Thursday, February 26, 2015

The 15 Things

I am someone who made reflections frequently and tried to change myself as and when, based on my reflections. Truth is, after so many years, my resolutions still remained the same! :S Probably because they are all mental notes with no actions taken! Especially since after being a Stay Home Mom (SAHM) for two plus years now, there are simply too many things going on daily, that I do not even have enough rest, I have felt that I have totally lost myself, in terms of my own identity, my inner me, my interests etc! Everything is about the children and the family.

When a Mommy friend, Rachel, from catchfortywinks.com started this "15 in 2015" blog train, I felt it is so timely, the most perfect opportunity to get my engine started and put things in place! This topic is something I really want to touch on, not for anyone else but for myself.

15 Things I will Do Differently in 2015

1) STAND UP FOR MY CHILD

My character doesn't like to give people trouble, so I have always been giving in to peace-loving. In a way, I think I am a very bad mother. After I found out that my elder boy has high functioning autism, whenever he is in conflict situations in school or at play, I had always been discounting and suppressing him, apologising and giving in to other parties, even when in situations that he is not really at fault. Then I will start avoiding the people, so as to not face the same unpleasant situations again.

My child is my hero, I hope to become his hero too.

Let me tell you, truth is, my child may behave that way because he really doesn't understand the social cues and situations. He thinks and understands really differently from us, so though I raise him like any normal child should behave, I had to go the extra mile to make him understand how and why to behave. BUT I would like to say shame on you and your Neurotypical child! Because you got no right to shout, and your child has got no excuse to not share, push my son, snatch things from his hands, not return him back, hit him, call him names or even horse him! My child is not a bully by his choice, your child is because you are not a good role model for your own little ones!

I am telling myself not to be afraid to deal with conflicts and to protect my child when necessary!


2) ADVOCATE ABOUT AUTISM

Too many people have too many misconception about autism. There are also many different types of autism on the spectrum too. Even if you have seen and interact with a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), you have only met and know one. There are no two person or child with ASD exactly the same at all. And what do you mean when my son don't look like he had autism? There is no one look for people with autism! And don't stereo-type people with autism.

My son has mild autism but he just thinks differently from us, but there is so much more other things about him - he is an extrovert, he loves talking non stop, he is creative, he is big hearted, he has manners, he is loving, he is cute, he talks animatedly, he cannot wait, he doesn't like to get his hair cut, he can memorise quite well etc etc.. Autism is not everything about a person with autism. It's just part of it. As much as autism create weaknesses, my child has amazing abilities too!

You don't need to know everything, accepting us as it is will be the kindest thing you can do.

I would like to advocate about Autism. I hope to start sharing more about my boy, for you to have a glimpse on the daily life of a family with an ASD child.


3) BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT

Though I am a Stay Home Mom, but it doesn't mean i have loads of free time every day. This year, Big Brother has early intervention classes to attend three times a week, and I have also started him on the twice weekly preschool programme by Dyslexia Association of Singapore to help him learn to read, on top of the once a week art classes that Big Brother super loves, with Heart Studio. Every week day is packed now, with us shuffling from the preschool to the afternoon activity and back etc. There is also too much waiting time that is not long enough to do meaningful things and yet all add up to losses in the time i used to have. I have to prioritise and hope to be able to manage my time well so that I can still cope with housework, cooking and hopefully, i can start the Learning through Play Dates for our Little Brother again.

I would like to be able to find time within time itself and maximise my days now. 


4) MORE BONDING TIME

Like I mentioned above, with every week days packed, we no longer have the luxury of outdoor play like we used to have. In fact, we were all tired out and drained by 4pm daily - Big Brother because he had a long day cooped indoors and myself from the mad rushing to meet schedules and aimless waiting. So, now whenever I am together with the boys, i refrain from touching any of my gadgets and try to concentrate on the time with them.


I want to make sure I still spend quality bonding time with both my children, every day. Because that's why I am a Stay Home Mom. 


5) PAMPER MYSELF FREQUENTLY

I had felt quite lousy, because while I was so busy with the children, I had totally neglected myself! Now I wanna make sure I pamper myself frequently through realistic means - be it applying hair conditioner or hair mask, and putting a facial mask on myself! I can't remember the last time I did theses self grooming routines!

Pampering can also be buying inexpensive gifts for myself to myself happy!

There are many simple and easy ways I can give a treat to myself to make myself feel better. A happier and relax mother will raise happier and cheerful children. 


6) PICK UP MY HOBBIES AGAIN



About four years ago, I learnt how to crochet from YouTube and it was addictive, but i stopped when i became pregnant with Little Brother. Last year, I was still able to do gardening and growing vegetables. Then when i had to give up the small plot of land, I learnt baking and got hooked too!

This year, because of the busy schedule, I am struggling to cope and bake only once or twice to date. I hope to be able to pick up the crochet hook again this year and make some cute stuffs! I also hope to find time to learn to cook yummy stuffs or learn a new things!

Hobbies are a necessity in life, they are therapeutic and can help myself to relax. I find it also helps to create more positive vibes and energy too!  


