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Mother and Baby Singapore Magazine May 2014

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  • 64Mother&Baby may 14

  • convince my 5 year-old that she shouldwear one dress over another. Sigh.

    You have to learn to pick your battles,but here are several things I ve learned inthe last eight years.

    r. Your child will follow your exampleI constantly telI my kids not to panicwhen bad things happen to them, so if Ipanic, then these are just empty words.Your child will foilow your example, notyour advice.

    Fail fast, fail often - this is the onlyway to grow and learn what works andwhat doesn't..

    g. Learn to let goWe were cycling at the beach the other-day as we had given Linus and Amelianew bicycles for their birthdays and weretesting them out for the first time. ThoughLinus was off like the wind, Amelia wasstill a little unsteady. As it was also Lucas'first tlme on a blke seat, I was a litt]e

    -It's important to schedule some'me time'everydoy - whenyou can deco,??press and just be you.As Lucas, my youngest, becomes

    more moblle, he constantly finds himselfin precarious situations. I was busy withthe older two kids one morning and whenI looked up, Lucas was standing on a chairtrying to climb onto a movable shel{! Bellsand alarms went off in my headl My firstinstlnct was to shout, "Stop moving!"

    But l ve been in similar situationsmany times before to know that if I wereto react the way my inner paranoid selfwould like to, Lucas would panic at myscream and be more 1ikely to fall andbreak his head. So, I walked over casually(yet quickly), and swooped him up fromthe chair into a mega-hug in the air beforeputting him down gently and safely onthe floor. My kid never even knew thedanger he was in!

    z. Don't be afraid to let your child failI love my children too much to see themget sad and be hurt, so if i could, I wouldtake away all the disappointments,regrets and failures they would everface in life. Yet, this is what makes lifeso fascinating and extraordinary. If aperson has never failed, wouldn't hetake everything for granted? If he hasnever failed, how can he appreciate thetaste of sweet success? How then will hehave the drive and hunger to work hardfor his passion? We have to teach ourchildren that failure is okay. What's moreimportant is to get back on our feet andtry again when something doesn't work.

    apprehensive. I didn't think he would bebig enough to fit into it, but it was as if hewas free the moment we strapped himin. Not only was my little one kicking hislegs in gIee, he had his hands up in theair and was grinnlng from ear to ear. I tellyou this one is going to be a fan of thero[ler coaster.

    As for Amelia, she was having thetime of her 1ife, weaving in and out of theother bikes while ringing the bell on herbrand-new two-wheeler. So carried awaywas she, looking everywhere but in frontof her, there was many a time when shealmost crashed into someone or cycledoff the road. Thankfully, she didn't. As Iwas tailgating, screaming at her to payattention to the road, my inner calmerself was saying "You have to learn tolet go."

    Of course, our chlldren are going toget hurt one day. Nor can we always bethere.to protect them. We just have toraise them to know that no matter whathappens, we will aiways be there to meetthem with open arms - ready to kissaway every boo-boo, disappointmentand heartbreak.

    4. Listen to your childAnd I mean really lisren. Put awayyourelectronic devices, come down to theirlevel and iook in their eyes. It may notmatter to you that your child drew apicture of an elephant in school today, orthat her best friend today is Jane and not

    Faith, since the latter had accidentallystepped on her toe, but these snippetsmean the world to her. So, if you donot listen to the little stuff when she islittle, she may not te1l you the big stuffwhen she is in her teens because, toher, all these little things have alwaysbeen the big stuff.

    5. Schedule "me time"!As mothers, we are constantly tryingto multitask and accommodateeveryone else. I rush around all daylike a head less chicken, runningerrands, ferrying the kids and makingsure everybody is taken care of. Oncethe children get up, there id virtuallyno "me time" ti1l they are packed off tobed rz hours later. Several months ago,my sister gave me a manicure packageas a birthday present, but I have beenso busywith everything that I haven'thad the chance to use it yet.

    Finding time to work out is anotherissue. Other than working out at 6amor gpm, it is almost impossible to carveout time to do so. Yet, it is so importantfor us mummies to take ourselvesseriously. If I am not happy and wellrested, I find that my bad temper tendsto rub off on the kids. So, if I get antsy,they get antsy. I shout, they scream -itt lose-lose for all. It's onlywhen youhave a happy mother that-you will haveahappy family.

    Therefore, it's important toscheduJe some "me time" every day- when you can decompress andjustbe you. When youte not anyonetmother, daughter or sister - just "me".Find a quiet place to meditate, pick upa favourite read, or enjoy a cup ofteawhile you dig into that romance novel.Or even take time to journal and bethankful for your family.

    More importantly, you should giveyourself a pat on the back for makingit this far in your mummy journey andtake a welLdeserved break. You areworth it! In the meantime, I'm goingto pick up the phone and make thatappointment for a manicure. Anymummies want to join me? l/B

    L

    6SMother&Bab5r may r4