Terrified

If what most people say is to be believed, you’d think that the worse thing about parenthood is that you lose your freedom, your sense of individuality and your ability to sleep soundly without a care in the world.

But honestly, I think they are utterly wrong.

The most terrible part of parenting is really this: Constant feelings of guilt, inadequacy and worry.

Guilt because you almost always feel like you aren’t doing enough for your children. A regretful sentiment that convinces you that, time and again, you fail them in multiple ways that you cannot even recount yet cannot simply forget.

Inadequacy because you can’t shake off a nagging thought that perhaps you aren’t really suited for this virtually lifelong responsibility. Hence, you are perpetually messing things up.

And worry because you know your children are still vulnerable, and yet you can’t protect them enough from every single danger there is that lurks out there.

To top it all, the terrifying truth about all this is that there is no quick fix to dissolve all these tumultuous emotions for you. You have to live with them, and they inescapably change you.

But perhaps you can attempt to determine what kind of impact you will allow it to have on you. At the very least it’s something you can control.

The end looms far into the future, but you have today. And maybe, if you remained focussed on the right stuff, it just might be enough to get you through.

This ought to be your hope. It is certainly mine.

Unwind

There are things I often imagine myself doing, Sitting in bed journalling at the end of every day is one of them. But I never really get round to actually doing it.

I do wonder why.

I guess other ad-hoc things often get in the way. And the fact that I am almost always trying to accomplish one too many things each day.

When will I actually act upon what I envision in my head?

Hopefully before I run out of days. Or time.

Day by day

Sun has just about set over here, and for a brief moment, the bedroom where I am typing from was covered in a beautiful golden glow.

My son lies next to me snuggled in his bed, asleep. So ends another week.

It has been an eventful season in many ways.

He had his first school trip. His teachers have been giving me positive feedback about his progress. Hubs and I discovered I am pregnant. We told our son about it. He now is overly excited about all things baby related and is proudly telling everyone he is on his way to becoming a Korkor.

Meanwhile, all the usual affairs of life continue: I tread the thin line between harmonious work management and maintenance of an orderly home. Days fly by and becomes weeks. Family members fall sick, then recover. Church duties repeat themselves in a predictable cycle. I grow more white hair.

My hair remains frizzy. My skin is persistently itchy in some spot or another.

But I suppose what matters is I’m alive. I have a family to love. I have enough purpose to keep going.

Often, before I even pick up my tablet to put down words for a blog post, so many thoughts and topics course through my brain. Only for them to completely abandon me the moment I actually start writing.

What shall I tell you, dear reader? I wish to have something profound to say.

But all I have are familiar adages.

Things like…

Life is worth living.
Seize the moment.
Be thankful.

I don’t know. Oh well.

May your life be fascinating and as quirky as my son playing drums while wearing 2 pairs of sunglasses.

(And yes, I do believe he just might be of rock drummer mettle. Or should I say… metal? Heh.)

Hope to be back soon. Hold that thought.

A movie tale

Hubs and son posing outside the cinema hall after our first successful movie watching session as a family.

Yesterday was a momentous day for our little boy. It was the first time he sat through an entire movie and actually watched it and was completely absorbed in it.

I suppose this isn’t a big deal for other parents or kids, but for our son, this was significant.

We once took him for another movie screening two years ago, while he was only 2, and we had to leave the cinema just minutes after the movie had commenced.

It was disappointing for us because my husband had specially applied for leave from work for us to go on this cinema trip, and both he and I were really excited for our son because it was a movie about Disney characters that he already liked. We also booked tickets for the screening at the family friendly hall at that cinema.

The reason this happened? We believe it’s mostly because of the large screen images and the loud volume of the audio. Mostly the audio, I think.

My son is mostly a gentle soul, and he is slightly bothered by loud noises and huge visual displays. It is such that when we visit electrical stores and walk pass the TV section, he will hesitate and ask to walk through another route. This is so he can avoid going past multiple TV screens that are blasting varying imagery at louder-than-necessary volumes (which is typical at such shops because they are trying to showcase the merits of each product).

When we are at shopping malls over a weekend and there is some event going on, he will also seem uneasy and eager to be at a comfortable distance or to exit the scene as quickly as possible.

This situation has improved slightly in recent times, especially since he is fed educational content via TV both at preschool and also at Sunday School in church. He has been able to sit through and concentrate on short videos. And at a visit to a friend’s place not so long ago, we witnessed his ability to sit quietly and watch videos and parts of various movies without too much hesitation.

So we figured why not try taking him along for a full fledged movie. We chose a movie that we thought he would like (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) which was being specially screened under an Oscar ’19 themed celebration at TGV Cinemas. It was a movie my husband had wanted to catch when it was first released, but was unable to due to our current family circumstances.

