Home Sweet Home


It is the crazy relaxing weekend, which means family night for us! OK, now with a little imagination, let’s just say that one tiny master bedroom is crammed with Cheeky Koko sleeping on the recliner, Daddy Joe and Baby B on the spare mattress spread over the floor and usually, the queen mother and her princess sharing the king-sized bed for the night. It’s a family tradition that we have always had even though the kids have their own bedrooms. It saves the electricity bill, and we get to chit chat a little into the night sharing with each other our ups and downs over the past week, and most importantly, because we get to pray as a family just before the sleepy fairy ushers us into the snooze land which is really special for us.

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As we shushed the kids to quiet them down after their noisy sibling chatters and kiddie jokes, Baby B suddenly asked to join his big brother at the recliner sofa and as he climbed next to Cheeky Koko asking his brother to cuddle him to sleep, he also asked Cheeky Koko to sing some bedtime songs for him. Being the ever unconventional and creative brother that he is, Cheeky Koko sang the Old Macdonald Had A Farm song with a twist – good ol’ cow’s “moo moo here and moo moo there” was replaced with a cold-blooded iguana as the farm animal which “lick lick here and lick lick there”, and as Pumpkin Mei-Mei laughed uncontrollably over her brother’s creativity, Daddy Joe who was half asleep already remarked sternly, “it’s bad singing, Koko, so bad… I can’t even sleep anymore. And any of you boys and girl who continues to talk will just have to go back to your own bedroom!” and the room fell silence at once, not before Pumpkin Mei-Mei laughed even more hysterically over the bad choice of her brother’s bedtime lullaby.

Good night, OH!” and so, with a gentle tug, Baby B hugged his new soft toy OH to sleep and ever so quickly, like an angel. And I am quite certain, somehow his dream tonight will be filled with an adventure with OH from the latest DreamWorks Animation movie, HOME, which we were simply privileged to catch just before the school holiday is over, all thanks to Paradigm Mall at Kelana Jaya, as part of its on-going commitment to contribute positively to the community it operates in.home2

As a busy working mother, attending events are a rare luxury when normally I’d rather be spending my weekend with the three happiest little people of mine. But we love movies! This movie is all about finding one’s home and perhaps, even a sense of belonging and optimism even when things do not pen out the way we want in life which makes it a great story for family with kids of any age, and even for the 15 underprivileged children from the Nalini Rumah Kasih Home in Kelana Jaya who were invited to attend the preview screening of the blockbuster at GSC.home5

I have invited my two boys to watch this movie together (since I have just had a mother-daughter date with Pumpkin Mei-Mei just over a week ago for the Cinderella movie). Along with the children, we were treated to a deliciously crunchy yet moist and tender fish and chips brunch from Fish & Co. Paradigm Mall before we were ushered to an instant photo booth that was decorated with adorable characters from HOME. As an icing to the cake, Baby B was overjoyed to have received the very-lovable, misfit alien OH character soft toy from the organiser as a souvenir too.home3

As the movie title suggests, it is all about discovering that home is where the heart is, and where one finds love and acceptance – which drives home the point that Paradigm Mall endeavours to be the mall where everyone feels at home and welcome and that the mall’s continual commitment towards the society at large extends beyond its physical building into the heart of its surrounding community.

Yummy brunch courtesy of Fish & Co.!

Yummy brunch courtesy of Fish & Co.!

If you are an animation fan, HOME, starring big name stars like Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin and Jim Parsons will be released in Malaysia on 26th March 2015. It is about the adventure of a girl named Tip and her new-found alien friend OH as they embark on a journey to discover the meaning of home.

As everyone finally snoozed away in their respective dreamland, I looked around our tiny room squeezed every corner with one of the five of us either on the floor, on the bed or on the recliner sofa, I thank God for this tiny home of mine, where love is shared everyday many times over, especially when a classic nursery rhyme is sung imperfectly and peppered with an iguana from a brother for his toddler brother.

That’s HOME, in every sense of the word for me.

The Cheerleader Mom


One of my blog followers who is also a friend asked me out of the blue, why I haven’t been blogging for almost 2 months. I looked at her and said, “I have been crazy busy, babe!”

“Oh like you haven’t been!” she teased.

“No, serious, I am standing right smack in the middle of the circle of life…”

“Like Elton John’s song huh?”

“Yes, like I am in a jungle. I have a busy job, a high-schooler, a primary kid and a pre-schooler. Imagine the number of school activities, homework coaching, ferrying to-and-from and parent-teacher interactions that I am trying to juggle now together with Daddy Joe. May be Sir Elton John was dedicating this song to ME.”

“Really? Cheeky Koko is in high school now and Baby B… already in a kindergarten?”

“Yes I know, right? Time flies in supersonic speed! I don’t know what I fed my kids but somehow they have started growing up! Cheeky Koko is now 13, have a wee bit of facial hair and much as I am quite tall, he is growing as tall as me NOW and it’s suddenly about me scolding him looking upward which is just AWKWARD!”

Uh-huh. Sounds like you are not ready to deal with parenting a teenager.”

“Absolutely NOT. He was just a baby yesterday! Oh and few months back when I heard the first crack in his voice out of a sudden, and I mean, like overnight… I thought alien invaded my house!”

As my friend laughed at my dramatic but completely honest sharing, my mind travelled to the tensed moments I felt just over a few months ago when Cheeky Koko was preparing for his UPSR exam, which is the compulsory Standard Six exam all 12 years olds in Malaysian government / public schools must sit for that will determine the kind of high school they get to go to for the following year.medium_2974216341

Despite having told myself countless times that my decision to send him to a Chinese primary school was purely to instil the good old moral and piety-driven family value in him and not at all about the stringent learning process and the pursuit of excellent academic performance that which underlie our education system, I turned into a tensed mom doing just what I didn’t want to do in the few months leading to the exam.

That tension of realising he would not be able to do as well as I thought as I observed that more and more, he was not slogging at his study desk as I have expected him to was met with angry words from me, and his streak of rebellion of turning to tablet games whenever he was stressed with his studies created a red sea that divided my boy and me.

In fact, I lost count on the number of nights on ends when silent frustrations made both of us walked back into our own bedrooms without the usual mommy-son embrace and goodnight exchanges. If I did press for it, I would get a cold goodnight, ma in a Zombie dead tone from my first child who is usually the funny bones in the house.

I don’t think I ever grew up and grow old wanting to be competitive in my spirit. I always feel that every child has his or her own potential and gifting that would one day be a calling for greater things in his chosen path but somehow in those moments I lost sight over how small this exam was as compared to the many tests we will eventually face in life.

