Thursday, August 18, 2011

Single Father

Dad is a single father. Even though dad needs looking after now, he will always be our father. There are a lot of write-ups and articles about single mothers but single fathers are the silent unsung heroes. Life is tough as a single parent, mother or father.

When mum passed on and left dad as a single father, we were 10 (me), 14, 15, 17, and 18. What a handful! I never thought about how hard it was for my parents to discover that my mum had cancer. That difficulty is compounded by the fact that they were parents to a brood of five. I only realised how tough it must have been when I became a parent myself.

Within a year of discovering that she had end stage cancer, she passed on. We were living in Kuantan at the time and there was no highway then. During some weekends, dad had to take mum to hospital in KL. The journey was about 6 hours then if I am not wrong.

How hard it must have been for this single father to work and care for his wife at the same time while worrying about five kids but dad took it in his stride. He is a stoic man. He still is. We discovered just how stoic he is when he was in hospital last year for two months after a stroke and had colostomy surgery because he was bleeding heavily and could not pass motion.

Dad travelled up and down to KL to look after mum but towards the end, he took her home. Fortunately, we had a kind and gentle doctor living a few doors away from us who came to give mum pain killers intravenously until it was time for her to go.

Well, dad, you have made many mistakes in your life, some of them not small. You are not excused from those mistakes but I appreciate how hard your life must have been back then.

Dad, now in the sunset of your life, I wish that you will be free of pain and that you will be happy and have no worries, that you will be able to eat well and sleep well and you will be able to have more awakening moments where your old self will emerge through the fog.

You have done very well indeed as a single father, dad. You no longer have to worry about us. It is now our turn to worry about you.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

How do you raise kids without losing yourself?

I am a SAHM who spend a lot of time at home with the kids. My life pretty much revolve around the kids. I talk about the kids a lot. So have I lost myself? Nope, I don't think so.
"I have not lost myself. I have discovered my new self. I have learned that I am a stronger person than I knew and I am evolving into this new and better person called MOTHER."
...I am evolving into this new and better person called MOTHER....

Ever since the kids came along, I have discovered more and more about myself. I didn't know I had such perseverance until I started breastfeeding. I didn't know I could teach. I always thought that teaching was the last thing I would do but now I find it a joy to teach. I didn't know that I possessed strength until  I had to deal with doctors and bad news when it comes to the children. I didn't know I had such desire to learn until I started learning so that I can teach the kids.

Everyday, I am learning new things. I have to learn patience. I have to improve my Emotional Intelligence. I have to learn to control myself better. Yes, all for the kids sake but in doing so, I am finding myself, not losing myself.

There are many more things I didn't know about myself and I am learning all the time. Motherhood is an ongoing journey and as I walk that journey, I am discovering more and more of myself.
"No. You do not lose yourself when you raise kids. You find yourself, then you continue to grow as a person."

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Multiple Hug

The other day I gave the kids some crunchy snacks to eat during our movie night. The ever expressive boy said...

"Wow! Mummy, you are so kind to me. I'm going to give you a double hug!"

Sometimes he substitutes double with other numbers like 10 hugs etc, that is why I call it the multiple hug. :)

Yesterday, we dressed him up smartly to go and sit for his piano test. His hair was also long and unruly so we put some gel and water to tame it. After that my little drama king said....

"Mummy, so handsome. Maybe next time I can wear this to the mall and then suddenly you are not there and then a lot of people are around me and they all clap and say "So Handsome!"

Hmm... I think someone has been watching too many movies. 

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Monday, August 08, 2011

Communicating effectively with your spouse

This year for my wedding anniversary, my spouse gave me a necklace. However, I am not a necklace person. I am a bracelet person. If you ask me to put down my jewellery preference order, it would be something like this…

  1. 1. Bracelet (especially charm bracelets!)
  2. 2. Rings (I prefer the dainty to the louder for modern or fashionable types)
  3. 3. Earrings (I like dangling. Earrings really bring out the wearer’s face and brightens it a little)
  4. 3. Necklaces (which are harder to match and sometimes clash with the wearer’s outfits)
I also really prefer precious gems and crystals to silver and gold. Silver is so cold and it reminds me of stainless steel. I prefer dainty over chunky and I don't like jade and pearls are just so so. Whoa! Such a lot of requirements!

14k Gold Filled Engraved Flower Bracelet, 7"

Not this gold bangle, dear!

