Thursday 19 July 2012

Talkative Thursday: A Mother's Instinct

I'm not sure how extreme or slight mothers trusts her instincts. I am definitely appreciative for this gift after having 2 kids. I practice and exercise it even at the most threatening moments. Every creature, even animals possess that motherly instinct. It's every mother's survival skill. It is simply putting a child’s needs before a mother’s own. Not one that science or wonders can explain, but what mothers can relate through experiences. Tagging it to a myth is what some think so. 

One dominant area I apply my instinct the most is when the kids are sick. And I’m usually the first to discover that the kids are ill or near being ill. Much before their daddy. 

Jazz was less than a month young. She threw up milk upon every feed. My then nanny suggested to take her to the doctor. I did so, thinking she’s more experienced than me, I had better obey. I was shocked to hear that we’ve to admit her, we did so anyway. That night in the ward, I got frustrated with the many change of doctors, no conclusions and disruptive moments to our rest. I asked to discharge the next morning. I knew she was fine, I knew her nanny was making a fuss, I knew and I knew we should be home instead of the hospital. I insisted on a discharge. We got home and she got well. 

Jazz was admitted to the hospital when she was about 30 months young. She ran a high grade fever, and so did us the parents. A day later, Jare was down with fever too. I had my kids apart, one in the hospital and one at home. I desperately needed to be with both of them, within my arms length. What got me even more down was running a fever too. After the 2nd night of stay, I knew I needed to consolidate both kids home, to care for them. Jazz pleaded to go home, and till now, I could still remember the happiness she expressed when we made our way out of the ward to home. I insisted to get her discharged. It was tough when the doctor asked me to sign the disclaimer form for discharge. I had fears but I wanted to do what felt right. The very young female doctor kept explaining to me about Jazz’s condition and her roller coaster fever, but I knew she didn’t understand me. I signed and got her discharged.

When we got home, her fever spiked up and down. Even up to 40 deg. What made me worse was when my mum asked me to send her back to the hospital. In midst of a panic state, I trusted my instinct. She ran a week of low and high fever and finally got well. We saw her pediatrician to ensure all was well.

This was the most risky decision I’ve ever made. Don’t be too quick to judge my impulse.

Jare had 3 spots on his face. I’ve no clue what they were, HFMD, Chicken pox or whatever. For an assurance, I brought him to a nearby clinic, as his paediatrician's clinic was closed. He concluded Jare as a chicken pox carrier. I doubted and I knew he was 99% wrong. I ignored his prescriptions and chuck it somewhere into the drawer when we got home. Following week, we went to his doctor; his diagnosis assured me that it was just insect bites. I felt comfort with his conclusion. As matched to my instincts.
The spots on Jare's face

Usually and eventually, I found out I was right.
A mother’s instinct is above and beyond times of illness. I use it to identify when Jazz tries to hide truths, I use it to identify her mood during conversations and sometimes through her drawings and crafts. It is what allows a mother to know what to do without researching or asking on how to care for a baby and child. While sometimes, a daddy baffles his way through. I’ve new mummy friends, including myself, with many doubts and queries on handling newborn. Upon Jazz’s arrival, I knew all worries were uncalled for. For every moment, mother’s instinct has prompted me on what to do, even when it comes to a fussy baby. Perhaps the fact that giving birth to a baby who lives inside our womb for so long enables us to forge a long standing connection to the innate side.

A mother’s instinct is sometimes like a compass that guides and helps our child to remain safe and protected. I encourage every mum to try listening more of their instinct, act on it more than not. Although, sometimes a dilemma when instincts are of two minds, I’m sure a mum’s choice will stay the wisest and best for her children.

I believe many other mums have their very accurate intuitive moments too. If you think your child needs further medical attention, probe further or seek other opinions. Sometimes our motherly instincts can be nuisance to doctors or caregivers. And you may agree that the most dangerous zone to stand in would be between a mother and her child. It could turn a perfectly sane mum into a hysterical mum. And as I grow along with the kids, I’ll get more proficient in using this instinctive gift. 

Disclaimer: This being my personal blog allows me to share my personal experiences on mother's instinct. I hope one would have interpreted the correct intentions and exercise instincts with good common sense and knowledge.  

