Happiness is... learning to accept reality

Posted by ~Summer~ on February 13, 2019

It isn't always easy writing a "Happiness is..." post because the truth is, some months are just harder to bear than the rest. It's like with the good days come the bad days and there is no way any of us is ever gonna escape from the cycle. We just have to accept that life has always, and will always, be full of ups and downs.

I guess it's easy to say things like "Without the bitter, how can you savour the sweet" or "The bad days are there to teach you to cherish the good" but when in face of dismay, it's never easy to keep that smile on our faces and stay positive at all times.

But maybe, we don't have to.

Maybe it's okay to feel down. Maybe it's okay to cry. Maybe it's okay not to be perfect. Maybe it's okay to feel like a failure. Maybe it's okay to think that life is unfair. Maybe it's okay to let it all out because when we learn to see life as it is and make peace with it, that's how we can stay on the bright side.

In January's "Happiness is...", it's about learning to accept reality, to accept life, to accept ourselves.

January 2019 was when I wrote my first morbid post on this blog (read "Nothing Gold Can Stay") because with all the devastating deaths that had happened near and far, there was this whirlwind of emotions deep within me and even up till now, I'm still trying to decipher what they mean, how I feel and the best way to move on.

It's hard. And it's harder knowing that such grieving experiences will happen to all of us, again and again in the future. It's part and parcel of life yet one of the toughest challenges for us, the living, to overcome. I can only say be strong, don't give up and cherish our fragile lives while we still can.

With the kids all in school on weekday mornings, it means I have a couple of hours free to myself and I've been able to cook more, clean more and do more laundry in peace. Haha, yup, chores are an indispensable part of my SAHM's life. I'm still trying to find more time to catch up on doing the growing up videos of the little ones, so hopefully I'll churn something out for these eager kids soon.

That said, I've long ago accepted the fact that I'm not a domestic goddess and will never be. Cooking is not one of my passion and I do it solely for the fact that my kids will have healthier, homecooked meals, not because I love doing it. Yup, if given a choice, I would much rather take my craft materials and craft away than spending time checking out new recipes on the internet.

There will still be days when I don't manage to run out to get groceries in time or I'm just not in the mood or in time to cook. So yes, even though we've cut down on it, we still do takeaways at times. I'm not proud of it but I'm not ashamed of it either. It's because I'm human, not superhuman; and I'm an ordinary mum, not supermum; so it's okay to leave the chores undone, to live with a messy house, to have dishes in the sink, to see lots of hair lying on the floor and to eat food with a little MSG on some days. I don't beat myself up over it, and so shouldn't you too.

While our weekdays are usually packed because of their enrichment classes, afternoon naps and the endless homework that the 9yo comes home with, our weekends are usually kept free so that we can enjoy some outdoor family time together. Yup, we are still going down the no-tuition route for now and it's my strong belief that learning takes place anywhere and I would want my kids to get out more, get dirty more, explore more, be curious more and see the world more. No matter how much homework they have, there is always time for play and relaxation.

Now that we've renewed our 4-park pass, I definitely hope to make outings to the Zoo, Night Safari, River Safari or Bird Park a regular weekend affair. It's amazing how much they enjoy every trip regardless of how many times we've walked past the same exhibit and seen the same animals up close. It's definitely a good way to reduce the screen time and for now, since we don't give them phones yet and we have no iPads, screen time is strictly TV time and I'd much prefer to bring everyone out than to stay in on weekends.

The start of the year marks a huge milestone for these two younger ones, one who started on her primary school journey and is now a happy P1 kid and the other who finally began preschool and is now a whiny N2 kid. Haha. Okay, it's not that bad because he stopped crying after a week. Initially, he didn't want to go to school, refused to let go of me, cried, screamed and struggled whenever the teachers wanted to take him to class. It made my heart ache to see him like that, which was very unlike his sisters. All I wanted to do was hug my koala tight and let him know I'll never leave him, but deep down I knew it was time for him to grow and reach his next phase of life too. Yup, I'm still trying to learn to let go of my kids, in more ways than one.