And guess what? It was a huge success. Our son managed to endure all the trailers and ads prior to the movie (something we were also worried about, since we had no idea what they would show and whether it would stress him out even before the movie began), and also enjoyed watching the movie. I even caught him smiling/laughing at one point. 🙂

So it’s a big deal for him. And for me too.

(He did, however, ask to wear his ear muffs throughout the movie, as I guess the loud volume still bothers him a little. But he claims he was still able to hear everything with the thing on, so I guess I should just let that be as long as it helps him enjoy the movie.)

It’s so different being a parent and living through these little life experiences with your child. In many ways, we become so jaded as adults that it feels like a rebirth of sorts to be seeing life through their eyes and doing our level best to cheer them on as they go through growing pains and overcome challenges along their way. It revives your resolve to want to live life more deliberately and fully.

And it makes you dwell, even if just for a little while, on the wonders of small things. Those tiny milestones that perhaps, someday, will mount into something big.

Probably someday I’ll tell my son about his aversion to big screens and loud noises. He might even doubt what I say, unable to fathom how such a trivial thing could have bothered him so much. But I’ll remember these days. Just as I’ll remember how proud I was when he overcame this fear.

Here’s to many more victories in his life both in the present and beyond! 😀

Provision

Life, it seems, is this odd collection of events, jumbled together in seemingly random combinations.

Just when I think I’m finally about to get a breather and play catch-up with things I’ve been neglecting for too long, something new springs up and my attention is diverted again.

For once, I actually managed to get my work done way ahead of schedule. And so I thought I’d have this considerable amount of time to get the home organised and perhaps, even be able to indulge in some hobbies for awhile.

But alas, something evil lurks about in the background. Well, somewhat.

I get a new ad-hoc request for work. My son falls sick and has to skip school.

My life is topsy turvy once again. Goodbye, plans.

I ought to get back to bed soon. I fell asleep not intending to earlier, and then was awakened twice in between all that by my son, who is currently running a fever.

I had a shower after we took his temperature and gave him meds. And now I’ve just finished having a midnight snack (way past midnight, really) of air fried frozen nuggets and lettuce with Kewpie sesame dressing. Listened to some new music via Facebook and indulged my curiosity for a bit in the singing couple, Us The Duo, who are currently doting over their firstborn infant.

Ah, why do so many women look so gorgeous post delivery and during the first year of their newborn’s life? I remember looking worse than crap and feeling pretty much the same too. I was stumped on what to wear, and struggled to locate breastfeeding friendly clothes from my wardrobe (didn’t really want to spend unnecessarily on nursing wear, so tried my best to use what I have). My hair was pretty much in a bun most of the time, unless I finally chopped more than half of it off in an attempt to simplify grooming (which I clearly had no time to do, especially in that first year of parenthood).

I guess I don’t expect to feel any better when #2 makes his/her entrance into the world. Only good thing is, as my ob/gyn says, I have the benefit of experience now. So I know what to expect, more or less. Ha.

International Women’s Day has just passed lately and being a Work-At-Home Mum (WAHM), there was no employer to surprise me with flowers or delightful treats at my (non-existent) work desk. In fact, I spent last Friday mostly working in a silent home while being grateful that I actually could find the time to work because my son could attend preschool that day as his flu seemed to be getting better. (It has since morphed into a cough and fever. Bah.)

Anyway, social media reminded me through the many posts of others that this significant day was being commemorated. So it made me think for a moment about my womanhood and how it has been so far.

In some ways, it’s sad to think that I had to choose to become a WAHM because my former employer had no options available for me to explore in terms of more flexible work arrangements. Perhaps it might have been different for my career had I been able to remain a journalist in some form or measure while raising my young son. But that was not to be.

So ultimately, being a Mum came with certain choices that needed to be made. Essentially, this is part of being a woman too. As much as men sometimes like to belittle the female gender saying we harp too much on gender equality and all that, the truth is sometimes that we do have a different set of life circumstances dealt to us just because we are female. And we do need every bit of support we can get from others (men included) to help make it possible for us to become the best people we can be. And to not let being a woman become a hindrance in any way.

Just my two cents.

On another matter, I am marvelling at how God is graciously providing for us during this pregnancy so far. I am thankful for a uni friend who so happens to be also pregnant at this time (our EDDs are like just weeks apart, with me being in the lead). We are both also expecting our second child, so that makes our experiences pretty similar in nature. This makes me feel not so alone in my journey.

I remember I had a similar situation last time during my first pregnancy with Jamie. A friend I knew from my days in iBridge (a Christian ministry to support young adults who are just entering the workforce) and I were pregnant with EDDs that were also just weeks apart.

It was cool. We shared so much with each other throughout our pregnancies, and we also discussed so much together throughout the first year of our parenthood experience. (However, things changed rapidly moving from then onwards, and we haven’t been as much in touch as before – but that is a tale for another time).

