Coping with a new born: Getting some ZZZs (Part 1)

Good news from Mummy A! Baby Z has come into this world! Mummy A is beaming with happiness and baby Z looks so kissable! I shall dedicate this post to her as she did not have time to reread her Baby Wise book!

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Having a new born is like an extreme sport, such as overnight rock climbing. You need endurance, resilience, and sleeping is like hanging off a cliff. Ok gross exaggeration but you get the idea. My cell group mate commented that during the first few months of having her baby, she really feared going to sleep only to be woken up 2 hours earlier. This interrupted sleep is so bad that she’d rather not sleep at all. Anyway, just like an extreme sport, gaining victory over challenges as a new mother is also exhilarating and sweet. So when I was pregnant with baby J and knowing that my pet peeve is not sleeping enough, the greatest cliff that I wanted to conquer when he was born was getting enough sleep.

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Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/8541224/Extreme-camping-and-rock-climbing-photographs-by-Gordon-Wiltsie.html

So I went about doing my usual, talking to others and reading. I read these:

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Articles from Blog 3.4

William Sears’ philosophy of attachment parenting,

hoping to find a good solution… but the more I read, the more worried I got, “Sounds like a gargantuan task!”, my mind spoke, “I won’t be able to endure it!”. Then I began talking to my colleagues, you know those mummy idols that you have, whose kids are well-behaved, and are able to sleep and eat well. I discovered that some of them followed the principles from this book, On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam.

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I borrowed it, read it, was hooked on it and in short, it became my parenting bible. I read it at least 6 times over from cover to cover, and when baby J was born, I referred to it whenever I encountered problems, which was a funny sight, to be reading when baby J is inconsolable. I told Daddy J, “It’s like an open-book exam!”

These are the principles that I really love in that book:

1)      The book started off differently from many other baby books. It says “great marriages produce great parents” and that is the most important foundation to good parenting. Too often when the baby is born, he becomes so central to our lives such that it eclipses everything else. This is something that parents need to be conscious of so that parents do not burn out. Parents need to be in for the long haul, like a long distance race, not a burst in sprinting. Till today, I firmly believe that I need to take care of myself (and my spouse), so that the both of us can emotionally invest in our kid.

2)      It follows that the focus of the book is then to get your child to: A) sleep through the night and B) sleep on his own.

3)      The focus of this system is that you need to observe and listen to your child closely to know him well.

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A)     Getting your child to sleep through the night

1)      The definition of sleeping through the night is that your baby can consistently sleep for at least 6 hours straight at night, which was so precious to me.

2)      The system is to establish an EAT-PLAY-SLEEP cycle in a 3-4 hour schedule once the baby is born. This schedule is not a totally rigid one, but it definitely should not be a 1-2 hour cycle. How you determine the duration is through detailed observation: by consistently taking down the timing of EAT-PLAY-SLEEP in a schedule. The timing of one cycle starts when the baby wakes up to EAT and the timing of the cycle stops when the baby after PLAYing, goes to SLEEP and wakes up to eat for the next cycle. If you have read Bringing up Bebe (BUB) by Pamela Drukerman, a similar idea in French parenting is the concept that every child has a circadian rhythm, a schedule that we need to help the baby discover.

3)      The utmost important thing to do is to ensure your baby has FULL FEEDS during the EAT stage. This can be done by waking the baby if he sleeps while feeding by massaging his foot, tapping his leg…I have even used a towel dipped in ice water to ensure that he is awake. In essence, using whatever method to ensure he is awake and feeds for about 20 minutes at each breast.

4)      This cycle also advocates EAT-PLAY-SLEEP in this order, unlike other schedules, so that the baby does not form the habit of suckling to sleep, which may become an issue in training him to sleep on his own.

