Why Mothers Never Ever Give Up

Motherhood is often stressful and messy.

But it also makes a good faith stretching exercise.

Amidst the messes and failures, the broken toys, the deeds of mischief and wrong-doing, the tears and quarrels and strife, amidst all these things, there remains something of a spark of hope still flickering within us.

And that’s what makes mothers mothers. We just don’t give up easily.

Even when one kid throws his fifth epic tantrum of the day.

Or when they get into a scuffle and refuse to own up to their mistakes.

Even when they lash out at us in anger.

We may cry, flail our arms around, throw our crumpled faces into our pillows, and send angry, ugly messages to our significant other…

But we don’t give up.

We cling onto hope.

We pick up the pieces, hit the proverbial reset button, and move on.

I’ve learnt some things from seeing how my own mothers put up with the “dirty dishes in the sink.”

I have three mums. They each have a fire in their belly that they are actually unaware of.

This gets them solving problems (often not of their own making), scaling higher heights and staring challenges down in the face.

My late nanny soldiered on to raise her two children even after her husband walked out on her. She somehow made space in her heart to accommodate more children eventually, and I was blessed to be one of those under her loving care.

My mother refused to walk out on her marriage even when things got rocky, for the sake of my brother and I. She walked through the storms with an undying optimism.

My godmother made many personal sacrifices for me, and she taught me about God and His ever-powerful presence in our lives. Even to this day, she continues to shower many blessings and prayers upon my children and family.

Every mother has that fire. It’s within you even though you may not notice it.

It calls you toward making sacrifices of love that you never thought yourself capable of, doing things you never thought you would, and it calls you towards a higher life.

Regardless of the challenges facing you right now, know that you have the shoulders of friends and family to lean on.

Know that you never walk alone.

Generations of mothers have walked the path before you, and many still will follow after you.

You have the power to choose how to write your family’s story and the kind of ending you want.

May your story always be filled with hope, love, and an unbridled, burning fire in the belly.

A Mother “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13, on love)

mothers never give up

You are worth loving

blossom

Do you love yourself?

What does it mean to love yourself?

It means forgiving yourself for having a bad day (or two). Having bad days does not make you a bad mum.

It means giving yourself room to fail. You don’t have to be perfect. Who can ever be? The important thing is to keep trying and to keep learning from mistakes.

It means scheduling breaks. To slow down. To relax. To not react at life so much but to take a step back and think about what you really want.

It means recognising that your sense of self-worth lies not in your children, nor in your marriage, nor how much you’re able to juggle every ball that parenting throws at you without dropping a single one. It lies in the person that you are today, and how much you try to choose kindness and love even when you don’t feel like it.

It means letting go of resentment, regrets and hate.

It means pampering yourself from time to time. (Perhaps a spa treatment or a pedicure, or just a simple brunch with girlfriends on a Saturday morning, or even romancing a good book.)

It means cultivating strong, nurturing friendships with other women.

It means forgiving those who’ve hurt you in the past. It also means forgiving yourself for your past failures.

It means never thinking that you’re not good enough.

It means respecting yourself and recognising your own strengths and weaknesses.

It means feeling free to express your needs to your spouse, and ask for help or understanding or time-off.

It means not feeling guilty when you take time-off for yourself.

As mums, it’s even more essential that we learn to cherish ourselves, because our role calls us to love and cherish others. If we don’t know how to care for ourselves, we actually have very little to give…

You can love yourself more starting from today.

1. Do something for yourself. Get a new hairstyle or hair colour. Pick up a new skill or hobby. Make time for yourself, even if it’s for a cup of coffee downstairs, alone. Gather with friends and check out new cafes or the best new chocolate cake in town.

2. Make time to fulfill a dream. Mums have dreams too, and these dreams don’t disappear just because children happen. And we also know that dreams don’t just turn into reality over night. If you’ve always wanted to start a business or initiative, you’ve got to brainstorm, plan, and take steps towards it.

3. Schedule regular me-time. I have to highlight the word “regular” because I think that’s the real challenge for mothers. We tend to feel so responsible for everything that goes on at home or at work, and it can be difficult to let go. My hubby encourages me to schedule time-off (especially when he notices that I’m grumpier than usual).

