A lifetime reminder to myself about motherhood

If ever i had to leave myself anything valuable to get me through motherhood, it would be a lifetime reminder letter to myself. And it goes like this…

Dear Me,

As much as you try to be Superwoman and be there for everyone, it’s okay to be… just a mom. A mom who went through hours of painful labour and unexpected birth injuries. It’s hard to put up a strong front when you’re mentally and physically exhausted from it all.

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You may feel like you’re neglecting your other children. You’re not. Because despite how much time you try to spend with your children to prevent them from feeling inadequate compared to the newborn, there’s only so much you can give before you run out of energy. There’s only so much time you can spare before you have no more time for yourself. There’s only so much love you can offer before you are left with an empty cup. So take care and love yourself first, only then you will have the strength to take care and love those around you.

As much as you try to be Wonderwoman and keep your house sparkly clean and everything organised, it’s okay to be… just a mom. A mom who is going through sleepless nights to care for a newborn baby. It’s hard enough not to fall asleep standing during the day, and it’s definitely hard to move around without waddling like a penguin because of your sore bum and tummy.

You might feel as if you’re not pulling your weight at home. You’re not. Because no matter how you try to keep the house as neatly as possible, it’s mission impossible with a child and a toddler who LOVE to make a mess. There’re only so many times you can pack until you go crazy. There’s only so much energy you have to nag and move around, until you burst open your dams (and not to mention, stitches) trying to keep everything in order. Then you end up being a mess yourself, and needing more time to heal from the added injuries. So let it go, and go easy on yourself, only then you will be able to enjoy the new addition in the family and keep the household in harmony.

As much as you try to be Catwoman and get back into that awesome body shape, it’s okay to be… just a mom. A mom who’s had her tummy stretched, her back strained, and her insides jumbled up to accommodate a little growing miracle. It will be hard to go back to your pre-pregnancy weight and body with all the stretching and straining.

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So instead of feeling down and ashamed that you haven’t bounced back in to shape like Heidi Klum through unrealistic (and need I mention, unhealthy) diets and postpartum exercise, you should embrace it, stretch marks, flabbiness and all. Your “battle scars” are what makes you a mother, a provider of life. For goodness sake, you had to carry a little being inside of you for nine whole months. But hell, it was worth it. The moment you get to hold that tiny little baby in your arms, you know it was all worth it.

Remind yourself, that it’s okay to feel weak, it’s okay to feel lazy. It’s okay to feel like you just want to get away from it all, shut the door and just lie in bed and sleep 24/7. It’s okay to feel that for the moment (and perhaps many more), that your newborn baby is your world, that you wish you could just focus on nothing but her. It’s okay sometimes to just say, “f*** it”, because you’re only human.

Surround yourself with with positive people and supportive family and friends. There’s no better way to get through motherhood than to have people who love and care for you, such as your mom and husband. They will be your biggest support  group.

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Appreciate your mom more, she’s not getting any younger yet she still offers to help take care and cook for you for one whole month. She busies herself the whole day just so that you can lie in and rest more,  and you’ll notice that she tires more easily than previously. Yet, she’s still here for you and doing the best she can so that you have it easier. There’s no love that is more selfless than a mother’s love (thank you and I love you mom).

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Love your husband more, because without him you wouldn’t be getting through motherhood as blessed as you always had it. He cries when you’re in pain, he breathes for you when you’re in labour, he smiles for you when you’re having your baby blues, he compliments you when you’re feeling “unpretty”, he bends down on one knee to help you get dressed, and he keeps you sane when you’re overwhelmed with, well, everything. There’s no love more comforting than a husband’s love (I love you, and I’d still choose you in a heartbeat for all my next lifetimes to come)

Treasure your children more. They have been nothing but amazing lovely little beings. They’ve been self entertaining for the past whole week to allow you resting time since you brought back “Nemo” into the family. They’ve been more than understanding when Nemo’s cries could be heard throughout the night, they slept through it all LOL. Even though you will have a slight challenge when it comes to Little Warrior no longer being the “youngest in the family”, this too shall pass. She just needs some time to adjust, and she will get through it like she has now. There’s no love more genuine and pure than a child’s love. (You my children are my greatest pride and joy, and you will always be my greatest achievement. I will always love you all to the moon and back)

 