5)      The beauty of this cyclical approach is that if my baby is crying out of schedule e.g. my baby wakes early by crying or is crying immediately after feeding, I know what to do to make informed decisions through observation, rather than just assuming he needs to eat. Is he crying because he needs a diaper change? Or has he not been stimulated enough during play? Is it too hot/cold in the room? Did he have a full feed?  Does he need to go back to sleep? This is somewhat like the “pause” in BUB. By going through this thinking process nth times a day, I actually got to know “his pattern” better. The best part is, once the baby is nudged onto this cycle, I roughly knew what to expect throughout the day, and can plan to nap, do housework, go out with the kiddy and say Whew!.

6)      If there is a consistent attempt to establish a schedule, the book says that the child will be able to drop one feed in the middle-of-the-night (which means he doesn’t wake at all for the MOTN feed), hence, sleeping through the night by about 6-10 weeks old. My boy started dropping his night feeds at about week 9 and was consistent by about week 10. I seriously remembered singing Halleluiah! as I decided to go back to work after 2 months and really, really needed my sleep! Interestingly, my friends who had schedules for their babies also reported that their baby began to sleep through the night at around the same time, so based on anecdotal evidence, this works!

7)        Looking at your baby sleep soundly is seriously the most beautiful and peaceful experience in the world! You cannot help but smile from ear to ear! (Plus, you get some free time! haha!)

I would like clarify that by sharing this post, I am not advocating that one method is better for the baby or the mother, than another. My principle in child rearing is ‘Yes, by all means, do what’s good for the child, but also remember to take time to do what is good for yourself’. My belief is that whatever approach you choose, choose one that suits your lifestyle and personality. I knew I had to go back to work, we weren’t intending to get a helper, not getting enough sleep is really stressful for me and I am not the resilient type, so I knew that schedules and sleep training are vital for the long haul physically and emotionally. Whatever you and I choose to do – no guilt, no judgement, there is no right or wrong. WE ARE ALL GOOD PARENTS. YOU ARE A GOOD PARENT. Besides, if you look at Mummy A, Mummy M and I, we differ in so many ways in our parenting but out kids turned out just fine. At least, I would like to think! 🙂 Perhaps, Mummy M, you would like to share your parenting philosophy and your wonderful journey? Ok, look out for my next post on training the baby to sleep on his own!

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Let the Daddies Rise Up!

I attended a memorial service the other day of a great preacher of God.  He had been serving God for 50 years and just a few weeks shy of his 50th anniversary in God’s service, he passed away.  It’s quite interesting that he was the Reverend who dedicated me at the Baby Dedication service and then 28 years later, he dedicated my baby too.  She pooped explosively while he carried her, shocking the first 3 rows of people.  That’s my girl… 😀  During the service, many people spoke about his accolades but the 1 thing which stood out for me was how often he was referred to as a loving father.  One of the speakers made this statement, “Fathers create culture.  They set the tone in the family.  They say ‘do this, do that, don’t talk like that to your mother.’ ”  That set me thinking about the importance of the Daddy’s role.

That boy you dated.  That man-boy you married.  Suddenly overnight, everything changes and he becomes a father!  Wut… Compared to us mothers, who’ve had 9 months of physiological and hormonal changes to help us prepare for the baby, it’s drastically different for the guys.  It is possible that nothing in his life changes during the pregnancy (no vomitting, no sleepless nights, didn’t feel no flutter kicks in the tummy) and then one fine day, a naked, bloody, mucous alien-looking thingey lands in his arms and he’s told to cut the umbilical cord.  No wonder Fathers get pretty shell-shocked.  But the best of them soldier on despite being shell-shocked, faithfully trying to care for the mothers, receiving guests, smiling, trying to keep up with being present but not in-the-way of the MOTHERS (wife, in-law and own mum), who assume utmost importance in the household now just because they have/had milk.