It was more like I was frustrated with my own inability to instil in him to be an independent learner. I was frustrated that he wasn’t studying the whole day when he was facing such a major exam. I lost sight over the simplicity of what it means to be a child, that being carefree was his God-given entitlement.

It didn’t take long for his day care teacher, an elderly lady in her 60s, to notice that Cheeky Koko was losing his smile and confidence over his studies and advised me to find a way to walk to him, fast. Finding the right words to mend our relationship was tough when I couldn’t even think straight how I should encourage him when I could not find the peace within myself to be the encouraging mom he needed the most at that time. I sat down that night and wrote him a 5-page letter that reaffirmed my love and confidence over him and explained to him that I wasn’t seeking straight As from him. I was merely trying to find my way back to being the best cheerleader mom who wanted him to believe that he could reach the sky if he gave his best in everything he does in his life.

A month later, my Cheeky Koko sat for his UPSR with a lot of cheers from us, his papa and mama. And the week that he sat for his exam? We ate pizza and cycled together because we knew he has put in his best in that one month. He scored quite a number of As in the end and some Bs. Not that it mattered anyway, because it mattered that much more that he regained his sunshine smile and joy as he now ventures into teenage-hood and settling down in his high school life.

Mothering is tough work. Don’t be surprised that I am soaking up books on parenting a teenager. After all, I am standing right smack in the circle of life where every day does feel like a jungle of crazy joy, except that I now learn to cherish and embrace it that much more.

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Photo Credit:

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/awyatt/2974216341/”>awyatt</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Nursing Mom’s Food For Thoughts


12 – 15 years ago the term BREASTFEEDING was not a cool word mothers want to associate themselves with, here in Malaysia. It simply was NOT chic to say you nurse your baby. In fact, I started breastfeeding feeling dejected because the nurse at the hospital from where I gave birth to my first son, Cheeky Koko, now 12, took one mean glance at the miserable 1 oz breast milk I managed to pump after hoarding the hospital pump for 2.5 hours at Day 4 postnatal (we have readmitted to treat Cheeky koko’s jaundice) and declared me a non-productive failure.

At home most visiting relatives told me I was starving my baby because he was crying to be fed every one to two hours. “He must be hungry because you don’t have enough milk!” was the most common comments because they got used to seeing placid, gentle babies who were formula fed and slept through 3 to 4 hours per stretch of nap time.

If there was only one good thing about me, it must be that I was courageous (and rebellious) in my love for my baby enough to prove them wrong. I embarked on a journey buying just about every nursing books on the book shelf and reading up just about every breastfeeding website information there were to know on what to do and how to do it right. Once I mastered the arts and loving every minute of it, I decided to share the knowledge with all the new breastfeeding moms out there who felt the failure as I did. With a writer friend we started a breastfeeding support forum that went on to be one of the most vocal groups to advocate nursing in Malaysia. From then I have been asked to visit some new moms we got to know during their first days in the journey to show them how to latch on right and basically give them the emotional support they need as they learn to give the best nature has intended to their babies.

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Baby B in action… Nutritional needs of a mom is an important aspect of the breastfeeding journey, especially when one nurses beyond the first year.

Some moms are a natural when it comes to breastfeeding their newborns and their babies come naturally adapted to “working” at this beautiful act with just the perfect latch and calm personality and without what is commonly known as the newborn tongue cut, or feeling too drowsy to nurse and etc, which could frustrate and make a new mom feels easily tired out at even trying further.

While I am no longer able to contribute in the online group due to my work commitment, I have continued to encourage friends, relatives, colleagues to trust in their maternal ability to nurse naturally in the last 7-8 years. Something that I always observe that is a major hurdle to breastfeeding among Asian moms is how traditional values can crash with the basic dietary needs of a nursing mom.

When I still had the loving support of my mother in law (who now resides in Heaven), she would gently and lovingly remind me not to drink too much plain cold water because I was supposed to be in confinement. Water is too “cold” for a new mom. But because I was breastfeeding, I was guzzling down 3.5L water everyday! I felt so thirsty I swear I could drink up a whole water tank! And that was on top of the 2L or so of the sweet red dates soups that I drank daily. The only thing I didn’t drink was those supplementary wines like what most moms would do because I just couldn’t take its bitter taste.

As I am also very Westernised in my health approach (thanks to my own mom who worked close to 30 years in the health field), I believe that there are certain health benefits to proper dietary supplementation for nursing mothers. It is in fact well-documented in the scientific literature that a mother’s diet (and her overall nutritional status) can influence the vitamin, mineral, and the essential fatty acid (EPA and DHA) composition of her breast milk, all of which impacts the overall nutritional quality of the breast milk, and ultimately the overall health of the breastfed infant.

In my case, I continued to take my pregnant multivitamins, and on alternate days, supplemented with colostrum supplement (a year after giving birth), fish oil, organic spirulina and milk alternative such as organic oat milk. And when I got sick, I took antioxidant supplements to get well faster and naturally.

Of course, all mothers intending to nurse should always consult with their own doctors about supplementing their own nutritional needs. Special thanks to Seven Seas Malaysia for sharing with me these findings when I told them that I was going to write an entry about the importance of eating well for nursing mothers:

1. Journal Title: Fatty acid composition in maternal milk and plasma during supplementation with cod liver oil

Cod liver oil influences the amount of essential fatty acids in mothers’ breast milk. Supplementation of lactating mothers with even small amounts of cod liver oil promotes increased DHA concentration in breast milk. Also, the amount of EPA in breast milk increased in all the supplemented groups.

2. Journal Title: The effect of maternal supplementation with linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids on the fat composition and content of human milk: a placebo-controlled trial.

Total fat content and therefore total energy content and the content of essential fatty acids (EFAs) in milk are known to decline with prolonged breast feeding. In a placebo-controlled study a variety of evening primrose oil rich in linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids, or a matching placebo were given to 39 women for a period of 8 months starting between the 2nd and 6th months of lactation. Total fat and EFA contents of the milk declined in the placebo group but rose in the primrose oil supplemented group. A surprisingly high proportion of the supplemented dietary fatty acids could be accounted for by appearance in the milk.

3. Journal Title: A randomized controlled trial of the effect of fish oil supplementation in late pregnancy and early lactation on the n-3 fatty acid content in human breast milk.

Dietary supplementation from week 30 of gestation and onward more than tripled the LCPUFA content in early breast milk; supplementation limited to pregnancy only was much less effective.

4. Journal Title: Antioxidant capacity of human milk

Studies have reported the effect of maternal dietary vitamin intakes and vitamin supplementation on human milk, showing that higher intakes results in a higher concentration of the respective vitamin in milk.