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Lastly, love yourself more. You have more than shown your worth, by being… just a mom. Listen to your heart when it tells you to love yourself first. Enjoy time to yourself and “Nemo” when your mom tells you to just focus on recovery, baby and nothing else. Be grateful when your children tells you they love you and they adore their little sister. Let them help you get up, and fuss over your “sore bum and tummy” because it’s okay to be loved. Most importantly, believe it when your husband tells you that you are worth it, because despite your scars and “wear and tear”, YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Lots of love,

2017 Me

Love Your Family Challenge: My little “Nemo”, my shining star

This may come as a surprise to many of you, as we’ve managed to keep it under wraps for the past few months. I guess fate has it that it’s time to share the good news. We were planning for a third baby, but didn’t expect it to happen THAT quickly. Nevertheless, it came as a pleasant surprise.

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Even before it’s birth, “Nemo” (a nickname given by Big Warrior) has already became the family’s shining star, guiding us to greater heights in life. This is the year where daddy will be embarking on a new business venture, mommy will be given more parenting responsibilities, and both the girls will be upgrading from one sibling-hood level to another. It will be an exciting journey ahead for all of us. 

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As if chasing 2 monkeys around isn’t enough fun, I must have been mad (or drunk, or drugged) to agree to a 3rd one. LOL. I’ve never in my life imagined myself having 3 kids, but it somehow happened, and surprisingly, I wouldn’t change it for anything. 🙂 Even though they drive me up the wall at times, they melt my heart and touch my soul most of the time.  

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With the universe (husband), a moon (Big Warrior), a sun (Little Warrior) and a star (“Nemo”) by my side, I think it’s safe to say that my life is officially complete. Hopefully people will stop asking me if I plan to have another one. So I’ll say it again, “Nemo” marks the completion of our little family of 5. Unless of course something unplanned happens…. :p

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 What do you think? Are you team Mustache or team Pouty Lips? 🙂

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Love Your Family Challenge: My Second Daughter, my sun

Unlike my eldest who is calm and easy, this little munchkin is a ball of energy and sunshine. She is the one I go to in time of stress and when I need some “soul lifting”. Always smiley and cheerful, one look at her and all my troubles melt away.

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My little warrior has always been an independent, happy-go-lucky and easy baby. She was born under water via water birth, so the whole birth process was very gentle and calming. I’m not sure if it’s coincidental, but compared to Big Warrior’s first month as a baby where it was filled with cries and discomfort (due to stiff neck and some not-so-gentle physiotherapy, not to mention the inexperienced parents trying to adhere to silly parenting books), Little Warrior mainly nursed and slept peacefully through the first year. She was always smiley and giggly. Her trademark sunshine smile melts hearts wherever she goes.

I’m blessed that both my daughters adore each other. Little Warrior looks up to Big Warrior and constantly wants to follow her every step. As a result, this cheeky little bubba began walking at 9 months of age, all because she wanted to chase and follow her big sister around.

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I don’t know what I did to deserve such wonderful and amazing children, but I must have done something right. I can only hope that I can be the mother that they deserve.

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How can you not go “awwww” with this face?

I love you, my little sunshine. May you grow up happy and healthy always.

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Love Your Family Challenge: My Eldest Daughter, my moon

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There’s never been a day where I don’t count my blessing that Big Warrior is my daughter. Since the day she was born, she has consistently brought joy and love to the family.

Like the moon, she is calm and reserved by nature. Whenever the day gets overwhelming and fast-paced, all I have to do is to be in the presence of my eldest and my stress level decreases almost immediately. When I get too far ahead of myself, she helps keep me grounded and brings me back to planet earth. She brings much needed peace to my life, something that I love so much about her. As her father puts it, she is like an antidote to our stressful lives.

Having said all that, our parent-daughter journey was not an easy one. She was never the typical child. She wasn’t those bubbly giggly babies, she never really smiled. She had fears. A LOT of fears. Like, she had a fear meeting strangers, she feared the bath, she feared being away from the boobs, she feared anything that involved touching her head, etc. It was never an easy journey trying to appease the public perception that babies should be passed around, or that babies loved “peekaboo” games. I had to endure criticism from people, including some family members, that my child isn’t well taught or that my parenting skills were questionable. As a first time mom, simple criticism like that strikes hard. But luckily, with the ever supporting husband, I pulled through. Fast forward 4 years and the help of alternative healing, she’s now a strong, happy and cheerful child.

