Schools... Schools... Schools...

~ Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 7:42 AM ~

Our boy is 4 years old now. And we have been getting questions from friends and relatives about him. Questions like 'Have you registered him for primary school already?', 'Have you guys decided whether to send him to Chinese school or national school?' or 'Is he currently in any preschool?' and so on.

Our answers to all the above? No.

In Malaysia, parents will need to start registering their children for primary schools when they reached 5 years old. And some parents, in order for their child to get into the best/well known/popular schools, they go to the extent of queuing up in the schools 5-6am in the morning so they could submit their application forms as early as possible.

Chinese or national schools? Both my hubby and myself went to national schools since young (me since kindergarten) and we are both what you would call 'bananas'. Meaning, Chinese people who do not speak / write in Chinese. There are lots of Chinese parents I know that are bananas like us, but yet, they send their children to Chinese schools. And I know some of these parents have problems and difficulties when it comes to helping out with their childrens' homeworks. I mean, it is really not an easy tasks trying to help your children when you, yourself do not know or read any Chinese words. And btw, Chinese schools are notorious for the heavy load of homeworks EVERYDAY for the students! For us, we think that our children can always take up extra language courses when they are grown up.

Preschool? Well, I'm teaching my 4 years old boy right now and I think the only difference between us and the potential of him going to a preschool is interactions with other children. Sure, this has been thrown to my face lots of time. 'Your boy lacks socialising with other children!', 'See, he's lonely, you should really send him to a preschool!', 'See, if you send your kids to preschool then at least you get few hours of time to rest while he's in school' and so on.

Well, good and bad... you learn to socialise with other kids but you also pick up bad habits from other kids as well. Comparing with each other, trying to be better than others, bitings, fightings, illnesses spreading easily... these are my concerns as I see pictures and stories posted by friends on Facebook on how their children get suspicious bite marks, HFMD and so on.

Apart from social factors, I am more concerned with the development progress of my child. You see, as I'm teaching my child, I realised that, my child (and I would dare say all children) develops at their own pace. I used to force get my boy (when he's 3 years old) to do his coloring but he's just not interested at that time and so I just let it slide and tried other things. And now that he's 4 years old, he suddenly likes to color and I was really surprised to see his artwork. Never did I teach him anything about colors - like you should use orangey color for human skin or so on because I think we should let our child decides by themselves. He colors within the objects and can even explain to me each particular color he used means what.

Take a look at the picture below. I totally agree with this, what I think is each child is unique and we simply can't brand them as slow or troublemaker or they have learning difficulties based on their results in schoolwork. (Excerpt page from the book: One-to-one: A Practical Guide to Learning at Home Age 0-11)

Take a look at the picture below. Notes on getting our child to learn to read when they are not ready... (Excerpt page from the book: One-to-one: A Practical Guide to Learning at Home Age 0-11)

And I love this inspiring quotes on childhood...

So again, as of now, no immediate plans to register for any schools / preschools or whatever type of schools. Our children needs more time to play hard while they still have a childhood.

So what do you think?

An Open Letter to New Mummy...

~ Posted on Monday, June 3, 2013 at 7:22 AM ~

Hello new mummy! Yes, YOU, if you are reading this post of mine and just had a baby, this post is dedicated to: YOU.

Firstly, congratulations for your new bundle of joy! I hope that you, like many of us mums here is happy that the wait is finally over! You finally get to see your precious baby and hold him/her in your sweet caring arms.

Now give yourself a pat on your back because you just birthed a baby! You brought a new life into this world. That is mighty huge a sacrifice one could ever made.

What follows next is all challenges from here onwards. Not trying to scare you or making you feel you have made the worst decision in your life by having a child. NO, NO, NO.

I'm sure you would have by now feel completely different - now that you have a child, somehow life is more meaningful don't you think so? You look towards everyday with goals and dreams for your child. You want to see them grow, everyday, bit by bit and cherish every single moment you can have with them. Right?

Now back to challenges. Yes, I say challenges because parenting is not an easy job. No amount of parenting books or guides or tips can ever teach you how to handle crisis or situations with your child. Reading from a book is one thing, to really experience and feel it on hand and then figure out how to deal with it IMMEDIATELY is another different topic.

So, you new mummy here, take a deep breath, trust your instincts and do what you think is right at the moment. Do not be pressured by others to do things according to their ways. It is your child, you are the mother, why let others decide and parent your child?