These are just little stuff, but it really does help.

Got plenty more things to be worried about this pregnancy (costs of healthcare being one), but I’m trying my hardest to take things one step at a time.

Meanwhile, I am also thinking a lot about whether I am doing enough to bring out the potential in my eldest child. I have seen him grow so much in the past few months, and I’ve never been prouder. But I also know there’s going to be a lot of changes ahead for him. I wonder whether we will be able to help him navigate through this season well.

Guess I have to trust that God will provide for us in every way, be it in terms of physical needs or even the emotional/mental/spiritual aspects of this part of our family’s journey. He has been faithful all throughout past seasons, of course, so I have literally no excuse to believe that things would be any different now.

(Small note: The image you see at the start of the post is my son’s masterpiece of arranging magnetic music notes on my old music board which my Mum kept since my preschool days lol).

Goody two shoes

This post is for all those out there who have chosen to do good. To be good. The ones who deliberately choose to walk the straight and narrow path. Those who get labelled things like “Miss Goody Two Shoes” or “boring”, “unadventurous” and much more.

I hope this post inspires you.

* * *

Here is my confession. I am that boring, predictable, good girl. I have always been.

This is not to say I have never had rebellious moments. Or that I have never made mistakes. I certainly have. But I’m the kind who generally errs on the side of caution. I do my best to avoid trouble.

And trouble generally didn’t bother looking for me either. I guess I was not worthy? Heh.

Anyway, I am writing this post today because I believe that there is a good enough reason for you to stick with your convictions if you are anything like me.

Some people may dismiss you as being dull or “no fun”, but look beyond that, and you will see there truly are rewards for striving to maintain innocence or to live by the righteous code that you believe in.

First off, I am a Christian, and have been so pretty much my whole life. My parents are church leaders, so like it or not, that has influenced my life in a big way. Of course, there came particular junctures in my life where I needed to decide for myself what my own beliefs would be, and I did. But mostly I stayed the course that I started off on because I saw the benefits of it.

Now, you may or may not come from a similar background as I do. In fact, you may even have a very different set of spiritual beliefs or moral code from the rest of your family or those you are close to.

But the thing is, there is a purpose for good in this world. For being kind, compassionate, upholding the truth and all other upright values. And God sees what we do, even when others don’t. And it is worth it.

One of the Bible passages that I remember learning as a child was that of Psalm 1. In it, there are the following words:

“For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

– Psalm 1:6

Sometimes, nobody comes back to tell you how they were impacted by something good you did. But there are times that they do. And I have seen how it inspires someone else when we do good.

Another part of Psalm 1 goes like this:

“He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither,

And whatever he does shall prosper.”

– Psalm 1:3

I don’t know about you, but haters and spiteful people aside, generally choosing to do good only brings about positive effects. Not just to benefit the people around you, but it profits you as well in the long run.

The constant good you do eventually builds up into something big, even beyond what we may ever be able to imagine. Our actions, as people say, define us, and when we act righteously, we build a solid reputation for ourselves. And that opens doors to great things.

It gives us a platform to speak where people will listen. It opens up opportunities for work, relationships that may not exist otherwise. And it is because of the character we choose to develop within ourselves.

Of course, we do not always get it right. And we may not always have the right attitudes or perspectives. But we ought to keep trying. I certainly believe it is always worthwhile.

I wish I could think of a specific incident in my life to share with you right now to convince you of this, but I can’t think of one. (I will certainly write about it again if one comes to mind). All I can say though is that my whole life’s journey thus far has definitely proven to me personally that this is a choice worth making about the way I live.

I hope you will find it to be just as rewarding a decision too.

Alert

It’s 4.46am in the morning over here and I’ve just finished off writing some social media copy for my client. On one side of me, I have my son sleeping, and on the other is my husband. Yup, this is the Work At Home Mum life.

But hey, I love that my life is built around my family first and foremost. A career is important, but should not hinder me from tending to what I love most.

Anyway, it’s not such a good idea for me to stick around too long as I still do need a bit more sleep before the morning rush hour comes swooshing by.

I guess besides letting you know that I’m still awake at this odd hour, I also wanted to share some exciting and also scary news. Hehe.

I’m pregnant for the second time. 😀

It has taken us longer than expected to conceive, so this new development came as a joy + relief for us, but it has also got us worrying about things to come. A lot of changes are coming up, but perhaps it will be good to take things one step at a time.

We have already made this known to our son, and he seems to be taking it really well. In fact, he’s really excited. He’s in this phase where he’s fascinated with babies so he’s thrilled to know that soon we will have one in our family too. He calls it his baby. 😛

There’s a whole lot more other things I could say/share about this topic, but perhaps that’s best left to other posts.

Goodnight.