Because I am a working mother who eats out a lot, I don’t always have the convenience and much choice in choosing to eat healthy food always, supplement was also a necessity for my own well-being.

It’s also important to note that besides supplementing, a nursing mom must clock in sufficient good-quality sleep, especially because being a mother can be such a tiring and stressful job. In order to nurse well, do keep yourself hydrated sufficiently – think of your body as the ultimate milk machine, you just need to feed it well with the right ingredients such as water, protein, vitamins, fruits, vegetables, add in good emotional well-being and a good night rest, pretty much nothing else can defeat you!

Despite the initial doubts and hurdles, I went on to nurse all three kids spanning the last 12 years, each baby for 2 to 2.5 years of extended breastfeeding. At the end of the day, I reckon I couldn’t have done it all without the most important ingredients of all — the tremendous love and support I got from Daddy Joe, my mom and also my sister in law, Cathy.

May you believe in what you are capable of as a mother and do it fearlessly anyway and may you live each moment count. Happy breastfeeding, moomies!

Our Best Days… Ever!


Last month my domestic helper who is from Indonesia went back to her hometown to celebrate Eid with her family for 30 days.

When this happens, a stay home mom would just go on life managing the family routine, kids and her home with much grace, flair and poise that make her home completely functional as it has always been.

Forget about grace and flair with her counterpart who happens to be a working mama! The operative word was PANIC at this Seven2SevenMom planet! Short of clinging on to my helper’s leg even before she stepped off my front door, I was lost. I was petrified. I thought I’d crumble. First, I thought of my work – how do I cope with washing all the 3 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms in our apartment AND iron all the kids’ school uniforms after working 10 hours at the office? Then I thought of the crazy-beyond-description school routines of my kids and their mountain-high homework piles, which meant I would be coaching homework with my kids sitting on the kitchen floor while I (try to) wash all of the pots and pans and numerous little plastic cups and utensils after dinner. Multitasking will surely take on a whole new meaning in my life!

Maid-less day: The home was in a crazy mess but baby B found room for simple joy and laughter.

Maid-less day: The home was in a crazy mess but baby B found room for simple joy and laughter.

But when I thought of how my family-work balance will be temporarily thrown off its balance and yet I could have a chance of living my childhood dream of being an all-present, all-loving stay-home mom… I was elated!
After I succeeded at applying for a one-month special work arrangement with my extremely understanding bosses to work only half day at the office and the other half day to take care of what mattered most to me – my kids, I pictured myself launching into a supermom mode for the next 30 days doing the following loving things for the family:

1) Laundry at 5am – Oh ya. I will rise early and sort out my laundry into different colours and making sure that the stubborn sweat stains of Daddy Joe and Cheeky Koko’s shirts are rid of like they are new shirts. I even bought stubborn stain removal to get this job done that I thought was super-easy! (What really happened was: Laundry at 2pm because I only got to go to bed at 1.30am the night before after I finish ironing the gazillion of school uniforms and toddler clothings! In fact I closed one eye to the stubborn sweat stains after a capful of bleach was poured over the laundry load over a few days and it just didn’t work! Curse I had over the bleach solutions because they don’t get the job done!)

All rules broke loose! Pumpkin Mei-Mei was happy to have traditional chinese delicacy tang yuen in weird colours combo as supper!

All rules broke loose! Pumpkin Mei-Mei was happy to have traditional chinese delicacy tang yuen in weird colours combo as supper!

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Bake-happy days: One of my whimsical favourite comfort food: Ji Dan Gao (Chinese Steamed Cake). I was really one fearless chef who would just bake and cook to my heart’s content.

2) Making home cooked breakfast for the family by 6am which included preparing cute bento lunch sets for the three happiest little people — oh I would prep those rice meals into cute bear shapes, served with motivational love notes to spark up their days. (What really happened was: Kids made their own cereals and milks at 6am and bought food from the school canteen instead because mama was so exhausted from housework the night before she was still snoring away at 6am! I even rationalised to myself that my kids needed calcium to grow strong bones. So, have your milk today? )
3) Make up and change into my working attires by 7am (What really happened was: It took place at 8am. Blame those mountain-high pile of laundry!)
4) Send Baby B to nursery at 8am – and I won’t even forget about packing along Baby B’s favourite snacks and child vitamin into his lunch bag that our helper often overlooked. (What really happened was: Checked. Everything was lovingly done the way I would have it done!)
5) Reach office at 9am and conduct efficient meeting with staff because work load is still the same, half day or not, I just have to continue to optimise my productivity in half the amount of time. (What really happened was: The staff queued up to update and seek opinions over everything because I only had few hours for them everyday. On the hindsight, I was happy that I was deeply missed by them. Hehe…)
6) Get off work by 1pm, drive to pick up baby B from his day care at 1.30pm. (What really happened was: There was always pesty, long-winded meetings and discussions with staff for urgent matters that spanned a little longer than expected and I got fine just about everyday for five to ten Ringgit because I was so ridiculously busy!)
7) Get Baby B to nap at 3pm so that I can free myself for the next 2 hours to prepare and cook dinner as well as get some house chores done. (What really happened was: In between singing the Barney’s I love you song to get Baby B to nap, often we cuddled up and slept together!)
8) 5pm is my allocated one-hour clean up time when I would set a small amount of time, like 15 mins each room to clean up the apartment, room by room. (What really happened was: I was chopping the veg, some poultry meat and soup ingredients away like a mad woman because the older kids were coming home in an hour and I had not even washed the anchovies and potatoes yet!)

The kids were on dysfunctional mode. Hey mom, someone is using those tang yuen's flour mixture to press into his toy car! OMG.... Whatever!

The kids were on dysfunctional mode on some days. Like here, someone was using those tang yuen’s flour mixture to press into his toy car! OMG…. Whatever!

9) Cheeky Koko and Pumpkin Mei Mei, my two older little people would come home from tuition day care at 6pm into the warm embrace of their mama and the entire apartment would smell like a rockin’ celebrity chef has just made the best gourmet meals cooked with the freshest ingredients in the whole world. (What really happened was: The kids came home hungry, waited for another hour before mom is finally ready and before that, they still had to help to clear the dining table from the mess they left over from their school projects last night!)
10) 8pm is homework time – normally this is the hour when everyone would either complete their homework or have some quiet reading time. (What really happened was: Older kids helped clean up the house, and mom is still cleaning up the kitchen and everyone get a little dizzy over the mom barking restrictions about the number of clothing one wears in a day (just so that she would not have to wash two loads of laundry per day). Her idea is the kids should just wear the school uniforms as home lounge wear and pyjamas, one set per day, that’s ALL!)