I know this but he doesn’t and he has never asked me before so how will he know? So what do I do? Do I keep quiet about my preferences or do I voice them out? When and how should I voice it out? It seems so unkind to tell someone (who has taken the time and trouble to think about and buy and gift for you) that you really prefer something else?

14k Yellow Gold Plated Sterling Silver Oval Multi-Gemstone Bracelet, 7.5"

Ah.. this multigem bracelet is more like it!

There were other times in the past where he gave me bangles. However, I don’t like bangles, I prefer bracelets which are more flexible and pretty (in my eyes) and I love charm bracelets but I don’t think he even knows what a charm bracelet is!

Goldtone Swirl Design with Spike Statement Necklace and Earrings Set Fashion Jewelry
Not this Gold Necklace, dear.

Should I tell it directly? Indirectly? Hint? Pick the right time? Etc. It is all so hard for such a simple thing.
So the other day, I decided to go direct, after years of keeping quiet. I’m just exaggerating here but somehow the subject never came up.

SCER035 Sensational Clear AB Genuine Genuine Swarovski Crystals Sterling Silver Leverback 1.25" Long Dangle Earrings

This pair of crystal earrings will do nicely instead.

Anyway, the other day, the man was asking me why I wasn’t wearing his necklace. I said that I didn’t think it was appropriate or necessary because we were just going to the movies. Then I blurted out …..

“You know, after all these years, you still don’t know me well. You don’t know what jewellery I like or what food I like to eat”

Big Bling Ice Crystal Heart Fashion Ring - Adjustable Size - Includes Box

Well, the man didn’t get upset (well, maybe a little) but I think I’ve hurt his feelings a little. Hmm… I just don’t know how to do this. How do you tell someone you prefer something else after all the trouble and thought they have put into giving you something which they think is really nice and which they think they would like you to have?

10k Yellow Gold, November Birthstone, Citrine and Diamond Ring
Too bad, this lovely Citrine Birthstone Ring is for November, I'm born in June.

How do you communicate effectively with your spouse, even over such a simple manner. I am clueless. I am terribly bad at communcation and after being married for 10 years, I am still learning. Care to share with me some effective communication skills? How do you communicate effectively with your spouse?

A little bit of fun: Know your birthstone.
  1. January Birthstone is Garnet (Deep Red)
  2. February Birthstone is Amethyst (Purple)
  3. March Birthstone is Aquamarine (Pale Blue)
  4. April Birthstone is Diamond (Clear or White)
  5. May Birthstone is Emerald (Green)
  6. June Birthstone is Pearl (White)
  7. July Birthstone is Ruby (Red)
  8. August Birthstone is Peridot (Pale Green)
  9. September Birthstone is Sapphire (Deep Blue)
  10. October Birthstone is Opal (Pink)
  11. November Birthstone is Citrine (Yellow)
  12. December Birthstone is Turquoise (Blue)
Of all these, I love sapphire, emerald, ruby and opal best of all. Oh and not forgetting diamonds. Diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friend afterall so you can never go wrong with diamonds. :)

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Friday, August 05, 2011

The Forever Hug

Yesterday my boy introduced me to another hug. He said it is the Forever Hug.

“Mummy, I want to hug you forever. Then you must follow me everywhere I go”

Said the huggy bear while hugging me and pulling me along with him.

I wonder what other new hugs he will come up with next.

Left hugRight hug

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Backward Hug

As I have mentioned many times before, my little boy craves for hugs and he is very generous in dishing out hugs himself too.

For example, when I am tucking his clothes in for him, he would hug me. Whenever he sees me after school he would hug me.

He would jump on his dad to hug him whenever the opportunity arises.

He is just like that. He loves to hug and be hugged.

Then this morning as I was standing behind him,wetting and combing his unruly morning hair, he reached his hands out behind him and hugged me even though I was standing behind him!

"This is a backward hug, mummy." said my little affectionate hugger with a big grin. How not to love him?

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The One Minute Hug

“Mummy, can you give me a hug for one minute?”

Recently I had this request from my boy whose primary love language is touch. He is a very affectionate and physical person. He likes to hug, hold hands, jump on people… Be right back

I said “OK”. So we sat down, looked at our clock and counted 60 seconds and gave him a big long cuddle.

Did you know that a hug usually takes only a few seconds? 60 seconds was quite long but being the affectionate huggy bear that he is, he loved it!

Today, he requested for a 3 minute hug. In love

Hug someone close today. It only takes several seconds but during those few short seconds you will give and receive wonderful feelings.

Better still, hug someone for one minute today.

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