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But the poor boy tries and soon, he gets the hang of things he can do and does well.  He plays with the baby.  She never fails to giggle in glee as he becomes her human amusement park ride.  He talks to her via a soft toy.  Once, the Husband was sharing something in church and Kyra was whining.  My mum told her, “If you cry and make noise, you must come out and cannot listen to Papa.  If you keep quiet, you can remain in the service.”  She didn’t make a squeak.  She was listening and looking at her Papa intently the whole time.  That’s how enchanted she is with her Daddy.  Interestingly and sadly, I begin to find myself being relegated to second-position in the household.
K: “I love you Papa!”  
Husband: “What about Mama?”  *silence*  
K: “I love you Papa and Mama!”

Zzzzz…. Is it because Papa is the good guy while Mama is the disciplinarian?  Actually, not really.  He scolds her when she misbehaves and smacks her hand when she touches the plugs (rules and consequences we have agreed on beforehand).   But perhaps because of the consistent and loving discipline, his authority in baby’s eyes is amplified.  It is a special gift and authority from God to fathers as the heads of households.  When he speaks, the child listens; when he’s around, the child feels safe;  when he loves the mother, the child knows everything is well in her world.  The research about absent fathers is clear and they are all negative.  Check out Centre for Fathering (http://fathers.com.sg/about/visionmission/).

So where does that leave the mothers?  Of course we are important!  We are the life-givers!  We feed the kids, bathe them, clean their poopy backsides, soothe their boo-boos, teach them etc etc… Nobody says (or dare say) mothers are not important.  But I think at times we have to learn to let go and stay out of the way for fathers to do their job.  We have to constantly remember to encourage them that what they are doing is important to the health of the family.  Somehow, unintentionally (or so he thinks… Mwahahahah…), I have outsourced teeth-brushing, last diaper change for the night (every night, unless he’s working late, then I pity him and take over) and weekend baths to him.  These times are my sacred times – I take a long bath, I play Candy Crush and watch my toe-nails grow.  Very.important.stuff.

Of course he will drop the ball sometimes.  We are all human!  Mummies J and M will know I’ve been battling sleep training (another post for another day) with Baby for the longest time.  It’s a long story but basically, I’ve been marching her back to her room every time she sneaks in at 2-3 am because she’s not allowed to climb into our bed and have another bottle of milk.  So for a few months I’ve had interrupted sleep and it’s fraying my nerves and temper.  One such night, she came in and cried.  Papa held her in his arms and allowed her to sleep.  On him!  “Papa love… Papa love…”  Wah… That cut me deep.  I.felt.betrayed.  I cry…. It’s like your partner in crime, your soulmate, your best friend, ganged up on you with the enemy.  Okay.. I am being dramatic.  So okay, the next day, we resolved everything and he admitted he wasn’t thinking straight at 3 a.m. (I mean, who is right?)  Then another night, she tried the same trick again.  This time he marched her back to her room and stayed there with her till she settled down and didn’t give her milk.  He said, “If I give her milk, you cry.  So I decided to let her cry instead.”  Aww… sho shweet…  Touched.  🙂  These days, he’s “tanking the Kyra” more for me, for which I’m really grateful!  [‘tanking’ = taking the enemy’s hits so your weaker partner has a fighting chance].  So I guess like all marriage issues, it is important to communicate expectations, compromise and try to get him to stand on your side and help.  Easier said than done, but in the long run, it will pay off rather than do everything yourself.

Mothers, though strong, can’t do everything alone.  Get his help, share the load, parent and discipline together.  It’s definitely more fun than going at it alone.  Since the kid (especially girls) is going to idolise and worship her father anyway, might as well make him do more to justify the adulation right???

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Family-with-young-kids travelling solution: Club Med Cherating

Things I miss doing after small J was born #72: Travelling in the most carefree way.

I.really.miss.travelling. More than I care to admit, and more than I dare to admit to others. And it is not that I didn’t try.

I tried travelling with my friends after small J was born, but it was sure tough on my other half. That’s why God made TWO parents – it is extremely difficult to cope for long periods of time if there is only one of you, with no extra help. It is difficult to go to the toilet, or bathe, or eat, or SMS, or sleep. And the parent has to work too.