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Clean, cook, vacuum and laundry were synonymous with my existence.

Time flies and our helper finally flew back into our home which survived a super busy working mom commando in chief’s lacklustre management for 30 days. Did any good come out of it? Yes, plenty.

In that one month we have had many good times just enjoying each other’s presence as a functional family, albeit a home that always had unfinished chores and a mom who always seemed to be slaving away at the laundry and at the kitchen. It was great to see that for once, I was licensed and given the blessing to prioritise my children and my family, instead of work.

Yes I was stressed still juggling half-day work at the office and nothing went according to The Mom’s plan. But I love every moment of it and I mourned for the loss of this precious time when it finally ended. In that one month, I have also cooked and baked like there was no tomorrow – it was how I envision a family should smell like. I could spend an hour watching Barney sing and dance with Baby B and yet not feel hurried to rush because I have to go for a business conference. I was not pursuing anything related to career. I was simply a mom spending time with my kids and doing the whole Barney dance with them and loving it every moment even if I had danced it the fifth time that afternoon.

I am back to work now but in my heart, there’s always the tender spot that cherishes those Barney days that I simply would not trade with anything else.

Raising Generation Why


Baby B who has just bombed in his diaper caught my attention with his intensive facial expression. Just to test the two older kids’ reactions, I said, “Oh dear, Baby B has just poo-poo! Now go ask your Koko and Che-Che to wash your bottoms for you!”

Hearing that, the two older siblings scrambled into their room like a flash of thunder but before they could even shut their door, I held their bedroom door with one hand and gently guided Baby B into their room and patiently commanded, “You are helping your baby brother wash his bum or we are not going to go cycle in the park later.”

Cheeky Koko has always been my funny boy that I truly think he is made entirely of laughing genes

Cheeky Koko has always been my funny boy that I truly think he is made entirely of laughing genes

“Okay, Houston, we have a problem here,” Cheeky Koko said, “We need a disposal unit for a 7.8 grade home-made bomb by a baby!”

“Cut the drama, Koko!” I said laughingly.

“Mama… Oh… it’s soooo smelly I am going to pengsan (faint)!” Pumpkin Mei-Mei protested. “Such is my life as a sister! Gosh… Ok, OK I will help him wash but Koko, you are so going to take the diaper off his bum and throw it into the rubbish bin, k?”

“You said you wanted to be a doctor for little kids when you grow up, so you have to first learn to accept the whole package of a kid, darling!” I tried to encourage my little doctor in residence.

As they gagged as if it was the most horrific task to remove their toddler brother’s soiled diaper in the bathroom and lifted him into the shower area and made him stand at one corner of the shower in order to jet-spray and wash up his bum, I came to Baby B’s rescue and scooped him up onto the toilet seat instead and did the rest effortlessly.

Pumpkin Mei-Mei aspires to be a future Paediatrician, which I think she could potentially be a really good one, like Dr. Adam “Patch” Hunter

Pumpkin Mei-Mei aspires to be a future Paediatrician, which I think she could potentially be a really good one, like Dr. Adam “Patch” Hunter

“Baby B smells good now, Mama, let me help you dress him up!” Pumpkin Mei-Mei said enthusiastically.

“I am intoxicated, Ma, I think my nose has lost its permanent function to smell, like forever!” My drama king Cheeky Koko added. Baby B who was smiling at his siblings’ antics suddenly turned to face his sister and gave Pumpkin Mei-Mei an affectionate hug, saying “Baby luff (love) Che-Che!” Just like a politician, he is always smiling, always promising.

Every day in the Seven2SevenMom planet feels like one big happy circus and a comedy show. However, if I should be so blessed, I am seeing a Comedian, a Paediatrician and possibly a Politician in our happy little family.

Each of them is so uniquely gifted in their own way. While the Asian mom in me tells me that I should constantly reinforce the importance of academic excellence as a strong foundation in life for them, the Western mom in me wants them to be happy as they pursue their own path growing up and be driven as well as responsible in the pursuit of their own dream nonetheless.

Baby B is definitely a future politician in the making!

Baby B is definitely a future politician in the making!

Recognising that each child can be an accomplished individual according to their own talents and intelligence are important aspects of child development according to Dr. Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence.

According to Dr. Howard Gardner, children have different kinds of intelligences related to musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. He also says children possess a unique blend of all the intelligences, and that as parents, we should let our children explore and empower them to discover their own blend of intelligences so they can grow into wholesome people.

Child developmental experts say that up to 70% of a child’s brain cell connection occurs when they interact with their environment and that children ask questions because they are curious about the world around them. They say an inquisitive mind is an indication of a child’s positive developmental process. (The Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Combine to Shape Brain Architecture, Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University.)

Growing up, my own mom always said that I was so inquisitive that I would have made a good career out of legal or investigative journalism. Turned out that I really pursued Journalism in University, no thanks to a loving mom who welcomed my questions with patient replies after replies.

Now that my life is inundated with questions from my own Gen Why? kids, every day is filled with an impossibly long list of questions that I do not take it lightly, because who knows, the next funny man Jerry Seinfeld, brilliant Paed, Dr. Pumpkin, and well-loved Member of the Parliament could just be very well come out of this household.
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Challenged by questions such as, “Mama, how did you and papa put me in your stomach before I was born?” Or, even better, “Papa, why is the ocean blue in colour?” Get on to the Anmum Essential Gen Why? Workshop held this weekend for first-hand information from parenting experts such as professional child psychologists and nutritionists on how to raise up wholesome kids with multiple intelligence. Details are as follows:

Anmum Essential Gen Why? Workshop

Date: 31 May (Saturday) and 1 June (Sunday)

Venue: The Oval, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama

Time: 10am – 10pm

See you there, peeps!

Mother’s Day Reflection


While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. ~ Angela Schwindt (Chicken Soup for the Soul – From Lemons to Lemonade)

Happy Mother's Day! <3

Happy Mother’s Day! ❤

It was a perfect wedding with the sunset in Bali casting a romantic palette of radiant gold and violet blue over the spectacular resort we were at as we witnessed a girlfriend’s happy union with the love of her life.

As requested by the host to keep the wedding small and intimate, my friend Jay and I left our kids and hubs in Singapore and KL respectively for 3 days to attend this wedding at Bali. It turned out to be a really rare, superfun me-time to indulge in a good spa, sip a few glasses of champagne, wine and Mojito and together with the other three girlfriends, share some bikini-dipping in our private villas at night as we tried to count the stars and recalled some girly jokes about the time when we all worked in the same fashions company some years ago.