7) PUT MYSELF THROUGH ORANGE RHINO CHALLENGE

If you have not heard about the Orange Rhino Challenge, it's a 365 days journey to yell less and love more. For me, it wasn't so bad until our little brother is older now and my two boys fight and fight all day! Try looking after two active boys... or one with autism, I starting yelling and screaming more and more. It's time I take on the challenge, though I think I will failed badly, but I really hope to scream less and love my children more.

And the first step for me is to...

Track my Yelling for 3-5 days. Write down who I yelled at, when, why, how I felt, what was on my mind to determine personal triggers (tired? time of day?) and triggers that are easy to change (clothes fight in the morning).


8) GO ON A DATE WITH HUBBY AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH

When we had our first born, we were still staying with my in-laws. Coping with work, sending the child to child care and then looking after him after work plus staying with his parents, we don't really have any couple time at all. Things are a lot better now that we are staying on our own, we could chill out in the living room when the children are asleep!

The last time we went on our date was during our wedding anniversary last year!

Last year, we got my parents to look after my children and we went on a one day staycation to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We even went clubbing at Zouk! It was a very good date and I realised I am still very young! I missed going on dates alone with hubby!

Haha, I don't think its too much to ask my parents to help me so I can go on a couple only date with hubby once a month right? 


9) SPENT MORE TIME WITH EXTENDED FAMILY

As my children grow up, I began to see the white hairs on my parents and my in laws. I see how they sometimes can't hear us clearly. I realized my parents and parents in laws are indeed getting old! It's good to make that realisation, I find myself not focusing on differences and is able to try to spend more quality time with them, so that I will not have regrets in future. With my parents whom are staying nearby, it's easier, I meet them almost daily. I need to put in more effort to create gathering opportunities for my parents in laws, cos after all, without them there won't be my hubby and my precious sons.

I hope to be able to spend more quality time with our parents before it's too late. 


10) MEET FRIENDS MORE OFTEN

I am not sure if this is possible as I am almost with at least a child of mine all the time. To be honest, I start feeling a little deprived of adults to adults conversation. The real chit chat kind of conversation about anything except family and children. Some times, i think i shunned people so that I do not need to hold a conversation, all because I do not know what to talk about as I hadn't been doing it often.

I need to make an effort to read up more, and meet my friends more often. 
p/s: I wonder if my hubby, if he is reading this, can give me a nights off or not??


11) DRESS UP MORE

Haha, since I become a Stay Home Mom, since i delivered my second child, my attire is solely tees and shorts! Actually my wardrobe is still packed with my power suits and working clothes that I wore during my working days. They were too expensive to throw away and yet I think I can't wear them anymore as I grew sizes after the deliveries of my boys!

I hope to clear the old working clothes, and start revamping my wardrobe to dress up more as a Stay Mom Mom. I think it's illusional, but I hope to achieve something. LOL!


12) PLAN MORE HOLIDAY BREAKS

We went Taiwan for a 9 days 8 nights holiday recently. It's the longest holiday we ever had and it's was tiring but so worth it!

I love the sea. Taken at Yeliu at Taipei.

I hope we can plan for holidays like this at least once bi-yearly (cos we are a single income family). Meanwhile, it's good to have many short getaways and staycations! 休息是为了走更长的路! A little rest is necessary to get me recharge! 


13) REST MORE

I find my energy level going down and myself flaring up at little things very often. Especially when I am tired, I become an angry mommy. On top of the daily chores and children's schedule, i have a very evil addiction - that is watching korean dramas or running man! The shows are so funny and romantic, sometimes i can chased many episodes in a day! Where do you think I had the time to do that? That is not sleeping when the children sleep and slept very late at night! Yes, I relaxed, but I didn't have my rest. The vicious cycle is malicious!

This year, I hope to exercise self discipline to watch ONLY one episode of Korean Drama a day (i think if without then I won't get my share of entertainment) and get rest whenever I can.  


14) TAKE MORE FAMILY PHOTOS

When we only have one child, we used to take family photo shoots like 5 to 6 times a year? And now looking at those photos, they are such precious memories as they showed how much my elder son has grow and our changes. With the arrival of my second son, we only went for one family photo shoot to date. And to be honest, i have so little photos of him, I think i will regret and miss all theses in future!

an old photo of me and my elder son, taken when he was two years old

I want to take more pictures of my children and document down their growing years to reminisce in future. I also want to take more studio and outdoor family photo shoots again! 



15) PRAY AND BELIEVE MORE

While with everything, I want to make more time to pray. A year back, it was a trial period for me to learnt that my elder son has autism while my younger son had a hole in his heart. That year was full of hospitals appointments and I was too numbed to feel anything. Miracles happened and my younger boy's hole in his heart closed up on its own miraculously a year later. This made me believe in praying.

I want to continue to pray and believe in miracles. I hope for signs for myself to know what to do, I want to gain the knowledge I need and courage to make decisions, especially for my elder boy.


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Read 33 other different perspectives from another 33 Singapore Mom Bloggers, and be inspired to make positive changes in your own lives too.

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Next on the ’15 Things I will Do Differently in 2015′ Blog Train will be Angelia Ang, who blogs at https://growinghearts123.wordpress.com.


Angie is an educator at heart and by profession. She blogs mainly on how she engages her 3 kids with hands on activities especially the Visual Arts. Now she's slowly including her endeavours in running, her spiritual journey and more! Join her in the changes she will make for this year.

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