Tuesday, 30 April 2013

My 100th post!

How time flies.. Today, this will be my 100th post here. It was weird how I felt like I was talking to myself but yet not feel alone, when I first started this blog. 

This blog started out with the intention to preserve the fun ideas I've had.. many of which have been tried, tested and proven to be such hits with my old students and my own children. Later on, I felt it would be nice to share not only the ideas but the resources as well with other readers, in case there were any of you out there who were looking for one to work with your children. Eventually, this blog became my sanctuary. It became a place where I pour out my heart over life's journeys be it with hubs, with the kiddies, my thoughts about certain national policies, with the Singapore education and even to the extent of penning down my family's favourite quick fix meals and haunts.

With Mothers' Day just 10 days away, I would like to pay tribute to mothers... all mothers everywhere in this 100th post of mine.

I'm sure all of us have somehow imagined the kind of mother we'd like to be. How? Well, choices are from modeling our own moms (not sure if this is good or bad for you) or picking up cool mommy vibes from movies and television dramas where the moms can solve any family issues in that short half-hour or even research from books and other literature about the do's of being a great mom because technically, there ain't just one book that details the perfect ways of being the perfect mom. So, the mom we are today are really the cocktail of everything in between. Like from the kind of kids we have and/or are surrounded with (it's true you know!)... from the kind of environment we were raised in (whether we want a similar way of raising our children, something totally different or tweak bits and pieces of our own childhood journey)... and then there is also one important factor we cannot possibly overlook...

Without disclosing the secret answer too quickly... I shall share how I arrived at my conclusion to the questions of what makes us the kind of mom we are.

The last couple of days, my two very adorable boys... my tiger chubs and my dragon_boi were down with slight flu. "Viral." The family doctor said. So, because both the boys were sedated sometimes 2-3 hours at a stretch, I caught up with a few old movies and also some new ones over the internet and over our cable tv programmes (movie channels included this time woohoo!) that buds_hubs recently signed up for. Remember how I mentioned earlier that one way or another, we may have picked up things from the stuff we watch on TV? (Yuh, just like the kids do.) Well, I have found the answer to the major part of how we build our family values, honing our parenting skills and refining the art of our close kinship with our children. In short, how we become the mothers we are.

I watched a re-run of The Family Stone and reminisced how the family all gave a (to-be) sis-in-law a hard time during the first visit to meet the family. At Christmas too. How even in the end, when shocking revelations slowly unfolded, a mom can still keep things together... how even when mom has passed on, the strong family bond ties them altogether no matter how different all the children are.

Then, there's one called Taken 1 & Taken 2... the story was mostly of the forever-worrying-ex-CIA daddy who always looked out for his only child, a daughter at that too. The mom in this story displays a super understanding mom who is more of a friend to her daughter... to the extent of lying to her ex-husband (the ex-CIA) about her daughter's real agenda for the "school trip" so that he wouldn't "trip" before the daughter left the country... which, well... got the daughter into big trouble later on. The mom valued the promises made to her daughter that earned her her daughter's trust. Of course when her daughter was in trouble, she had to come clean. But the essence here is of an understanding mom and a very trusting one... one that trusted her daughter to know better.

I laughed out loud watching "Meet the Fockers" and the antics of veteran actors/comedians dishing out their supposedly very-own special parenting advices that was intended to solve their children's family issues. Good thing was, they all found peace with their own reflections on how they've raised their kids.

Finally, there is this one movie. Finally got to catch it. It was, "I don't know how she does it..." Here, Sarah Jessica Parker played a full-time-working mom who was great at her job... worked really hard because she loved her time at work... and yet still tried her darnest best to be a great mom to her two children. This was one movie with such smart scripting! I could resonate with the stuff she had to go through because I have been there and done that before I sacked my boss! LOL! She wanted nothing but the best for her children, not wanting to short-change them in any way just because she worked full-time. It helped that she earned big bucks too by the way. In this movie, she juggled the many hats of trying to be a good employee who thrived in her job, a good wife to her husband and of course a good mom to her children, whenever she did not have to go jet-setting every other day.

After watching all these movies, the truth was so telling. How these different mothers coped was how their other halves helped them cope. The husbands of these mother characters in these movies all helped and had a share in what kind of mother they all slowly adapted to be. It has been said that the success of a man (his career and social standing) was thanks to the pillar of his strength, his backbone... aka the wife. Then I have to say, it works both ways. To be a good mom, we sometimes look to our spouses for his balanced perspectives though we not necessarily agree with them all the time. We may sometimes overlook,but too be a better mom, our spouses may have helped us juggle some of the things around the house, bring the children out while we have some time for ourselves or put the kids to bed occasionally (with or without that bed time story) when they realized we have totally knocked out for the day. 

Somehow, to be that super mom... some of us do at times unconsciously forget that we have husbands who are doting fathers, who can share the bane of the household ends (that never ends by the way), who help lend their ears to listen to children's day at school and look at/help with homework, who can stand in to referee those sibling shouting-matches, who help us wrangle the kiddies to behave when they morph into the unbecoming children we dread and to be there to remind us that no matter what, we have great kids... 

These, my friends are what we have to help us be sane mothers of today even if we sometimes overlook the little details. No matter how little or how much, the support we get from our spouses help shape the mommy character we are to our children. In turn, our ways of parenting shape our children.. our beliefs add value to their character building.. our love for the family... well, that basically keeps everything and everyone together.

Because this post is dedicated to all moms, I realize there will be mothers who may get little support and some totally without as well, so while I may not personally know how other moms without spousal support do it, but I know that they are the strongest mothers around... for what does not kill them only makes them stronger. The movies like Maid in Manhattan tells of a mom who just tries to make ends meet as a housekeeper but has a terrific kid because she is grounded so her son is too. Their (mother and son) resilience show so strongly in this movie.

There are also mothers whom I have personally worked with when I was volunteering... who were abused by their spouses, some of them physically... others emotionally... and what have-you nots. Watching the movie, Enough, scared the heck out of me. It really takes all to make this world. 

So regardless of the kind of mommy character you can resonate yourself with, this coming Mother's Day let us all reflect upon our mothering ways and embrace motherhood in the best ways we know how and the best ways we can. With every mom who works, there is probably an equal number of us who stay home. With every mom who can cook from scratch, there will be moms who go for pre-mixes or even take-outs. Some of us have assistance with a domestic helper, some without. Some mothers seem to have lotsa money to burn but some of us depend solely on our husband's meagre income and there are definitely many of us who need to work, scrimp and save to make ends meet... 

No judgements. 

Bringing children into this world did not come with a through-train-success manual. We all do our best to be the best mothers we can be to our children. This Mothers' Day, let's celebrate that.

Happy Mothers' Day to all you good mothers out there. 

To the special someone (whom I chat/whatsapp with occasionally) who sent me this...

I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for this is the best affirmation for any mom. Especially, coming from someone who just got to know me and my family. It offers me so much happiness (and relief of course!) for that pat-on-the-back acknowledgment. 
So I suppose, I ain't doing too bad after all, aye?

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