Thursday 12 July 2012

Talkative Thursday - SAHM vs FTWM

It’s Talkative Thursday again, get coffee ready.

I’ve been thinking of life as a SHAM (Stay At Home Mum) and as a FTWM (Full Time Working Mum). For each title, there's every pros and cons to ponder upon. It’s always an imbalance trade off if one decides to forgo one for the other and the other for one. There's no perfect choice, but a personal decision of knowing what best for a Mum and her home. If you know my story, I was jobless when I carried Jazz in my womb. I left my then job without realizing I was pregnant. Since then, I had been bumming home till Jazz birthed and only went back to work when she was about 7 months young. I left her to an Infant Care, even though my man thinks I am the best care for her. I went on to pursue my desire and have since been working to date. Now, I have 2 little Js.

I know staying home wasn’t a good choice for me, I had problem keeping my sanity and back then, Jazz was less then 7 months, there wasn’t much I could do with her except following routines. I brought her to the void deck for strolls on most evenings, and gradually realized how much more I’ve been socializing with maids and old folks around my estate. I lost touch with trends. I did the housework, from cleaning to cooking and I knew this wasn’t ideal. I missed the pretty clothes hanging in my wardrobe and doing the make-up on my face. There wasn't any reason to upkeep myself since I was home bound most days. Being a SAHM gave me no sense of achievement and I knew I need to get my feet back to work.

While I work, I enjoyed that financial independence, without thinking what would my man think if I used his money for this and that. I’m not sure about other Mums, but I find it a hold back when I’ve to ask my man for money. During my jobless days, I took no allowance from him, as I thought being jobless could have been a burden to him. I lived by with my savings. I did not have to spend much for staying home anyway. My man took over all bills, including the groceries. These were of great help. My mum always tell me how ‘embarrass’ she is when she wants to get money from my dad. I'm surprised we feel alike. I did her little favours by giving her surprise allowances and hinted my dad in being more automatic on allowances. Maybe Jazz can return that same favour when she's all grown up. Working gives me the slightly more spending power to get my needs and wants. And I think the love for shopping is one I find it most difficult to give up. I am not an extreme shopaholic, but I have desires for the kids and myself. 

Today, I’m back to thinking about life as a SAHM with 2 non-schooling little ones. It makes a whole lot of difference for having kids in school and homeschool kids. My weekends give me a prelude, but that’s with their daddy home. Situations could be different with just the 2 little ones and me. I definitely need to master the art of balancing spirit, mind and soul. It’s challenging, but I’m so looking forward to the day of being there full time for them.   

I want to start preparing good and healthy meals, with great snacks in between. I want to start gathering creative ideas to homeschool them. I’ll have to conduct music and craft sessions with them, with academics inclusive too. Being a SAHM is what another SAHM can identify with. The non-Mummies will tell me, "wow, be a tai tai, not too bad." And the real mummies will go, "wow, not an easy decision." My life as a SAHM will definitely not be about mahjongs, high-teas or shopping for Prada or LV. Where to birth money for those anyway. For me, it will be simply about kids and housework! Having them in tow to run errands, having them settled while I prepare meals, intervening when the squabbles get bad and the many more unlisted job description. Thank God deadlines are negotiable and I don't have to benchmark myself against any KPIs. There are no bonus or promotion to seek after, yet you want to do the job well. Amazing motherhood.  

And yes! In no time, Js will be withdrawn from school to spend time with me! End of this month marks my last few days at work. I have tendered my resignation. Not sure if this is a permanent move for me, but I want to make it the best and most fulfilling job ever, for at least 2 years. 

For the next 18 mths, we’ll be uprooting to USA, where the man will take on his sponsored scholarship. Air tickets booked and departure date set. It's not a sacrifice just for the kids, but for the man too. The decision of this huge move is just a whole new story to begin, shall share another time perhaps. Still in state of comprehending, I only know it definitely is a challenge to begin my new role in a totally new foreign land. 

Counting down the days, I am so looking forward to being there for the kids and making the most out of their everyday and my everyday. They are growing so quickly and before they outgrow the different stages, I want to enjoy the privileged bond with them. I should be thankful for this opportunity.

Jazz in disagreement with my SAHM move?