Tips I Find Helpful

Sharing some helpful tips that I picked up along the way in my parenting journey.

1. Asking him to count to 5 or 10. It teaches the toddler patience rather than having him throw a tantrum in public for a piece of bread that you are getting out of the plastic wrapper in your fastest time. He has no sense of time, so waiting for a mere 3 seconds feels like an eternity to him. Counting helps calm him down, and distracts him while you try to get him his food. It also teaches him how to count!

2. When Mommy says ‘No’, it is a ‘No’. Although what the toddler demands is inconsequential, stick to your guns because this is how they learn to obey parents. If he continues in his self-pity tantrum, ask him if he wants a spanking, or a time out? He should be thinking about his options if he understands language and stop the tantrum.

3. Toddlers don’t know how to control their emotions. In a tantrum, they just cry, whine, run away, dart around in circles. God knows what they are doing because I don’t get them at all. At this point, they are not able to listen in to anything we say. So let them be alone for awhile (less than 5 minutes) and they should calm down. They would have forgotten at this time that they threw a tantrum 5 minutes ago, and everything is back to normal.

4. Keeping them occupied with activities will engage them, leaving them no chance to misbehave. Toddlers act out when they are bored or disinterested.

5. I am guessing that by the 12pm mark, you are depleted of energy, just like me. I like to lie on the bumper mat while he plays his toys nearby on the mat. Though my mind still has to be engaged to see what he’s doing, but at least my body is resting. I recommend the LG bumper playmat. It is comfortable too for adults.


Debunking the Misconceptions of Stay-At-Home-Moms

When I was pregnant with my first child, it did not cross my mind that I would be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). Simply because I grew up as a latchkey kid. I had no SAHM role model.

The best decision my husband and I made was to undergo life-coaching by our mentor who was also a parent counselor. That completely changed my worldview of SAHMs and the incredible impact they have on their children. It made me remember how I envied my friends who had mothers who stayed home during my teenage years.

Living in one of the world’s most expensive city, Singapore, many mothers return to the workforce after their 4 months maternity leave, and so, you might guess the misconceptions SAHMs are bombarded with.


#1. Isn’t it boring to stay home? Nothing much to do, correct?

The only free time we have is when the baby/toddler sleeps. For an 18 month old, it can be about 2 hours if he is taking 1 nap a day. This is when we prepare their meals, wash the dishes in the sink, do the laundry etc. Maybe on a good day, we can get a 30 minutes rest. When the little fellow wakes up, it is action-packed all the way till he sleeps for the night. Bathroom breaks are hilariously noisy because he will be banging on the bathroom door non-stop until I step out. AND he never leaves me alone for long…like my little shadow.

#2. Your husband must be earning a high salary for you to stay home.

Not always true, at least for my family. We had to make major changes to our lifestyle. We sold our car, cut down on insurance, eat out less, cook in more just so we can still save when we have our second child. It was challenging at the beginning, but it was a good growth process for us to learn to live with less, be more adaptable, and think out of the box on how to spend less money but still have FUN.

#3. Your career will be affected. You will lose out if you quit and return to the workforce later.

This might be true to a certain extent, but I also have heard testimonies of mothers in church who stayed home for their children’s sake, only to return to work with better career prospects and higher pay. God’s blessings do pour forth when we choose to take care and disciple His children. I am not implying that mothers who work are not blessed, but that mothers who left the workforce are also equally blessed. For one, SAHMs’ time management, multi-tasking abilities and patience level would have increased exponentially in a year – bonus qualities for an employer to consider. I was offered a part-time job working with children at an international school based upon the fact that I am a mother and I have zero qualifications in early childhood education. There are many opportunities around and workplaces who support mothers.        

Google became my best friend when I had to fix things at home when the husband is at work, researching on children’s illnesses when my kid falls sick, look for new recipes, read up on child’s development etc. Sometimes I don’t even have time to google! I have no medical leave when I am under the weather, no annual leave, time-offs are in pockets of 3-4 hours weekly which is not sufficient. I guess the only thing SAHMs complain about is not having enough rest.

But our presence to our children are reaping benefits in the long run. A parent counselor once told me that youth problems are attributed to the lack of bonding between parents and child. If we understand human development over the lifespan, the bonding has already started when the child is in the womb and bonding is built up with constructive time spent together. When there is bonding, there is mutual understanding between parents and children. It is the foundation of good-enough-parenting, which goes a long way in contributing to the greater good of society.

[The little boy is awake and banging his room’s blinds]

From Terrible Twos to Terrific Twos

This stage does feel harder with the little one blatantly testing our limits.

He does the very thing we tell him not to do. Just something in every 2 year old’s DNA makeup.

Whining at the smallest thing like leaving the light on when we turn it off, leaving the tap on, and there is no rational basis for him to insist on the things he want. It’s easy to shut him up by giving in to him since it does not pose any danger to any of us.

But I suppose this is when they learn to obey their parents, and subsequently authorities like teachers, law enforcers, bosses etc. In future, this obedience might save them from detrimental consequences.

If they pass this terrible stage having learnt well, they will become terrific children, and hopefully teenagers.

Something which happened recently between my son and I made me think the battle with the 2 year old is all worth it…

In the midst of throwing his tantrum, he usually flings his hands around, lacking control over his body parts and mind, and 1 hand went sweeping across my right cheek. I exclaimed loudly from shock. He immediately stopped his nonsense, looked sorry and touched my face twice. He’s saying sorry. His dad taught him to say sorry by doing this action of love during one of the discipline episodes.

He learnt!