Daddy J and I tried travelling together, leaving small J with my parents. Not a great option too. Nope, I am not worried for my kid cos’ he’ll survive. I worry for my parents, that they’ll be really tired out. Every weekend, I am tired out watching out for small J, I can’t imagine doing this 30 years down the road for my grandchildren, and a BOY, who is twice as active as a girl, according to books.

Random 5-minute snapshot of what small J does daily: climb up the sofa. jump on the sofa. get an earful from me for doing that. climb down the sofa. jump on the floor. run to the kitchen and touch the cabinets. run to his ‘car park’. ride his scooter forward. backward. 5 more times like this. send his scooter to the naughty corner cos’, according to him, his scooter was naughty… and it goes on! Sometimes I wish we can exchange bodies, surely, I can lose some weight, going around the house at a dizzying rate, like a disco strobe light gone mad. Anyway, as my mum exclaims in Cantonese, ‘it is so tiring just watching him go about like this!’ Welcome to the toddler world!

At that point in time when he was 1 yo, we didn’t even dare to think of travelling as a family cos’ this is what I envision (and I have a good imagination): packing a truckload full of diapers, milk powder, baby food. Getting stared down by others on the plane cos’ small J is hysterical. Spending the morning packing an army pack out of the hotel room just to eat breakfast, and then hurrying back for his nap. Carrying his pram up long flights of stairs. Still being cranky after his nap cos’ he didn’t sleep well in the new environment. Me in a bad mood outside cos’ he’s grouchy, which frustrates me. Quarreling with Daddy J. Returning to hotel after walking around aimlessly about 1 km from the hotel room. Hiding in the toilet to wait for small J to sleep (cos’ he sleeps in his own room at home). In short, paying a few thousand dollars for a trip just to hang around the hotel room and be frustrated. Super lose-lose situation.

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So I thought I will never travel until small J is 7 yo, which is what one of my colleagues did. I went into mourning. Until I talked to my colleagues during lunch about our perennial one-that-gives-us-hope-to-carry-on-working topic: ‘where will you be travelling during the school holidays’? And my colleague shared with me his experience at Club Med Cherating. I was bowled over! I can stop mourning! A quick research showed that they have a new Baby Club, which means that you can drop off your kid from 4 months to 2 yo from 8.30 am-5pm. And they have qualified pre-school teachers looking after the kids. And it is an all-inclusive package in the club – no need to travel out or pay for food or activities (except for day trips outward and their spa). And there is a new budget flight going there, which takes only 1 hour. And there is a 1-for-1 promo. I am sold! Sounds like a good solution to our travelling woes! That very night, I made my booking.

Money matters…

5D4N All-inclusive (accommodation, food, activities) at Club Med Cherating 12- 16 June 2013:

SGD1500, 2 Adults based on the 1-for-1 promo, child below 2 yo is free (Baby cot and toiletries included)

Baby Club: SGD75 per day x 4 days = SGD300

Two way transport from airport to hotel: SGD100

Firefly flights to and from Kuantan: SGD200 for 2 adults, SGD30 for child below 2 yo

Total: SGD2130

Here’s what we did at Club Med Cherating.

Things that made Small J happy and safe!

Baby Club Amenities (Small J was 22 months when he went there):

  1. The indoor play area is air-conditioned and very new, sorta like a smaller version of Hokey Pokey (an indoor playground at Millenia Walk). When Small J first saw that place, he ran in and zoomed in on the big cars that he could ride.
  2. It features a water play area that won Small J’s heart when he saw it! Slides, spout, merry-go-round and waterplay toys… They provide swim diapers too!
  3. An outdoor playground with sand.
  4. A separate nap area with proper cots.
  5. An eating area that you could dine with your child if you wish to.
  6. A good menu of fruit, yoghurt, pasta, rice.
  7. A daily schedule of activities is provided e.g. visit to the Turtle Sanctuary, Play Doh time, Waterplay
  8. And the most important thing for us as parents – great and experienced staff there who made me feel at ease about placing small J there! The manager is a Singaporean who was previously a Pat Schoolhouse teacher and they have a certified nurse as one of the teachers too. They also have proper procedures during registration where you have to pass them your kids’ medical and vaccination records.