That said, the teachers said he's been nothing but a gem in class and is a bubbly, happy boy. When I'm not around. Lol. Yup, they have to do that to us mummies, right? He still whines a little every morning and he reminds me a thousand times that I have to wait outside of his school for him, that I can't go home or to the supermarket or even to pee. Awww, my clingy little boy, let's see if you even remember such moments years later or can't wait to get rid of Mama then. Haha.

Talking about this boy, he has really grown tremendously over the past couple of months. Not just in height, but in his mindset, behaviour and the way he has overcome some of his fears too. For instance, he can now hold his pee till he gets to the loo and he is no longer scared of washing his hair under the rain shower. He now loves to trace dotted lines and will take the initiative to take a marker to write on his books in his free time. He loves to help out in the kitchen and will ask to help me pluck the vegetables or even chop garlic. Well, try as I might, I can never stop these tiny beings from growing up, right? So it's time for me to embrace the fact that they will only get bigger, more mature and possibly less cute but they will always be the kids whom I love so, so much.

Now that he's turned three, he also started on his art journey with heART Studio! I was so skeptical if he could do it because he just seems to develop slower than his sisters, is more reserved and with him being so sticky to me, I wondered if I would ever be able to leave him in class alone. It turned out that after two lessons, he was okay to say byebye! Like, wow. He is much smaller, and shorter, than his classmates but that doesn't daunt him and I'm just happy to see that he is enjoying the chance to draw, paint and be creative.

My mum always reminds me how relieved she is to see him talking so much now and tells me how worried she was for a period of time that he would be slow in development. I guess some kids just need more time to blossom and instead of rushing them, maybe we could just wait a little longer and in the meantime, continue to shower them with lots of love and never lose our faith in them.

So when the younger two went on their Zoomoov rides and were squealing with laughter, the eldest chose to sit out. I think it was partly due to the fact that the little sister could accompany the 3yo and there was an odd number, and partly because she is slowly but surely outgrowing kiddy rides. Well, she turns 10 this year, doesn't she? A little scary to think of how old she is and how long I've been in this motherhood journey, but at the same time it makes me proud and beam with pride to see this fine, young lady she is growing into. Well, this mature girl of mine even helps to fetch the sister home after school and it's because she makes me believe and have confidence in her.

Perhaps she might not like kiddy rides so much now but it doesn't mean she stops playing with us. She still loves theme park rides, playgrounds, arcades, pretend games and self-invented games that she thinks of at home so I think as life moves on, it just means we learn to adjust and move on too.

As for the little sister, she is thriving in her P1 journey and loving every day of her new life in her new school, which really heartens me and makes me feel relieved. She comes home telling me what she ate at recess, what she did with her friends, what activities she did in class and even though I know this honeymoon period will not last long, I just want her to enjoy every bit of it and be her usual happy self. The good thing is she doesn't have much homework for now so we still have plenty of time for her to rest, play, laugh and just be silly with her little brother. These two bicker a lot but can be so loving at times too and it warms my heart every time to see them holding hands, hugging and kissing each other.

Last but not least, these were a highlight of our January too so I have to showcase them here. Check out our new pet...........


Right, I'm not kidding. They've been in our home for three weeks already and we've been diligently feeding them with small pieces of fruit. All because the big girl brought them home for a Science experiment and she was over the moon to be able to do so. Did I mention to you? She now wants to be an entomologist when she grows up.

While her classmates were getting frightened and feeling disgusted by these wriggly worms, she was taking them up one by one and helping the teacher to distribute them, and picking them from the floor when others flung them away in fear. Don't ask me why she loves them so much, because I sure don't.

Her love for these bugs has spread to her siblings who are now able to take up the worms, stroke them, talk to them and treat them like pets too. Yup, while I cringe and shudder. And I refuse to hold them the way they do. However, I've learnt to accept her love for them and not discourage her, but instead to support and help her out (such as cutting the fruits and changing the oats) when I can.

If she wants to be an entomologist, she will have my wholehearted support too. Because that's what mums and dads do, right?

I guess that marks the end of our first month of the year. It's the CNY period now so I would like to wish all of you dear readers a happy Year of the Pig and may joy, prosperity and most importantly good health be with you and your loved ones.



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