Mother’s day – Remembering

This mother’s day is extra meaningful to me as I had the opportunity to honour the three mother figures in my life – my mother, my nanny and my godmother.

When Channel NewsAsia approached me for an interview, I hesitated because I didn’t feel I had any special story to tell. I was just an ordinary mum going about my ordinary life trying my best to cope with the various demands that tend to fall on the shoulders of women – raising children, family, work, keeping it together.

Then I realised that it wasn’t about me. It was about my nanny, my godmother, and my mum.

a quote about tantrums

It’s funny how I remember those carefree days of endless play, mischief, and childish dreaming. I remember my nanny, how she took care of me, how she modelled to me selflessness, how she grew weaker in her old age (and how that triggered an instinct within me to protect and care for her just like how she cared for me).

I remember how my godma would nag at me to go to church, remind me about values and all the important things, and bring me out on outings to the zoo and on holidays.

I remember how my mum would swing me on this giant swing until I thought I was so gonna fly off and land on the top of the nearby tree. I remember how she was soft-spoken and gentle with me even when I made mistakes. I remember how she never put pressure on me at school and just gave me freedom to do my own thing and explore my areas of interest.

I remember, and I am thankful. For all their love, and so much more. (And now their love and care for the kids too…)

I am thankful that we could somehow encapsulate all those memories in this little video. For my kids and perhaps theirs too, to watch, understand, and remember.

Remembering is important, to know where we come from, and to know where we’re going.

Blessed mother’s day.

Linking up with A Pancake Princess

Handmade mother’s day cards and gift tags {Fund-raiser for MINDS}

Some of you know I’m involved in a handmade for charity project.

We are raising funds for MINDS by selling handmade cards and tags.

Here is my latest batch of cards for mother’s day (coming up next month)!

mother's day cardSold

Sold

Sold

These 6×6 cards come with white envelopes. I also have some gift / encouragement tags too. These are made using coasters and pretty paper, windmills and lotsa love. ;)

gift tags All sold, except B1 and B3

 B9 sold

All these are going for $2.50 each (not inclusive of postage), which is a steal if you ask me. LOL.

Just leave me a comment or email me at mamawearpapashirt@gmail.com for orders.

Thanks for supporting our cause! :D

Check out the designs made by other mums:

Growing up with a nanny in Singapore

I was brought up by my nanny when I was a wee little baby. She was introduced to my mum by a close friend and plop into her arms I went.

As a few other babies were also in her care, I picked up social skills (you know, jealousy, toy-grabbing and self-defence), and apparently got so good at it that in the end she gave up the other babies and only continued to take care of me. All the way through the middle primary years.

You can tell I said that with a hint of pride.

So as the months and years passed, my nanny – originally envisaged to be a temporary carer – became my grand-godmother (“grand” simply because she was already advanced in age and her daughter had took on the position of godmother in my life).

I was sticky-tape close to the family, perhaps more so than my own in those carefree growing up years.

They never pressurised me through school. I just cruised by somehow. At that time, school was a breeze also, right?

I grew up in sunday school singing kiddy songs about Jesus, colouring worksheets, acting in plays, and learning about the world. Although I disliked waking up early, I was pretty much made to do it. No excuses. I reserved the right to be grumpy and dislikeable the whole morning though.

I don’t know how I would have turned out if I had not come under their care. At that time, my family was a little dysfunctional and my parents were caught up in their own lives. I felt sad every weekend when it was time to go home. I was that attached to my nanny as a little girl.

It’s funny how as a child, the time and love invested by my nanny and godmother could have such a profound impact on me. I remember even as a kid, I could still love with a kind of fierce love. When my nanny was old and her bones grew weak, I can distinctly remember the feeling of helplessness and wanting to do all I can to protect and to help her.

She influenced me in ways I can’t fully express. I saw how she lived her life with two children, without her husband beside her. I saw how she endured difficult moments with family members, and how she persevered. She embodied strength to me, even when I was still too young to understand it.

Even though she’s long gone to a better place, she’s left an enduring legacy in my life.

My godmother now is heavily involved in my kids’ lives. Despite being close to 70, she’s also my friend on facebook, and continues to be my most ardent blog reader (I suspect).

The reason why I’m sharing this story is because some of you may have gone through similar situations. But there was that one kind soul, a family friend perhaps, who brought you out of that dark stubborn world you were in, and into the light. We may have struggled with the issues of feeling unloved or even unwanted, but you ARE deeply loved, by a God who knows you by name.

The other reason why I’m sharing this is because I’m struck by the different ways in which we leave imprints on our children’s lives by the things we do or don’t do, say or don’t say. Whether we are conscious or not, we are influencing and guiding our children by the way we live our lives.

May is the month we celebrate our mums. This mother’s day, I want to honour my godmother, and my nanny. I also want to thank my mum, who’s become the most essential grandparent and care-giver to my kids. (She often jokes that she’s repaying her debt now by taking care of my dynamic duo.)

Without these three special women, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Thank you for living out what this quote can only describe:

“But your role in your family will never end. You will never be replaced. Your influence and the need for your influence never ends. Even after you are gone, your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will still look to you as their parent or grandparent. Family is one of the few permanent roles in life, perhaps the only truly permanent role.”

- Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

PrincessDanaDiaries

 

What were your growing up years like? Who had the biggest influence in your life?

21 ideas on how to celebrate mother’s day

Mother’s day is just round the corner. If you’re thinking of doing something different, something other than the usual family dinner affair, here are some simple ideas.

1. Take the whole family on the duck tour

2. Fix a dinner date for her and dad. And I mean JUST her and dad.

3. Whip up a wholesome, home-cooked meal (honestly, it doesn’t matter if something gets burnt, it’ll still taste like a slice of heaven to your mum. Just make sure there’s chocolate cake for back up, and it should be all good.)

4. Promise to do the dishes and laundry for one whole week (you actually have to DO IT!)

5. Book a family photo shoot

6. Make her a mini photo album (best to use your baby photos; every mum loves looking at pics of her babies, especially when they’re all grown up already…)

7. Give her unlimited passes to “15 minutes all-by-herself time” (multiple passes can be used at any one time)

8. Make her a blessing jar

9. Book her into a cooking/baking class (Check out ToTT Cooking StudioSo EZ Cooking Studio, and Creative Culinaire. Even Phoon Huat offers simple baking / cake decorating classes.)

10. Go on a weekend stay-cation (or if you’re game enough, try staying on a farm)

11. Book her in for a pampering session at the spa

12. Sign her up for a dancing class, or if she has two left feet, buy her a musical instrument (a ukulele perhaps?)

13. Write her a list of 10 reasons why she will always be the love of your life. Present it in a photo frame for keepsake.

14. Make her a vintage rose pin 

15. Make her breakfast in bed (the best part? Everyone gets to hop into her bed and chomp it down together!)

16. Adopt a pet from SPCA

17. Compile your favourite recipes and make a recipe book (remember to include some of her favourite food too)

18. Get artsy - consider this Mother’s Day art session at Art Bug (on 6 and 13 May), or an art jam session at Arteastiq

19. Get a new hairdo together - the works: perm, cut, color, and treatment

20. Buy her a new pair of shoes, though she may insist she doesn’t need one (every girl needs a new pair of shoes. When it comes to shoes, every woman is a girl.)

21. Make her a funny fridge magnet that says something like: “If your kids are giving you a headache, follow the directions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says ‘keep away from children’”

Ahem, Vera and Javier, for the record, every day should be mum’s day. And really, for me, a big hug and many kisses, and maybe a nice cup of coffee, will be enough to make my day.

What’s on your wish-list this mother’s day? Here’s wishing all mums a blessed mum’s day! :)

Mum’s day! It’s time-off for the mummy

With mothers’ day just around the corner, I thought it would be nice to share some ideas on how to celebrate the most selfless and giving stage of life known as motherhood – and of course, the women behind it all.

Most mums have a natural knack for devoting all their energies to nurturing others – kids, family, friends. In the midst of it all, she subconsciously and subtly forgets herself.

This mothers’ day, rather than sit around and wait for your hubby / kids? to do the honours, I hope to see all hard-working mums out there treating themselves to a little extra something…whatever works for you. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate you!

  1. Declare mum’s day off (be it your 9-to-5 job or the household chores) - Dedicate the day to indulgence or self-improvement. Get a new spunky haircut or hair colour, and engage in some retail therapy (flowers, shoes, pretty accessories, or some handmade chocolates), relax at the pool or spa. Better still, schedule some moments with a close friend that you’ve been wanting to catch up with, and share your stories over coffee and cake.
  2. Rediscover long-lost dreams – Write down a list of your dreams / goals, that one by one have been shoved under the carpet. Pick one that seems most attractive for the moment and run with it; take practical small steps, but just make things happen.
  3. Do nothing – Warning: this might be a real challenge for women who are constantly on the go. But sit down with a cup of earl grey, play your fav instrumental music, and just close your eyes (you may as well apply a facial mask while you’re at it) for a few minutes. Rediscover who you are at heart again, reflect and give thanks for life in all its ups and downs. Have a notepad and pen nearby to write down your thoughts and reflections. Be surprised at what might come out of this!
  4. Fellowship with mums - Organise a tea session for your circle of mummy friends. Alternatively, if you wish to widen your mummy network, do a friends-of-friends tea party, and get to know more mummies at the same time! There are few things that are more therapeutic than mummy-talk and heart-to-heart sharing.
  5. Share some love – To give is better than to receive. Perhaps you know someone who is in need of some help or just needs someone to talk to. Well, take that leap of faith and make that call. You never know how much this person’s life might be impacted by your little unexpected gesture of kindness. :)
  6. Pick up a craft – Plan a scrapbooking day and finally organise all those loose photos, or learn a new skill or try out a new cake / pastry recipe. (Pick up the book ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ by Nigella Lawson.) You might be thinking, why am I getting stuck in the kitchen again? Well, some mums simply are most at ease in their kitchens, and nothing like a new recipe to get you excited all over again. Just don’t see it as a chore, and don’t worry about the outcome. You might even want to get a few chef’s-hat-worthy mums to experiment together!

These are just some simple ideas that I too would like to try out sometime. After all is said and done, I still believe that the greatest reward of all is the joy of seeing your family flourishing like a well-watered garden. So, give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve to be celebrated!

“Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate”

- Proverbs 31:31

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