5 things i've embraced in parenthood

As Noe turns 1 year old next month, I'm already getting nostalgic of the newborn and infancy stage. I've been busy preparing her 1 year old birthday party and making a photo scrapbook for her, makes me reflect on the whole parenthood saga. Knowing that if I've another kid, I've to go through the whole process again and it's like those movies that keep having sequels.

Here are 5 things that no one ever told me when I was preparing for a newborn and preparing for to be a parent - no class, no books - and I wished someone did.

1. All Babies Cry Extremely Loud and All the Time

You probably think that your baby cries louder than any other baby in the world and cries the longest, the most frequent. My brother did tell me about this but it was only after the baby came out, well better late than never. One thing I couldn't handle was the incessant crying and sometimes I will go crazy literally. When number 2 came out, I told myself objectively that crying is a language and I need to understand and learn that language. The Dunstan Baby Language helped me a lot in this. Well, some people may not subscribe to it but I think it's the attitude and perspective behind the concept that's important to manage the crying.

2. Free Things Don't Come Easy - Breastmilk

I've learn that breastfeeding is a skill for both mother and child to learn. As mothers, we learn so much of breastfeeding and how to breastfeed. And then we take all the responsibility upon ourselves to breastfeed. When it doesn't work out, we blame ourselves. Truth is, the new mother is learning and the new baby is also learning. My lactation consultant told me that at day 3, my firstborne had developed a bad habit in using his tongue. And I spent 3 months trying to teach an infant how to correct his bad habit and it came with a lot of tears, struggles and tension. Finally when the second one came, I adopted a new mantra, breast is best but not at the expense of our health, and not at the expense of our bond.

3. You'll Never Ever Get to Sleep In Again

Maybe not never ever but not for the first 6 years of the child's life... I was really astonished at how the limits of the human body can be pushed to such a great extent when it comes to caring for another human being without any sleep. Days are nights, nights are days. I don't even keep track of dates and public holidays. The baby is having jet-lag and I'm trying to help him/her manage the jet-lag. And it's the nights are the toughest, it's when the energy level is the lowest, the brain power at its limit and the mood at its heightened sensitivity. During these nights are the times that I've prayed like never before because that's the only thing you can do, pray and hope for the best. 

4. Your Emotions Often Take Rollercoaster Rides

The variety of emotions, the ups and downs, I've never experienced them in such a way before. One moment, they're playing, the next day down with a fever and I'm worrying my butts off. One moment they're feeding well, 2 days later, they are fussing and I'm frantically cleaning the thrown food on the floor. We celebrate for a month when they sleep through the night, 3 months later they wake up every night looking for you. I've learned that these tiny people are human beings, not robots. They're learning, and being exposed to so many new things. Their bodies are changing and developing every single day. So I'm the constant for them, their safety net and I need to be responsible for how I express myself.

5. The Husband and Wife Needs to Support Each Other Mentally

In the antenatal classes, husbands are encouraged to attend with their wives so that they can learn how to support the wife during labour, care for the newborn like feeding and changing diapers, etc. But there is so little said about the psychological needs of the couple during this period of time. I don't think I could have ever made it through if not for a very understanding and supportive husband. Those times which I struggle to breastfeed the baby, just his presence with me is ever so reassuring even though he could not physically take over the task. And the times that the husband feels so helpless and alone, the wife tell him that he's still the man of the house. When the couple is happy, then the children are happy and you have a happy family.

And in this parenting journey, there is a beginning but there is no end. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. It takes a village to raise a child. But since that physical village is getting scarce, a virtual village through sharing online can also help families support each other. What are some things you will tell parents-to-be that will inspire them in kick-starting their journey?

shape and colour matching

Have you ever come across an activity that you wanted to do with your child, but then by the time you got to doing it with him, somehow he has already progressed and the activity is way too simple for him. Taken from Teachpreschool's "Exploring our shapes with blocks on table top", I made a similar kind of table stop setting but with a big piece of paper so that I can reuse it as and when I want to do the activity again. I did this with him when he 2.5 years old (about a year ago, so this is like a #throwback post :P) and he completed it like in super lightning speed and it was too easy for him so he got bored of it.

