Thirty Eight

Posted by ~Summer~ on April 12, 2021
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This year has been a year of change for me in more ways than one.

Well, although the pandemic has had an impact on all of us in the past year, forcing us to stay home, be unable to travel and made changes to our lifestyle, I think I am still dealing well with staying home and I am truly thankful that we are well-protected and well looked-after in our island.

The BIGGEST change of all, for me, has to be having the new addition to the family and how I have been promoted to a mum of 4 just before I turn 38.

Did I expect to give birth at this age when I was younger? Well, I don't think I did but then again, much of my life is not planned, like how I didn't expect myself to become a stay-at-home mum and has remained so for the past 12 years. Oh, and I will probably still be one for at least the next 12 years to come. Then I would be 50 already which means I will be unlikely to find work at that age with near zilch experience in the workforce. Haha. Still, no regrets. Never. Not even a tinge.
Being able to stay home with these four kiddos is still the best thing that has happened to me, even if they make me pull my hair or drive me up the wall every now and then. Haha. Really, I am not contradicting myself, I still love my 'job' to bits and I know I am super lucky and blessed to be where I am today.

Anyway, maybe age has caught up, my perception has changed or the pandemic has shifted the way things work. I wasn't planning on or looking forward to a grand celebration and didn't make plans to go for birthday meals with friends too. All I wanted to do was keep it simple and be with my loved ones.

Now that we are a big family of six, it means we can't dine outside with all of our parents because that would make 10 of us which will be against the rule of having a maximum of eight. So we had a simple celebration with my parents who treated us to a nice zi char dinner at the kopitiam.

When they asked if wanted a cake, I wasn't shy to be honest and said "Yes!" and the hubby went to a nearby cake shop to get a cheap chocolate sponge cake which turned out to be really yummy. It wasn't so much about being childish but more of wanting to let the kids blow out the candles and for myself to make a birthday wish, in the hope that it would come true. After all, birthdays only happen once a year, right?

According to the hubby, the cake shop auntie was only willing to give one candle despite him asking for more and it was probably because the cake was cheap. Anyway, he spent three dollars more to get a packet of candles that spelt "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" and decided to line them up all around the cake before lighting all of them.

With so many candles on a relatively small cake, I was quite sure this was the cake with the biggest flames we've had so far and even the side of the cake started to burn when we were halfway through the song. Haha, how memorable!

Some of my jiemeis came over to visit baby Ansel a couple of days before my birthday but they decided to spring a surprise by bringing a yummy Cedele chocolate cake! It's been a while since I celebrated my birthday with them so I was really thankful and glad it happened. It's also nice knowing that some of us gave birth at around the same time (Hello baby Jasper, you are an April baby too!) so we have lots of common topics to talk about when it comes to motherhood and parenting.

Our friendship journey began since we were in Secondary 1 so that means we have stayed as buddies for, erm, over 25 years? Haha. Hope we can always find time to meet up, no matter how busy life gets!

As for my actual day, it didn't start off on a happy note for some personal reasons which I won't elaborate here but I was still looking forward to spending a good time with the kids when they came back from school. Yup, it was going to be a solo parenting day, something which I've gotten used to, but I guess I still felt special in a way knowing that it was my hatch day.

I wanna give thanks to all the friends who were so kind as to send goodies and gifts over, including coconut jellies and a fruit tart from Angeline and David, frozen yoghurt from Serene, Ting and Estella, flowers and cookies from Sisi and Willie, as well as a beautiful balloon with rainbow baby breath from Nat, Mabel and Lin Ying.

The kids also made me feel extra loved by giving me their handmade cards in the cutest way ever - they put all of them into a picnic basket and presented it to me (scroll to my IG post below and swipe to watch the video).

My love language has never been gifts and I never needed the hubby or anyone to pamper me with anything lavish. But a handmade card filled with effort and love, I appreciate that from the bottom of my heart and will keep every card with me for as long as I live. So thank you so much for all the beautifully written cards and pretty origami, my dears. Love you all to the moon and back!

At night, I decided to be more adventurous so I brought the younger ones to cycle in our neighbourhood while the firstborn and I pushed the baby along and had a nice mother-and-daughter chat. I had a bowl of laksa (I love laksa!) to reward myself while the kids had pasta and burger, woohoo!

I have to say I'm slowly but surely getting used to bringing four kids out on my own and we've also managed to take the public transport a few times too. Yay! It's all about practice makes perfect and the first thing to do is to believe in myself that I can do it, right? So I gotta have faith and be positive about it, even if some days are tougher than the rest.

No matter how social media makes everything seem so easy and smooth for me or for anyone else, we have to always remember that what is portrayed is merely a small glimpse of our lives, and the story behind everything is usually far longer, harder and more complicated. Yup, I hope you will always remember that too. 

Nothing comes without struggles and the smiles are usually accompanied by some tears along the way too. It's the same for me in raising my kids, in keeping my marriage going, in being my happy positive self - there are always the good and bad days. It's about how we overcome the bad by picking ourselves up and how we make the good even better by embracing, cherishing and making the most of every moment.

We were reunited as a family over the weekend and the hubby made up for it by treating us to a nice dinner at Hawkerman in Seletar Mall followed by a family movie night, woohoo! It was Ansel's first visit to the cinema which made it extra memorable for all of us. He was such a gem to sleep after drinking his milk so I could still watch the movie and enjoy most of it.

We watched Godzilla vs Kong and it was better than we expected because we thought Kong made everything more engaging and exciting. Perhaps it didn't matter what show we chose too; all we needed was the company of each other and knowing that we were together as a family.

So I guess it wasn't so bad to celebrate my birthday in Phase 3 in the company of just a few loved ones, the ones who truly matter to me. It was a day that made me ponder over my 38 years of life which, like everyone's else, has been filled with ups and down. But my conclusion is I am thankful for everything that has led up to this day, I am where I wanna be at this very moment, and I am truly blessed to be a happy mum. 是的,我是幸福的!

P.S. Till my next birthday where my baby will be one year old! Woohoo! Exciting times ahead! Thanks for reading and to everyone who sent over birthday wishes one way or another, I appreciate everything and every one of you. Stay happy always, people!


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