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It always gets better

A month has gone by; a month of Miss Sunshine being unwell, hospitalization for a few days and gradual recovery. And once again, I am amazed by my daughter’s strength and resilience; that even in her suffering she is able to enjoy life, smile, laugh and play when I find it hard just to see her unwell. I must admit that this time it’s been harder than before, probably because it was so unexpected. I just figured we were dealing with her usual manageable symptoms so I had not even thought of a possible hospital admission.

But today, I want to focus on the bright side. The fact that Miss S has bounced back and even managed to go to school today. The fact that little by little she’s getting to experience her small joys- being with her cousins, going to play areas and just having fun.

The fact that we had almost a whole month together, mostly indoors, with nothing to do but just be. It was claustrophobic some of the time, maybe restrictive but we were together; no pressures, no schedules; only focusing on her recovery.

I appreciate the fact that I am practicing letting go, there’s nothing more I can do to protect her, I have to let her live her life fully and just do the best I can to minimize her symptoms when she falls sick.

I am so grateful that we are back to living our lives fully because it has reduced the frustration and overwhelming feelings that I was experiencing when all I was focusing on was her being unwell. I know as a result of the helplessness I felt seeing her suffering once again, I had so much pent up frustration which unfortunately resulted in a number of outbursts once we were back home when she was getting better. And I appreciate that I can now forgive myself for the outbursts and I am finding ways to react in such unexpected stressful situations. Another reason I’m grateful that we’re back to our normal routines is because the time together became our ‘normal’ so Miss S became so used to our time together, that she became clingy and irritable when I was even away from her for a few minutes when she needed me. And this separation anxiety was a bad trigger for us in the past week. But today has been refreshing, her having her morning at school- which she had missed so much- and myself at work.

The main reason I am grateful is that despite everything, I have Miss Sunshine. I have a happy, healthy, loving, bubbly, bright, funny, strong willed and fulfilled little girl. Nothing beats having her. Storms will come and they will pass. We’ll take whatever life throws at us. I have her and she has me, and that’s what I’m focusing on,

My precious Sunshine, I love you and will always love you the mostest and the bestest.

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A mother’s prerogative

Before my little one came, I didn’t understand why mothers could talk non- stop about their kids. And I definitely didn’t think I’d join the bandwagon…but alas, I not only joined it but become the leader ๐Ÿ™‚ For now nearly every word from my mouth, every observation, every comment is Sunshine- related. Guessย that’s why they say ‘never say never.’

But you know what, I have no apologies for that, and feel no guilt. We talk about what we feel passionate about, what makes us happy, what gives our lives meaning…and that’s what my baby girl does for me.

And now I see, it is my prerogative…it is every parent’s prerogative. It is ok for me to talk about each new wonder, each memorable moment, each tooth, each step, each fall…the smiles, the hugs, the laughter…even the tantrums…because, this is my new world…my fascinating new world ๐Ÿ™‚

Before, I felt guilty that in my eyes, Ss is the most precious child ever. I look at her and I melt in her beautiful big eyes, she’s the sweetest and loveliest and oh so bubbly and full of life…and just like her name, beautiful inside and out, with a heart full of love. But now I no longer feel guilty finding her the most perfect in my eyes, because if I don’t, who will? I think that God created every little child to be the most perfect in his/ her parents’ eyes so that each child will always be perfect to someone and mean the world to someone…so it’s my prerogative and every parent’s to appreciate every little bit of our babies… I don’t think it’s vanity or pride, I feel that the way I feel about my Sunshine being a masterpiece is the way God feels about me being His child…and oh, how comforting that is. And I know it will never matter what she does with her life, what she grows up to look like, whether she’ll be first, last or in- between or what the rest of the world says about Ss, for me she’ll always be the little bit of perfection she’s been since I first saw her.

And so every morning when I wake up and look at my Ss and feel the joy of witnessing God’s perfection in her, I will not feel guilty for appreciating all that she is, all that she has and all that she gives.

Here’s to my precious, beautiful, loving bundle of joy!

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Balance… (And a tribute to my bookies)

Being a psychologist, I always emphasise to clients the importance of a balanced life…work, hobbies, rest, having time for oneself as well as family, social life etc…and I always thought it wasn’t that hard.