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I’m forever grateful that she is my firstborn, because she turned a new mother who doubted her parenting skills, into a strong confident lioness who is unafraid to protect her cubs in anyway possible.

Thank you for being my daughter, and thank you for being such a wonderful 姐姐 to your little sister. I will do my best to make your growing years as happy and positive as possible.

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Love Your Family Challenge: My Husband, my universe

I rarely participate in those Facebook sharing activities or challenges, but somehow this one struck a cord. I thought it’d be meaningful for me to keep a copy in my blog as well.

So…. I’m meant to post photo(s) of my family for 7 days to celebrate Family Love. And naturally, my first post is dedicated to my soul mate, my husband, my universe.

There’s a reason why he’s always the first one I thank or think of when it comes to “giving-thanks-to-those-who-made-a-difference-in-my-life” kinda thing. He surpasses everyone and anyone, simply because he is the only one who has really taken time and effort to love me for who I am, and not what he hopes me to be.

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He’s been there through my emotional ups and downs, and stood by me even when I wasn’t the easiest or nicest person to be around with. Years of unresolved and bottled up feelings are never easy to let go, but he never once gave up on me. Instead, he has always encouraged me to be better, and to learn to just, live and let live. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it is more manageable and doable with him around.

He is supportive of everything that I choose to do, even when it goes against the norm, like going into the water with me during my water birth session with #2.

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He makes parenthood and marriage joyful and satisfying because he’s hands on, and never thinks of himself above me. He treats me with equal respects as I do him. I’m not saying that our lives are perfect. There are times when we argue or have bad days, but he always make sure it doesn’t go unresolved before the night is over, and apologises first (sometimes) even when it’s not even his fault.

I could go on and on with this. But I’m not going to, because I’m not here to persuade anyone else to agree with me as to how awesome he is. As long as he knows that he is loved and appreciated, that would be all that matters.

I’m forever grateful to have found my soul mate this lifetime. I would be blessed if fate brings me back to you for all the other lifetimes to come. I love you hubby and thank you for being my universe, holding me up whenever I need you.

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The best decision I ever made, was to say “Yes, I do”

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*Pre-wedding image credit: Daren Chong Photography

The Mother’s Day I was hoping for

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

 

I’ve been slacking in the updates department, but I reckon that the blog deserves an update on this special day.

 

I woke up today not expecting anything, really. Because really, my everyday life isn’t so bad that I had to wish for something to only get it during special occasions. But I was silently hoping for, I don’t know, maybe just some peaceful moments alone where I could put my feet up and read my book? Or maybe some breakfast in bed? Or just a whole day lazing in bed doing nothing? You know, a day where I don’t have to nag at the 2 little monsters running around the house, a day where I don’t have to crack my brain (or what’s left of it) to find the answers to Big Warrior’s questions about life and what not. lol.

 

However, in reality, I woke up to 4 not-so-tiny-anymore arms around me and a snoring husband in bed. Ah, life is so blissful… not. As I was contemplating waking up to prepare breakfast for the household, Little Warrior opened her eyes… and smile. Darn those motherly hormones, who would have thought one could be willed to do anything with just a simple smile in the morning?

 

We chatted for a while, her blabbing really, and me asking her what she wants to eat and telling her about what today is. She then decided to sit up and pointed at the other 2 sleeping beauties and proceeded to wake them up. Little did I know that the husband was actually semi-awaked, observing us through his tiny slit of groggy eyes. He smiled when I looked his way, and wished me Happy Mother’s Day and told me he’s going to cook me breakfast. I looked at him, happy that he was trying to start the day off doing something special for me. I didn’t need any superficial gifts, I could have gotten whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and he knew that (thanks to Gary Chapman’s 5 Languages of Love, we managed to identify what clicks for us). Mine were words of affirmation, acts of services and physical touch. A simple greeting, an offer to prepare brekky, and a hug would have been just what I needed.

 

So after brushing my teeth, I headed out to the kitchen to be greeted by this, and a hug. My 3 love languages officially checked for the day. ❤

 

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It might not seem special to anyone, because it’s really just scrambled eggs, but it was special to me. You see, my husband makes the yummiest scrambled eggs in the whole wide world. And this time, he was trying to make it into a shape that resembled a rose (he admitted to checking out a few youtube channels yesterday night lol), how sweet is that? ❤ ❤ ❤  Darn wifey hormones, oh wait, is there even such a thing as wifey hormones? Gah.

