, creating too much blue and red memory balls in our long-term memory. All these will one day be gone and forgotten and those which ended up into our core memory will serve as a reminder of how and why we do things the way we are. It is ok to cry when we are sad, but screaming just because you cannot get what you want or due to the lack of rest is really not acceptable, Mummy will help you get over this phase so you know how to better control your emotions.

I love it when you wake up with a big smile and jumping out of bed on your own. I love it when you “lecture” me for not doing things I promised to do and you really sounded like an adult, just like how I would say the same to you too! (insert sweet voice of Ayra) “Mummy you know right, you are always working working working, you must remember to cut my nails ok. You must remember you promise to play with me and bring Meimei go out you know. Mummy you know?“.

Thank you for being such a lovable, smart, outspoken (when with me) and understanding 4 year old. Together we will do more happy things, we will guide and teach one another the many joyful things in life, we will share and create many many yellow memory balls and we will share our emotions and cry if we have to. Mummy promise you I will do my best to provide you with the best I can and love you 101%, and also will always remember to give you and Zara 100% focus everyday, even if its just for that short 30 minutes.

Happy 4th Birthday my darling girl!

Stay curious, keep smiling and fill our family with your love. Please try to be less shy when surrounded by family members and friends, Mummy know you can be the way you are even in big groups too. You just need to pretend everyone you don’t recognise as invisible and they cannot see you. LOVE LOVE LOVE you very much Ayra. Happy birthday darling!

Sleep, all else can wait till the next day

The Loving Mum - Reflection of The Mum

The past couple of weeks had been hectic and exhausting for me, in health, energy, mind, body and even my soul. All along I thought I am a mum with super power and an everlasting battery to boost my power. But I was wrong. I am no super mum and my battery gets drained out too; even faster if I failed to address its call for a recharge.

Since the start of August, members in the family had taken turns to fall weak and ill. Started with the Dad who then passed on the virus baton to the littlest in the family. With everyone is close proximity and both girls staying home since I cannot bring just one girl to school while the other is unwell, the elder one fell ill soon after just as the littlest was recovering.

For mums with two little ones you would know all these leads to only one thing – lack of sleep. I was having less than 5 hours of sleep for the entire two weeks each day and just as I got to go into deep sleep, someone would need my attention and I’ll be awake again. After two weeks of this on-going lack of rest, and me continuing to push myself to get things and work done into the late nights, led me to my final breakdown.

I knew my body was screaming for attention, I knew I needed to get myself to the doctor, and I knew very well I needed to take care of myself before I can take care of others. But all these didn’t lead me to doing what I know was right. I pushed on and on and then that very day I just couldn’t do anything at all.

Well, I did try, but the pain, sore and aching bones and joints, the constant hammering in my head led me to remaining motionless and still in the living room while I watched my two girls keeping themselves occupied. The toys all over, the crazy mess, the biscuit crumbs over the floor… all these didn’t matter anymore.

When the father came home that day, with him also feeling under the weather, I surrendered. Not giving anymore thoughts into what if and can he handle the girls alone. I just had to go get myself lots of rest and sleep. With two extra strong Panadol and a good 12 hours of sleep, I was able to continue my routine the next day.

This period was probably one of the hardest I’ve ever experienced since I became a mum. It really takes a lot of care and discipline to maintain a healthy mind and body. And it is even more important for mums to take proper care of ourselves, because the family needs me more than I needed myself. This a lesson learned.

From now on, I would leave whatever there may be waiting for my attention and action till the following day. No more late night blogging, replying of emails, preparing the campaign pitch not even any leisure activity. When it’s time to sleep, I MUST sleep. Because I don’t want to suffer the same torture I did to myself and my body.

Terrible Two Even More Terrible with Number Two

Oh boy! I don’t know where or how to begin recording this core memory of ours with our number two. With Zara turning two next month, we are already feeling the strain and exhaustion from guiding her to learn to understand herself, expressing herself, controlling her emotions and knowing what’s right and wrong, what’s acceptable and not acceptable behaviour.