As the gorgeous Balinese singer and her guitarist serenade us with jazzy love songs, Jay who has recently moved the family to Singapore due to her husband’s job posting and I took the time to catch up with each other on our motherhood tale. It’s a mother’s thing, every conversation we have naturally leads to our children – we never seem to get tired talking anything and everything about our pride and joy.

Because I have always fancied being a stay-at-home mom if we had the means one day, I asked Jay if she had missed anything in the last 3 years of walking out from work to wok, to become a stay-at-home mom. Jay pondered seriously and told me that there were three things she missed most. The first was being able to get dressed with a purpose every morning, secondly, the financial freedom of indulging in and buying things that you fancy with your own money (much as her loving husband provides her a comfortable life and shopping allowance) and most importantly, a sense of self-importance.

When I asked her to explain the self-importance part, Jay said softly that recently her husband was invited to speak in their Church as a guest to encourage youths. As he went up on stage and started sharing about his career, her oldest boy John who is almost-five, just watched his dad in complete adoration, and gushed the whole time that dad was so cool and so awesome to be giving a speech in front of such a big audience. As she sat there next to John and taking care of her second son, George who was 16 months old, she couldn’t help but felt her tears welled up as she realised that her two young boys have not seen her daily attentive care and love for them as anything as worthy as what their dad did.

“In a way, I am just a milk-maker for them,” she said with a sense of loss. “Day in, day out, I am just the “Mom, I need my milk bottle” mom, all I am to them is just the person who cooks, make their milk for them, give them their showers and worst, a house cleaner! They didn’t think I was as awesome as their dad,” she said.

“Oh no, dearie, don’t you ever think like that, Jay, gosh, you are the most amazing mom I have ever known!” I reached out to Jay’s hand with mine with a gentle, encouraging squeeze. “They are still young, that’s all. And come on, back then you were a Marketing Manager for a big international brand and you did so well! We really have done some kick-ass fashion shows and campaigns back then, don’t you forget that” I said.

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“And God places us just right where He needs us to build a strong generation of God-loving people who are faithfully grounded on His rock, so to be able to partake in that is AWESOME! This is AWESOME!” I said.

“Thanks dear, I know, I know, I mean, I love them to bits but if only I could preserve that self-importance I once held when I had a job!” Jay said longingly. “What about you, thought you wanted to take the same path?” she asked.

“I do, in fact the dream never died, much as I have said this repeatedly in the last 10 years!!” I said with a chuckle. “I love to just give them the hugs as they come home from school and cook dinner together as a family and I would probably just feel really happy to even have the time to stitch the lose buttons on their school uniforms. But God hasn’t placed that path in front of me right now. Hubby’s business is going through some tough time now and I am just grateful that I still have a job to share the financial burden. Anyway, I am making myself a little more useful since I can’t iron as fast as you do, dearie,” I said with a smile.

“I think you are a wonderful mom and wife, you always have this positive attitude for life and you show great love and support you have for Daddy Joe and the kids,” Jay gave me a warm hug as we both accepted that life as we know it, just don’t pan out the way we want sometimes. We always think that the other side is just better, greener, more fulfilling and even happier.

But I know that a mother’s love endures through, whether work or stay home. We gain strength as mothers as we tend to our garden with our seed of love and watch our young plants grow into the strong, beautiful trees that they will be one day. So be encouraged, fellow mommies, for your love and care for the family do make you the most awesome being in the whole world.

Happy Mother’s Day – wishing you a lifetime of being happily surrounded by the love of your life! And to my own mom, who is the rock of my life, I love you, mama, 母亲节快乐!

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(Carnation)photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbgrigby/3558580487/”>mbgrigby</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

(Mom & Child) photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesgoodmanphotography/7428401714/”>jamesgoodmanphotography</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses

 

 

Behind Every Working Mom Is A Dyson Vacuum


I am trying to remember the days before my kids came along.

My wardrobe was a lovely display of feminine frocks for the weekends and sassy corporate dresses and suits for work. I had long, straight, naturally dark brown hair which I’d sometimes style into a high ponytail dressed up in a chic hair accessory. I carried a small handbag with my purse, mobile phone, a pack of tissue paper and car keys in it. My car was spotlessly clean with music CDs and some high heels kept in the car boot for those occasional corporate or social events in town.

The operative word then was Clean with a capital C. Then the bundle of joy came along. Three times it took place, if you care to ask, and my world was suddenly associated with unplanned madness. First, the word stylish eludes my wardrobe and then the hair decide to go in every imaginable directions except being in one place and finally, it’s about surprises everywhere.

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Look at the crumbs from the curry puff! I fainted twice seeing it!

They range from discovering a McDonald’s happy meal plastic toy (Yes!) inside my pumps (after finding a used dirty baby hankie in the laptop bag earlier) to staring into the rear-view mirror in HORROR as your toddler reaches for the bag of food (such as curry puff) dangling in front of him and decides to toss, poke, eat and make a massive (shocking) mess of crumbs and dirt all over the car.

So yes, I am a working mom with a day job in the marketing field but keeping dirt and mess at bay can sometimes look like it’s my main occupation.

Fortunately, half a lifetime of working has well-prepared me to deal with a dirty crisis such as this, kinda like a Mom Terminator. Now if this was left to the man of the house and the toddler alone, he would NOT have made it back in one piece without first going over-the-top swearing and cursing at the crumbs as if they had a life and then lecturing the 2 years old who’d probably just imitate him back by babbling at the crumbs, before both dad and son came home exhausted because they had just lectured the poor crumbs for 30 minutes flat.

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Dyson Digital Slim DC62: Sucks up as much dust as even a corded vacuum!

On the other hand, picture me cool-ly carrying the toddler upon reaching home on one arm and reach out for my Dyson Digital Slim™ DC62 Vacuum effortlessly on the other, get back into the car, suck up and say goodbye to our dirty little friends in less than a minute, all the while smiling, because victory is mine to savour with my DC62! Yes, they say, mom is the world but you know behind every mom is powerful, nifty home appliance that makes life sweet as a Lenka’s song!

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Be gone, dust, mess and all!

As with other Dyson products that are engineered for optimum safety and usability, Dyson DC62 Vacuum is packed with features that are lady-friendly. You know, because I don’t lift weight and stuff, I don’t even have lady muscles to carry anything too heavy. This baby is lightweight and cordless all at once so you literally don’t have to break a sweat while doing your motherly chore. There is also no cords behind so that means no cumbersome wires behind the machine that can get entangled into corners or furniture legs, and plus, I also get to skip the step of having to press the retractable cord button to coil back the long cords.