4. Read. I’m one of those who starts with a book and then gets distracted by life or other responsibilities and I let go of it. If that’s you too, and if there is still good reason to pick up that book, then do it. If you don’t have a book that’s calling out to be read, look around for one or ask for recommendations from friends.

5. Surround yourself with positive people. I’ve thankful to have a circle of like-minded female friends whom I always confide in and who will always believe in me. It’s not imperative that they be female, but it’s imperative that they be positive. Plus, their only interest should be to build you up and be a support for you (of course, this is a two-way street).

6. Tell your mate how to best show love to you. Dr. Gary Chapman, in his book, The Five Love Languages (How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate) identifies five main ways that people express and receive love.

  • Words of Affirmation – Encouragement through words (verbal or written)
  • Quality Time – Focused and intentional time spent together
  • Receiving Gifts – A thoughtful gift as a gesture of love
  • Acts of Service – Doing something to meet a practical need for the other person
  • Physical Touch – Hugs, rubs, kisses, and touch that conveys warmth and affection

If your mate doesn’t know which language is yours, tell him and give him ideas on what you would love to see him do for you.

7. Eat healthy, stay active. Being physically healthy is more than just a feel-good thing; it helps to improve mental alertness, and increases our overall quality of life.

8. Be thankful for the little things. Keep a little notebook of thanksgiving. Note down the little triumphs and milestones you see in your own life. That way, when life gets tough, you can look back at these and remind yourself of how far you’ve come.

~~~~~

Loving yourself is loving your family too. They are the first to benefit when you are well, inside and out.

You are definitely worth it.

5 things I like about Thomson Medical Centre

This is a much overdue post about my experience at Thomson Medical, where I delivered my second child, JJ, via scheduled c-section.

I had my first child at Mount Alvernia, but decided on Thomson for the second one. Main reason: I wanted to be closer to my gynae (based in Thomson) as I was trying for a VBAC.

After trying out both hospitals that are priced similarly, here is a summary of what I like and appreciate about Thomson Medical. (And in case you are wondering, I don’t own shares in the listed company :P)

1. Confinement soups – Thomson prides itself on being (one of?) the first maternity hospitals to offer a ‘soup for mums programme’, made from traditional Asian recipes double-boiled for extra oomph, and also supposed to help boost milk supply. True enough, the soups were yummy, and I have no complaints about the food overall.

2. Cosy rooms – Another plus was their newly refurbished rooms. The deluxe suites were designed to be resort-like, but we didn’t splurge on those as we figured we weren’t gonna host a party for our relatives and friends anyway. We were happy with our single room (some photos below). You can view their rooms here.

Here’s the proud second-time daddy.

thomson medical

 And little Vera meeting her baby brother for the first time!

thomson medical

3. Multicultural nurses – Okay, there’s been some negative reports about the high ratio of foreign-to-local nurses of late. But they can’t be all bad?? I mean, the quality of their care probably has less to do with their nationality than their own personality, character, and level of motivation/experience.

I met some nurses from the Phillippines and China, and they were pretty okay and helpful. Every hospital has their fair share of good and not-so-good nurses I guess, so I’m thankful that I met some good ones, though I did come across a handful who couldn’t be bothered. One nurse didn’t even do up my pad properly! And some of the juniors couldn’t really help with latching the baby when I needed help initially due to post-operation pains. 🙁

4. Quality control folks – Kudos to the hospital for actually dedicating some of their nurses (or perhaps a portion of their time) to go around checking each patient’s room for general cleanliness and asking questions e.g., have they changed your bedsheets? Do you need a pillowcase for your extra pillow, etc? I still didn’t get my extra pillowcase in the end, but knowing that the hospital is making some effort to pay attention to the details is simply reassuring. 😉

5. Baby care and breastfeeding class – Thomson offers a one-hour class everyday for new mums to learn how to bathe and breastfeed their newborns. Though I’m a second-timer, I still picked up some useful tips.

What I didn’t quite like:
The reception staff serving us during registration was rather grouchy; also when we checked out, we had to wait a long time before we got our bill. After waiting for what seemed like forever, the angry hubby went downstairs and found the bill sitting at the front desk.

Tsk tsk.

But oh well, hopefully that was just a one-off bad-day kinda incident. All in all, I still had a pretty good experience. 🙂

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