 

To be very honest, it would have been a major challenge if he needed to come up with something every special occasion. He already cooks half the nights in a week, he’s the breadwinner of the house, he helps me with the kids every day, he lets me buy whatever I fancy (to our budget of course) even when it’s not Mother’s Days or birthdays. So really, I’ve been lucky to have been showered with love most days of my married life. Thank you hubby, I know I don’t say it often enough.

 

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The day proceeded as usual, with an extra small treat in the evening. A specially prepared Young & Living Peace & Calming infused bath by the hubs, while he took care of the kids’ bath and sleep time. He even found time to help finish off my left over laundry. ❤

 

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Today was perfect. Even though it wasn’t much far off from our usual routine, because I still had to nag the kids to pack away their toys, tell them to be nice to each other, prepare dinner, do the laundry… But it was still perfect. Plus, Big Warrior has been going on with her current phase of “Mommy-ah! *waits for me to look at her direction* I love you!” the whole day, so it was kinda sweet. Annoyingly funny, but sweet. I know I don’t show it enough as well, but my little darling rascals, if you ever get to read this post 10 years down the road, know that even though mommy might seem mean at times, I still do love you very very much.

 

 

Now the kids are sleeping, and I walk into the room thinking, what was I really hoping for on Mother’s Day? And then I realised, the most ideal Mother’s Day, would actually to have a day like every other, where I get to spend the day (and night) with my beautiful family, because deep down, that’s all that really matters.

 

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Reblog: Dear Children, let’s talk about men

Dear children,
The time has come where we welcome in a brand new year, which means we’ve survived another year as parent and children. Hopefully, we all have become slightly wiser too. It’s been a wonderful journey being your mother, and I hope I will continue to watch you both grow and blossom into beautiful young women.
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So, before we end 2015, I just wanted to talk to you a little bit about men. 20 years from now, you will probably meet someone. Someone who will sweep you off your feet, someone who will take your breath away. And then before I know it, you’d probably be telling me you want to get married, which comes to the first point I want to make. If the guy doesn’t even bother seeking permission from us before asking your hand in marriage, don’t marry him. Call me old fashion, but that’s how it should be done. It shows courage (that he’s brave enough to face your daddy who will be holding a rifle) and respect (that your then old woman has had to put in so much love and effort into raising you). But let’s talk about what you should look for in a man, before you even think about getting hitched.
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In all honesty, I can’t tell you what is the perfect man, because what is perfect for me, may not be suitable for you. But I know what qualities a man SHOULDN’T have, and if you notice any of the points below, then please just head to the other direction sweetie.

  1. If a man talks about himself more than he talks about you both as a couple, then smile and thank him, and WALK AWAY. Because he’s just given you a glimpse of how your future would look like – him being all about himself and you’d just be, well, you. Total separate entities.
  2. If you do get to talk about the future, about having children, and you get the hint that he thinks women should do all the work raising a child, WALK AWAY. Parenting is teamwork. If a man is not man enough to change diapers or cradle the baby to sleep, he’s not man enough to be a father. No man should ever tell you he’s not born to be part of parenting. And believe me, I personally know men who are like that.
  3. If a man constantly needs to have the last say, WALK AWAY. You are an educated grown woman who has a good head on her shoulders, you don’t need a male chauvinistic pig to burden you for the rest of your life. Marriage or life as a couple is to be comfortable enough to not have the last say. You should value laughter and happiness over being right. That’s how marriages last.
  4. If you get the feeling as if you’re a maid when the man is around, then you probably are becoming one. In this case, RUN. I didn’t raise you to be slave. I’m not saying that house chores should be shared equally between man and woman, I’m saying that a man should be comfortable doing SOME chores. In my humble opinion, women should still be handling most of the operations at home, but if done right and being showed appreciation accordingly by your man, you shouldn’t feel as if you’re slaving yourself away. Your daddy has always been hands on with everything that goes on in our lives – parenting, house chores, business, etc. And we ALWAYS get things done TOGETHER. The key word here is together. If you’re going to be a couple, you need to work like one.
  5. If a man gives you even a tiny hint that you need improvement in any way, accept his criticism and go to your room. Sit down in a quiet corner and ponder on what he said. Why or what is he telling you to change? Perhaps it’s your temper or bossiness, if so then it’s probably a good sign that he’s trying to bring out the better side of you. Perhaps it’s your boobs that are not big enough, or that you’re not thin enough, in that case you should probably thank him, and then kick him out of the house. Because what happens when 20 years down the road, you go out of shape after giving birth to your children? Is he going to constantly remind you how in need of improvement you are? A genuine man will only try to improve you mentally and emotionally, and give you the necessary support to self-improve physically if you should wish to. God knows how much effort your daddy has had to put in to fix me mentally and emotionally, and I’m forever grateful that he was willing to be with me through every step of my self improvement.
  6. Make sure he treats you well, but don’t let him fuss too much over you. You’re not a tofu, you’re not made of glass. Be independent, but at the same time, let him take care of you. Never let him substitute presents for presence. A Tiffany ring means nothing if he’s never present in your life, especially after you have children. Simple gestures such as peeling the prawn for you, saving the best part of a dish, helping you with the dishes, cooking supper for you, making you hot chocolate milk at 2am in the morning, taking the kids off your hands so that you can have some “me” time, etc tells you how much you matter to him. Yes, your daddy did all those, and more. And if you ever have kids, that’s the best way to show your kids what kind of gentleman to look for when it’s their turn to fall in love. Some of us never had any good examples to benchmark with, but you have had the privilege of watching and feeling first hand how a man should treat a woman, never let yourself be taken for granted.  You’re worth more than that.