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On the whole, I think Small J had a great time as he had so many things to play with! Even though his day would start out with crying due to separation anxiety, the teachers told me the duration that he cried e.g .10 min and what they did to distract him e.g. bring him to the water play area, showed him the refrigerator of snacks and food and got him to choose his own snacks (a sure-win with small J). We could also peep in anytime if we are worried. Most importantly, when we fetched him every day, he was all smiles and very pally with the teachers, which shows that he likes them.

One thing to note: Being kiasu, I booked Baby Club together with the accommodation, as there is limited availability for spaces at Baby Club, according to the website. As a result, they will automatically charge me based on the number of nights I am staying e.g. 4 nights. On hindsight, I should have booked Baby Club on a daily basis when I arrived. In this way, I would have placed him for 3 days only (SGD225), since the first and last day is basically travelling to and from the airport. Moreover, if Small J cannot adapt, I can draw him out of Baby Club for the rest of the days and bring him around.

Things that made Daddy J and me happy!

1. The best thing about Club Med is that there is no need to travel for all the activities! They are all within walking distance, or a 5-minute tram ride away! This is very important to us with a young kid as he cannot sit still for long, that is why we cannot imagine travelling with a tour group and we did not want to wander aimlessly around the hotel area. The best thing is that there are terribly many planned activities all day… Warning: This is not the place for you if you are a I-must-do-it-all! or I-must-make-my-money’s-worth-since-it-is-all-free! freak, which actually somewhat describes me, so I decided to take a deep breath and be zen about what I shall miss doing.

2. Things that we did:

  • My favourite is the Zen pool, and infinity pool, which can only be reached by tram! It is an M18 pool, and don’t get me wrong, it is not a nudist pool! Kids under 18 yo are not allowed there as it is supposed to be a very quiet pool. And free flow of alcoholic drinks, not that Daddy J and I like to drink but it sure appeals to those who have the I-must-make-my-money’s-worth-since-it-is-all-free! itch.

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  • Sailing (go by tram)

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  • Spa (had to pay for that)
  • Walking on trees
  • Karaoke

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  • Things that we did not do: acrobatics, archery, jungle walk, sports, party at night (only small J partied!)

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3. Good and abundant food:

  • The breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet selection at the main restaurant is stunning and changes everyday. There’s steak, lamb chops, sashimi, salad, yoghurt, ice cream x 100 more things…There is also Gerber’s puree food and fresh fruit for babies below 1 yo. Sometimes, there are performances before dinner!

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  • There is a noodle snack bar if you feel hungry in between lunch and dinner, which is technically impossible, but the snack bar is crowded anyway.

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  • Free flow of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at the bar from cocktails, beers, mocktails, juices, hot chocolate, coffees. Small J had a field day drinking all the juice mocktails, while I had my lattes, cappuccinos and mochas.

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  • Surprise food parties throughout the day: Chefs teaching people how to cook a dish and food-tasting after that, popcorn and candy by the pool. I love the surprise element. We were swimming in the main pool when they suddenly set up tables by the poolside and they were popping popcorn, with soda, marshmallows, snacks and candy all there.

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  • Seriously good stuff for dinner at Rembulan restaurant, which you have to book at 8 am daily at the main restaurant. I had to run there in the morning cos’ it was booked rather quickly. It really is like fine dining!

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  • Seriously, by the second day, my I-must-make-my-money’s-worth-since-it-is-all-free! mentality waned and it was replaced by the I-could-get-really-fat-doing-this mentality.

Things that made our whole family happy!