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See how the Dyson Digital Slim is totally cordless? It’s what I call beauty with power!

In order to get it to work, I would charge the battery of Dyson DC62 fully because with each charge, the vacuum provides 20 minutes of powerful, high suction power to help clean hard-to-reach places. In this particular curry puff crisis over the weekend, I am happy to report that despite settling into the tiny, minute holes inside the car seat fabrics, the crumbs vanished in two minutes!

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Goodbye, dust and crumbs. You don’t stand a chance to live on my car seat or home with my Dyson cordless vaccum!

This vacuum is made with a 350W digital motor that is already on its 6th generation (V6), a 2-Tier Radial™ cyclones and a re-engineered nickel manganese cobalt battery. Put all these together and you get a mean, terminator-grade vacuum machine that even the kids will call it cool. The kids are happy to help with vacuuming task these days because it is light and easy to carry for them (of course, they also use it to role-play as imaginary Terminator game!).

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Yes they help with house chores, but kids being kids, the vacuum turns into a Terminator gun sometimes too. 🙂

Dyson DC62 also comes with a 8-minute Boost Mode for more difficult tasks. Thank God I have not encountered any mess so great that I need to use that. But even on its normal suction mode, from the moment you start cleaning until the moment you finish, I love that the DC62 maintains powerful and is extremely easy to use to clean up everything and anything everywhere – up top, down below and in-between.
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I also find the hygienic bin emptying feature a plus point because the dust particles literally gets dumped neatly into my trash bin from the back without spreading all over the floor like some vacuum models do. Once I am done with it, I can store it back into its docking station that we have installed neatly on one corner of our laundry room, instead of taking up shelve storage space.  The docking station is like a mothership, it stores and charges the machine, and holds additional attachments and accessories.

 

My life would never get back to where it was back then before the kids. Thankfully while kids and mess will always come together as one package, I’d say the joy of having those butterfly kisses at the end of a tiring work day just supersedes it all, spillage, dirt, mess and all. ❤

 

Baby B Self-Weaned (Yes, just like that!)


My breastfeeding-addict boy, Baby B, just weaned himself from nursing just few days short of turning 27 months old about 15 days ago!

Sigh. I wish he could breastfeed longer as much and as long as he wants to, and I wish the event leading to his self-weaning was more heart-warming and tender but somehow he just stopped breastfeeding completely overnight without any warning nor reason and I am left standing cold turkey, drenched in guilt of a busy working mama.

The whole event started around two Saturdays ago when I woke up very early in the morning trying to tiptoe to the bathroom to get ready to work. I wanted to hurry to the office to complete a humongous project at work and knew I was going to clock in at least a half-day work because the deadline for the project was looming close.

We have always been co-sleeping because he is the type of wakeful nursing baby who wakes up every 2 to 3 hours to nurse for comfort. Co-sIeeping made it easy for me to just wake up lightly enough to hold him up on the crook of my arms for those endless breastfeeding sessions through the night without ever leaving my bed. And if I nursed him lying down sometimes, we’d both fall deep into the sweet slumber land shared blissfully between a nursing mom and her baby.

That Saturday, as I turned on the bathroom light, Baby B found me standing in front of my bathroom staring back at him. He sat up on the bed gently rubbing his eyes and called me back saying, “Mommy, baby wants Nan-Nan” (his baby lingo for breastfeeding). Ridden with guilt that I was going to work on a weekend off day, I quickly climbed back into my bed and happily obliged by giving him a quick nursing session while my mind went through a quick breakdown of all the details of the project like a super computer processing all the tasks that I was going to do that Saturday.

His body felt a little warm that morning so I checked his temperature with our digital scan but he was actually not having any fever. Still, I covered him with his soft baby blanket and informed Daddy Joe to make sure to check on his temperature again when he woke up later. I then sped off to work and soon got so caught up with all the work that by the time I reached home, it was already 8pm.

As I put down my non-woven bag filled with all the heavy working files, our family helper informed me that Baby B cried in pain when he was having his food and water throughout the day and that she suspected that Baby B could either be having some teething pain or mouth ulcer.

When Baby B saw me, he walked up to me happily stretching out his arms and asked me to carry him for a “Nan-Nan”. I sat on our nursing sofa in the living room and held him up as usual but just as I pulled up my t-shirt to breastfeed him, he quickly turned his head away and gently pushed me away saying, “Baby pain pain…” Baffled, I asked him if he was having any pain inside his mouth to which he nodded and repeated “pain… pain.”

I checked his mouth and saw a little ulcer on his right cheek but it was nothing major. We checked his temperature again and noticed that he was having a mild fever. After being fed a low dosage of fever medicine, he cuddled next to me and instead of asking for “Nan-Nan,” he asked me to give him a baby massage on his back. I felt that he really wanted to breastfeed but somehow the discomfort of the ulcer prevented his usual appetite for his favourite drink – his “Nan-Nan”. “Baby don’t want Nan-Nan”, he said repeatedly. And he has repeated that the next day too and thereafter. Just like that, my baby has self-weaned himself completely and started sleeping through the night!

I don’t really know what caused him to wean himself off completely and I guess I would never know. I feel a little sad because deep down I wonder if he had stopped breastfeeding that day because when he was feeling the discomfort from the pain and the mild fever during the day time, I just wasn’t there for him. In fact I was buried deep beneath my working files and a heavy work load.

All I know is that had I known that that very morning was going to be our last nursing moment surely I would not have rushed it through but instead made sure it was the sweetest memory we both could cherish.

To all the breastfeeding moms out there who wonder if all those sleepless nights and constant waking up for night feeding would ever end, well I just want to encourage you to hang in there and cherish it as it lasts because one day your baby will grow into a mini person ready to take on the world as it comes and the one who is not ready is often us, the cow mama.

On the other hand, thanks Baby B, for weaning yourself at 26 months old, which makes your sis, Pumpkin Mei-Mei the longest nursling champion in the family as she clocked in 27.5 months of breastfeeding and the shortest being your eldest brother, Cheeky Koko who clocked in 22 months of breastfeeding. You are not too bad, anyway, having at it for at least 4 months longer than your Koko. That’s equivalent to the time it takes spring to turn into summer and about half of the time it takes for you to stay inside mama’s womb as God slowly moulds you into the little darling that you are to our family.

Mama’s not ready as you are, Baby B, but I will try to get used to the idea that anyway one day you will grow out of it and it seems that you have fast forwarded your own weaning and made it so smooth and easy for yourself and for all of us.