I attempted to increase his interest level by getting him to colour sort his trains, and obviously that was too easy as well, so in the end he created a 'map' and 'interchange' for his trains to travel about and park at. Well, at least it got him interested. But I didn't throw away the mat I made, it's still stored somewhere, perhaps one day I'll think of something of a higher level to engage him in or he can teach his sister how to do it.

So the moral of the story here, when it comes to kids, you can't procrastinate :P

cooking inspiration: mango ice cream

Even for an el-cheapo person like me, I must admit that when it comes to cooking and art, the good tools are sometimes (or most of the time), the expensive ones. I've used a $20 grater before versus a $2 grater, and then I just feel so tempted to buy the $20 grater.  Of course sometimes you chance upon an awesome deal like a super sharp $2 scissors from Daiso, but that is like once in a blue moon kind of thing. With the right tools, cooking can be so much easier. Today's cooking inspiration is a machine. Yes, a machine that I've invested a lot of money in :) So this blog post is an exception - it's not budget friendly. But not to worry, it's still not that expensive like a kitchen aid :)

After seeing one live in action at a good friend's house, I decided to get a JAMIE OLIVER FOOD PROCESSOR. The promotional videos were good but not good enough to entice me, not until I saw my friend using it! Oh the power of peer pressure and real life demos! The first thing that caught my eye was the colour of it, yes, I'm still a woman who likes pretty things. And then the ease of use and most importantly it is very easy to clean. What I don't like about it is that sometimes I feel it's too huge when I just want to manage a small portion. It is definitely catered for big portions, like when you want to cook mushroom soup for 8 to 10 people or you want to mass bake cookies for Christmas gifts.

So the reason as to why I'm cooking and baking more is also mainly because of this food processor. The motivation - I must make my money's worth and it shall not end up in the storeroom. Here's one thing I love to make with it - MANGO ICE CREAM.

(Taken from Munch Ministry)

Ingredients

  • 500g of frozen cubed mangoes (Sometimes I used fresh mangoes and I will just freeze the mixture to become ice cream)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 lime
  • Fresh mint (I didn't use this because I don't think my kid will like mint)
  • 250g natural yogurt
  • Good quality dark chocolate for grating (I think any kind of chocolate is good enough for me)

Instructions

  • Empty frozen mangoes into the Philips Jamie Oliver Food Processor fitted with the innovative serrated knife for quick frozen desserts
  • Whiz. Then add honey, mint, lime juice and some zest, yogurt. Blitz away.
  • When smooth, eat right away or store into the freezer for later.

You can just use any blender or food processor, because you can just freeze the mixture in the fridge. It won't be as creamy as the ice creams you buy outside, but homemade goodness is always yummy and satisfying especially when you've happy customers like my son :)

 

The post contains no affiliate links and any views and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

headgear of the day: captain america

We had a chance to do one of those photo booth shots during a friend's birthday party. Interestingly, it was my first time seeing one live despite its fad now. I must be growing old that no one young invites me to their party anymore and I'm having lesser young friends. And Nat's psyche is really interesting. He will put on the props but he refuses to stand in front of the backdrop properly for a photo shot. I wonder why.

elephabet cards

I'm not really into flashcards. Not that I don't believe in its effectiveness, I just like more upbeat activities. But I couldn't resist buying these elephabet flashcards I found on A Rhyming Tern for Noe. They look so arty and funky yeah. I also laminated the cards just in case my dear Noe crushes them with her powerful baby fingers. On road trips, I can also bring them along and Nat can practise letter writing on the back of the cards with dry erase crayons and doodle pictures that start with the corresponding letters as well. Tadah! Both baby and preschooler can enjoy these cards- killing 2 birds with 1 stone. The cards can also be used as greeting cards. Yay, everyone is happy.

The post contains no affiliate links and any views and opinions expressed here are purely my own.