February has been sort of a roller coaster month for me. There were days that were filled with peace, jubilation and all things happy, and days overshadowed by agony, heartache and all things miserable.
Well, if you have been reading this blog for a while, you probably can see how I try to see my cup as half full in life and how I try to inject positivity in everything I do, as a mum and as person. It's also pretty evident that I try more to document the fun, happy, rewarding side of motherhood. But, that doesn't mean there are no tears, sweat and broken hearts behind the scene.
Yes, I have been bringing all three kids out on my own and as easy as it might seem, it is really not. I have to nag, shout and keep a vigilant eye at all times, be it on the bus or in the MRT. Sometimes, the girls sing too loud, push each other, squabble, fight over who gets to press the bell and when the baby decides to join in the chorus with his wails, that's when it gets a little unbearable. I still believe that things will get better with more practice, no?
Yes, I post pictures of the kids smiling, the sisters holding hands and us together as one big, happy family. Behind all the laughter and smiles, you should know that there were moments of despair and pain. I can't even count how many times the kids drove me up the wall and I had to reprimand, teach, scream and end up punishing them. Defiant behaviour, backtalking, rude to elders, selfish, disrespectful, disobedience - these are the things I do deal with on a daily basis and I take it very seriously in disciplining them in these aspects. Sure, there were happy times when we played, bonded and had fun together. But these were also nights when we ended up in frustration and tears. I remember there was one evening that got so bad and after Angel got into a bad episode with me and the hubby, she was crying so much non-stop and it ended up that the two of us got into a hug and cried together. The little sister saw us and she came over to join in the hugging and tearing too. It was such a strong, fragile and emotional moment for me and it was a rare, rare time when I admitted just how hard I am trying to keep things together and to be their mum. I can't remember when was the last time I cried like that.
Yes, we have family outings and even staycations! It's great knowing that blogging gives us opportunities which we otherwise might not have, but there's more to it than just glam and glory. Can you even guess how I find time to blog? Yeah, by sacrificing sleep (how else?) and sometimes it might not be a good thing. A lack of sleep might mean a shorter temper too, right? Also, though we love to go out, with three kids to look after now, I set plenty of rules when I am alone with them - for instance, no running around or playing hide and seek in restaurants and shops, eating your food entirely on your own and finishing it, listening to me when I tell them to do something etc. It gets a little easier for me when the hubby is around but trust me, the kids make him blow his top much too often too. I guess it's really not easy being outnumbered by the kids.
Yes, it's awesome having a newborn in the house and this is something I badly, badly missed. I love smelling his scent, letting him hold my finger, stroking his hair and kissing him a thousand times a day. There is no way, no way I would trade him for anything in this world. You know, before I gave birth, I was apprehensive if my heart had the room for three babies but it ended up everything just came naturally and I possessed more love to give than I thought I had. Nonetheless, being his sole caretaker, the one who bathes him, feeds him, changes him, soothes him, plays with him, carries him and brings him out, it does get a little exhausting. Especially with all the waking up at night. Plus, many a time, he cries when others carry him and refuses to go to sleep, until I put him in my arms and he calms down immediately and then dozes off. It seriously works like magic and as tiring as it can be, I actually feel glad that I'm the magician.
I can go on and on but I think you get the point - parenting is like a roller coaster ride and as much as we enjoy the good days, the bad is inevitable and perhaps that's also the beauty of it all. We laugh and we cry; we bond and we fight; we rejoice and we despair; we teach and we learn; we fall and we rise. The good days are great for memories but I believe it's equally important to cherish the bad days and learn something from it so that we emerge as strong, wiser and better mums. In this month's "Happiness is...", its about treasuring both the good and bad days.
We visited Monsters of the Deep at Science Centre and also attended a Family Day in SAFTI to show our support for the hubby. I find that it is important to let the kids learn about his job so that they can better appreciate how hard he works to keep the family going. This month, I've been repeating the line "Money doesn't fall from the sky" to Ariel who seems to think that we can make money appear from nowhere or that she can just ask Daddy to 'make' more. It's funny hearing her say that but I do hope she will learn about the truth and the value of thrift.
We've also been visiting playgrounds and the girls are waiting for didi to join them in action very soon! It might seem like it's pretty awesome to bring three kids out to play but you know what, the truth is it's actually easier for me because the elder two can go and play on their own and I get to breathe when I'm left with just one kid to look after. Yes, I'm not as super as some of you think I am.
It was our first time visiting the new Temasek Club and I was so happy to be back in the pool after the hiatus! Alas it started to rain shortly and we had to get out. Well, luckily the girls managed to have a good swim with Daddy before that. These two are such water babies and they really, really love to be in the water. Oh, and they love to jump on the trampoline too! Non-stop!
In spite of the fact that the hubby has been working rather late on most days, we try not to let it affect us and as much as I can, we still go to libraries, go out for desserts, go for art classes and go for strolls in the park. I think it's liberating and I much prefer being outdoors than being cooped, you know what I mean?