On the plus side, now I do sleep through the night and finally I can wear nice dresses to shopping mall and dinners with you little fellas without having to worry about you pulling up my dress in the middle of the concourse in front of twenty random strangers staring at my old, awful panty while you make a demanding call for ‘Nan-Nan’.

Yah, not a bad idea, really. 🙂

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Creativity & Beauty Through Lumix GM1


Innocently, Cheeky Koko asks, “Mama, when you were a kid, did your world appear only in Black and White?”

“What? No, why do you ask this?” I asked.

“I was just looking at photos from grandpa, grandma’s times and photos from your time and they were all black and white, so I thought may be your world came in that colours only!” My preteen scientist thought so logically.

“Well, those days cameras were bulky, less technology-driven and more skills-driven instead, and the photos could only be processed in black and white hence grandpa and grandma and even your great grandpa and great grandma had photos that are in black and white only. But Excusez-moi, little man, here’s the correction: your mom though seems to be born at dinosaur age at times but really I am from the 70s era, where those great songs like YMCA and the discos were in their heydays, so my childhood photos already came in faintish colours of yellow and brown, k? Not black and white.” I said defensively.

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The magnificent beauty of Melaka – both old and new is captured with one of Panasonic Lumix GM1’s special effects called “Retro”.

“And certainly the world since the time God first created it had appeared in its full spectrum of colours. I can imagine Adam and Eve saw it a little more blue than you, a little more green and perhaps the sun came in a nicer shade of crimson red because they didn’t have pollution like what we have now,” I continued.

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Discovered this cool café lounge called Geography while strolling along the Jonker Street, which I captured using its original iA mode. See how the image is stabilised even though I took this shot while walking and chasing after my kids!

“OK, just my imagination. Got it, Mom!” Short and succinct is his middle name these days.

At times like these, I know why preteens and teens can drive parents up their wall by their seemingly curious child-like nature which turns into a cold, shut-the-world-out machine at the very next second. May be he’s a little grown up now — not a small boy anymore but certainly not yet a youth. I just have to learn to release him to the teenage-hood, ready or not, steadily.

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Another freestyle shot using iA mode from Lumix GM1. I have had to reduce the file size for the blog which doesn’t even do justice for the real beauty that we witnessed through my GM1.

Perhaps I am not ready yet. Here’s my first baby who ushered me into motherhood 12 years ago, whose entire birth, his first words, first smile, first turn, first step, first haircut and first mischief got Daddy Joe and I fascinated long into the nights as we learned to be the best first-time parents ever. I can still remember how everything that he was doing even as small as building his first sand castle was worth photo-taking with our first compact camera loaded with a film roll.

The photos that came from the first generation compact camera were at times blurred, at times too white because of the flash light, too dark because we didn’t use the flashlight, too full of flaws because of the background — all of which were largely because digital cameras were not invented until a few years later.

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Sweet interactions between the siblings can pass us so very quickly. But with my new toy, I feel like the real supermom with the power to etch this memory permanently with a quick shot using the camera’s built-in filter called “Clear Portrait”.

Digital camera got us hooked initially because we could take and retake precious moments to our heart’s content but it only did just that – point and shoot. Sometimes the moments were right but the technology and the lack of any photo-taking skill produced photo quality that just came out fairly plain.

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Imagine the size of the Lumix GM1 is as small as an iphone, and almost same length as Daddy Joe’s basic Nokia handphone. Its weight? About the same as a pack of Drinho Chrysanthemum Tea!

We have since owned two digital cameras as we expanded our family members but none could come close to the smartness of Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1K which I recently was invited to put to test as a mother because it targets young fashionable females and especially young mothers (believe it or not, I still qualify, ok? LOL!) with its light weight, compact size (small as an iphone!) and fashionably stylish package. Yet within this lovable compact camera-meets-SLR-function package, this wondrous digital camera is jammed pack with mother-friendly features that were once achievable if only one was armed with a SLR camera and canggih-manggih (high tech) lenses.

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Daddy Joe shot this pix of me taking photos again with my new toy, but see how small it is and how cool it makes a plain Jane mom like me a little bit more cool because of its stylish and retro design in bright orange colour? It really is my new BFF!

Because we don’t have a SLR camera, I sometimes use a phone app such as PicsArt to give artistic touches to the quick photos I take of the happiest little kids. No doubt these apps made me feel almost like a semi-professional photographer because of their ability to capture the surrounding ambience and the moment in time almost quite fine, somehow the photos are still not rich in their detailing and it doesn’t give us the satisfaction that comes from using a real camera to take photos, especially one that gives you the full control like the SLR, minus the required expenses, bulkiness and technical know-how.

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Local shops that are full of characters come aplenty in Melaka!

For my first attempt with Lumix GM1, this happiest little family here has taken a day trip to Melaka, one of Malaysia’s oldest port cities with a trading history dating back to the 15th century and a charming mix of Dutch, Portugese and British colonial heritage that makes it a colourful multicultural  town. From its unique Baba Nyonya heritage as well as its European architectural influences such as the must-visit A Famosa forts and the new retro vibes that are bursting through its touristic cafes and famous streets, they become the perfect backdrop for my experiment with my new gadget.

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These Asian bowls were sold at a shop which encapsulated the multicultural heritage that is bursting through every corner of Melaka. Took this using a special effect called “Old Days”— accessible at an easy scrolling through Lumix GM1’s touch screen. The fun had just started!

I mostly capture the stories of the lovely city by using a very retro built-in filter that comes with the camera. All in, there are 22 filters one can easily switch to at the touch-screen panel to get creative with. There are mothers-approved filters such as child portrait, clear portrait, soft portrait, and cool landscape and skyline filters such as romantic sunset, cool sunset, night landscape, glistening landscape and etc, how not to be feel what Picasso feels when one is able to hold the power to be creative at her fingertips? 🙂

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This is a shot captured using a special effect called “Sunshine” which adds a cast of light to the photo. Hello, the power to play with creativity is just fun!

Overall the camera is light but packed loads with smart features that make capturing these fleeting moments a mom sees such as that cute as a button smile in a photo a supremely easy task. No more expensive family portraits at a studio when everything seems staged. A child’s most natural expression is captured beautifully and naturally with the help of the many fool-proof features.

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Another “retro” mood I tried to capture of some fridge magnets found at a shop. We ended up buying those Nyonya kebaya magnets because they were too cute!

My only regret? If only this was invented 12 years back then perhaps I could hold onto sweet memories of my first baby Cheeky Koko and second baby Pumpkin Mei-Mei that much more longer through vibrant and crisp clear photos produced by the Lumix GM1.

