Tag Archives: parenting

The Parenting Journey: What to Expect

29 Aug

When it comes to raising children, I sound like a broken record because I always say, “time flies”. When you’re losing sleep, struggling to keep your house clean, and at the end of your rope when it comes to disciplining your toddler, it’s hard to see that all your struggles will eventually (soon enough even!) end, BUT in the blink of an eye, your child is suddenly 7 years old and talks like a little adult. Honestly, you end up missing the little rascal that drove you up the wall.

Right now I am kicking myself for deleting my old blog, the one I had when I found out I was pregnant with Nicole. It contained all the details of my pregnancy, from getting tested at a family clinic to finally giving birth and breathing a sigh of relief that my baby’s cute. LOL. It would’ve been nice to be able to reminisce about my pregnancy, the “bestest” period of my life.

When my mom found out I was pregnant with Nicole, she handed me a small pile of books that included my pregnancy bible, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. If you’re currently pregnant, I suggest you pick up this book.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when you’re pregnant with your fist child, but reading up can help calm your nerves. You cannot learn everything you need to know about being pregnant and raising your child by reading a single book (sometimes panic can still set in), but getting a comprehensive book like What to Expect can still help a great deal.

Nicole turned 7 a few weeks ago. While I am super proud I am raising an independent kid, I can’t help but feel a little sad. For those who are reading this blog for the first time, I have no more uterus, which means Nicole is the only kid I will ever have (unless of course we adopt). This means that my parenting journey is, in a way, a third of the way through. The last 7 years have been incredible. Let me tell you, parenting is a roller coaster ride, both exhilarating and scary, you can’t prepare enough for it.

I didn’t get to read the following books but I bet they’re incredibly helpful for first time parents as well.

WTE-Second-Year

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Time Flies

1 Mar

There are moments when  life is so perfect and I’m so happy with Nicole I try to take a mental picture and I pray, “Dear God, don’t let me forget this moment. Don’t let me forget the expression on Nicole’s face, or how I feel right now.”

All mothers who are in love with their children often say time passes by too quickly. You want to be able to freeze time but you also don’t want to; because this little person you are so in love with gets even prettier, smarter, and just overall better with the passing of time.

Nicole tells me she will live with me forever; that she will travel with me when she’s an adult. She even tells me she’ll go home to me even when she’s already in college. And yet, looking at how her personality has grown in just a year, how she insists her dad and I can go off and leave her alone in the house (she’s only 6 so we don’t), and how she spends her free days at her friend’s house, I just know she’ll go off and have many adventures on her own without me. It’s all bittersweet. I’d be afraid if she decided to live with me forever. LOL. And yet it’s also sad to think about the day she’ll finally be off on her own.

Today I sent Nicole to school with a folder containing her baby pictures. They’re having their pictures taken for their prep graduation and they’re going to use the baby photos for their graduation slideshow (or yearbook, I’m not sure). So last night, I went through CDs and hard drives to look for her baby pics (our photo archive’s a crazy mess). I showed Nic her baby pictures and she giggled at all her naked photos. She also told me not to submit the photo below to her school because she didn’t have teeth in it.

My 6-year-old sweetie, embarrassed about her toothless grin that I loved. It’s all bittersweet I tell you.

Serious Business

10 Jan

Last week, when I told Nicole she’s starting ballet again this week, she told me- “But I thought ballet is finished! I don’t want to do ballet! I want to rest!”

I immediately sent Jay an IM- “she says she doesn’t want to go back… she says she wants to rest, which is why I think we shouldn’t let her quit.”

I know that sounds kind of twisted.

Several months ago, when I was telling one of the mommies at Nicole’s ballet class how Nicole wanted to quit ballet after her summer dance classes, and she continues to attend only because we refuse to let her quit, the mommy laughed and kind of  hinted we were mean, or maybe crazy. But I explained our side and I think she understood.

I mean, really, who wants to flex, stretch, and sweat it out for an hour each week, just because? If I let Nicole quit now, what will happen to the other activities she wants to do in the future but she may not be very good at? If she decides she doesn’t want to do all those other things anymore because she sucks at them? Do I also just let her quit then?

On some level, I totally get what this mother is saying (read Why Chinese Mothers are Superior). I do not demand excellence in academics from Nicole, but in some areas of her life, I can be very strict. I also don’t mind being hated by my own daughter. There are days she tells me I’m mean, and that she doesn’t like me because according to her, I ALWAYS tell her to clean up. The thing is, she tells me she hates me, but I know she doesn’t. She will probably hate me later on, but hopefully by then, she’ll be an adult and if I raise her well, then she can fly on her own and be the awesome person she’s really meant to be.

I don’t care about being a fun mom. I’m an efficient mom, for sure. I don’t want to be her friend. I have enough friends. She will have her own friends. As far as I know, I didn’t suffer through 12 hours of labor so I could have a friend. I’m her mom, I’ll do my job of raising her, and I WILL raise her well.

I don’t regularly watch Modern Family but one time, I was able to catch an episode wherein Claire Dunphy said there can’t be 2 fun parents in the family. That’s totally how I feel about raising my own family.  As far as I’m concerned, I do what needs to get done in this home. I have assumed the role of the neurotic mother who gets the job done, Jay is the fun dad. I’m fine with that. Jay faces enough stress at work to play the strict dad at home. Jay and Nicole can have their fun at home. I now call them M1& M2,  which stand for messy 1 and messy 2. There can’t be 3/3 messy people in this house. Of course, I’m not always serious. And Jay isn’t always a goof ball. We switch ‘roles’ sometimes. Plus Jay totally supports me when I’m right and is quick to reprimand me when he thinks I’m wrong.

I guess what I’m saying is- yeah, I’m a bit of a “Chinese mother”. I don’t think I will ever call Nicole garbage, or insist she learn only piano and violin. But I will die before I raise a daughter who quits before she even tries; or quits just because things get tough. She has to try, she has to try hard. She has to stick to something until she becomes good at it. Or even if she doesn’t get really good at something, she just has to keep trying.

Now, does that still sound twisted to you?