Monday, January 18, 2016

Growing as a Parent

Heaven is a place called home.. (image from
Every time when I meet with friends, they are all amazed that I am surviving with four kids. I don't regret having them and I always tell my friends that until you have them, you will truly understand the immense joy they bring. Truth be told, even with four kids, I still get tested, feel helpless, and yes, motherhood makes me feel lousy at times.

Just a couple of months back, while playing with each other, Audrey kicked Julian in the balls. Julian's privates swelled up a great deal and he was crying and screaming. I spent the next few hours bringing him around the clinics to make sure all is good. (As a general rule, apparently as long as it isn't painful when you press and peeing isn't a problem, it should be okay)

I took Audrey and Julian out from school the next day and wanted them spend some time together and hopefully maybe talk to them about being nicer to each other. I planned for Slappy Pancakes that morning and thought the kids would have enjoyed themselves making breakfast together.
However, I should have known, there's no such thing as "go as planned" with kids. Before we could leave the house, the two argued because one didn't share a piece of paper with the other.

Throughout the whole journey there, I had to spend the time discussing with them about their actions. While Audrey was okay, it didn't sit well with Julian. When we got out of the car, Julian was throwing a tantrum. He was screaming and shouting and didn't want to join us at the table. He wanted us to leave. Fortunately, that day I was given enough grace to be cool about it and sat at the table with Audrey ordering our ingredients. Julian was still sulking at the corner and once in a while, he would be shouting things like "I don't like mummy anymore", or "Mummy is stupid" (Honestly, if he was not my kid, I would have smacked him upside down) Through it all, I would invite him still to come and join us when he is ready, however he still chose not to. (I should be given sainthood for this)
Sitting and sulking in a corner...

And because there was no reaction from me, at one point, Julian took out his slippers and threw at me. We had a table beside us, and the little girl told her mummy, "mummy, he actually threw his slippers at them" Honestly, if I was there alone with him, I would have left the restaurant half way and we would have been on the way home. However, I saw my first born enjoying herself and I felt it was not fair to deprive her of such joy because of him and chose to focus on her and pretended to enjoy myself.
Deep down I was dreading each minute. I felt embarrassed and thought in the eyes of the others, I must have been the world's greatest failure. I would have cried but I knew I couldn't.

After awhile, Julian finally either got hungry or got tired and asked me to go to the corner to bring him to the table. (Finally, God took pity on me) When I started to talk to him about his behavior, he clamped up and refused to listen to me. Finally, I admitted to him that I was feeling hurt by his actions. With that, it suddenly sounded foreign to him and he seemed to realize something.
Pancakes have never
tasted so sweet..

My mother's instinct told me that what was said was enough and we just continued making the pancakes. I thought that the initial lesson of teaching them to be more loving towards each other isn't going to happen today especially when we just ended a trying session. I left the table to get some water and when I returned I was amazed that my daughter was feeding Julian pancakes. They were laughing and they just enjoyed the moment. And for that moment, they were loving.

On hindsight, if I had acted on my emotions and left the restaurant, I would probably have robbed them this chance of enjoying each other's company. In fact, a little part of me was proud that I didn't react to the situation but responded putting my daughter's needs above mine.

If sadness was created for humans to appreciate and understand what joy is, then trials in parenthood are invented for one to appreciate the immense joys it brings. Everyday has its own set of lessons waiting for us to grow as a family… all I know is, I only fail when I stop trying. And if you love your kids, you are ready for the challenge. :) Share with me what lessons you learn from parenthood!!! Otherwise… if you are reading this… You will be fine! :D

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