1. Performances galore! Every night, there are amazing performances with costumes, lights, dancing and singing. What is more amazing is that they are all choreographed and performed by the staff, or better known as GOs (Gracious Organisers), in a very professional manner. Imagine the look on small J’s face when he saw his Baby Club teacher dancing an Indian Dance on one night and Michael Jackson on another. My favourite show is the Circus themed show, which features acrobatic stunts by the GOs themselves! On Saturday, those children attending the Kids Club (aged 4-7) will perform at night after only one day of preparation.

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2. Things that we did as a family:

  • Visit Turtle Sanctuary

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  • Watch fireworks together on Saturday

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  • Go on a night boat ride to watch fireflies (had to pay Ringgit 120 for 2 adults, free for kids under 3 yo). Small J loved this, when he came back to Singapore, he kept boasting to everyone about this.

3. The wonderful GOs! I am really amazed by them! They are really friendly and warm people, and they are so energetic! At first, I was kinda freaked out when my colleague told me that they are so friendly that they will join you for dinner, which is totally not my style since I am a private person, but after going there, it feels perfectly alright as only people whom you have come into contact with will join you, for us, it is small J’s teacher at the Baby Club. She told us that their official working hours is from 8 am-12 midnight (they are expected to party with the guests), and I was thinking, if they can work from 8 am-12 midnight, they obviously love what they do.

All I can say is that our very first trip as a family was an excellent one – no need to rush back to the room for his naps, no need to carry prams up long flight of steps, no need to travel from place-to-place for meals and activities and less grouchiness from small J cos’ he had things to do! And Daddy J and I managed to have a carefree trip, almost just like the old days! Except that we still had to hide in the toilet to wait for small J to sleep!

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Note: All these pictures are taken using an iPhone 4S. While they may not be stunning, it is a reflection of what-you-see-is-what-you-get-there.

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What to do with my 2 year old?

I have 2 pet peeves.  One is when I tell people I’m a SAHM and they say, “Wah… so good hor.  You very freeeee!”  (The other pet peev was when I was a teacher and cab drivers in the morning would say, “Wah… so good hor.  You very freeee!!!!!! Got holidays, go home at 2 pm.”  Zzzz….

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So!  I decided to share and write a post on some of the things that I do with Kyra at home that gives me some feeling of accomplishment.  But seriously, even without these things, just child-minding is not exactly a picture of a carefree, tai-tai lifestyle that SAHMs lead most of the time.  I found myself actually dreading the full days I spend with her at home because it just seems to drag on so interminably!  I dread the feeling that I’m not spending the time productively enough with her and yet I also don’t really know what to do with her!  She is so demanding of my attention and time that I sometimes resort to saying to her, “Mama needs to poo!” *runs and hides in the toilet for 5-10 minutes with my phone or magazine just to enjoy some quiet and solitude*.  Terrible right!  I know!

With this recurrent fear and dread week after week, I basically got sick of feeling this way.  When I feel unaccomplished, I go ahead and write myself *tada!!!* a syllabus!!  Generally, a big picture and plan that I’m heading somewhere makes me feel a lot better and more in control.  Hence, I created a list of activities for myself to do with her and it does give me great joy and satisfaction to record and see her progress at things that I set out to teach her.  This mode of recording and reflection has been extremely helpful at observing what she’s interested in and what she’s ready to learn and I can just go with her rhythm and flow to teach her what she wants to know.

So basically, it’s a very simple excel document that I loaded onto Google Drive.  It’s a list of things that I got from my Montessori course and interesting stuff that I cull from other mummies’ homeschool blogs.  I’m gonna share the Practical Life excel sheet because I think it’s a good starting point with 2 year-olds and anyone can find these simple, ubiquitous materials in their home to carry out the activities.  Don’t worry about the column “Suggested Age”.  I just put it there as a guide.  Some activities do require the child to be slightly older (give her time to develop her skills or hand-eye coordination) but I find that given the opportunity and practice, the kids can and will be able to pick up the activities!

[To get the file, just click on the link!] https://app.box.com/s/pebyl6wf6cm3nqsevrk2
(I do have other activities from Language, Cultural Life, Math.  If you find the Practical Life list of activities useful, drop us a comment or message and I’ll share the rest as well!)