Baby B is just a very lucky baby to be born in this technology age – there is so much more that I can preserve his cuteness in the photos than I could with his older brother and sister, anytime and anywhere. If only time could turn back for me to do what I wanted to do all along.

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Not London. Melaka has its own splashes of red dotted around everywhere in its town inspired by the A Famosa, such as this touristic hop-on bus!

But I am guessing I could still snap the two preteens as much as I want, even when they are trying to cover up their faces and do funny shots like these!

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Follow us as we learn to take full control of Lumix GM1 to capture the beauty of another iconic city of Malaysia, coming up soon!

Our Today Moments


“So… if one unleashed the power of Zeus, he would hurl thunderbolts and bring about killing rain that could then kill even Poseidon ‘cuz he is the aerial god. But Poseidon can counter this power with his own powerful weapon, which is a trident, and it can cause something like an earthquake that can kill the other fellas. Did you know that he is second to Zeus in power amongst the gods? So he is really cool too… I like him because he can control the sea. Imagine the power to call forth Tsunami-grade wave…”

“Hmmm…” I nodded at the split-second pause I had to insert my comment. I must be the only mom in this land who finds her preteen talks without any punctuations and pauses in his sentences.

“Mama, you don’t understand what I am talking about, right?” (Yes I really had NO clue and finaaaally, he got it!)

“Sweetie, I was listening, of course…” came my half-distracted tone when I finally found the crumpled box of raisins from my weathered handbag and quickly tossed it to the passenger seat towards Baby B to buy some peace.  I could not believe that we have only made it to the junction outside our home when it felt like I had driven for hours with a babbling toddler who was trying to escape from his car seat strapped next to his preteen sister who had the perpetual need to interfere my conversation with her brother who was literally speaking Greek to me since the morning!

“Well then, who’s your favourite Greek God, Mama?”

“Urm… the only one I remembered from my school days was Apollo – He is the god of sun, right? I remember reading about him riding on a chariot with four horses to chase the Sun across the sky.”

“Yah, ditto! Apollo is the son of Zeus too— He is the god of music. His weapon is an archer with a silver bow. He has cool healing power that people were crazy about. Did you know he is also the god of truth, so the funny thing is this guy can’t tell lies because he has an honest soul – Maybe that’s why you like him, Mama, ‘cuz you always say lying is the worst thing a kid does, right?”

“Hmmm…I guess so…” I tried to focus hard on the traffic ahead driving the three happiest little people to a neighbourhood mall to get some back-to-school stuff but the truth was I was losing my attention span thinking about my work, their school transportation arrangement, the stationery and grocery on my shopping list, their tuition fees and buying some night diapers for Baby B.

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Yes I often feel like I am a Super Mom – except that in this planet I haven’t mastered the whole juggling act perfectly and don’t think I’d ever get there either!

“Mama, I don’t think you were listening to what I said, that or you are completely unaware of all the powerful weapons these characters have in the cartoon I just said” Cheeky Koko made a passing comment that brought me back from my daydreaming.

It reminded me of a car bumper sticker I got as a Christmas present from Pumpkin Mei-Mei weeks ago. It showed a frazzled mom driving in the car with three kids making lots of noises and it says “Driving Under The Influence of Children!” that had me chuckled upon seeing how well it described my multitasking-life as a mother.

But now it wasn’t funny! I realise that as a working mother, this sort of occasional chronic inattentiveness is becoming debilitating. I am always with the kids whenever I am not working and much as I try my best, I can be half-present sometimes in that my mind does wander off to all the other things such as work tasks that are waiting for me to complete at the back of my mind.

I would lurve to be a stay-home mother (which by the way, was secretly my ambition if money, diapers, grocery, loan payback and all of life’s necessities can just rain into our lawn from the sky!) but it’s just not an option for us, for now.image

I don’t think I am alone in this struggle either. Most other working moms I have come to know struggle with juggling acts of their own as they try to ace in both of their callings in Family and Work.

In the recent Friso Mum Survey in which I was invited to take part in, I realise that I am part of the phenomenal statistic of the Working Mom’s Syndromes, which include but not limited to:

1)      Spending about 2.5 hours lesser than a non-working mum or housewife with her children, and she considers only half her time with her children as “quality time”.

2)      Constantly feeling the tension to balance between work and family which results in:

A. Don’t have enough time in her daily life/routine (Totally true, just look at how I am deprived of a quality bath time here!)

  1. Struggle to juggle between work, housework and the family (Another truth, because I can so ruin our holiday!)
  2. Feeling guilty for not spending enough time with their children and try to fulfil their children’s needs by giving them what they want. (Gulp, my father’s wisdom prevails here!)

While the journey of motherhood brings incredible experiences and immeasurable joys to a mom, the reality of having to juggle between work and family do create a lot of emotional tensions for working moms.

The insensitive commentators say we should just suck it all up and march it on with glitz and glitter since we choose to work, but the sad reality is mostly, we Don’t have a choice in having to work and we have tonnes on our plates — From work, sending and picking up the kids, cooking, bathing feeding them, plus household chores, that we are often left feeling out of time, exhausted, guilty and helpless.

In doing that, I echo Friso Gold’s sentiment for wanting to call on mothers to get in on the acts of “Our Today Moments” in creating lasting moments and spending more quality time with their kids. It’s about the quality time we craft out with our kids that focuses on being in that moment and being in “Today”.  In another words, it’s about us making the effort to make every moment count with our kids –  “Our Today Moments”!

As I pulled into the parking lot of the mall, I apologised to Cheeky Koko that I wasn’t really paying much attention into what he was saying because I had just have a very rough week at work.

“Really? You could have shared your burden with me, Mama. And it’s ok, Mama, I know you work hard for us, so that we can have a good future and I just wanted to share with you what I am into these days, because you said that as I slowly turn into a teenager in the next few years, I may just shut myself out from you and may even be a pain like choosing my friends over you. So guess what? I am making sure that I won’t be a bad teen by sharing my stuff with you including the cartoon I am watching these days… because I love you, Mama”

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In my mind, I did a little chicken dance as the happy, smashing hen so so so… loved by her chicks dearly.

It is said that motherhood chooses us while we can choose to beat the odds in being the best that we can. I was committed to being a better mom there and then and being in the PRESENT whenever my child speaks the next time. My kids just needed me to be with them in the moment, in “Our Today’s Moment” — A sweet lesson I simply have to learn from a 12 years old.

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Photo Credit:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/countrykitty/5146326185/”>countrykitty</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/bies/127619542/”>bies</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;