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Well, enough said about men, talking about them takes a lot of energy away from me, and there’s too many to list in one article. Now I would like to also give you some advice, from one woman to another woman. You might agree with some, and not agree with others, and that’s okay. Because what is right for me, might not be totally right for you. You work out which ones resonates and makes sense to you.
  1. Never ever degrade or complain about your other half in public. You may talk it out with him in the privacy of your own room, but never in the eyes and ears of the public. Why? Because doing so, not only tells others that he’s a jerk, you’re also indirectly telling others that you’ve been stupid enough to fall for a jerk. Internet memes such as this one, “Dear Mother-in-law, don’t teach me how to handle my children, I’m living with one of yours and he needs a lot of improvement” is just plain foolishness. You can’t choose your family, but you can definitely choose your spouse. So if you are telling the world that you’re living with someone who “needs improvement”, you’re basically telling the world that your husband is not good enough. So then, why marry him in the first place?
  2. Value laughter and happiness over being right. Women tend to nag and find faults in men. Doing so won’t bring you any closer, in fact, it will only push the men further away until they find some other woman who will show them smiles and laughters. I see too many divorces happening because the minute the man steps into the house from a stressful day at work, the first thing he sees is a sour-faced woman, and the first thing he hears is an earful of complains. Always smile, because it’s always the smile that leads us to fall in love in the first place. The rest (complains) can wait, at least until a few hours later.
  3. Life as a couple will never always be smooth sailing. But if you are lucky to meet your soul mate, then the journey will be a lot easier and enjoyable.
  4. Be happy. Happy wives equals happy husbands and happy kids. Make  parenting a joyful thing for your spouse. Make them look forward to spending time with the kids. Tell them how wonderful the kids are. Teach the kids to make something heartfelt for their daddies – be it a simple drawing, some cupcakes, a lego creation. Always tell them how awesome their daddy is because that’s how it should be. Never argue or fight in front of your kids. They need to see a united front in order for them to grow up positively. Save the arguments for the bedroom.
  5. Always know that you have a second home with us, no matter what or when. When you marry someone in the future, your home will always be where your husband is. It is expected that at some point of time (and if you marry the right person) you will be more comfortable with your husband than your parents, because that’s who you chose to spend the rest of your life with. You can’t choose your parents or siblings (so we must accept the fact that not all family members get along), but you can definitely choose your other half, so choose wisely. Take your time. Live in together for awhile pre marriage, and please use the necessary precautions. At least then, you get to see each other’s true colours before signing the papers, because courtship is very different to marriage. Your first love might not be your last, but that’s perfectly okay because if you’ve never been through a few, how would you know that you’ve found the right one? Go ahead, and test the waters.

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Anyway, I think this letter is long enough for now. I need to go catch some sleep before you both wake up from your slumber, otherwise you’d probably won’t be able to recognise your zombie of a mother. Having said so, please be prepared for another letter sometime in the future my darlings. Mommy and daddy loves you to the moon and back.

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