Then came my precious bundle of joy and all my well- meant advice went out the window (for me)…it’s like the cord that bound us together in the womb never ceased existing after birth, such that I felt unable to be too far away from her. This was probably enhanced by her being unwell during her first year, meaning we spent 90% of our time together. Then even when she was better and I was working more, I’d try and fit in as much work as possible within a few hours, without even a lunch break so I could go back home to her. It took me a couple of months to even go to the salon because I was afraid of leaving her, I always thought, “What if she needs me?” I guess with time, especially because she’s been so well, it’s been easier being away from her…well at least physically, maybe not so in my mind. Until I realized how hard it was to be out having fun, without her. I’m ok being at work but whenever I’d think of meeting friends, having time out alone, I’d feel so guilty, like I’m doing something wrong. Of course consciously I know how irrational this is, and being a psychologist means I also know it’s totally untrue. A happy mum makes a happy child and a happy mum needs to have a whole life, a full life… I mean I’m constantly preaching this. I think it’s just been hard for me to live this because I made my life revolve around my Sunshine, obsessing about her, her happiness and needs and wants, to the exclusion of everything else. And because I love her so so much, it has never felt like a sacrifice or taken effort, it just felt normal, like this is how my life has always been.

Lately however I’m trying to add some balance to my life, more for her sake than mine (because I want her to practice living her life for herself and having a full life- so maybe not the best motive as it still begins with her, but it’s a start :-)) So, I do meet my friends and even refrain from talking about her more than 70% of the time :-), I have the coffee dates alone I previously cherished, I’ve started thinking about my own goals and needs and I even joined a book club (more fuel for my book obsession.) And, all this has made me a better and more fulfilled mum, and when I rush home to my Ss, our quality time is even more enriching…

Like today was my monthly book club meeting…and as usual it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! I love being with my fellow bookies and chatting about anything and everything (not just the book.) Thank you bookies! Each time I attend a book club meeting, it’s like I get a new lease of life…and I just get to be young and carefree talking about my greatest pleasure…books…and maybe Ss 50% ๐Ÿ™‚

The guilt however is still a work- in- progress. It’s easy for me to meet friends on weekdays because I feel like those are working days. But I feel like weekends should be fun filled days for the little one and that means I should be with her during the weekend, either home or out, and if not, have planned a fun activity for her with significant others. I think a part of me feels neglectful, like “How can I be rushing to go enjoy myself and leave her home, bored without me?” Which is not exactly true because when I get back I can tell how much she’s enjoyed her day and that she doesn’t feel any loss. But as I said, work- in- progress… I’m just taking baby steps and hoping that soon I’ll be able to let go somewhat like she’s able to ๐Ÿ™‚

And maybe…in the distant future I’ll even be able to resume browsing and shopping for my own things and not just Sunshine and Sunshine- related things ๐Ÿ™‚ otherwise, one day when she’s all grown I’ll be asked, “What do you enjoy?” and I’ll say “Ss” and I’ll be asked “Where do you like to hang out?” and I’ll give a list of child friendly places and finally I’ll be asked where I like to shop and I’ll give a list of baby shops ๐Ÿ™‚ and then probably all I’ll remember being is Mama Sunshine and nothing else… (which might even make Ss embarrassed to know me :-()

Here’s to balance! And here’s to my little Sunshine who’s the healthiest obsession I know ๐Ÿ™‚

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I love you mum

It’s been too long since I wrote… I’m even suffering blog withdrawal symptoms ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I love my mum… so so much… everything I’ve learnt about mothering my little one probably comes from her… but the reason I’m always striving to be a friend to my Sunshine is because I’ve seen first hand that having my mum as one of my best friends means theย world to me. I’ve learnt about love and sacrifice and endless giving and empathy and listening and understanding from mum… Mum is always there…ALWAYS… not just for me but for Ss… Since Ss was born, mum has always been the one I could call with my worries and she’d help me out…she’s the one I’ve always trusted…Even when I wasn’t sure whether Ss was okay, if she told me Ss was fine, I knew she was, and if she thought Ss needed to see a doctor, I knew that’s what we needed to do. Whenever Ss cried uncontrollably, she’s the one I’d call to make it right…just like a little girl, the word ‘mum’ has never been far from my lips…

And the more I walk this journey and realize how all encompassing and sometimes overwhelming it is to be a parent, I wonder how she’s done it so well, for my siblings and I and our children…how she’s handled the worries and insecurities and letting go…and how she still has the strength and energy to keep mothering us, as even as adults we’re still turning to her and running to her whenever we need a shoulder to lean on… Thank you mum…thanks is not enough… and I hope and pray I am and will be a mummy half as good as you… Love you more than words can say.