Not enough breastmilk? Need to supplement because your child is crying? Which baby does not cry after born? For months and months the baby is comfortably coccooned in your womb, nice, cosy, and dark place, with reassuring heartbeat sounds from you and all of a sudden, being birthed out in a completely NEW environment. Bright lights, noise, cold/hot temperature, weird sounds, of course a baby will cry!

If you are planning or decided to breastfeed your baby, stick to this decision and don't let others negative responses swayed your decision. Breastmilk normally comes by 4-5th day after birth. Before that, baby is still full and do not need to be fed. Their tummy is very small still (imagine their tiny little fist curled up = that's the size of their tummy) and supplementing with formula milk or feeding via bottle is not going to help your breastfeeding plans. Baby might be overfed and get nipple confusions.

Fever? Take note that fever is a good thing. A sign that your child's body recognises the bad virus/bacterias' presence in the body and work out to fight them off. Let your child fight the fever.

There's so many more things - baby sleeping too much, baby not sleeping much, baby keeps crying, baby pooping too much/too little, so on and so forth.

My point is, the possibilities of things that challenges you as a new mum/parent are endless.

Don't ever compare your own situations with other parents (whether they are new parents or already have more than 1 child). Don't ever think they have other family members or maids with them that their parenting life is much easier. The grass may seem greener over the other side but we never know what happens on that side. Focus on your own situation and don't compare. At all.

Yes, it may seem daunting at times but trust me, we all learned on the job and we moved on from our mistakes. No parents ever sail through parenthood without ever making any mistakes. So, trust your instincts, trust your body, trust your baby. And pray to God for guidance and wisdom to decide.

Comfort Ultra Pure – Mum’s Pure Love Contest

~ Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 10:21 AM ~

Mother's Day has just passed not too long ago... It has now been 6 years since my mum passed away but not a single day goes by without me reminiscing of the good ol' days when she was still alive and I'm still her little girl.

Now that I am a mother and have my own children, I truly understand how deep and far a mother's love can go. Every single act and decision we made has definitely gone through considerations of the impacts to our children and family. From the moment our baby is formed in our body, throughout the pregnancy months, birth and thereon, a mother's love and sacrifices never ends.

Just the other day I was peeling mangoes for my kiddos' snacks at night. Just a little act of peeling mangoes and I was brought back to my childhood time... I remembered how my mum used to save the fleshy part of the mangoes for my brother and I to eat while she just eats the leftover fleshy part on the core seed.

And that's what I'm doing NOW for my family and kiddos! You have no idea how many times I was so tempted to eat the fleshy parts of the mangoes! I remembered when I was young, so many times I asked my mum to let me have the seed part as I find it nice to chew and gobble on the seed part and she happily gave them to me! Now I realised that, if my own children do the same to me, I would willingly gave them too, just like what my mum did!

Anyway, although I'm sad I can no longer see my mum, at least I treasured and cherished the wonderful memories I had with her. Of course I always wish my parents could still be around today, to see me get married and settled down and having my own children...

That got me to thinking how about the poor children who never get to see their mothers and fathers or those who have to be separated from their parents? Those children abandoned or orphaned... sigh...

Which brings us to this post today... Now, I came across this wonderful contest called 'Comfort Ultra Pure – Mother’s Pure Love'.

In this contest, all you need to do is create beautiful Facebook cover pictures for FREE to display moments of pure love with your precious baby and to celebrate the love of motherhood.

Now before you start panicking how the heck are you going to be creating a Facebook cover if you are not a fancy-smancy techno-mechno person (sorry for the made-up words!), fret not! Just follow these few easy steps:

1. Select your preferred template and upload 3 photos of mother and your child.

2. Customize the image and leave a caption. You can then share the Facebook cover image that you have just created with your friends!

3. Now here's the charity part which you can definitely help out with: Just invite your friends to use the Facebook app! For every 10 invited friends who use the 'Mum's Pure Love' Facebook app, Comfort will donate RM5 to Rumah Kanak-kanak Ini Di Sayangi (K.I.D.S.) In case you don't know, Rumah K.I.D.S. provides a home, love and care to orphans and children who are abandoned, abused and neglected.

4. Do note that participants who are mums with children younger than 5 years old and had the most invited friends using the app will also stand to become the charity champion and receive attractive rewards!

What a nice way to join a contest and still contribute something right? Do go to Comfort's Facebook app to find out more info NOW!

** Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, opinions and words are 100 % my own.