I pick out 1 to 2 activities I want to show her for the day and see if she takes to the activities.  I’ll record using my iPhone or iPad (loaded with Google Drive) her reactions, interest level and challenges and see how I can do it better the next time.  An example of what kinds of remarks you could observe is in the excel file.  (If your child, like mine these days, gets very distracted when there’s an iPhone or iPad around, then keep the gadgets aside and record your observations separately.)  Generally, I’ll try to introduce the activity about 3 times (on 3 different days, doesn’t even have to be consecutive days) before giving up and finding something else because I think kids sometimes takes awhile to warm up to an activity.  Don’t be too discouraged if your child rejects your activity and prefers to do something else!  It happens and it’s perfectly normal!  Sometimes, he/she is just not used to this new schedule that you’re trying or he’s just not interested in learning that day.  Don’t force it or get stressed up. Just keep the materials away and say cheerfully that we’ll try again another time.  If we “do learning” at routine times, the kid will come to expect and even embrace this time of undivided attention she/he has with you.

I do have a rule though.  That is if she starts on the activity, she has to at least complete it once and keep it away. I enforce this because I want to teach her to finish what she begins and to pack up her stuff after use.  This is really an ongoing struggle and Kyra is still not that perfect kid who packs up her toys of her own accord but this is something I think is important enough to persevere through.

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[Kyra doing a sorting activity with colours and numbers.  Sometimes these “success” photos give an impression that she did it in 1 try but no!!! It took us about 2 tries just to get her to know what I want her to do and then a few more times on her own to master this activity.]

By sharing this list, it’s not meant to put guilt on full-time working mothers that you can’t complete the whole list or worse, compare who’s doing more, whose kid is more accomplished at a faster rate, at a younger age etc.  But really, it’s a general guide, a suggestion to what you can do with your child to
a) feel better about the productive use of your time when with him/her,
b) to teach him/her some skills, hopefully useful at some point in time.

This is NOT the MOE syllabus, to be covered in X years and really, the child will eventually learn all of these things so let’s lighten up and enjoy the process!  Yup, hope you have fun with your child!  Let him/her take the lead and you’ll discover that he/she is ready to learn many things.  You just need to show and guide!

Again, if you like what we’re sharing, do drop us a comment, subscribe to our blog and recommend us to your friends too to get our latest updates and resources.  Tell us what you’d like to hear about and we’ll try to see if we have a worthy 2-cents’!

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I’ll try harder always

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I used to read about mothers who spent their days screaming at their kids and I wonder, seriously? These women must be really hot tempered.

When I say ‘I used to’, I mean a couple of months ago. In just a space of months, my little girl has grown into a toddler who constantly tests her limits, takes joy in going against my wishes and goes into tantrum mode, well, maybe a few times a day. To say that it’s tiring would be an understatement. Recently I find myself talking exceptionally loudly to her more often than i would like. I really used to smile more. Little S has been going, ‘Mummy, not angry anymore?’ too often.

It has been tough, juggling between two kids who need my attention equally much. I wish I had more time to do some/more home learning with the little girl. She loves going through cards, reading together and most of all, to share a cuddle and a laugh. I wish I had more time to coo and play peek a boo with the small boy. I’m sure I spent more time with his sister at his age.

*mom guilt overload*

I like to give myself plenty of space and reason so I’ve been telling myself that everything needs time to adjust blah blah blah. I decided today that I had enough of the reasons and it’s time to pull up my socks and make use of every conceivable moment to thoroughly enjoy my time spent with them. Be it learning with little S or attempting to give more cuddles to the small boy who has taken a recent obsession for being held all day.

This means more smiles and less frowns. More cuddles and less hand smacking. And more importantly, more love and patience. More prayers too for all of the above.

It’s a learning curve for me too, and I promise my dear ones, that I’ll try harder always.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil 4:8

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