Every morning, my father-in-law goes over to the brother-in-law's house to look after his kids and returns late at night. I'm thankful that on some days, he helps me to walk Angel to school since it is on the way, which helps to take a load off my shoulders. I'm also thankful that he lets me be stubborn on some days when I wish to bring the kids to school myself. I mean, that's why I wanted to be a stay-home mum too, to be able to look after my kids on my own. Besides, Angel always say "Mummy, can you bring me to school?" and it gets a little hard to reject. So yes, the above picture was one taken at 7am when all three kids were awake and we were out. I also usually bring the whole brood out when I have to fetch the elder one from primary school (after I've fetched the younger one an hour earlier) and despite all the stares, I do feel happy to be a mum of three even though sometimes I look like a total mess.
Since it was CNY and there were some good shows to watch, including Monkey King 2 and The Mermaid, we ended up watching quite a few movies this month! The latest one was Zootopia and considering that the kids watch a handful of 'adult' shows with us, it's only right we watch animated movies with them too (though the hubby is likely to fall asleep). Just so you know, Angel can watch any show with us and be engrossed, the baby sleeps and eats most of the time, so the most challenging one is actually the toddler. For those who ask us how we manage to make them stay in their seats and be quiet during the show, I can only say that we eat quite a bit of Nachos and popcorn every time. Plus, it's really a case of practice makes perfect!
For the first time in a long long while, I went to a karaoke session! Woohoo! For those who don't know, my best friends and I used to frequent Kbox and Partyworld till we got married, had kids, got too occupied with work and I can't remember when was the last time we sang together already. Some of the fellow mum bloggers and I got together for a spontaneous KTV session and it felt totally awesome! Even though Asher was with me and I had to dash off after an hour of singing (and change diapers in the midst) to pick up Ariel, I left feeling rejuvenated and happy. Seriously, I think I've forgotten the importance of me-time on most of my days. So, we made it a deal to hold such sessions regularly and catch up on some mummy good times while not neglecting our duties to look after the kids! Time to learn some new Mandopop songs!
While the girls might complain about each other often and snatch over books and toys, the fact remains that they are still a very loving pair of sisters and I don't think I can ask for anything more. They love each other, they play with each other, they look out for each other, they leave sweets for each other, they even have pretend games where one of them is the mummy and the other the baby. How cute! Nothing against families who opt for one child, but I personally believe that siblings are one of the best things I can give to my kids. The two of them also fuss over the baby brother, kiss him, hug him, pat him at every opportunity they can find, even when he is sleeping (Argh, I can't help but chide them when they wake the sleeping baby, even though they did it out of pure love)! It's so heartwarming when I see the three of them cuddling together and for all the woes I've had in the day, this scene could melt them all away.
As for the baby, he's growing up well and I brought him to the polyclinic for his Hep B jab yesterday. The doctor says he's at a good height and weight and is over the 75th percentile. Woohoo! At least no one is going to grumble about me not having enough breast milk to feed him for now! He's still quite hard to put to sleep and only likes to be rocked and cuddled, which makes things very tricky for me when I want to hang the laundry, cook dinner or vacuum the floor. Honestly, I still do it and I've learnt to multi-task while keeping him on me - if you see what I do at home, I swear many parents will object to it. For me, it's a no choice situation - either I do that or the chores do not get done, but trust me, I'm the mum and I will always try to keep my baby safe.
I'm also making an extra effort to cherish the newborn moments because babies grow up too fast for my liking. I love how he fits into my arms, how he leans against my chest, how he gazes into my eyes, how his little fingers hold tightly onto mine and this boy never fails to bring smiles onto my face no matter how bad a day I've had.
My Little Pony Friendship Run was held last weekend and it was our first family run in 2016! Even though we didn't manage to run as a family due to the traffic jam and lack of parking in Sentosa, I was still glad that I made it with the girls. I also felt very grateful to have a hubby who was willing to skip his football session to accompany us and who is hands on with the baby and doesn't mind changing his soiled diapers in public too. Haha. Will share more about our run next week!
As some of you know, we also went for a staycation at Shangri-La Hotel last week. Some friends said "so shiok ahhh!" when they knew of it but truth is only bloggers will know there's a price to pay. I'm going to spend the next week with many sleepless nights just writing about our experience. Can you believe it? It was a short 2D1N stay but I took over 700 photos! So I've to find time to select, edit, compress and upload these pictures before I can even start to type and write. That said, I know I know I know that we were very lucky to have this chance and I do seriously cherish it. I mean, it's Shangri-La! Never expected that blogging would lead us to have a sponsored staycation there so we are all feeling very thankful. Well, good things are meant to be shared so I'm actually asking to hold a giveaway for my readers and I hope one of you will be able to experience the joy too! (Did I just make you open your eyes and pay attention?)
So, there you have it, our month of February summarised. It was also in this month where the big girl picked up a flower and gave it to me saying "I'm going to name this flower Mummy because it's especially for you", the little girl who wanted to sleep with me and the baby and said "Because I like you, Mummy" and the baby boy who has started making the 'M' sound whenever he looks for me. Awwww, my heart melts for these three and I know this unwavering love for them will enable me to overcome all the hurdles waiting for me in the motherhood journey. Good days, bad days, I'll make sure they are filled with love.
How did the month of February go for you?