Being the strong-willed child in the family, she is constantly challenging our limits and tolerance to her high pitch screams. Her signature antic is the plunge-self-on-floor-scream-and-lay-face-down-and-cry motion. This happen almost every single day! When she couldn’t get the chips she wanted, when her sister didn’t want give in to her demand, when Mummy’s hand was too busy to carry her, or when she couldn’t get us to let her do what she wanted to. When we are at home, we would just let her cry herself out and leaving a small puddle of saliva on the floor; because she needs to learn what is wrong and not acceptable, so we try not to give in to her. But when we are out in public, we would try not to let her get to her extreme stage unless absolutely necessary. Either we try the distract-till-she-forgets tactic or we grab on to her preventing her from getting to first step of the plunging antic.

One of those days where she got cranky while in the train home.

It’s MINE!” she would insists when we have our phones or tablets in hand and proceed to snatch it off our hands. “Can you help me?” will come next when she require our password to unlock the screen. Then she would swipe through the screen like a pro and tap on the too-familiar YouTube icon and give us her million dollar smile. Zara sure knows how to cool off any kind of heat we may get from her!

Since she was 20 months young, she started requesting to do things on her own. “Eat… self“, “Do… self” and “I can!” are the commonly used phases when we are feeding, changing or trying to help her wear her shoes. This I’ve to thank the child care for starting their toddlers young. Zara is also able to tell us she needs to poo and would do it in the toilet, we didn’t even try to train her. Probably because she sees her elder sister doing it and picked it up on her own. That’s toilet training in progress already. Can’t wait to get her totally off diapers, hopefully by end of the year!

As we move towards the Terrible Two phase for the last time with our number two, I really hope I be more patient, more kind, more forgiving and more tolerable with what may be thrown at me by this little cheeky daughter.

Zara, oh our dear precious Zara. Please do learn to control and express yourself ok. Mummy and Ayah really do not want to scold you every day just because you don’t want to listen to us. And please stop giving us the “I don’t care nor give a damn” look. It really drive us crazy! Come what may!

I am not enough.

For the longest time, I thought I am a good mum. I thought I have been doing it right and enough to bring up my girls the right way. I thought I have been managing the whole family life thing right.

But I was wrong.

I am not enough.

I am not patient enough. I wish for more patience when talking to my girls. I wish to be more caring and considering when teaching the rights and wrongs. Ayra is only 3 going to 4, she is still a baby needing lots of good examples to learn from. And I have not being doing my 100% to set the tone right.

I am not caring enough. I know very well some things I said and the actions I do will hurt my little ones. I know very well I shouldn’t have said that or threw the iPad to the corner just so to show how angry I was. All these are bad examples and I am the one that is doing it. I am such a bad person at controlling my emotions especially when trying to get Ayra to listen to me.

I am not understanding enough. Many times out of frustration or tiredness Ayra will throw a big tantrum and I know she is still learning to control and learning what is right and wrong. But I failed to understand what she was trying to tell me, failed to understand how she felt at the point of anger. I failed to understand my girl.

I am not doing it enough to let Ayra learn the good habit of following to routines nor daily tasks. I am not doing it enough to cultivate the right time to sleep and wake up or getting to school on time. I failed to set all these right from the start. And now I struggle everyday to put some routine into our lives.

I want to be a better mum. I want to be a more loving mum. I want to be the best for my girls. I want to feel that I have done enough. Is it really that hard?

From February (today) onwards I need to be more than enough. I need to have double the tolerance, double the patiences, double the caring, double the love, double the strength, double the energy and double of myself. With Zara moving back home and starting a brand new routine of going to school everyday, things are going to be even crazier for me. Will I be able to handle all these? Will I be able to be the loving mum I want to be?

I hope I can. And I will.

The Loving Mum at Universal Studio Singapore with Elmo
Had a fun day out with my girls on the last Friday of January, just before all the storm and stressful days begin in February.

PS: Expect lots of delays in emails, delays in blog posts, delays in work in general over the next 2 to 3 weeks. The Loving Mum has got to do what a loving mum has got to do. Being a mum.