Perhaps, the most significant change to me this year is waking up at this ungodly hour every weekday morning. Yes, it’s 5 plus in the morning. *yawn*
I set my alarm at 5:45am, but somehow, my system has adjusted to the new routine faster than I’ve expected. I usually wake up 5 to 10 mins before the alarm buzzes off. I don’t want to get back to sleep again, otherwise I will risk oversleeping.
After I shower and prepare breakfast for Edison, I wake him up at 6:15am. Within half an hour, he cleans up, takes his breakfast and change into his uniform. We leave the house at 6:45am. When we drive out from the carpark, the sky is still dark. *yawn again*
Many friends advised me to let him take a school bus, but I didn’t. First of all, I have to wake up extra early in order to send him to school. Having to face the traffic chaos outside the school was another. But the ‘mummy-ness’ inside me remains strong so I’ve decided to continue sending him to school every day. Just like what I’ve did for the past four years when he was still in kindergarten.
This routine is like a part of me now. I enjoy driving him to school. During the journey, we talk, we share and we laugh. I still enjoy carrying his schoolbag for him until the last point where I’m denied entry. And I’ll see him walking up the flight of stairs until he disappears from my sight.
My little boy. He’s all grown up now. It feels like each time I turn away, he grows a little bigger. He’s 7 years old this year, but in my heart, he’s forever a baby. There is always something in him that I can’t let go. I don’t know what it is.
V thinks that I’m too silly to think this way. He always reminds me that our boy will eventually grow up, chase his dreams and have his own life. What I can do now, within my capability and time, is to continue loving him as much as I can, protect him as fiercely as I can, train him and equip him with all the life skills as far as I can.
I’m unbelievably proud of my boy. Starting primary school is a big milestone in a child’s life, but he eases through it effortlessly. I hope that he will continue to enjoy school days in the many years to come.
Click HERE to read all my posts on Starting Primary One series.
Ever since Little Edison discovered the marvel of telephone, he has been calling me every day when I’m at work. Sometimes he calls up to four times a day to share with me about an event at school, what he has for lunch, what TV program that he’s watching, and what other monkey business that he’s doing at home.
I welcome all these calls as I often find them very amusing. Somehow, they ‘connect’ me with his routine even though I’m not with him physically. But in my mind, I can imagine what he’s doing from these phone calls.
“Hello Mama! What are you doing?” he asked enthusiastically.
“Mama is working. Have you taken your lunch?”
“Oh yes! I had a sandwich for lunch, and I finished it.”
I was delighted to hear that, and I answered him: “Good boy. Now you go take a nap and when you wake up, please do the homework that I gave you last night.”
He was quiet for a while. He doesn’t like to listen to my nagging, and oh, he’s at a stage where he thinks that afternoon naps are only for babies. As a matter of fact, he seldom takes his afternoon nap now.
“Okay, I’ll pass the phone to Yeye.” Before I could nag any further, he passed the phone to my father-in-law. I knew his trick. Smart boy.
Two hours later, he called again.
“Hello Mama!” he said in a less enthusiastic tone this time.
“Yes, boy. What are you doing now?” I asked him.
“The homework question is too difficult. Twenty minus five? But I don’t have twenty fingers!”
I chuckled and said, “You don’t need twenty fingers. Use the ‘count down’ method that I’ve taught you. Twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, fifteen. Remember?”
“Add means count up. Minus means count down.” I reminded him again although I was very certain that he knows how to solve the math questions by himself.
“Okay, Mama. I’ll try again. Bye!” The line went dead after that. I assumed that he went back to his homework questions.
I like it every time he calls me in the middle of the day, even for no apparent reason. Just to listen to his rambling, his voice and his jokes. They brighten up my days.
Do you talk to your children on the phone too when you’re at work? Do you enjoy it? Say YES if you do! I love to hear from you too.
It was 8pm on a Tuesday night. Little Edison was taking his own sweet time, munching on his apple, and watching the TV. I was anxious to return to our home from my PIL’s house, but the boy has not even taken his shower.
I was tired and my face was ‘black’, but he didn’t notice it. I packed up our things and I told him angrily to continue eating very slowly until 10pm, because I’ll be leaving without him. Then, I dumped our things into the car and pretended to start the engine.
He got a shock, and he dashed out of the house with his teary eyes. Then, he cried and said to me that he wants to go home with me too. I quickly showered him, and we drove home.
On our way home, he looked at me innocently, and muttered “I love you, Mama.”
At that instance, I was surrounded by guilt again – for raising my voice at him, for losing my temper, and for threatening to leave him behind.
“I’m such a terrible mother!” I repeated that to myself several times, and I apologized to him.
Things like this happen once in a while.
In my five years of motherhood, I’ve thrown a few things out of my ‘guilt sack’, but there are also new things that get added along the way. I’ll share some of them in this post.
Things I used to feel guilty about, but not anymore:
1. Being a working mom
I can still remember vividly the first day I sent him to the infant care centre, that was during the last week of my maternity leave. I sat on the bench, sobbing quietly and struggling with separation anxiety from my baby.
I blamed myself for not being able to take care of him 24/7. It’s not because I’m career-minded, but there are valid reasons why I need to maintain my financial-independence.
Now when I look back, I’m at peace with my choice of being a working mom. I can’t be with him all the time, but I’m with him most of the time when he needs me. And I’m always there for the important events in his life – his birthday, his parent-teacher meeting, his graduation concert, when he’s unwell, etc.
2. Feeding him with a less balanced meal
I don’t cook so often, and I used to be guilty about that, but not anymore. We eat home-cooked food at my mother-in-law’s house every weekday. So, on weekends, we usually eat-out at our favourite restaurants.
When we’re out the whole day, sometimes he missed his mealtimes and naptimes too. Out of convenience, we also feed him with burger and French fries. But again, I tell myself – one day without protein will not malnourish him, one day without afternoon nap will not make him tired or cranky.
Most importantly, we spend a meaningful and fun weekend together. It’s okay to bend the rules once in a while.
3. Stealing some ‘me-time’
I like to attend to him whenever he demands my attention. But I’m a human after all, and there are times when I really need some quiet times for myself.
So, I’ll plonk him down with his favourite iPad game or in front of the TV. I told him not to disturb me, and I disappear for ten minutes. Whether I’ll be enjoying my cup of coffee, taking my power nap or lose myself in a book, ten minutes are all I need to recharge and rediscover myself.
Guilt that I’m still working on removing:
1. Losing my patience
(as in one of the classic examples that I’ve mentioned at the beginning of this post)
I’m a person with a limited patience tank. Throughout my motherhood years, this tank has gradually grows too. Many times, I told myself to be patience and I succeeded. But again, when stress level builds up inside of me, sometimes I do lost control too.
I feel guilty whenever I raise my voice, scold him or give him a little whack on his bottom. I convince myself that all I’ve done is for his own good, and I should not feel guilty. But most of the time, I’ll end up blaming myself for not being the perfect mom who is always patience, caring and loving towards him.
Now, what is the biggest ‘guilt’ in your sack? I love to hear from you too! Leave me a comment!